Image: Charles Friedel

Charles Friedel (1832-1899)

Charles Friedel (1832-1899), French chemist and mineralogist who codiscovered an important chemical process called the Friedel-Crafts reaction. Friedel was born in Strasbourg, France. After studying under French biologist Louis Pasteur in 1859, Friedel moved to Paris and completed theses in chemistry and mineralogy under the guidance of French chemist Charles Adolphe Wurtz. Friedel was initially appointed professor of mineralogy at the University of Paris in 1876, and was later promoted to professor of organic chemistry and director of the research laboratory, a post he held from 1884 to 1899. In 1892 he organized the School of Chemistry at the University of Paris.

In 1877

In 1877, after collaborating with American chemist James Mason Crafts, Friedel developed a method for the synthesis of benzene homologues, later called the Friedel-Crafts reaction. Friedel also discovered binary and tertiary alcohols in 1862 and organic silicon compounds in 1863. In 1871, he synthesized glycerin from propylene in collaboration with Portuguese chemist R. D. da Silva. From 1879 to 1887, Friedel attempted to find a process to manufacture minerals artificially and later tried to synthesize diamonds. In 1878 he was elected to the French Academy of Sciences.

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