Biography of Adolf von Baeyer – Chemist
His full name is Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf von Baeyer born on October 31, 1835, in Berlin, Germany. Baeyer was a German chemist, recognized in 1905 for his work on organic dyes and hydroaromatic compounds. Initially, he studied at Humboldt University in Berlin, Baeyer studied mathematics and physics. However, he soon found his passion for chemistry and moved to Heidelberg to study with Robert Bunsen in 1856. Bunsen was a well-known chemist, much known for perfecting burners. Baeyer’s father is a Prussian general. His mother is Jewish. Although the rank of general, Baeyer’s father put great interest in science. Apparently, Baeyer inherited his father’s nature. He is a Heidelberg university majoring in chemistry. At Heidelberg, Baeyer studied at the August Kekulé laboratory, a well-known organic chemist.
The lecturers are named Bunsen and Kekule. Bunsen emphasized the importance of experiments and research, kekule emphasized the importance of theory. Baeyer combines the two. In 1858, Baeyer received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Berlin. In 1871, he became a professor at Strasbourg and in 1875, Baeyer became Professor of Chemistry at the University of Munich. He was also awarded the Davie Medal by the London Royal Society in 1881, for his work with indigo. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1905) for discovering artificial dyes, especially indigo synthesis (1880), and barbiturate acids (ingredients for making sleeping pills). He also discovered the structure of indigo chemistry (1883).
Maybe the readers have heard of “Indigo”, plants from India. The word Indigo is a Spanish word which means India. In Indonesia, Indonesia is called tom or tarum. From this plant blue dyes are called nila, which are used to dye batik cloth. The Egyptians have been using indigo since 2000 BC. When the British captured India, Indigo was brought to England to dye cotton, wool, and sailors’ clothes. But indigo originating from plants is very expensive and its value is not good.
When there is war in Europe, textile industry owners cannot get indigo. So Baeyer immediately looked for a reason. He wants to make an indigo synthesis. Synthesis means man-made. He began work in 1865. He worked hard for 15 years. In 1880 he succeeded in finding an indigo synthesis. Three years later (1883) he succeeded in finding an indogo chemical structure since then German chemists competed to make other site ist dyes, following in Baeyer’s footsteps. Before World War 1 (1914-1918), Germany became the largest producer of dyes in the world.
Biography of Adolf von Baeyer
In addition to mixing dyed indigo, several of Baeyer’s other achievements include the discovery of ptanein dyes, observations of polyacetylene, oxonium salts, and uric acid derivatives. Bayer united barbituic acid in 1864. This acid is used in surgery as a sedative or hypnosis. Baeyer is also famous for his work in theoretical chemistry, developing the theory of ‘saturation’ (Spannung) in triple bonds and the theory of saturation in small carbon rings. Baeyer is also the founder of Baeyer Chemical Co. Adolf von Baeyer died on August 20, 1917, in Starnberg.