Ilinskii, Mikhail

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Il’inskii, Mikhail Aleksandrovich


Born Nov 1 (13), 1856, in St. Petersburg; died Nov. 18, 1941, in Borovoe, Akmolinsk Oblast. Soviet organic chemist and technologist; specialist in synthetic dyes. Honored Worker in Science and Technology of the RSFSR (1934), Doctor of Chemical Sciences (1934), honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1935).

Il’inskii entered the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology in 1875 but was soon expelled for taking part in student demonstrations. In 1882 he graduated from the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. In 1889 he began to work in an alizarin plant in Shchelkovo, and in 1899, in a chemical plant in Germany. At the beginning of World War I he refused to accept German citizenship and was sent to Miinster under police supervision. At the end of 1916 he fled to Russia. From 1918 to 1924 he was an assistant professor at Moscow University. In 1925 he began to direct the development of alizarin dye technology in Aniltrest and at the Institute of Organic Intermediates and Dyes.

In 1885, with G. Knorre, he proposed using l-nitroso-2-naph-thol as a reagent for cobalt and trivalent iron.

In 1891, Il’inskii discovered that anthraquinone is sulfonated in the presence of mercury, yielding a-sulfonic acids and disulfonic acids instead of the ²-sulfonic acids that are usually formed. He proposed lime melts for converting anthraquinone sulfonic acids to hydroxy compounds; developed a method for making the first acid anthraquinone dye, alizarin-saphirol (1891), and methods of making new anthraquinone sulfonic acids, polyhydroxyanthraquinones, and acid and vat anthraquinone dyes (1899–1914); and invented a new method of absorption dyeing (1911), which came into widespread use.

In 1936, with A. N. Nikolaeva and A. I. Perel’man, Il’inskii made alizarin directly from anthraquinone by means of oxidation synthesis, avoiding the sulfonation and alklai fusion stages.


In K 55-leriiu nauchnoi raboty pochetnogo akademika M. A. Il’inskogo: Zhizn’, trudy i izobretemia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.