The Full Wiki

More info on Albert Niemann (chemist)

Albert Niemann (chemist): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Albert Niemann (chemist)

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Albert Niemann
Born May 20, 1834
Goslar, Kingdom of Hanover
Died January 19, 1861 (aged 26)
Goslar, Kingdom of Hanover
Residence Germany
Nationality German
Fields Chemist
Alma mater University of Göttingen
Doctoral advisor Friedrich Wöhler
Known for Isolating cocaine from coca leaves

Albert Niemann (May 20, 1834 – January 19, 1861) was a German chemist. In 1859 he and Francesco Di Stefano jointly isolated cocaine, and he published his finding in 1860.[1]



Niemann isloated cocaine from coca leaves in 1859.

In the 19th century, there was a great interest among European chemists in the effects of coca leaves discovered in Latin America. However, little progress was made in extracting coca's active ingredients.[1]

Niemann was a Ph.D. student at the University of Göttingen.[1] Friedrich Wöhler, Ordinary Professor of Chemistry at Göttingen University, had coco leaves imported to Germany and he gave those leaves to Niemann, his graduate student, to analyze.[2] In 1859, Niemann isolated cocaine from coca leaves. He extracted the primary alkaloid and named the ingredient "cocaine"–as with other alkaloids its name carried the “-ine” suffix (from Latin -ina).[1] He wrote of the alkaloid's “colourless transparent prisms” and said that, “Its solutions have an alkaline reaction, a bitter taste, promote the flow of saliva and leave a peculiar numbness, followed by a sense of cold when applied to the tongue.” He published his finding in 1860 in his dissertation titled Über eine neue organische Base in den Cocablättern (On a New Organic Base in the Coca Leaves). This dissertation earned him his Ph.D. and was published in 1860 in the journal Archiv der Pharmazie.[1][3]

Sulfur mustard

During experiments with ethylene and sulfur dichloride, Niemann discovered bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide which was later named sulfur mustard and used extensively as chemical warfare agent in World War I.

He describes the properties as: Sie besteht darin, daß selbst die geringste Spur, die zufallig auf irgend eine Stelle der Haut kommt, anfangs zwar keinen Schrnerz hervorruft, nach Verlauf einiger Stunden aber eine Rötung derselben bewirkt und bis zum folgenden Tage eine Brandblase hervorbringt, die sehr lange eitert und außerordentlich schwer heilt , unter Hinterlassung starker Narben. (They are represented by the fact that, even traces brought into contact with the skin, at first result in no pain, but after several hours result in a reddening of the skin, later blisters from burns, which fester for a long time and seriously awful heal, leaving strong scars.)[4]


Niemann died on January 19, 1861 in Goslar, Germany. After the death of Niemann, his colleague Wilhelm Lossen continued his investigations, and identified the chemical formula of cocaine in 1862.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Gootenberg, Paul (1999). Cocaine: Global Histories. Routledge. pp. 84. ISBN 0-415-19247-1.  
  2. ^ Karch, Steven B. (2002). Karch's Pathology of Drug Abuse. CRC Press. pp. 3. ISBN 0849303435.  
  3. ^ Albert Niemann (1860). "Ueber eine neue organische Base in den Cocablättern". Archiv der Pharmazie 153 (2): 129–256. doi:10.1002/ardp.18601530202.  
  4. ^ Albert Niemann (1860). "Über die Einwirkung des braunen Chlorschwefels auf Elaylgas". Liebigs Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie 113: 288–292. doi:10.1002/jlac.18601130304.  

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address