Yuri A. Zolotov was born in 1932 in the Moscow region and graduated from the Department of Chemistry, Lomonosov Moscow University in 1955. Between 1955-1989 he worked in the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry of the USSR Academy of Sciences as a postgraduate student, junior and senior researcher, eventually becoming head of the solvent extraction laboratory and Deputy Director of the institute. In 1989-1999 Dr Zolotov was a Director of the Kurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences and currently is a principal scientist in this Institute. Since 1978, in addition to the post at the Kurnakov Institute, he was also a part-time professor of Moscow University and since 1989 the head of Division of Analytical Chemistry. Yuri received his Cand Sci degree in 1959 and Dr Sci in 1966. He was elected as a Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1970 and as a full Member (Academician) in 1987.
Dr Zolotov’s initial research was the solvent extraction of uranium and transuranium elements, especially neptunium. Later he extended these studies to the mechanism of extraction of strong acids and their salts, metal chelate extraction (hydration, selection of solvents, kinetics, extraction of charged chelates, analytical applications, etc.), and mutual effects of extracted metals. With his colleagues he also suggested several new extractants including: dialkyltin dinitrates for arsenate and phosphate; derivatives of thiourea and other sulfur-containing compounds for “soft” metals; 1-phenyl-3-methyl-4-benzoyl-pyrazolone-5 (РМBР); nitrogen-containing crown ethers and others. Interesting results have been obtained in the areas of supercritical fluid extraction and ionic liquids as new extractants.
This work has led to the publication of several hundred papers in scientific journals, many monographs and textbooks. Thirty patents have been granted, mostly on preparative and industrial applications of new methods and extractants.
He serves in the Russian Academy of Sciences as a Deputy Head of the Division of Chemistry and Material Science and as Advisor of the Academy Presidium. Yuri Zolotov has organized several international conferences, including ISEC'88 in Moscow. He has been invited to give many plenary and other lectures at both international and national conferences on solvent extraction and analytical chemistry. Dr Zolotov has also been a visiting professor in South Africa, Australia, and other countries.
He has received numerous international honours, including the F. Emich medal (Austria), the Isibashi medal (Japan), the J.E. Purkine silver medal (former Czechoslovakia) and the Carl Hanson medal (ISEC). He is a foreign member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences (Göteborg, Sweden). In addition he has received many national awards, including three State Prizes (USSR, Russian Federation), the Mendeleev Gold Medal, the Chugaev and the Khlopin medals from Russian Academy of Sciences.