Carl Theodore Liebermann

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Carl Theodor Liebermann
Carl Liebermann Berlin.jpg
Carl Theodor Liebermann
Born (1842-02-23)23 February 1842
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German Confederation
Died 28 December 1914(1914-12-28) (aged 72)
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Institutions University of Berlin
Alma mater University of Berlin
Doctoral advisor Robert Wilhelm Bunsen,
Adolf von Baeyer
Known for Synthesis of Alizarin

Carl Theodore Liebermann (23 February 1842 – 28 December 1914) was a German chemist and student of Adolf von Baeyer.


Liebermann first studied at the University of Heidelberg where Robert Wilhelm Bunsen was teaching. He then joined the group of Adolf von Baeyer at the University of Berlin where he received his Ph.D. in 1865.

Together with Carl Gräbe, Liebermann synthesized the orange-red dye alizarin in 1868. After his habilitation in 1870 he became professor at the University of Berlin after Adolf von Baeyer left for the University of Strasbourg. Shortly after Liebermann retired, in 1914, he died.[1][2]


Alizarin chemical structure.png

In 1826, the French chemist Pierre Jean Robiquet had isolated from the root of a plant, madder, and defined the structure of, alizarin, a remarkable red dye. Liebermann's 1868 discovery that alizarin can be reduced to form anthracene, which is an abundant component in coal tar, opened the road for synthetic alizarin.[3][4] The patent of Liebermann and Carl Gräbe for the synthesis of alizarin from anthracene was filed one day before the patent of William Henry Perkin. The synthesis is a chlorination or bromination of anthracene with a subsequent oxidation forming the alizarin.[5]


  1. ^ P. Jocobson (1918). "Nekrolog: Carl Liebermann". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft. 51 (2): 1135–1204. doi:10.1002/cber.19180510202. 
  2. ^ Giesel, F. (1915). "Carl Liebermann †". Zeitschrift für Angewandte Chemie. 28 (8–9): 25. doi:10.1002/ange.19150280802. 
  3. ^ C. Gräbe, C. Liebermann (1868). "Ueber Alizarin und Anthracen". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft. 1 (1): 41–56. doi:10.1002/cber.18680010142. 
  4. ^ C. Gräbe, C. Liebermann (1868). "Ueber Farbstoffe aus der Anthracengruppe". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft. 1 (1): 104–106. doi:10.1002/cber.18680010142. 
  5. ^ C. Gräbe, C. Liebermann (1869). "Ueber künstliche Bildung von Alizarin". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft. 2 (1): 14–14. doi:10.1002/cber.18690020106. 

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