Chemistry at Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois

Ludwig Frederick Audrieth (1907 - 1967)

Ludwig Frederick AudriethLou Audrieth was born in Vienna, Austria, and became an American citizen in 1912. He was educated at Colgate and Cornell, taking a PhD from the latter in 1926 and remaining there as a fellow for two years. He worked with A. W. Browne during both his doctoral and post-doctoral studies. It was during this time that his interest in the study of nitrogen chemistry and non-aqueous solvent reactions began. He joined the Illinois faculty in 1928. He began studying the chemistry of nitrogen-phosphorus compounds and of sulfamic acid, sulfamide, and their derivatives, leading in 1939 to the discovery, with Michael Sveda, of the artificial sweetener, sodium cyclamate. Sucaryl, the sodium salt of cyclohexylsulfamic acid, was placed on the market in 1950 as a non-caloric sweetener. In the 1950’s, he developed currently used methods for the production of hydrazine, which he had as early as 1938 recognized as potentially valuable as high-energy fuels. Audrieth investigated the chemistry of rocket fuels, holding fifteen patents dealing primarily with rocket propellants and explosives. He became an innovator of chemistry in non-aqueous solvents.

He was one of the founders of and most prolific contributors to the Inorganic Syntheses series and a member of the Board of Editors from 1934-1967. He was the co-author with B. A. Ogg of The Chemistry of Hydrazine (1950) and with Jacob Kleinberg of Non-Aqueous Solvents: Applications as Media for Chemical Reactions (1953). He went on leave from Illinois in 1959 to serve at the American Embassy in Bonn, Germany, as scientific attaché. In 1963 he became a visiting professor of science affairs at the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State in Washington, DC. He was awarded the Prechtly Medal in Vienna in 1965 for his work in promoting closer relationships between American and Austrian science.

1. J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem. 1973, 35, 1757-1768.
2. Chem. Eng. News 1967, 45(7), 85.
3. World Who's Who in Science; Debus, A. G., Ed.; Marquis-Who's Who Inc.: 1968; p75.