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Wurtz, Charles Adolphe

organic reaction ch3 alkyl

(1817–84) French organic chemist: a pioneer of organic synthesis.

Wurtz’s father gave him the choice of studying theology or medicine. As he wished to be a chemist Wurtz chose medicine, graduated and diverted to chemistry. He became assistant to and succeeded him as professor in the École de Médicine. He was an exuberant lecturer; and his research laboratory in Paris was unique in Europe in attracting as many able young men as the laboratories in German universities. His early research was on the oxoacids of phosphorus, and he also discovered POCl3 .

Soon he moved to organic synthesis, where his many successes included the discovery of the first amines, from the reaction of base with an alkyl isocyanate; in this way he made CH3 NH2 and CH3 CH2 NH2 . In 1855 he showed that reactive alkyl halides react with sodium metal to give hydro-carbons (the Wurtz reaction): for example,The reaction has been used to make very long-chain hydrocarbons from, for example, 1-iodo- n- pentacontane:The longest-chain non-polymeric compound known by 1985 was tetraoctacontatrictane CH3 (CH2 )382CH3 , ie C384 H770 .Wurtz was a major supporter of both early theories on the nature of organic compounds.

Wurtzel, Samuel Wurtzel, Alan L. - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: Samuel Wurtzel Alan L. Wurtzel [next] [back] Wu, Chien-Shiung

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