August Freund (30 July 1835 – 28 February 1892) was an Austrian chemist who in 1881 first synthesised cyclopropane.

Freund was born in 1835 in the town of Kęty, Austria-Hungary. (The town now lies in Poland.) After graduating from the gymnasium (an advanced secondary school) in Cieszyn (then in Austria-Hungary, now on the Polish border with the Czech Republic), he studied pharmacy in Lviv (then in Austria-Hungary, now in Ukraine) and then in Leipzig, Germany. After studying at Lviv University from 1856-1858, he received a master's degree in pharmacy. He then assisted professor Leopold von Pebal in his investigations of petroleum. By 1861, he was teaching at a gymnasium in Ternopil (then in Austria-Hungary, now in Ukraine). By 1869, he was appointed a professor at the realschule (secondary school) in Lviv. He then began working towards a doctoral degree, receiving a doctorate from Leipzig University in 1871.[1] In 1872, he became a professor of chemistry at the Lviv Technical University. There he investigated fermentation,[2][3] petroleum, and ketones — among other subjects. He became dean of the Department of General and Analytical Chemistry, and from 1878, dean of the Department of Technical Chemistry. He was elected rector of the Polytechnic three times.[4][5][6]

In 1881 he discovered a method for synthesising cyclopropane: he treated 1,3 - dibromopropane with sodium metal.[7] The method now bears his name. He was able to synthesise enough cyclopropane to do several chemical reactions and derive from the results the three-membered ring structure of cyclopropane.

He died in Lviv in 1892.[8]

Selected writings


  1. ^ August Freund, "Über die Produkte der sauren Gährung von Waizenkleie" (On the products of acid fermentation of wheat bran), Universität Leipzig, 1871.
    Reprinted in: August Freund (1871) "Ueber die Producte der sauren Gährung von Waizenkleie," Journal für Praktische Chemie, series 2, 3 (1) : 224–240
  2. ^ August Freund (1875) "Ueber vermeintliches Vorkommen von Trimethylcarbinol unter den Produkten der alkoholischen Gährung und eine vortheilhafte Darstellungsweise dieses Alkohols" (On the putative occurrence of trimethylcarbinol (tert-Butyl alcohol) among the products of alcoholic fermentation and an advantageous method of preparing this alcohol), Journal für praktische Chemie, series 2, 12 : 25-38.
  3. ^ August Freund (1881) "Über die Bildung und Darstellung von Trimethylenalkohol aus Glycerin" (On the formation and preparation of trimethylene alcohol (propylene glycol) from glycerin), Monatshefte für Chemie, 2 (1) : 636-641.
  4. ^ Victor Yavorskyi and Kostyantyn Blazhivskyi (2011) "Formation of chemical technology education and science in Lviv Polytechnic National University," Chemistry & Chemical Technology (on-line journal), 5 (2) : i-vi.
  5. ^ Article on "Freund, August" in: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815-1950 Online-Edition
  6. ^ On-line museum of Kęty, Poland (in Polish).
  7. ^ Freund, August (1882). "Über Trimethylen" [On trimethylene (i.e., cyclopropane)]. Monatshefte für Chemie 3: 625–635. doi:10.1007/BF01516828. 
  8. ^ A brief notice of Freund's death appeared in: Chemiker Zeitung, 16 (105) : 1975 (December 31, 1892).