Kirkhgof, Konstantin Gotlib Sigizmund

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kirkhgof, Konstantin Gotlib Sigizmund


Born Feb. 19, 1764, in Teterow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin; died Feb. 14 (26), 1833, in St. Petersburg. Russian chemist. Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1812; corresponding member, 1807).

From 1792 to 1802, Kirkhgof worked at the Central Pharmacy in St. Petersburg. In 1797 he proposed a wet method for preparing cinnabar, and in 1807 a method for purifying liquid oils with concentrated sulfuric acid. In 1811 he announced the conversion of starch into sugar in the presence of diluted acids. In 1814 he discovered the existence of an enzyme in germinated barley seed extract that affects the saccharification of starch. His studies form the basis for one of the first industrial catalytic processes used to obtain molasses and glucose from starch. Kirkhgof wrote several works on industrial chemistry, mineral analysis, and other subjects.


Osinkin, A. A. “Zhizn’ i deiatel’nost’ akademika K. Kirkhgofa.” Tr. In-ta istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki AN SSSR. Istoriia khimicheskikh nauk, 1960, vol. 30, pp. 252–287. (Contains list of works published by Kirkhgof.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.