Alexander Butlerov

Alexander Mikhaylovich Butlerov (Алекса́ндр Миха́йлович Бу́тлеров; 15 September 1828 17 August 1886) was a Russian chemist, one of the principal creators of the theory of chemical structure (18571861), the first to incorporate double bonds into structural formulas, the discoverer of hexamine (1859), the discoverer of formaldehyde (1859) and the discoverer of the formose reaction (1861).

Alexander Mikhaylovich Butlerov
Alexander Butlerov
Born(1828-09-15)15 September 1828
Died17 August 1886(1886-08-17) (aged 57)
Butlerovka, Kazan Governorate, Russian Empire
Alma materKazan State University
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of St. Petersburg, Kazan State University
Doctoral advisorNikolay Zinin
Doctoral studentsAlexey Yevgrafovich Favorsky, Vladimir Markovnikov, Alexander Mikhaylovich Zaytsev

He first proposed the idea of possible tetrahedral arrangement of valence bonds in carbon compounds in 1862.

The crater Butlerov on the Moon is named after him.

Alexander Butlerov was born in Chistopol into a landowning family.


    • Leicester, Henry M. (1940). "Alexander Mikhailovich Butlerov". Journal of Chemical Education. 17 (May): 203–209. Bibcode:1940JChEd..17..203L. doi:10.1021/ed017p203.
    • Arbuzov, B. A. (1978). "150th Anniversary of the birth of A. M. Butlerov". Russian Chemical Bulletin. 27 (9): 1791–1794. doi:10.1007/BF00929226.
    • Rocke, Alan J. (1981). "Kekulé, Butlerov, and the Historiography of the Theory of Chemical Structure". British Journal for the History of Science. 14: 27–57. doi:10.1017/s0007087400018276.
    • Bykov, G. V. (1982). "K istoriografii teorii khimicheskogo stroeniia". Voprosy istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki. 1982:4: 121–130.
    • Brooks, Nathan (1998). "Alexander Butlerov and the Professionalization of Science in Russia". Russian Review. 57: 10–24. doi:10.1111/0036-0341.00004.

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