Adolf Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kolbe, Adolf Wilhelm Hermann


Born Sept. 27, 1818, in Elliehausen; died Nov. 25, 1884, in Leipzig. German chemist.

Kolbe was a professor at the University of Marburg from 1851 and at Leipzig University from 1865. In 1845 he synthesized acetic acid, starting from carbon disulfide, chlorine, and water. Together with the British chemist E. Frankland, he proposed a method for obtaining organic acids through nitriles from compounds with a lower carbon content. In 1849, Kolbe obtained hydrocarbons by electrolysis of solutions of the salts of carboxylic acids (Kolbe reaction). In 1860 he synthesized salicylic acid from phenol and carbon dioxide (Kolbe-Schmitt reaction).


Butlerov, A. M. “Istoricheskii ocherk razvitiia khimii v poslednie 40 let (po 1880 god).” Soch., vol. 3. Moscow, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.