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Kurt Alder (Konigshutte (sekarang Chorzow) 1902 - Koeln 1958) adalah seorang kimiawan

Jerman yang dianugerahi Nobel Kimia bersama Otto Diels pada tahun 1950.

Lahir di Silesia Hulu, sejak Perang Dunia II ia terpaksa meninggalkan tanah kelahirannya karena
alasan politik. Pada tahun 1922 mulai belajar kimia di Universitas Berlin, kemudian di Kiel, di
mana ia bertemu dengan Diels.

Pada tahun 1934 ia mulai bekerja di IG Farben Industrie di Leverkusen, di mana ia mengerjakan
karet sintetis. Pada tahun 1940 ia diangkat sebagai profesor kimia eksperimental dan kimia
teknik di Universitas Köln. Meski banyak kesulitan yang dialami akibat Perang Dunia Kedua ia
meneruskan pengamatan pada sintesis senyawa organik, menerbitkan lebih dari 150 tulisan
dalam bidang ini.

Pada tahun 1950 ia menerima Penghargaan Nobel Kimia bersama dengan Otto Herrmann Diels
untuk karya yang dikenal sebagai reaksi Diels-Alder.
Kurt Alder - Facts

Kurt Alder

Born: 10 July 1902, Königshütte (now Chorzów), Prussia (now Poland)

Died: 20 June 1958, Cologne, West Germany (now Germany)

Affiliation at the time of the award: Cologne University, Cologne, Federal Republic of
Germany

Prize motivation: "for their discovery and development of the diene synthesis"

Field: organic chemistry

Prize share: 1/2

Work
The element carbon is the component in a large and varied family of chemical compounds -
organic compounds. Diens are compounds of carbon and hydrogen that contain two double
bonds, i.e., where two carbon atoms share two pairs of paired electrons. In 1928 Kurt Alder and
Otto Diels discovered a reaction in which one dien was changed into a ring-shaped molecule
with six carbon atoms. The reaction became very significant within the chemical industry. For
example, it served as a link in the production of plastic and synthetic rubber.
Alder studied chemistry at the University of Berlin and then at the University of Kiel in
Germany, where he received his doctorate in 1926. In 1928 Alder and Diels discovered, and
published a paper on, the reaction of dienes with quinones. The Diels-Alder reaction consists
essentially of the linking of a diene, which is a substance containing two alternate double
molecular bonds, to a dienophile, which is a compound containing a pair of doubly or triply
bonded carbon atoms. The diene and dienophile readily react to form a six-membered ring
compound. Similar reactions had been recorded by others, but Alder and Diels provided the first
experimental proof of the nature of the reaction and demonstrated its application to the synthesis
of a wide range of ring compounds. Diene synthesis can be effected without the use of powerful
chemical reagents. It has been used to synthesize such complex molecules as morphine,
reserpine, cortisone, and other steroids, the insecticides dieldrin and aldrin, and other alkaloids
and polymers.

Alder was a professor of chemistry at the University of Kiel from 1934 to 1936. He applied his
fundamental research to the development of plastics while working as a research director for IG
Farben (1936), then the world’s largest chemical concern. In 1940 he became professor of
chemistry and director of the chemical institute at the University of Cologne. In 1943 he
discovered the ene reaction, which is similar to the diene synthesis, and which also found
widespread use in chemical synthesis.