Erlenmeyer, Richard A. C. E.

Erlenmeyer, Richard A. C. E. ĕrˈlənmīˌər [key], 1825–1909, German chemist. He studied at Giessen under Justus von Liebig and at Heidelberg under Friedrich Kekulé, both German chemists. Erlenmeyer was professor of chemistry at the Munich Polytechnic School from 1868 to 1883. His experimental work included the discovery and synthesis of several organic compounds, e.g., isobutyric acid (1865); in 1861 he invented the conical flask that bears his name. Among the first to adopt structural formulas based on valence, he proposed the modern naphthalene formula of two benzene rings sharing two carbon atoms. In 1880 he formulated the Erlenmeyer rule: All alcohols in which the hydroxyl group is attached directly to a double-bonded carbon atom become aldehydes or ketones.

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