Professor Aleksandr Leonovich Rotinyan

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  • 1070-4272/03/7609-1534$25.002003 MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica

    Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, Vol. 76, No. 9, 2003, pp. 1534 1535. Translated from Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, Vol. 76, No. 9,2003, p. 15731574.Original Russian Text Copyright 2003 by Tikhonov, Morachevskii, Volkov, Arkhangelskaya.


    Professor Aleksandr Leonovich Rotinyan(19131991)

    Aleksandr Leonovich Rotinyan, a remarkableperson and prominent scientist who tirelessly pavednew ways in electrochemical science and technology,a talented pedagogue who supplied Russias electro-chemical school with highly skilled specialists, wouldbe 90. During many years he had been a member ofthe Editorial Board of Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimiii(Soviet, now Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry)and took an active part in its work.

    Aleksandr Leonovich Rotinyan was born onAugust 13, 1913, in St. Petersburg. His father, LeonAleksandrovich Rotinyan (18791964), was a lecturerat the chair of physical chemistry and theoretical elec-trochemistry at the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Insti-tute. Later, Professor L.A. Rotinyan, a known physi-cal chemist, delivered lectures at a number of higher-school institutions of Russia.

    In 1935, A.L. Rotinyan graduated from the Chemi-cal Faculty of the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute, and in1938, finished his postgraduate education at the Le-ningrad Polytechnic Institute. A.L. Rotinyans scien-tific and pedagogical activities, which he commencedas docent at the Novocherkassk Polytechnic Institute,were interrupted by the beginning of the war. FromJune 1941 till September 1945 he served in SovietArmy and participated in action at the LeningradFront. His war merits are honored with Governmentawards.

    During the period from 1945 till 1960, A.L. Roti-nyans activities were associated with the Gipronikelresearch and design institute, where he made a careerfrom senior researcher to deputy director for researchwork. There, extensive research and technologicalwork were carried out under his direct supervision,with his most active personal involvement, in thefields of hydrometallurgy of nickel, kinetics of calci-nation processes, leaching, cementation, hydrolysis,hydration, and formation of difficultly soluble hy-drates and basic salts that are in equilibrium withthe solid phase.

    The set of these investigations served as a basis forthe development of an industrial process for manufac-ture of high-purity nickel suitable for preparing heat-resistant nickel-based alloys. Aleksandr Leonovich

    was awarded, together with specialists from the Gi-pronikel institute and Severonikel combine, a 1949State Prize of the USSR in science and technology.High-purity domestic nickel is manufactured up tonow at two largest combines of the country by thetechnology suggested and introduced by Rotinyan andco-workers at the Severonikel combine in 19471948.

    The fundamental studies in the theory of joint dis-charge of ions in electrolytic deposition of metals,published by A.L. Rotinyan and V.L. Kheifets in19521953, found use in various fields of chemicaltechnology and led to further development of thetheory. Highly important were studies, carried out inthe same years, in the field of dissolution kinetics ofsolids with complex composition, and also develop-ment and introduction of a new intensified method forsynthesis of nickel carbonyl. In 1952, A.L. Rotinyanbecame doctor of engineering.

    Further scientific and pedagogical activities ofAleksandr Leonovich were associated with the Len-sovet Technological Institute in Leningrad; he becamea professor in 1960 and headed the chair of tech-nology of electrochemical industries in 1969.



    The investigations carried out by A.L. Rotinyanand his disciples during 30 years were related to themost important directions of modern theoretical andapplied electrochemistry. A major contribution totheory and practice was made by studies concernedwith the mechanism and fundamental kinetic aspectsof metal electrodeposition processes, considered withaccount of the acidity of the near-electrode layer,process stages, and ionic equilibria in solution. In-vestigations concerned with joint discharge of zincand hydrogen ions at a zinc electrode, redox potentialsof cobalt ions, and kinetics of electrodeposition ofnickelcobalt, ironcobalt, and ironnickel alloyswere carried out at the institute. The method of amicroscopic glass electrode, suggested by A.L. Roti-nyan for measuring the acidity of the near-electrodelayer, found use at numerous domestic and foreignlaboratories.

    Mention should be made of a series of investiga-tions by A.L. Rotinyan and co-workers in the field ofchemical power cells. These studies were aimed bothto improve the already existing electric power sourcesand to develop new systems with the use of organicsolvents. Aleksandr Leonovich supervised studies ofmain physicochemical properties of inorganic salts inaprotic organic solutions, equilibria in halide solutionsof zinc and cadmium in dimethylacetamide and di-methylformamide, kinetics and mechanism of electro-chemical reactions of lithium chargingdischarge inethers, and reduction of metal oxides and chalcoge-nides in organic solvents.

    The concepts of the course of electrode reactions,suggested by A.L. Rotinyan, which are extensivelyused by researchers to solve widely varying problemsof applied electrochemistry, served as a basis forthe development of new directions in electrochemicaltechnology.

    A.L. Rotinyan was a talented pedagogue whotrained a great number of engineers and candidates ofscience, working successfully in the industry and at

    higher-school institutions in our country and abroad.He was the author of more than 300 scientific papers,books, and inventions. A.L. Rotinyan took an activepart in writing the textbook Prikladnaya elektrokhi-miya (Applied Electrochemistry), which ran throughthree editions, and monographs Teoreticheskaya elek-trokhimiya (Theoretical Electrochemistry), Optimiza-tsiya proizvodstva khlora (Optimization of ChlorineManufacture), and Osnovy metallurgii (Foundations ofMetallurgy).

    Rather diverse and fruitful were A.L. Rotinyansscientific-organizational activities. As a prominentspecialist in applied electrochemistry he headed theElectrochemical Technology Section of the ScientificCouncil for Electrochemistry at the Academy ofSciences of the USSR, was a member of the EditorialBoard of Elektrokhimiya (Electrochemistry) journal,supervised the permanent seminar on electrochemistryof the Znanie (Knowledge) society, and was Chairmanof the Specialized Council for conferring scientificdegrees at the Technological Institute.

    Aleksandr Leonovich Rotinyan was a scientist withencyclopedic knowledge and a broad-minded personof high culture. His surprising intuition helped him todistinguish promising directions of research, whichwere invariably supported by him.

    Any person who was acquainted with A.L. Roti-nyan was subject to the charm of his vivid personality.Colleagues and disciples remember Aleksandr Leono-vich as an exceedingly well-wishing person alwaysready to give help to those who addressed him and tosupport them.

    A.L. Rotinyan died on March 30, 1991, at the ageof 77. Aleksandr Leonovich belongs to those who willbe always remembered by grateful disciples and col-leagues.

    K. I. Tikhonov, A. G. Morachevskii,L. V. Volkov, and Z. P. Arkhangelskaya