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For the genealogist and son of Friedrich August Kekul von Stradonitz, see Stephan Kekul von Stradonitz
Kekul von Stradonitz
Kekul von Stradonitz

Friedrich August Kekul von Stradonitz (September 7, 1829July 13, 1896) was a German organic chemist.

He was born in Darmstadt to an old Bohemian noble family. He was professor at Ghent (1858-1865) and at Bonn. He studied various carbon compounds, especially benzene, proposing a carbon ring for its structure. In 1857 Kekul proposed that carbon was tetravalent.

He wrote that he discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after dreaming of a snake seizing its own tail. This dream came to him after years of studying the nature of carbon-carbon bonds. Kekul claimed to solve the problem of how carbon atoms could bond to up to four other atoms at the same time. While his claims were well publicized and accepted, by the early 1920s Kekul's own biographer came to the conclusion that Kekul's understanding of the tetravalent nature carbon bonding depended on the previous research of Archibald Scott Couper (1831-1892); further, the German Chemist Josef Loschmidt (1821-1895) had earlier posited a cyclic structure for benzene as early as 1862, although he had not actually proved this structure to be correct.

In 1895 Kekule was enobled by Emperor William II, giving him the right to add "von Stradonitz" to his name, referring to an ancient possession of his family in Stradonice, Bohemia. Of the first five Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, his students won three.

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de:Friedrich August Kekul von Stradonitz et:Friedrich August Kekul fr:Friedrich Kekul von Stradonitz id:Friedrich August Kekul von Stradonitz it:Friedrich August Kekul nl:Friedrich Kekul ja:フリードリヒ・ケクレ pl:Friedrich August Kekule pt:Friedrich August Kekul von Stradonitz zh:凯库勒

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