Weizmann came to the University of Manchester in 1904, where he lectured on chemistry. During World War I, the British forces needed to increase the production of artillery shells. The production was limited by a shortage of acetone, needed to produce cordite. Cordite was used to propel (fire) shells and bullets to their targets. Weizmann developed a production of acetone from the anaerobic fermentation of maize and horse chestnuts by bacteria. As a result, the production of shells rose from 500,000 in the first five months of the war to 16.4 million in 1915.
- Chaim Weizmann (1949). Trial and Error: The Autobiography of Chaim Weizmann. Jewish Publication Society of America.
- David, Saul 2012. How Germany lost the WWI arms race. BBC News
- Local industry owes much to Weizmann
- Current Biography 1942, pp 877-80. The story goes that Weizmann asked Balfour, "Would you give up London to live in Saskatchewan?" When Balfour replied that the British had always lived in London, Weizmann responded, "Yes, and we lived in Jerusalem when London was still a marsh."