Otto Diels

About Otto Diels

Who is it?: Chemist
Birth Day: January 23, 1876
Birth Place: Hamburg, German Empire, German
Alma mater: University of Berlin
Known for: Diels–Alder reaction
Awards: Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1950)
Fields: Chemistry
Institutions: University of Kiel
Doctoral advisor: Emil Fischer
Doctoral students: Kurt Alder Karl Wilhelm Rosenmund

Otto Diels

Otto Diels was born on January 23, 1876 in Hamburg, German Empire, German, is Chemist. Otto Diels or Otto Paul Herman Diels was a German scientist who received the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a process by which cyclic organic compounds could be obtained. This process was called the ‘diene synthesis’ or the ‘Diels-Alder reaction’. He shared the Nobel Prize with another scientist, Kurt Alder, who had worked jointly with him in developing the process. His work led to the production of synthetic plastics and rubber. His initial research was in the field of inorganic chemistry during which he discovered a highly reactive substance known as ‘carbon suboxide’. He later changed his research to encompass the domain of organic chemistry. His process of using selenium to remove hydrogen atoms from cyclic organic compounds not only helped the synthesis of plastics and rubber but also became a useful tool for finding out the complicated chemical structures of a series of steroids. He was successful in dehydrogenating cholesterol with the help of selenium which produced a skeletal structure of steroids. During the period when he was at the ‘University of Kiel’, he worked with Kurt Alder to develop the ‘Diels-Alder reaction’ which helped to synthesize unsaturated cyclic organic compounds leading to the production of synthetic plastic and rubber compounds, alkaloids and insecticides at a low cost without using any catalyst, reagent, high temperature or pressure.
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Does Otto Diels Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Otto Diels has been died on 7 March 1954(1954-03-07) (aged 78)\nKiel, West Germany.

🎂 Otto Diels - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Otto Diels die, Otto Diels was 78 years old.

Popular As Otto Diels
Occupation Scientists
Age 78 years old
Zodiac Sign Aquarius
Born January 23, 1876 (Hamburg, German Empire, German)
Birthday January 23
Town/City Hamburg, German Empire, German
Nationality German

🌙 Zodiac

Otto Diels’s zodiac sign is Aquarius. According to astrologers, the presence of Aries always marks the beginning of something energetic and turbulent. They are continuously looking for dynamic, speed and competition, always being the first in everything - from work to social gatherings. Thanks to its ruling planet Mars and the fact it belongs to the element of Fire (just like Leo and Sagittarius), Aries is one of the most active zodiac signs. It is in their nature to take action, sometimes before they think about it well.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Otto Diels was born in the Year of the Rat. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rat are quick-witted, clever, charming, sharp and funny. They have excellent taste, are a good friend and are generous and loyal to others considered part of its pack. Motivated by money, can be greedy, is ever curious, seeks knowledge and welcomes challenges. Compatible with Dragon or Monkey.

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Diels was born on January 23, 1876 in Hamburg, Germany, and moved with his family to Berlin when he was two years old. He studied in Berlin at Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium before attending the University of Berlin starting in 1895. While at university, Diels studied chemistry under Emil Fischer, eventually graduating in 1899.


Immediately after graduating from the University of Berlin, he was offered a position with the Institute of Chemistry at the school. He advanced quickly through the ranks at the school, eventually ending up as Department Head in 1913. He remained at the University of Berlin until 1915, when he accepted a position at the University of Kiel, where he remained until his retirement in 1945. It was during his time at Kiel, where he worked with Kurt Alder developing the Diels–Alder reaction, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1950. His work with Alder, a synthetic method which allows the synthesis of unsaturated cyclic compounds. This work was important in the production of synthetic rubber and plastic compounds.


Diels married Paula Geyer in 1909. The couple had five children together, three sons and two daughters. Two of his sons were killed in action during World War II. In his free time, Diels enjoyed reading, music and traveling. He died on March 7, 1954.

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