Kurt Alder Biography
Birthday: July 10, 1902 (Cancer)
Born In: Königshütte (Chorzów), Silesia
Kurt Alder was a German chemist who received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1950 for developing a process for producing synthetic organic compounds. This process is known as the ‘Diels-Alder reaction’ or the ‘diene synthesis’ process. He shared the prize with another German chemist, Otto Diels, who was his guide while performing the experiment at the University of Kiel. The process paved the way for the creation of artificial rubber, alkaloids, plastics, dyes, drugs, drying oils, lubricating oils, and other organic compounds which were not available before. The main characteristic of this process was that it neither required catalysts or reagents nor was there any necessity for the application of high temperatures or pressures to reach the objective. The cost of the production of the artificial organic compounds was very low. Though many other scientists had claimed about this phenomenon earlier, it was Alder and Diels who were able provide the first experimental proof of the reaction and its application in producing a wide range of synthetic compounds such as cortisone, morphine and reserpine. Even steroids, polymers and alkaloids could be synthesized with this process along with insecticides like dieldrin and aldrin. He wrote many papers on how totally new compounds could be derived from existing compounds.