Otto Wallach


Otto Wallach

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Otto Wallach
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1910

Born: 27 March 1847, Koenigsberg, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia)

Died: 26 February 1931, Göttingen, Germany

Affiliation at the time of the award: Goettingen University, Göttingen, Germany

Prize motivation: “in recognition of his services to organic chemistry and the chemical industry by his pioneer work in the field of alicyclic compounds”

Prize share: 1/1


Terpenes are a large and varied group of hydrocarbon compounds that exist in many fragrant substances in nature, including turpentine and other essential oils. In the 1880s Otto Wallach surveyed such substances and developed methods for extracting different terpenes from mixtures. He showed that many substances were mixtures of a small number of terpenes and that terpenes can easily be altered and change into each other. Wallach’s work became significant within the chemical industry, where essential oils are used in perfume and food.

To cite this section
MLA style: Otto Wallach – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Sun. 3 Mar 2024. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.