Heinrich Hubert Maria Josef Houben

Heinrich Hubert Maria Josef Houben (born 27. October 1875 in Waldfeucht (Rheinland) Germany, died 28. June 1940 in Tübingen) was a German chemist. He made achievements within ketone synthesis, terpenes, and camphor studies. After being wounded several times on the front lines in World War I, Houben was made head of the war laboratory. He improved the Hoesch reaction which is now normally called Houben-Hoesch reaction. Houben organized and made a major rework of the book Methods of Organic Chemistry which is now referred to as Houben-Weyl Methods of Organic Chemistry.


Houben studied at the University of Bonn and changed his subjets from mathematics and astronomy to chemistry under the influence of August Kekulé. He received his ph.D. for work with Julius Bredt in 1898. After some time at the University of Aachen and University of Bonn Houben joined the laboratory of Emil Fischer at the University of Berlin. After his habilitation in 1908 he stayed in Berlin until the beginning of World War I. Houben served in the army and after being wounded several times he became head of the war laboratory. After the war Houben became professor at the Biologische Reichsanstalt in Berlin Dahlem in 1921, a position he held until his forced retirement in 1933. Houben died din Tübingen in 1940.[1][2]

During his time with Emil Fisher his research was focused on the Organomagnesium compounds, while in his time at the Biologischen Reichsanstalt Houben was improving the already known Hoesch reaction.[1][2][3]

1. ^ a b Pfankuch, E (1940). "Sitzung am 7. Oktober 1940". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft (A and B Series) 73: A119. doi:10.1002/cber.19400731127.
2. ^ a b Ronge, Grete: Houben, Josef. In: Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB). volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1972, p. 659 f. (German)
3. ^ Houben, J. (1926). "Über die Kern-Kondensation von Phenolen und Phenol-äthern mit Nitrilen zu Phenol- und Phenol-äther-Ketimiden und -Ketonen (I.)". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft (A and B Series) 59: 2878. doi:10.1002/cber.19260591135.

External links

* Biographies of Josef Houben and Theodor Weyl

List of chemists

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