Exhibition Halls\Museum of Kazan School of Chemistry - Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
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Exhibition Halls

A story of the laboratory is a history of establishing and development of the Kazan School of Chemistry. Although the chemical laboratory of the University was founded in 1806, it didn't have a certain place. The department of chemistry was occupied by ordinary people or those, who were interested in other sciences and considered Chemistry to be a side subject. Often they were foreigners, who hadn't adapted to the severe (in direct and metaphorical meaning) Russian climate. That's why the University Council, headed by N.I.Lobachevsky, decided to engage Nikolay Zinin, a talented university graduate of 1833, to be given the post professor and lecture of Chemistry later on.

After his getting a title of junior scientific assistant in Chemistry in 1837 Nikolay N. Zinin was sent abroad for three years. He visited laboratories of famous scientists of that time, chemical plants and mines. For a year he worked at a well-known Justus Liebich laboratory in Hissen (Germany). There Zinin learned new methods of making experiments and teaching Chemistry, which were introduced by Liebich. They implied both lectures and practical classes. The material, having been got there, was enough for Doctor's Dissertation, which he successfully presented in St.Petersburg University in 1841.

Having returned to Kazan, Zinin began teaching Chemistry, combining theory and experiment, and went on doing researches, which made him and Kazan University known all over the world. He discovered the reaction of transformation of aroma nitro-compounds into amino-compounds and got synthetic aniline in 1842. This reaction was a starting point for the development of aniline-dye industry. A famous German chemist Hoffman was a one, who expressed the meaning of Zinin's discovery in the most laconic and bright way: "If Zinin hadn't done anything except transformation of nitrobenz into aniline, his name would have gone down in history of Chemistry even though". The preparation of aniline, having been got by Zinin, is kept in the museum up till now.