Kenngott was born at Breslau. After being employed in the Hofmineralien-Cabinett at Vienna, he became professor of mineralogy in the university of Zürich. He was distinguished for his researches on mineralogy, crystallography and petrology. In 1855, from the serpentine of Mount Zdjar near Schönberg in Moravia, Kenngott was the first to describe enstatite. In 1860 he identified a new mineral, giving it the name pisanite in honor of Felice Pisani. Kenngott died at Lugano.