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ŚWĘTOSLAWSKI, Alojzy Wojciech

* 21. 6. 1881, Kiryjówka near Lubar, Russia
† 29. 4. 1968, Warsaw, Poland


In 1906, Ś. concluded his studies at the Faculty of Chemistry of the Technical College in Kiev, earning the title metallurgical engineer. From 1908 onwards, he worked as a private assistant at the Chair of Dye Technology, and from 1908 to 1910 as an assistant at the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry.
From 1911 to 1918, he headed „Ługinin-Laboratorium“ at Moscow University and received the title assistant professor. Here he continued working with nitrogen compounds, concentrating on the inorganic chemistry of compound dialysis. With his work Diazosojedinienija. Termochimiczeskije isledowanija he earned the title doctor of chemistry at Kiev University.
Between 1918 and 1939, he was chairman of the Chair of Physical Chemistry at the Technical College in Warsaw, and from 1919 also a full professor there. In 1919/20 and 1924/25, he was the dean of the Faculty of Chemistry, and in 1928/29 the director of this school.
Ś. was devoted to thermochemistry, calorimetry, chemical balance, and critical effects. He developed new measurement techniques, such as ebullioscopy, thermometry, and tonometry, which had a decisive effect on the research into azeotropy and on the discoveries of polyazeotropy. From 1928 onwards, he worked at the institution founded in 1919, „International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry“ (IUPAC, whose vice-president he was between 1934 and 1940).
In 1922, Ś. studied benzenecarboxylic acid, and in the process invented the microcalorimeter. From 1927 to 1939, he headed the Department of Coal, which he himself had founded, at the Chemical Research Institute in Warsaw. From 1935 onwards, he was the minister for education, and from 1935 to 1939 also a senator of the Republic of Poland. He was interned in Romania in 1939, together with the Polish government; in 1940, he moved to the USA, where he taught thermochemistry, ebullioscopy, calorimetry, and the physical chemistry of black coal as a guest lecturer at the universities in Pittsburg and Iowa City.
From 1941 to 1946, he worked for Heinrich Koopers AG in Chicago, and also received patents for the preparation of black coal tars, among others also for coke furnaces, which he himself had developed.
Ś. conducted cryometric measurements and built differential and dilatometric cryometers, with which polyperitectic was discovered. During his stay in the USA in 1942, he published the monographs: Coke Formation Process and Physico-Chemical Properties of Coals, in 1945 Ebulliometric Measurements, and in 1946 Microcalorimetry.
In 1947, he returned to Warsaw, where he taught applied physical chemistry at the Technical College from 1947 to 1951, and from 1960 onwards, headed the Chair of Physical Chemistry and the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the main Institute of Industrial Chemistry.
On his initiative, an Institute of Physical Chemistry was also built at the Polish Academy of Sciences. There he conducted research into the division and extraction of the components of high-temperature black coal tar.
He received the title honorary doctor from the technical colleges in Dresden (1959), Warsaw (1960), Łódź (1960), Berlin (1960), Budapest (1966), Bucharest (1966), and Moscow (1966).

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