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 Sergey Lebedev


Born:   July 25, 1874
Deceased:   May 2, 1934

World famous Russian chemist, creator of artificial rubber synthesis

      

Sergey Vasilievich Lebedev, world famous Russian chemist, was born in the city of Lublin in Poland in 1874. Twenty-one years later, in 1895, future scientist finished Warsaw Gymnasium and enters physical and mathematical faculty of Saint Petersburg University in autumn of the same year. High political activity of young Lebedev made him postpone research work, after he graduated from the university in 1900. Two following years the chemist spent at the Institute of railway engineers. In 1902 Sergey Lebedev became an employer of Saint Petersburg University as a laboratory technician and at Petersburg Margarine Factory. Lebedev worked in the laboratory of analytical and technical chemistry, however, he wasnt able to start scientific research till 1908 due to various reasons, including two journeys abroad and military service, which he attended in Novoalexandria. Later Lebedev read lectures for Women Pedagogical Institute.

Main scientific scope of Sergey Vasilievich Lebedev was dedicated to polymerization, isomerization and hydrogenation of unsaturated compounds. Lebedev was the first chemist to study kinetics and mechanism of thermal polymerization of diene hydrocarbons, belonging to divinyl and allene family. Sergey Vasilievich found out correct conditions for separate synthesis of cyclic dimers of cyclohexane and polymers; the scientist also discovered how polymerization depended on structure of primary hydrocarbons.

1910 was notable for first sample of synthetic butadiene rubber, obtained by Sergey Vasilievich Lebedev. The book Study of polymerization of diethylene hydrocarbons, written by the chemist, was published in 1913 and became the scientific Bible of rubber industrial synthesis.The same year the chemist defended a Master dissertation with the same title. In 1914 Sergey Vasilievich Lebedev started investigating polymerization of ethylene hydrocarbons and laid foundation for modern industrial synthesis technologies of butyl rubber and polyisobutylene.

In 1916 Sergey Lebedev was appointed professor of Military and Medical Academy in Petrograd, heading department of general chemistry. In 1925 Lebedev opened laboratory of oil studies in Leningrad University and supervised its activities. In 1928 said laboratory was reorganized and renamed into laboratory of synthetic rubber Sergey Vasilievich remained its head till he died.

The scientist developed single-stage industrial technology of butadiene synthesis from ethanol via concurrent catalytic reaction of dehydrogenation and dehydration using a mixed Zn-Al catalyst. In 1928 Lebedev succeeded in synthesizing artificial rubber by means of polymerization of butadiene in presence of metallic sodium. Mentioned rubber was the base for new technologies of rubber and rubber technical goods synthesis, which the chemist developed in 1930.

In 1932 Soviet engineers founded first synthetic rubber industry in the world, based on Lebedev technique. In thirties of 20th century Sergey Lebedev performed a study of hydrogenation of ethylene hydrocarbons and found out how rate of hydrogen double linking depended on size, nature and position of substituents in ethylene molecule. Lebedev developed synthesis technologies for oil fractions of lubrication oil thickeners, which are used in production of high-viscous lubes for aero-engines.

Sergey Lebedev died in May, 1934, due to heart failure.

Source:
    S. Lebedevs biography


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