Egon Stahl, 60th birthday

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  • Editorial

    Egon Stahl, 60 th birthday

    In 1956 there appeared in the journal Pharmazie [1] an article written by a young and unknown scientist on a virtually unknown method: thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Little attention was paid to this publication at the time. A second paper on this subject published two years later [2], however, aroused worldwide interest and when andardized sorbents were offered at Achema 1958, they ,larked the beginning of a triumph for this simple but extremely versatile chromatographic method. Coupled with dae name of this technique, the name of Egon Stahl is known worldwide. The rapid evolution and acceptance of the method is documented by the publication of the well- known laboratory handbook on TLC in 1962 [3] and its ~cond edition in 1967 [4] now comprising more than 1000 pages.

    B0m on 18th October 1924 in Eberbach/Neckar, Egon Stahl was able to begin his studies in pharmacy in Karlsruhe when he was released from captivity as prisoner of war in 1947. He also completed his doctorate there under the botanist, Weber. In 1957 he became a university lecturer in the Pharmacy Department in Mainz. Stahl's scientific interest

    as a pharmacognosist, however, really concerned the essen- tial oils, the morphology of glandular hairs and chemical species from medicinal plants. In this latter context one can see finally the development of TLC as a microanalytical method. Among Stahl's 200 plus scientific publications some 60 are concerned with TLC. Circular m,d gradient- layer techniques, combined TLC-infra red, gradient elution and modified layers for derivatisation reactions on the thin- layer plates demonstrate his versatility. It is therefore not surprising that the concept of thin-layer chromatography and the name of Stahl are so closely linked. Stahl's work in the area of microthermal migration (first reported in 1968 [5, 6]) was of similar interest as was, almost 10 years later, the high pressure extraction of drugs with the help of supercritical gas [7]. The great importance of this latter method is shown in the proceedings of the first international symposium on this topic [8]. About 30 papers on the subject have appeared so far from Stahl's group. It is not surprising that high honours and distinctions have been conferred on EgonStahl by prominent scientific societies at home and abroad as well as two 'Ehrendoktor' as reward and recognition for his outstanding scientific pioneering work.

    S. Ebel

    [1] E. Stahl: Pharmazie 11,633 (1956). [21 E. Stahh Chemiker Ztg. 82,323 (1958). [3] E. Stahl: Diinnschicht-Chtomatog~aphie, r Laboratoriums-

    Handbuch (534 S.), Springer-Verlag Berlin, 1962 (1st edition). [4] E. Stahl: DiJnnschicht-Chxomatographie, ein Laboratoziums-

    Handbuch (ca. 1000 S.); Springer-Verlag Berlin, 1967 (2nd edition).

    [5] E. Stahl, J. Fuchs: Deutsch. Apoth. Ztg. 108, 1227 (1968). [61 E. Stahh J. Chromatogz. 37, 99 (1968). [7] E. Stahl, Ir Schilz: Fresenius Z. Anal. Chem. 280, 99 (1976). [8] G. M. Schneider, E. Stahl, G. Wilcke: Extraction with Super-

    critical Gases; Verlag Chemie, Weinheim, 1980.

    ~hr0matographia Vol. 18, No. 11, November 1984 59~)