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Russian Organic Chemistry Matures: Emergence of a Russian-Trained Professoriate in Organic Chemistry

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Part of the SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science book series (BRIESFHISTCHEM,volume 4)

Abstract

The rise of the schools of organic chemistry at Kazan’ and St. Petersburg proceeded apace during what may be considered the zenith of the science in Russia, the period between 1855 and 1890. The early part of this period is associated with Butlerov at Kazan’, and with Zinin and Borodin at St. Petersburg. However, in the ensuing decades, the students of these chemists made important contributions that made organic chemistry in Russia the equal of, or superior to that being carried out in the western world.

Keywords

  • Organosulfur Compound
  • Phosphorus Pentachloride
  • Hydrogen Iodide
  • Dihydroxystearic Acid
  • Sulfonium Salt

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Fig. 4.1
Fig. 4.2
Fig. 4.3

Notes

  1. 1.

    Sokolov's carer at Odessa will be discussed at more length in Chap. 5.

  2. 2.

    Paolo Tassinari (1829–1909) was an Italian analytical chemist who took the Chair at Pisa in 1862 after a brief appointment to the University of Bologna, where he taught Analytical, Mineralogical, and Metallurgical Chemistry. Sebastiano de Luca (1820–1880) was a student of Piria, in Naples, and a close friend of Stanislao Cannizzarro. Like him, de Luca was of a revolutionary bent. He served with the rebels in the 1848 revolution, and when their cause failed, he was sentenced to 19 years imprisonment. He escaped apprehension, and fled to France, where he studied with Berthelot. He returned to Italy in 1857, replacing Piria as Chair at Pisa.

  3. 3.

    Cameralism was an economic theory prevalent in eighteenth-century Germany. It basically advocated a strong public administration to oversee a centralized, industrial economy. The goals of cameralism were to maximize the efficiency in the ways the state could acquire wealth, and also with the best ways to use that wealth. As Russia moved into the nineteenth century, its industrialization (although slow) led to the belief that the ideas of cameralism would provide the framework to allow the government to ensure that Russia would have a sufficient number of technologically literate bureaucrats to move the nation forward.

  4. 4.

    Modest Yakovlevich Kittary graduated with the degree of Doctor of Natural Science from Kazan' university in 1844, and in 1853 he was appointed to the Chair of Technology at Kazan' University, where he founded the Kazan' Economic Society and edited its first newsletter. He quickly accumulated a cadre of young technologists, and set about improving the practices in local industry. One of the major Kazan' industries to benefit from Kittary's influence was the Krestovnikov Brothers' plant, which made soap and glycerin pure enough for export. In 1857, Kittary moved to Moscow University as Chair of the Department of Technology that had been established at the urging of local merchants. He remained here as an active educator until his retirement from the university in 1879. Through his writing on aspects of industrial chemistry and technology, Kittary had a major influence on the development of Russian industry during the nineteenth century.

  5. 5.

    Pyotr Frantsevich Lesgaft (Пётр Францевич Лесгафт, 1837–1909) was a teacher, anatomist, physician, and social reformer. He obtained his Dr. Med. at St. Petersburg in 1865, and in 1868 he was called to Kazan' as Professor and Head of the sub-department of Physiological Anatomy. In 1871, he was dismissed from the university for protesting the arbitrary actions of the governing faction of the university administration. He returned to the Medical-Surgical Academy, and led the first group of women students admitted to the institution. He was the founder of the modern system of physical education and medical control in physical training, as well as one of founders of the field of theoretical anatomy. In 1893, he established a Biology laboratory that became, in 1918, the P.F.Lesgaft Institute of Natural Science.

  6. 6.

    Konstantin Nikolaevich Zaitsev (Константин Николаевич Зайцев (b. 1840) was the first of the Zaitsev brothers to study chemistry at Kazan', and was the first of a series of Butlerov students to study with Kolbe. He returned to Russia in 1863, after two semesters with Kolbe, and was appointed as a lecturer in analytical chemistry. In 1868, he was invited by the owners of the Krestovnikov soap factory, the major chemical factory in Kazan', to join the staff of the plant to organize the laboratory there. In 1872, he was appointed director of the laboratory, position he held until 1907.

  7. 7.

    In these papers, Zaitsev reports that the colorless acid becomes a black mass, and that all attempts at preparing a nitrate salt—using an oxidizing acid—also gave a black mass.

  8. 8.

    Mikhail Mikhailovich Zaitsev (Михаил Михайлович Заицев, 1845–1904) was the younger brother of Zaitsev, and like his brother he studied under Butlerov. As a student of his brother, he studied the reactions of organozinc nucleophiles, but he also studied the reactions of hydrogen with unsaturated alcohols in the presence of palladium and platinum black [Saytzeff (1873) Ueber die Einwirkungdes vom Palladium absorbtieren Wasserstoffes auf einige organische Verbindungen. J Prakt Chem 6:128-135]; this work led to the first industraial hydrogenation of fats in Russia by Fokin in 1909–1910.

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  65. A selection from the 37 papers on the synthesis of alcohols using zinc metal and alkyl iodides includes: (a) Wagner G, Saytzeff A (1875). Synthese des Diäthylcarbinols, eines neuen Isomeren des Amylalkohols. Justus Liebigs Ann Chem 175:351-374. (b) Vagner E, Zaitsev A (1874). Sintez dietilkarbinola, novogo izomera amil’nogo alkogolya [The synthesis of diethylcarbinol, a new isomer of amyl alcohol]. Zh Russ Fiz-Khim O-va 6:290-308. (c) Kanonnikoff J, Saytzeff A (1875). Neue Synthese des secundären Butylalkohols. Justus Liebigs Ann Chem 175:374-378. (d) Kanonnikov I, Zaitsev AM (1874). Novyi sintez vtorichnogo butil’nogo alkogolya [A new synthesis of secondary butyl alcohol]. Zh Russ Fiz-Khim O-va 6:308-312. (e) Kanonnikoff I, Saytzeff A (1877). Ueber Einwirkung eines Gemische von Jodallyl mit Jodäthyl und Zink auf das ameisensaure Aethyl. Justus Liebigs Ann Chem 185, 148-150. (f) Kanonnikov I, Zaitsev AM (1876). O deistvii smesi iodistogo allila s iodistym etilom i tsinka na murav’inyi etil’nyi efir [On the action of a mixture of allyl iodide with ethyl iodide and zinc on formic acid ethyl ester]. Zh Russ Khim O-va Fiz O-va 8:359-363. (g) Saytzeff M, Saytzeff A (1877). Synthese des Allyldimethylcarbinols. Justus Liebigs Ann Chem 185:151-169. (h) Saytzeff A (1877). Bemerkung über Bildung und Eigenschaften der in den vorhergehenden Abhandlungen beschriebenen ungesättigten Alkohole. Justus Liebigs Ann Chem 185:175-183; (1885). Synthese der tertiären gesättigten Alkohole aus den Ketonen; Vorläufige Mittheilung. J Prakt Chem 31:319-320. (1875).

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Lewis, D.E. (2012). Russian Organic Chemistry Matures: Emergence of a Russian-Trained Professoriate in Organic Chemistry. In: Early Russian Organic Chemists and Their Legacy. SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science(), vol 4. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-28219-5_4

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