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Csaba Horváth (chemical engineer)

Csaba Horváth (born 25 January 1930 died 13 April 2004) was a Hungarian chemical engineer, particularly noted for building the first high performance liquid chromatograph.


Csaba Horváth was born in Szolnok, Hungary and graduated in chemical engineering from the Budapest Institute of Technology. In 1956 he went to West Germany to work for Hoechst. He then studied physical chemistry at the J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt, receiving his Ph.D. in 1963. The same year he married Valeria Scioscioli in Rome, and they emigrated to the USA. He joined the Physics Research Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. The couple had two daughters.

In 1964 he joined Yale School of Medicine. From 1967 he also had an appointment in the Engineering School. In 1972 he joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Yale, becoming full Professor in 1979 and Head of Department from 1987 to 1993. He was named as Roberto C. Goizueta Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1998. He died on 13 April, 2004, at Yale-New Haven Hospital of a stroke.


Having worked in industry in the pilot plant of Farbwerke Hoechst AG and then on the surface chemistry of organic pigments, he studied for a PhD at Goethe University in gas-liquid chromatography, a method of separating volatile materials for chemical analysis. He applied his knowledge of chemical engineering science to improving the technology, and developed support-coated open tubular (SCOT) columns which were widely used until supplanted by further developments in capillary columns. He continued to be involved in developments in gas-liquid chromatography in his later career.

However, it was while at Harvard Medical School and Yale School of Medicine that he appreciated the need for analytical separation of biological compounds which could not be vaporized, and this led to the application of his particular understanding of separation processes to vastly improve the performance of liquid chromatography. Thus was created High performance liquid chromatography or HPLC, a technique which became a major field of study (and in which he remained a leading figure), and continued to publish till shortly before his death.

He worked on other methods of analytical separation of biological materials, notably electrophoresis, but also was influential in developing biochemical engineering within the Chemical Engineering Department at Yale.

He published about 300 papers and held 9 patents. He received many honors and awards and is remembered in the Horváth Laboratory of Separation Science[1] at Innsbruck.


  • L. S. Ettre (2004) American Laboratory, May 2004, pages 4-6
  • A. Guttman (2000) American Laboratory, June 2000, pages 6-10
  • The Hungary Page
  • Yale news of his death
  • Speeches at his remembrance Service
  • An Introduction to Separation Science,(1973) B.L. Karger, Cs. Horváth and L.R. Snyder, Wiley
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Csaba_Horváth_(chemical_engineer)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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