Arvid Hedvall is considered the founder of the chemistry of solid substances. His initial experience dates from 1915, when he wrote his dissertation on the dye Rinmann’s Green. Also called cobalt green, the color is produced by heating black cobalt oxide powder and white zinc oxide powder. He interpreted the experiment as a reaction between solid phases without the mediation of gas or liquid and was so enthusiastic about this idea that he spent the rest of his life working on the chemistry of solids.
Among other things, important findings on corrosion and catalysis can be traced back to him. His research also had far-reaching effects on the glass, cement, alumina and ceramics processing industries. After completing his studies, he taught for a short time at the Realgymnasium in Örebro and in 1920 received an appointment at Chalmers University. Contemporaries noted in Hedvall an extraordinary intuition that allowed him to quickly sketch hypotheses, the task of his collaborators was then to verify them experimentally.