Werner Emmanuel Bachmann

Werner Emmanuel Bachmann (November 13, 1901 – March 22, 1951) was an American chemist. Bachmann was born in Detroit, Michigan where he studied chemistry and chemical engineering at Wayne State University and later at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor nearby. He completed his doctorate under Moses Gomberg and spent the rest of his academic career at the University of Michigan.

Werner Emmanuel Bachmann
Born(1901-11-13)November 13, 1901
DiedMarch 22, 1951(1951-03-22) (aged 49)
EducationWestern Technical High School
Alma materWayne State University
University of Michigan (B.S., 1923)(M.S., 1924) (Ph.D, 1926)
AwardsHenry Russell Award (1933)
Naval Ordnance Award (1945)
Presidential Certificate of Merit (1948)
King's Medal
Scientific career
Physical organic chemistry
InstitutionsUniversity of Michigan
University of Illinois

Bachmann studied physical organic chemistry (rearrangements, free radicals) and organic synthesis. He is considered a pioneer in steroid synthesis, and carried out the first total synthesis of a steroidal hormone, equilenin with Alfred L. Wilds.[1][2] His name is associated with the Gomberg-Bachmann reaction for the synthesis of diaryl compounds from aryl diazonium chlorides.[3]

Bachmann developed a new method for the production of the explosive Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX), which was used by the United States during World War II.[4]


  1. Bachmann, Werner E.; Cole, Wayne; Wilds, Alfred L. (1940). "The Total Synthesis of the Sex Hormone Equilenin and Its Stereoisomers". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 62 (4): 824–839. doi:10.1021/ja01861a036.
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20110720004450/http://www2.chemistry.msu.edu/Genealogy/work-area-B.shtml
  3. http://www.ecompound.com/Reaction%20reference/name_reaction_alphabetical2.htm
  4. Bachmann, W. E.; Sheehan, J. C. (1949). "A New Method of Preparing the High Explosive RDX1". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 71 (5): 1842–1845. doi:10.1021/ja01173a092.

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