Eduard Buchner

Eduard Buchner ( born May 20, 1860 in Munich, † August 13 1917 in Focsani, Romania ) was a German chemist and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1907 for his research and his discovery of cell -free fermentation ( 1896).


Buchner was born in Munich, the son of a physician and professor of forensic medicine, his brother was the doctor Hans Buchner, working as a lecturer at the medical faculty of the Ludwig- Maximilians- University of Munich

After completing his military training in 1878 began a period of self-discovery for him. He wrote from 1877-1883 at the Ludwig- Maximilians- University of Munich, but graduated from the Technical University of Munich 1878-1881 inorganic internships with Prof. Erlenmeyer. In 1879 he took part in the fate of the scientific cannery by Walter Nageli in Munich and Mombach, economically he miscalculated here, however, to his detriment. After all, initiated the case on his pioneering studies of biochemical fermentation processes. In 1880, he turned away from the Christian faith in Bavaria and in 1883 overtook him a reconvening for military service.

With periodic interruptions Buchner led from 1882 until the end of 1884 under the guidance of his brother Hans Buchner studies on schizomycetes and the influence of oxygen on fermentation processes at the Botanical Institute of Carl Wilhelm von Naegeli by.

In the winter semester of 1883/84 he sat at the Ludwig- Maximilians- University of Munich continued his further studies. He majored in organic chemistry with Adolf von Baeyer and as minor subjects Botany at Carl Wilhelm von Naegeli and physics. From Baeyer and his assistant Th Curtius immediately recognized the outstanding capabilities of Buchner; in the course of the study, however, developed a strong intellectual competition with v. Baeyer and an equally intense friendship to Curtius. Buchner was awarded his doctorate in November 1888 in v. Baeyer, but had last part of his dissertation at the University of Erlangen Curtius edit. Curtius had the Ludwig -Maximilians University in Munich have to leave in the winter semester 1885/86, as Baeyer denied him a beginning of 1882, promised habilitation activities.

1891 Habilitation at Buchner v. Baeyer with a working " on the synthesis of pyrazole, pyrazoline and Trimethylenderivaten by Diazoessigäther - A contribution to the knowledge of the annular atomic bond " and his first trial lecture dealt with " The chemical processes involved in the fermentation ". He was so five years older than his colleagues with comparable scientific career.

In the fall of 1893, he followed his friend Curtius at Kiel University, where he received an Associate Professor place. Together they founded in this period, the keel section of the German Alpine Club, with 20 members.

In 1896 he received the reputation as an associate professor of analytical and pharmaceutical chemistry at the Tübingen, where the first work on the " alcoholic fermentation without yeast cells ," the gereichte him in 1907 the Nobel Prize was born. From Baeyer the Nobel Prize two years earlier received.

In 1898 he was appointed professor of chemistry at the Agricultural College in Berlin. On August 19, 1900 he married the daughter of the Tübingen professor Lotte Hermann Stahl. It established itself in Berlin Residential family life with three children ( Friedel 1901 *, 1905 *, and Hans Rudolf 1908 *) and Buchner moved to Berlin the denomination. In 1904 he was elected for one year to the Board of the German Chemical Society of Berlin.

In 1909 he accepted an appointment as Professor of Chemistry at the University of Breslau, but found little pleasure in working conditions and the lack of big-city life on the edge of the German Empire. Therefore, he applied with renewed enthusiasm for Bayern for the succession of Julius Tafel in Würzburg. In 1909 he was elected a member of the Leopoldina.

In 1911 he received the appointment to the Chair of the Chemical Institute of the Julius -Maximilians- University of Würzburg. At the outbreak of the first world war he was enrolled as a captain and promoted in September 1915 Major a transport unit. Because the university system in Würzburg increasingly orphaned, the Faculty of Würzburg complaining Christmas 1915 the War Department its exemption on the grounds "that the chemical institute re-enter orderly conditions ". He was discharged from the military service again in March 1916. After the USA entered the war he enlisted again as a nationally conscious volunteers in April 1917 and commanded a Bavarian ammunition column. On August 11, 1917, he was severely wounded in Focsani (Romania) and succumbed to his injuries two days later in a field hospital. He was buried at the local cemetery of Focsani.

Predecessor to the chem. Institutions in Würzburg

  • Adolph Strecker (1869-1871 †; Chem Institute in Maxstr 4. )
  • Emil Fischer (1885-1892; Chem Institute in Maxstr 4. )
  • Arthur Hantzsch (1893-1903; Chem. Institute in Maxstr 4, 1896 at the new Chem Inst Pleicher ring 11 )
  • Julius Tafel (1903-1910; Chemical Institute at the X- ring 11 (1909 renamed street name ) )


  • Eduard Buchner: Alcoholic fermentation without yeast cells ( Preliminary communication ). In: Journal of the American Chemical Society. 30, 1897, pp. 117-124 ( online ).
  • Eduard Buchner, Rudolf Rapp: Alcoholic fermentation without yeast cells. In: Journal of the American Chemical Society. 32, 1899, p 2086 ( Online).