Frederick George Donnan

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Donnan, Frederick George


Born Sept. 6, 1870, in Colombo, Ceylon; died Dec. 16, 1956, in Canterbury. British physical chemist.

Donnan received his education at Queen’s College in Belfast (Ireland) and at the universities of Leipzig, Berlin, and London. He studied under J. H. Van’t Hoff and W. Ostwald. He was a professor at the University of Liverpool from 1910 to 1913 and at University College in London from 1913 to 1937. Donnan made a quantitative study of the process of emulsification (1899) and related this process and the stability of an emulsion to the variation in surface tension at the boundary of the droplets in an emulsified liquid. Later (1911) he developed the theory of so-called membrane equilibrium, which was subsequently named after him. During this same period he worked on an experimental proof of J. W. Gibbs’ adsorption equation.


“Über die Natur de Seifenemulsionen.” Zietschrift für physikalische Chemie, 1899, vol. 31, pp. 42-49.
“Theorie der Membrangleichgewichte und Membranpotentiale bei Vorhandensein von nicht dialysierenden Elektrolyten.” Zeitschrift fur Elektrochemie, 1911, vol. 17, no. 14.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.