Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner

Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner

Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner (* 13. December 1780 in yard; † 24. March 1849 in Jena) was chemist, that as Vordenker for the emergence of the periodic system applies and with the investigation of platinum the way to the catalysis smoothed.

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as a son of a Kutschers buildup Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner in ärmlichen conditions on a manor at white village and received only moderate school teaching. It began 1794 in Münchberg a theory as pharmacists, after which a five-year journey took place. He worked in pharmacies in Dillenburg, Karlsruhe and Strasbourg, and was suitable besides auto+didactically knowledge in chemistry, Botanik and mineralogy on.

1802 it returned to Jena; howeverit did not create it to make itself independent as pharmacists.

On itself Döbereiner made attentive by investigations of practical chemical problems. Thus it finally received 1810 from duke Carl August von Sachsen-Weimar on switching of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe an extraordinary Professur for chemistry, pharmacyand technology at the University of Jena.

Since it could not show an academic diploma, it the title of a Dr. became. phil. given, there its past publications “already unmistakably the stamp of the Genialität and completion in itself carried”.

For the faculty was the selection of Döbereiner inGenialität were connected luck grasp, because in its person as researchers, a very strong interest in technical procedures and a outstanding training capability.

Its lecture were very practically coined/shaped with many experiments to inorganic and organic chemistry. Additionally there were numerous trips to chemical factories in thatTo show environment of Jena around its student chemical technology and pneumatic chemistry in practice. One its late likewise very successful pupils was Rudolf Christian Böttger, inventor of safety matches and far developers of the electroplating.

As chemical advisors of duke Carl August busy ititself with the improvement of manufacturing processes and the structure of different enterprises, which could be used profitably. It participated in the establishment of a sulfuric acid factory, developed procedures for the production and utilization of Indigo in place of the Färberwaids.

Döbereiners Grab auf dem Johannisfriedhof in Jena
Döbereiners grave on the Johannisfriedhof in Jena

furtherat present co-operation in Tiefurt a factory was built for the continental barrier under Döbereiners for Zuckergewinnung from strength and also the production of acetic acid in the high-speed vinegar procedure by oxidation of alcohol is mentioned. In addition still Brennereien and breweries come.

Around 1818 it undertook on suggestionGoethe and the Grand Duke of attempts for gas production for lighting purposes, he found, “that coal and in the case of its reciprocal effect in high temperature the wohlfeilste and purest Feuergas results in water. “

1828 it accomplished fusion attempts for the production of Cölestin - baryte glass and examined also fermentation processes.

Itshe made most important and most well-known discoveries within the range of the catalytic effect of Platinmetallen and in the statement of similarities with the characteristics that at that time admitted elements.

Is Döbereiner than a Wegbereiter of the chemical practical courses admits less in the training enterprise at German universities. Still before Justus ofLiebig in pouring held Döbereiner 1820 in Jena a chemical-practical Kollegium , which enjoyed with the students of largest popularity. Goethe supported this by the purchase of a house in Jena as well as with the procurement of laboratory instruments. Döbereiner is from gratitude, despite financial problems, thatJenaer university faithfully remained, although it had received honorable appointments to other universities.

It died to 24. March 1849 in Jena and was buried at the Johannisfriedhof at the philosopher way. The inscription on its gravestone reads: Advisor of Goethe, Schöpfer of the triad teachings, discoverer of the platinum catalysis.


triad rule

Döbereiner are considered as Vordenker for the structure of the periodic system of the elements. 1816 he discovered a connection between the elements calcium, strontium and barium. They had very similar characteristics and the atomic mass of the middle element were the straight average value of the atomic masses of the two other elements.

Element mass
calcium approx. 40.078 u
strontium SR 87.62 u average value of approx. and Ba = 88.5 u
barium Ba 137.327 u

this realization became 1829 in its work attempt a grouping of the elementary materialsafter its analogy publishes. Döbereiner arranged thereby 30 from at that time 53 admitted elements in tripartite groups, the “triads”.

Forecasts could not be made by the triad rule over yet well-known elements. Thus Döbereiner predicted the atomic weight of the bromine .

The Döbereiner triad rule formed an important basisfor the periodic system of the elements developed around 1870 (see for this development of the periodic system of the elements).

catalysis and the Döbereiner lighter

Das Döbereiner-Feuerzeug auf einer DDR-Briefmarke
the Döbereiner lighter on a GDR stamp

a large portion of its research constituted the investigation of the catalytic effect of the Platinmetalle. Already 1816 succeededit by platinum moorland the oxidation from alcohol to acetic acid. Some years later with the inflammation of a detonating gas mixture under the influence of platinum sponge one of the most important discoveries of early catalysis chemistry succeeded to it. It led to the invention of the Döbereiner platinum lighter, to onedesired commercial object became.

With the observation that detonating gas also by means of iridium - osmium - a mixture to the explosion be brought could, discovered Döbereiner 1824 the principle late mixed catalysts used in the chemical large-scale industry.


it in honours a lecture-room carries for thatChemical-geoscientific faculty of the University of Jena the name Döbereiner lecture-room, which only few hundred meters far away from its grave is.

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