Julius Tafel

Julius Tafel
Prof.Julius Tafel.jpg
Julius Tafel
Born(1862-06-02)2 June 1862
Died2 September 1918(1918-09-02) (aged 56)
Cause of deathSuicide
Alma materUniversity of Munich
Known forTafel reaction Tafel equation
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Munich
Doctoral advisorHermann Emil Fischer

Julius Tafel (2 June 1862 – 2 September 1918) was a Swiss chemist and electrochemist.


He worked first with Hermann Emil Fischer on the field of organic chemistry, but changed to electrochemistry after his work with Wilhelm Ostwald. He is known for the discovery of an electrosynthetic rearrangement reaction of various alkylated ethyl acetoacetates to form hydrocarbons, now called the Tafel rearrangement, and the Tafel equation, which relates the rate of an electrochemical reaction to the overpotential. He is also credited for the discovery of the catalytic mechanism of hydrogen evolution (the Tafel mechanism). Tafel retired aged 48 due to ill health, but continued to write book reviews until his death.


Tafel suffered from insomnia and eventually had a complete nervous breakdown. He committed suicide in Munich in 1918.

External links

  • Media related to Julius Tafel at Wikimedia Commons
  • "Julius Tafel". Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute of Chemistry. Archived from the original on 2007-12-05.

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