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August Kekule (1829-1896), German organic chemist. From 1858 Kekule developed a 'structural theory' for carbon chemistry, based on its valency (bond-forming) of four. He showed that the molecular structure of carbon chains could be given diagrammatically. This allowed chemists to deduce the structure of an organic molecule from its physical and chemical properties. Another major advance in organic chemistry came in 1865 with Kekule's discovery of the ring structure of benzene. Artwork from the 18th volume (second period of 1896) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.
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