Haber Bosch Process
Mankind has experienced grand challenges in the past and has resolved the potential crisis through innovation. In the early 1900’s, world population was outpacing global food supply. The supply of organic fertilizers did not allow for adequate food production until an efficient synthetic nitrogen fertilizer production process was commercialized by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch. The Haber-Bosch Process resulted in significant increases in food availability across the world and is still the basis for producing nitrogen fertilizer from natural gas. The Haber Bosch Process is generally considered one of the greatest innovations known to man.
Similarly, in 1942 a Midwestern farm boy graduated from the University with a doctorate in plant pathology and genetics. Norman Borlaug would become the “father of the green revolution” and his research improving wheat varieties that could resist lodging while utilizing greater amounts of nitrogen fertilizer would lead to dramatic production increases in underdeveloped countries like Mexico, Pakistan, and India. Because of his research, it is estimated he saved one billion lives across the globe.