Kolbe, Adolph Wilhelm Hermann

Kolbe, Adolph Wilhelm Hermann (1818-1884)


Kolbe, Adolf Wilhelm Herman

19th Century
Born: Elliehausen near Göttingen (Germany), 1818 
Died: Leipzig (Germany), 1884

Kolbe studied with Friedrich Wöhler and Robert Bunsen and after 1845 spent 2 years in London with Lyon Playfair. Then he was professor in Marburg (1851) and in Leipzig (1865). As one of the best experimentors of his time he conducted research of the reaction of carbon disulphide and chlorine, the synthesis of acetic acid from inorganic matter, the transformation of alcohols into carboxylic acids and the synthesis of salicylic acid. Relying on the fact that many organic compounds are derivatives of carbonic acid Kolbe professed a type theory of his own making while rejecting Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff´s and Achille Le Bel´s tetrahedron model of carbon.