- Frankland , Sir Edward
- (1825–1899) British organic chemistBorn at Churchtown near Lancaster, Frankland was first apprenticed to a pharmacist in Lancaster; he was later encouraged to go to London to study chemistry under Lyon Playfair at the Royal College of Engineers (1845). He became Playfair's assistant in 1847 and studied extensively in Europe with Robert Bunsen and Justus von Liebig. He succeeded Playfair as professor of chemistry in 1850, holding the same position at Owens College, Manchester, (1851–57) and in London at St. Bartholomew's Hospital (1857), the Royal Institution (1863), and the Royal School of Mines (1865), later the Royal College of Science.Frankland is generally credited as the originator of the theory of valence – this being the number of chemical bonds that a given atom or group can make with other atoms or groups in forming a compound. In 1852 he noticed that coordination with an alkyl group could change the combining power of a metal. He showed that the concept of valence could reconcile the radical and type theories and in 1866 he elaborated the concept of a maximum valence for each element.In 1864, working with B.F. Duppa, Frankland pointed out that the carboxyl group (–COOH, which he called ‘oxatyl’) is a constant feature of the series of organic acids. He was also interested in applied chemistry: he investigated the luminosity of flames and his later work was in the field of coal-gas supply and water purification. He was knighted in 1897.
Scientists. Academic. 2011.