Concept

Hermann Kolbe

Summary
Adolph Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe (27 September 1818 – 25 November 1884) was a major contributor to the birth of modern organic chemistry. He was a professor at Marburg and Leipzig. Kolbe was the first to apply the term synthesis in a chemical context, and contributed to the philosophical demise of vitalism through synthesis of the organic substance acetic acid from carbon disulfide, and also contributed to the development of structural theory. This was done via modifications to the idea of "radicals" and accurate prediction of the existence of secondary and tertiary alcohols, and to the emerging array of organic reactions through his Kolbe electrolysis of carboxylate salts, the Kolbe-Schmitt reaction in the preparation of aspirin and the Kolbe nitrile synthesis. After studies with Wöhler and Bunsen, Kolbe was involved with the early internationalization of chemistry through work in London (with Frankland). He was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences,
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