Favorskii, Aleksei Evgrafovich
Born Feb. 20 (Mar. 3), 1860, in Pavlovo, in what is now Gorky Oblast; died Aug. 8, 1945, in Leningrad. Soviet organic chemist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1929; corresponding member, 1922). Hero of Socialist Labor (1945).
Favorskii graduated in 1882 from the University of St. Petersburg, where he worked under D. I. Mendeleev and A. M. Butle-rov. In 1896 he became a professor at the university, later renamed Leningrad University. He also worked at the Leningrad Institute of Chemical Technology and at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; from 1934 to 1938 he served as the first director of the academy’s Institute of Organic Chemistry, which had been founded on his initiative.
Favorskii’s principal works deal with the chemistry of unsaturated organic compounds. His early studies laid the foundation for theoretical research on the isomeric transformations of organic compounds and led to the synthesis of new hydrocarbons with triple bonds, as well as to the discovery of a method of preparing vinyl ethers. Favorskii examined the isomeric transformations of organic compounds from the viewpoint of concepts on the mutual influence exerted by the atoms and radicals making up a molecule, at the same time developing the views of Butlerov and V. V. Markovnikov. In the years 1900–05, while studying the condensation of hydrocarbons of the acetylene series with ketones under the action of potassium hydroxide, Favorskii discovered a method of synthesizing tertiary acetylenic alcohols.
Favorskii founded one of the schools of Soviet organic chemistry. The research of Favorskii and his students on unsaturated compounds formed the theoretical basis for the commercial synthesis of rubber in the USSR. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1941), four Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and several medals.