Richard Wolffenstein (chemist)

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Richard Wolffenstein
Born(1864-08-21)August 21, 1864
DiedMay 5, 1926(1926-05-05) (aged 61)
Known fordiscovery of acetone peroxide
structure of nicotine
Wolffenstein-Böters reaction

Richard Wolffenstein (21 August 1864 – 5 June 1926) was a German chemist.[1]

He discovered acetone peroxide in 1895 by reacting acetone with hydrogen peroxide.[2]

The Wolffenstein-Böters reaction, which he discovered in 1913, was an alternative production method for explosives.[3]


Wolffenstein studied in Leipzig, Heidelberg, Munich and Berlin. He was awarded his doctor title in 1888, and became an assistant at the veterinary hochschule in Berlin, and later in Breslau under Albert Ladenburg. In 1893, he returned to the Technical Hochschule, now called the Technical University of Berlin, where he gained his habilitation in 1895 and became professor of chemistry in 1921.


  1. ^ H. Sceibler (1929). "Memoriam: Richard Wolffenstein". Angewandte Chemie. 42 (51): 1149–1151. doi:10.1002/ange.19290425102. (in German)
  2. ^ Wolffenstein, R (1895). "Über die Einwirkung von Wasserstoffsuperoxyd auf Aceton und Mesityloxyd". Chemische Berichte. 28 (2): 2265–2269. doi:10.1002/cber.189502802208. (in German)
  3. ^ R. Wolffenstein, O. Böters (1913). "Über die katalytische Wirkung des Quecksilbers bei Nitrierungen". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft. 46 (1): 586–589. doi:10.1002/cber.19130460177. (in German)