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Everything Circulates: Agricultural Chemistry and Recycling Theories in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

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This paper analyses the arguments in favour of recycling put forth by agricultural chemists in the mid nineteenth century. In this context the study emphasises how agricultural chemical theories, mainly developed by Justus Liebig, were connected to larger issues outside the scientific domain. The study also investigates how agricultural chemists argued for different kinds if recycling systems in a more practical way. By way of conclusion, some reasons for the ultimate abandonment of the recycling discourse at the end of the nineteenth century will be discussed.

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Keywords: Alexander Muller; Justus Liebig; agricultural chemistry; chemico-theology; nineteenth century; recycling; sewage

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2002

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  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2019) of 0.698. 5 Year Impact Factor: 0.806.
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