Frank, Albert Rudolph

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FRANK, ALBERT RUDOLPH (1872–1965), German chemical engineer and industrial chemist. Born in Stassfurt, the son of Adolph Frank, he joined his father's company, the Cyanidgesellschaft, in 1899, and was its president from 1901 to 1908. In 1905 he also joined Stickstoffwerke A.G., succeeding his father as head of this company in 1916. With his father, Nikodem *Caro, and Linde, Frank worked on the production of sulfites and of hydrogen, and particularly on calcium carbide. Frank tried to make cyanides (then wanted for a process for extracting gold) from calcium carbide and atmospheric nitrogen, but instead he got calcium cyanamide, which he deduced could be used as a fertilizer. In 1914, when Germany was cut off from supplies of Chile saltpeter, calcium cyanamide became of vital importance to the country's agriculture, and it remains of some importance to this day. Frank also investigated the use of calcium cyanamide as a chemical intermediate, and later found a way of converting it into cyanides. Frank also worked on other uses for calcium carbide (such as making acetylene black for dry batteries). He held many patents and made numerous contributions to scientific literature. The advent of the Nazis compelled him to leave Germany in 1938. He immigrated to the U.S., working for over 20 years with the American Cyanamide Company.


Chemie-Ingenieur-Technik, 24 (1952), 609; New York Times (March 19, 1965).

[Samuel Aaron Miller]