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Vladimir Ipatieff


Vladimir Nikolayevich Ipatieff (also Ipatiev, Russian: Владимир Николаевич Ипатьев) (November 21, 1867 (November 9 OS) - November 29, 1952) was a Russian and American chemist. His most important contributions are in the field of petroleum chemistry.

Born in Moscow, Ipatieff first studied artillery in the Mikhailovskaya artillery academy in Petersburg, then later studied chemistry in Russia and Germany. His first works in chemistry were devoted to the study of metals and explosives. Later, his works on catalysis methods under high pressure made him famous as a chemist; for his reactions he used massive bombs (often called Ipatieff bomb) made of steel. With the start of World War I, Ipatieff organized a dedicated laboratory in Petersburg which made improvements to the chemical weaponry and the methods of chemical protection for the army. Before the October revolution, Ipatieff was a General-Lieutenant of the Russian army and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

After the revolution, Ipatieff was active in creating and heading several important chemical research centers in Soviet Russia. Lenin called him "the head of our [Soviet] chemical industry". By late 1920s, however, Ipatieff was starting to feel threatened because of his past in the Czarist army and because he had friends among those convicted in the Industrial Party trial. In 1930, Ipatieff went to Munich to visit his German colleagues, but instead of returning to the USSR he fled to the United States.

In the US, Ipatieff was a professor at Northwestern University, in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, and worked for Universal Oil Products Company. He and his students made significant contributions to organic synthesis and petroleum refining. He is considered one of the founding fathers of the modern petroleum chemistry in the US. Ipatieff died in Chicago.

Vladimir Ipatieff had three sons: Dmitry, Nikolai and Vladimir. Dmitry died in World War I. Nikolai was a member of the White movement, emigrated after the end of Russian Civil War and died in Africa testing a treatment he had invented for yellow fever. Vladimir Vladimirovich Ipatieff, also a talented chemist, remained in the USSR and was arrested after the defection of his father. While living in the USA, Ipatieffs also adopted two Russian girls.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vladimir_Ipatieff". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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