Günther Wilke (1925 – 2016)

  • ChemPubSoc Europe Logo
  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 13 December 2016
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Günther Wilke (1925 – 2016)

Günther Wilke passed away last Friday. He will be remembered for his work in the filed of organometallic chemistry and catalysis and as director of the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Coal Research (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung), Mühlheim/Ruhr, Germany.

Günther Wilke studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and received his Ph.D. there under the supervision of Karl Freudenberg. In 1951, he started working at the MPI for Coal Research in the group of Karl Ziegler. He finished his habilitation at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, in 1960. From 1969 to 1993, he was director of the MPI for Coal Research, succeeding Karl Ziegler in that post. During this time, the MPI made several discoveries and achieved some financial independence stemming from patents and a gift from the Ziegler family. From 1980–1981, Wilke served as President of the German Chemical Society (GDCh, Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker).

Among many other honors, Wilke received the Karl Ziegler Award from the GDCh in 1978, the Wilhelm Exner Medal in 1980, the Willard Gibbs Award in 1991, and several honorary doctorates. He was a Member of the Academia Europaea, a Centennial Foreign Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and an Honorary Member of the GDCh.


Wilke’s research focused on homogeneous catalysis using nickel complexes. Compounds he discovered or developed include Ni(1,5-cyclooctadiene)2, Ni(allyl)2, and Ni(C2H4)3. Some of these complexes are useful catalysts for the oligomerization of dienes. Products of such reactions are used, e.g., in the production of nylon. His institute also developed a method for the production of ferrocen, which can be used as a fuel additive, as well as supercritical extraction, which is used to remove caffeine from coffee.


Selected Publications

 

Article Views: 2311

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more


CONNECT:

ChemistryViews.org on Facebook

ChemistryViews.org on Twitter ChemistryViews.org on YouTube ChemistryViews.org on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter


A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH