He studied under Justus von Liebig, graduated at the University of Giessen as a chemist, and at the mint in Paris as an assayer. He was professor at Giessen from 1841 until the close of 1853, and subsequently in the economical institution of Munich. In 1856 he became inspector of the royal porcelain works, and in 1863 he went to Brunswick (German: Braunschweig) to teach chemistry at the polytechnic school. He made some notable investigations relative to tanning.
Lehrbuch der chemischen Technologie (2 vols., Brunswick, 1847; translated into English by Edmund Ronalds and Thomas Richardson, 3 vols., London, 1848–51, and by W. R. Johnson, 2 vols., Philadelphia, 1848–49)