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Chemistry History Organic Chemistry

Today in chemistry history: August Kekulé and the structure of benzene

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Today marks the anniversary of the birth of August Kekulé, most famous for his proposed structure for the benzene molecule. This graphic looks at his structure and its limitations and shows how later work improved upon his initial proposal.

More detail on the limitations of Kekulé’s structure, and how Lonsdale’s structure solved these, can be found on ChemGuide’s pages here and here. There’s more on Kekulé and how he dreamt up the structure of benzene in Chemistry World, who also have a detailed article on Kathleen Lonsdale’s life and chemistry contributions.

View more posts on chemistry history on the category page.

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