Born in Kassel, he studied chemistry first at Marburg and then, for three years from 1856, under Robert Bunsen at Heidelberg. During the 1860s he worked in various chemical manufacturing facilities in Germany, the Netherlands and England. He settled in Widnes, in Cheshire, in 1867 and was naturalised in 1880.
In 1872 he brought a licence for Ernest Solvay's process for making soda. Mond developed this further with his partner John Brunner and together they founded Brunner Mond, which eventually merged with three other large chemical companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries.
He went on to develop new methods of manufacturing ammonia and extracting nickel. With part of his wealth he purchased 20 Albemarle Street for the RI. He suggested the establishment of the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory and endowed the money for it. By the 1890s it had become untenable for scientific research to be effectively performed by individual scientists working alone in their basement labs. When the DFRL opened in 1896 it was attempting to pioneer a new way of doing science.
Further reading: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography