Born in Arad, Winkler obtained his diploma in chemistry at the Budapest University of Science. He worked under Károly Thán as assistant professor, then obtained his degree of Ph. D. in 1889. He became a university lecturer in 1902. From 1909 he was active as the director of the Institute of Chemistry for 25 years.
Winkler was the internationally famous proponent of Hungarian analytics. A legendary hard-working scientist, he published many books and approximately 400 scientific studies. He participated in the teaching of pharmacist, and was one of the founders of the Hungarian Journal of Chemistry. He also actively cooperated in writing some of the publications of the Hungarian Pharmacopoeia. In 1922 he became a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Within his area of research gravimetric analysis, and the determination of ammonia and acid numbers of fats were the most significant, but he was also engaged in chlorine and iodine-trace determination in water.
Since 1964 Lajos Winkler commemorative medal is given biennially to an outstanding practitioner of pharmaceutical science.
In 1888 Lajos Winkler worked out the Winkler method of iodometric determination of dissolved oxygen in water. It was the theme of his doctoral dissertation, and simultaneously established his reputation in the scientific world. He solved a very important practical problem with his invention, namely making it possible to determine the amount of oxygen dissolved in water in high pressure boilers (i. e. the oxygen which greatly influences the boilers' corrosion resistance). He also devised a simple and intelligent means of implementing his method.
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