Otto Wallach

Otto Wallach
Otto Wallach

Born 27 March 1847
Königsberg, Prussia
Died 26 February 1931( 1931-02-26) (aged 83)
Göttingen, Germany
Nationality Prussia / German Empire
Fields Organic chemistry
Institutions University of Göttingen,
University of Bonn
Alma mater University of Göttingen
Doctoral advisor August Wilhelm von Hofmann,
Friedrich Wöhler,
Friedrich Kekulé
Doctoral students Walter Haworth
Known for Isoprene rule
Notable awards Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1910)

Otto Wallach (27 March 1847 - 26 February 1931) was a German chemist and recipient of the 1910 Nobel prize in Chemistry for his work on alicyclic compounds.[1][2]



Wallach was born in Königsberg, the son of a Prussian official. His father descended from a Jewish family that had converted to Lutheranism. His mother was an ethnic German of Protestant religion. Wallach's father was transferred to Stettin (Szczecin) and later to Potsdam. Otto Wallach went to school, a Gymnasium, in Potsdam, where he learned about literature and the history of art, two subjects he was interested his whole life. At this time he also started private chemical experiments at the house of his parents.

In 1867 he started studying chemistry at the University of Göttingen, where at this time Friedrich Wöhler was head of organic chemistry. After one semester at the University of Berlin with August Wilhelm von Hofmann, Wallach received his Doctoral degree from the University of Göttingen in 1869, and worked as a Professor in the University of Bonn (1870–89) and the University of Göttingen (1889–1915). Wallach died at Göttingen.

Major works

During his work with Friedrich Kekulé in Bonn he started a systematic analysis of the terpenes present in essential oils. Up to this time only a few had been isolated in pure form, and structural information was sparse. Melting point comparison and the measurement of mixtures was one of the methods to confirm identical substances. For this method the mostly liquid terpenes had to be transformed into crystalline compounds. With stepwise derivatisation, especially additions to the double bond present in some of the terpenes, he achieved the goal of obtaining crystalline compounds. The investigation of the rearrangement reactions of cyclic unsaturated terpenes made it possible to obtain the structure of an unknown terpene by following the rearangments to a known structure of a terpene. With these principal methods he opened the path to systematic research on terpenes.


He was responsible for naming terpene and pinene, and for undertaking the first systematic study of pinene^ .

He wrote a book about the chemistry of terpenes, "Terpene und Campher" (1909).

Otto Wallach is known for Wallach's rule, Wallach degradation, the Leuckart-Wallach reaction and the Wallach rearrangement.


  1. ^ Leopold Ruzicka (1932). "Third Pedler lecture. The life and work of Otto Wallach". J. Chem. Soc.: 1582. doi:10.1039/JR9320001582. 
  2. ^ Christmann, M. (2010), Otto Wallach: Founder of Terpene Chemistry and Nobel Laureate 1910. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 49: 9580–9586. doi:10.1002/anie.201003155

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Otto Wallach — (* 27. März 1847 in Königsberg; † 26. Februar 1931 in Göttingen) war ein deutscher Chemiker. Wallach war organischer Chemiker und hat mehrere Reaktionen zum Aufbau heterocyklischer Verbindungen, Farbstoffe entdeckt. Wallach hat in der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Otto Wallach — Nacimiento (27 de marzo de 1847 Königsberg …   Wikipedia Español

  • Otto Wallach — (n. Königsberg, Prusia Oriental, 27 de marzo de 1847 † Gotinga, Alemania, 26 de febrero de 1931). Químico alemán. Educado en las universidades de Berlín y Gotinga, llegó a lector (1873) y profesor de química (1876 1889) de la Universidad de Bonn …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Otto Wallach — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Wallach. Otto Wallach Otto Wallach (27 mars 1847 à Königsberg, Allemagne …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Otto-Wallach-Plakette — Die Otto Wallach Plakette wurde in unregelmäßigen Abständen an Forscher aus europäischen Ländern für ihre besonderen Leistungen auf dem Gebiet der ätherischen Öle, der Terpene und Polyterpene oder der biochemischen Lock und Abschreckungsstoffe… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chemienobelpreis 1910: Otto Wallach —   Der deutsche Wissenschaftler erhielt den Nobelpreis für »seine Pionierleistung auf dem Gebiet der alizyklischen Verbindungen«.    Biografie   Otto Wallach, * Königsberg (Ostpreußen) 27. 3. 1847, ✝ Göttingen 26. 2. 1931; 1876 88 Professor für… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Wallach (Begriffsklärung) — Wallach bezeichnet in der Pferdehaltung heute einen kastrierten Hengst, siehe Wallach einen Ortsteil der Stadt Rheinberg in Nordrhein Westfalen, siehe Wallach (Rheinberg) Wallach ist der Name folgender Personen: Eli Wallach (* 1915), US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wallach — is a word of Germanic origin, referring especially to Latin people, particularly Romanians and Italians. See the history of the term Vlach. Family name * Eli Wallach (born 1915), American actor * Evan Wallach, American judge, expert on war crimes …   Wikipedia

  • Wallach — Wallach: Eli Wallach Jochanan Wallach Otto Wallach Yona Wallach Esta página de desambiguación cataloga artículos relacionados con el mismo título. Si llegaste aquí a través de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Otto Hahn — (1954) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.