Adolf Strecker

*21.10.1822   7.11.1871

in Tübingen 1859-1870



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Adolph Strecker (1822-1871). Born in Darmstadt, the son of an archivist, and studied chemistry at Giessen under his fellow Darmstadter Justus von Liebig (1803-1873). He then became Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kristiania (Oslo), moving to Tübingen in 1860 and to Würzburg ten years later. Strecker synthesised alanine from acetaldehyde via its condensation product with ammonia and hydrogen cyanide in 1850. Twenty-five years later, Emil Erlenmeyer (1825-1909) developed this reaction into a general synthesis of amino-acids, and showed that the intermediate was probably the á-aminonitrile. It remains very popular today, nearly one and a half centuries after its initial appearance. Strecker also synthesised taurine and organometallic compounds of mercury, antimony and tin. His name is also associated with the Strecker degradation (1862) of á-amino-acids, and the Strecker sulphite alkylation (1868), a result of his work on alizarin.

Adolf Strecker as Dean of the Faculty

Strecker Amino Acid Synthesis



A. Strecker, Ann. 75, 27 (1850); 91, 349 (1854)

Strecker Degradation



A. Strecker, Ann. 123, 363 (1862)

Strecker Sulfite Alkylation



A. Strecker, Ann. 148, 90 (1868)