Nikolay Zinin

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Nikolay Nikolaevich Zinin
Nikolai Nikolajewitsch Sinin.JPG
Nikolay Zinin
Born (1812-08-25)25 August 1812
Shusha, Russian Empire
Died 18 February 1880(1880-02-18) (aged 67)
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Nationality Russian
Institutions University of Kazan
University of Saint Petersburg
Alma mater University of Kazan
Doctoral advisor Justus Liebig
Doctoral students Alexander Borodin
Aleksandr Butlerov

Nikolay Nikolaevich Zinin (Russian: Никола́й Никола́евич Зи́нин) (25 August 1812 in Shusha – 18 February 1880 in Saint Petersburg) was a Russian organic chemist.


He studied at the University of Kazan where he graduated in mathematics but he started teaching chemistry in 1835. To improve his skills he was asked to study in Europe for some time, which he did between 1838 and 1841. He studied with Justus Liebig in Giessen, where he finished his research on the benzoin condensation, which was discovered by Liebig several years before.[1][2] He presented his research results at the University of Saint Petersburg where he received his Ph.D. He became Professor for Chemistry in the same year at the University of Kazan and left for the University of Saint Petersburg in 1847 where he also became a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and first president of the Russian Physical and Chemical Society (1868–1877).[3]

In St. Petersburg, professor Zinin was a private teacher of chemistry to the young Alfred Nobel.


He is known for the so-called Zinin reaction or Zinin reduction,[4] in which nitro aromates like nitrobenzene are converted to amines by reduction with sodium sulfides.[5][6] In 1842 Zinin played an important role in identifying aniline.


  1. ^ N. Zinin (1839). "Beiträge zur Kenntniss einiger Verbindungen aus der Benzoylreihe". Annalen der Pharmacie. 31 (3): 329–332. doi:10.1002/jlac.18390310312. 
  2. ^ N. Zinin (1840). "Ueber einige Zersetzungsprodukte des Bittermandelöls". Annalen der Pharmacie. 34 (2): 186–192. doi:10.1002/jlac.18400340205. 
  3. ^ S. N. Vinogradov (1965). "Chemistry at Kazan University in the Nineteenth Century: A Case History of Intellectual Lineage". Isise. 56 (2): 168–173. doi:10.1086/349954. ISSN 0021-1753. JSTOR 227912. 
  4. ^ Porter, H. K. Org. React. 1973, 20.
  5. ^ N. Zinin (1842). "Beschreibung einiger neuer organischer Basen, dargestellt durch die Einwirkung des Schwefelwasserstoffes auf Verbindungen der Kohlenwasserstoffe mit Untersalpetersäure". Journal für Praktische Chemie. 27 (1): 140–153. doi:10.1002/prac.18420270125. 
  6. ^ Richard Willstätter, Heinrich Kubli (1908). "Über die Reduktion von Nitroverbindungen nach der Methode von Zinin". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft. 41 (2): 1936–1940. doi:10.1002/cber.19080410273. 

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