Albert Rudolph Frank, Chemist and businessman

The Discoverer of Fertilizer


Discovered the fertilizer calcium cyanamide and Director of the Bayerische Stickstoffwerke AG, which which merged in Süddeutsche Kalkstickstoff-Werke AG (SKW) in 1939


SKW

* 1872, Staßfurt (near Magdeburg)

† 1965, New York

The son of Adolph Frank studied Chemistry in Munich and Berlin where he was awarded his PhD in 1900 by the Charlottenburg Technical University. As early as 1895 he had already found employment as a chemist in various German and Swiss companies. From 1899 to 1908, together with his colleague Hermann Freudenberg, he managed the company Cyanidgesellschaft mbH in Berlin. In 1901, the two colleagues proposed using the newly discovered calcium cyanamide as a fertilizer. A “very confidential” written proposal from his father, Adolph Frank, to Siemens & Halske in Berlin thus symbolizes the “birth certificate” of calcium cyanamide.

Albert Frank worked in the central administration department at Bayerische Stickstoffwerke AG (BStW) in Trostberg since its foundation in 1908. After his father’s death in 1916, he ran the company as a board member, together with Nicodem Caro, until he emigrated in 1938.

Albert Frank was involved in the construction of the calcium cyanamide works/sites in Piesteritz and Chorzow. He made a very significant contribution to the development and improvement of processes for producing and refining calcium cyanamide, for which he and his colleagues were granted over 100 patents. He was a member of the Board of Directors at G. Sauerbrey AG in Staßfurt, G. Frowein & Co. AG in Bergerhof and Donauwerke AG in Saal. He advised numerous German, American and Japanese companies. In 1938 Albert Frank emigrated to the USA where, from 1942-45, he worked as a consultant for the Office of War Information and, from 1945 until his death in 1965, for the American Cyanamide Co. in New York. On his 90th birthday, the town of Trostberg expressed their thanks by renaming the Fabrikstrasse, the road on which the SKW buildings are located, “Dr.-Albert-Frank-Strasse.”