Biography of August Wilhelm von Hofmann (1818-1892)

German chemist, born in Giessen (located in the current state of Hesse City) in 1818 and died in Berlin on May 5, 1892; He/She stressed to provide a huge boost to the developed organic chemistry from their research envelope of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, in particular of the dyes and their industrial application.

He studied at the University of his native city, where he/she was student of Liebig. Hofmann received the Ph.d. in 1841 and four years later was appointed director of the Royal College of Chemistry in London, a position he/she held until 1864. And in 1865 was occupied the Chair of chemistry at the University of Berlin until the end of their working life. In 1867 was a co-founder member of the German chemical society, of which he/she was President for 24 years.

Hofmann was one of the most important organic chemists of his time, his work covers varied organic chemistry topics. The first of his research on coal tar, allowed him to develop a method of benzene, toluene, aniline and its conversion in nitro compounds and amines; in fact the method of conversion of amides to amines called the Hofmann reaction. The application of his work to the obtaining of artificial dyes, was the basis of a new industry.

He synthesized many volatile organic compounds including formaldehyde, the hidrazobenceno, and the allyl alcohol. He/She also developed a method for determining the molecular weight of the liquid from the vapor density.