Chair of General and Inorganic Chemistry.

History The chair was established with the foundation of KPI in 1899.

It provided teaching of chemistry for all four departments which existed at those times – chemical, agrochemical, mechanical and engineering.

Prof M.I. Konovalov (1858-1906) was the first head of this chair. He was an outstanding scientist in field of organic chemistry. In particular, Konovalov discovered the nitration reaction of saturated hydrocarbons, which is now known as Konovalov reaction. According to the words of N.D. Zelinskiy, this discovery “revived chemical corpses” meaning alcanes which were belived to be totally chemically inert at this time. Also, he was one of the first who began to study organic reaction with aluminum trichloride. After the death of M.I. Konovalov 1n 1906, the position of the head of chair remained vacant till 1908. The lectures on general and inorganic chemistry were provided by professor of physical chemistry V.F. Timofeev (1858-1923), who was invited to KPI from Kharkiv. In January 1908 professor L.V. Pysarzhevsliy was appointed for this position.


L.V. Pysarzhevskiy (1874-1938) headed the chair from 1908 till 1911. He was the famous scientist in field of physical chemistry, member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, creator of electronic theory of chemical reactions, the author of profound studies on the influence of solvent on the mechanism of chemical reactions, founder of the modern electronic theory of catalysis. Disagreed with the politics of tsar government in field of education and science, he left KPI in 1911. In 1927 he became the director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry of Ukrainian Academy of sciences, later named after him. Since 1912, the chair was headed by prof D.K. Dobroserdov from Kazan’ University. He supports the traditions of KPI which were established before. The staff of the chair also remains stable. Several well-known chemists were working then, among them A.V. Dumanskiy, I.F. Ponomariov, V.O. Izbekov, M.O. Tananaev. The main research direction at that time was physico-chemical investigation of organic solvents.

The KPI was closed in times of revolution and Civil War. The work restarted only in 1921. The chair was reorganized in 1922. The independent chair of analytical chemistry was created under the guidance of Prof M.O. Tananaev..

V.O. Plotnikov (1873-1947). Academician of Ucrainian Acad Sci, corresponding m Acad Sci. Outstanding scientist in field of physical chemistry. He created new research direction – electrochemistry of non-aqueous solutions and melts. He was the first who electrochemically obtained aluminum at room temperature.

Apprentice and colleague of Plotnikov, Prof V.O. Izbekov, headed the chair from 1928 till 1960. V.O. Izbekov graduated from chemical department of Yuriev University (now Tartu, Estonia) and begun to work on the position of technician (laborant) of the chair of physical chemistry of KPI in the same year. In 1927 V.O. Izbekov received the rank of professor, in 1939 he was elected as corresponding member of Ukrainian Acad Sci.

Doctor of chemical science Prof V.V. Udovenko headed the chair from 1960 till 1966. He was an expert in physico-chemical analysis of liquid systems and chemistry of complex compounds. V.V. Udovenko laid the foundations of new scientific direction – chemistry of coordination compounds of metals with aminoalcohols, which continues to develop today.

The chair was again divided by two in 1966. First, the chair of Inorganic Chemistry, was headed by Prof Udovenko, and the second, the chair of General Chemistry, was leading by Prof O.I. Astakhov. O.I. Astakhov was the student of Prof Izbekov. He graduated from KPI in 1930. Since 1935 he was assistant, then associated professor (docent), and from 1966 – full professor. He was the head of chair till 1976. The scientific work under the supervision of Prof Astakhov was related to the chemistry of complex compounds and ion exchange processes. Serious attention was devoted to efficient teaching of chemistry in universities and schools. Several handbooks and textbooks of chemistry were published for scholars and school teachers of chemistry.

In 1976, Prof, Dr. Sci V.A. Lavrenko was nominated on the position of the head of General Chemistry chair. Together with traditional studies of complex compounds, physico-chemical researches of refractory compounds begun to be developed. The development of efficient teaching methods of chemistry in higher and secondary schools was going on.

Meanwhile, the chairs of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry merged again in 1979. Prof B.Y. Nabyvanets became the head of this chair.

From 1986, the chair of General Chemistry was known under the name “Chair of General and bioorganic chemistry”. For the period of 1986 – 1988, Yu.I. Srebrodolskiy, graduate of KPI, was the head of this chair.

Since September 1988, this chair was headed by Dr. Sci, Prof P.O. Krasutskiy, the graduate of KPI. After his nomination, the scientific researches of the chair became related to the chemistry and reactivity of carcass organic compounds, mechanisms of their reactions, biochemistry of biologically active compounds with antivirus activity. According to the Decree of Ukrainian Government from May 29, 1990, the department of bioorganic synthesis was established at this chair which became the basis for training of engineers in field of biotechnology. The first biotechnology engineers were graduated in 1996.

The chair of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry was separated again, and the chair of Inorganic Chemistry became the independent department in 1990. The former student of V.V. Udovenko, O.M. Stepanenko, took the position of the head.

In 2000, Prof P.O. Krasutskiy got a job in USA and left Ukraine. Then the chair of General Chemistry and Biochemistry joined the chair of Inorganic Chemistry, and finally became again the Chair of General and Inorganic Chemistry. The sub-department of bioorganic chemistry was separated and joined the newly formed Biotechnology Faculty. O.M. Stepanenko remained the head of the chair of General and Inorganic Chemistry. After the sudden death of O.M. Stepanenko in December 2002, the chair was headed by L.G. Reiter, outstanding teacher, brilliant lecturer and well-known scientist in field of coordination compounds. In May 2003, Dr Sci O.O. Andriiko was elected as the head of the chair. He is a postgraduate student of Academicion Yu. K. Delimarskiy, who, in turn, was the student of Prof V.O. Izbekov. After his nomination, researches in field of Material Science (electrocatalysts, nanooxides, active materials for power sources) begun to develop along with the traditional studies of complex compounds. The traditions of teaching chemistry laid by several generations of outstanding scientists are keeping alive.