Wurtz, Charles Adolphe( French organic chemist and educator)
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Biography Wurtz, Charles Adolphe
Wurtz, Charles ADOLF (Wurtz, Charles-Adolphe) (1817-1884), French organic chemist and educator. Born November 26, 1817 in Strasbourg. Entered the Medical Faculty of the University of Strasbourg, Wurtz was appointed assistant preparator, and soon - taxidermist (lab), chemistry, pharmacy and physics. In 1839 he graduated from university, was left as a teacher and head of the laboratory work in chemistry. In 1843 he defended his dissertation, was awarded the medal of honor faculty and sent for training to Gisensky University (Germany) to the south Liebig. In 1844 he moved to Paris, where they were then focused the best scientific forces of France. Worked in the Higher School of Medicine, in 1845 became assistant to Jean Dumas, in 1853 - Professor, combined with the teaching work in agronomic institute, the University of Paris. In 1875 he became a professor of the university, headed the Department of Organic Chemistry. He was a member of the Paris Chemical Society, the mayor of one of the districts of Paris, a member of the Senate. In 1871, became president of the Medical Academy, from 1881 - President of the Paris Academy of Sciences.
Wurtz - one of the founders of the synthetic direction in organic chemistry. In 1849 he synthesized the first organic derivative of ammonia - methylamine and ethylamine, but six years later opened a new method of synthesis of hydrocarbons action of metallic sodium in halogenated. In 1856, Wurtz synthesized ethylene glycol, the first of diatomic alcohols (glycols), and then its homologues - propylene glycol and butylene glycol. These works were of great importance for industrial production of antifreeze, solvents, etc.. In 1859 received ethylene, then treating it with potassium hydroxide, - ethylene oxide, the initial product of synthesis of amino alcohols, choline, neyrina. In 1867, he invented a new method for phenol, opened in 1872 (along with A. Borodin) aldol condensation.
Works Wurtz underlie many branches of the chemical industry: of rubber, the synthesis of phenols, amines, dyes, drugs, etc.. In 1860-ies between Wurtz, and KekulцL von Stradonitz controversy has arisen regarding the valence ( 'atomicity', by the then terminology) elements. Wurtz, as Butlerov, believed that the elements have variable valence, whereas KekulцL von Stradonitz argued that the valence - is a fundamental property of atoms, and therefore it is constant, as the atomic weight
. The wide dissemination of new ideas in chemistry contributed to numerous textbooks and monographs Wurtz (some of them published in Russian translation), . among them - "Lectures on the Chemical Philosophy" (1864), . "Atomism" (1870), . "The history of chemical doctrines of Lavoisier to the present time",
. Wurtz founded the publication 'collection of abstracts of pure chemistry', which soon merged with the 'bulletin of the Paris Chemical Society'. In the name of a scientist named mineral wurtzite.
Wurtz died in Paris on May 12, 1884.