Anselme Payen (January 6 or January 17, 1795 - May 12, 1871) was a French chemist, physicist and mathematician. He was born in Paris, where he studied at the École Polytechnique. At the age of 20 he became manager of a borax-refining factory, where he developed a process for synthesizing borax from soda and boric acid. He also invented new processes for refining sugar, a decolorimeter , a way to refine starch and alcohol from potatoes, and a method for determination of nitrogen.
Payen became especially famous for the discovery of the first enzyme, diastase; also for his works on cellulose and paper.
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Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01