Charles Friedel


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(1832–1899) French chemist

After studying in his native city of Strasbourg with Louis Pasteur and at the Sorbonne with Charles Adolphe Wurtz, Friedel became curator of the mineral collections at the mining school in Paris (1856). Although his most important work was in organic chemistry, he also did much work on the synthesis of minerals. In 1862 he discovered secondary propyl alcohol, thus verifying Hermann Kolbe's prediction of its existence. His most notable work was that carried out with the American chemist James Crafts (1839–1917) on the alkylation and acylation of aromatic hydrocarbons – the Friedel-Crafts reaction (1877). This was a method of synthesizing hydrocarbons or ketones from aromatic hydrocarbons using aluminum chloride as a catalyst. Friedel and Crafts also did much work on the synthesis of organosilicon compounds. Friedel was professor of mineralogy at the mining school in Paris (1876–84) and professor of organic chemistry at the Sorbonne (1884–99).

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.

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