Georg Jayme was born in Ober-Modau, Germany, on April 10, 1899. In 1922, he received his doctorate (Dr. Ing.) with honors from the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, now Technical University of Darmstadt (TUD).
After graduation, he worked at TUD for some time as assistant to Dr. Emil Heuser and in 1923 followed him to the Institute of Vereinigte Glanzstoff Fabriken, Berlin, Germany and in 1926 to Canada to head a research group of the Canadian International Co., Hawkesbury, Ontario. In 1930, he married Hjordis who had moved to Canada from Norway in 1928.
In 1936, Jayme was invited to join as Professor and head of the Institute of Cellulose Chemistry, TUD, Germany and remained at its helm until his retirement in 1969. During his 33-year tenure at TUD, Jayme developed many new swelling agents and solvents for cellulose. He chemically modified cellulose by methylation to produce stronger pulps and developed a new test method, Water Retention Value (WRV), to study the swelling properties of chemical pulps. He also made use of electron microscopy, especially 3-D imagery, to study the fine structure and reactivity of cellulose. 1n 1960, he developed a procedure for the manufacturing of fluorescent papers, especially for postal stamps. Jayme published over 700 papers (including 35 contributions to books) and was granted over 70 patents.
Under his leadership, the Institute of Cellulose Chemistry grew to become one of the major centers in the world. He trained 140 Masters and more than 130 Ph.D. students from many countries in the field of cellulose chemistry and pulp and paper science. Jayme was an invited lecturer and consultant to many companies and governments worldwide. In 1952, he was elected President of United Nations’ International Committee on raw materials for the production of paper. He also co-founded the magazine, Das Papier, with Prof. Walter Brecht in 1947.
Jayme received ZELLCHEMING’s Alexander-Mitscherlich medal in 1942, Valentin-Hottenroth medal in 1961, Dr. Karl-Kellner-Decoration by Ozepa, Vienna in 1964 and was made an honorary member of ZELLCHEMING in 1966. In 1968, he was made “fellow Emeritus” of the International Academy of Wood Science, Vienna.
Jayme was an active member and/or board member of many professional organizations in Germany, England, Canada and U.S.A. He had a life-long passion for painting, collecting modern art and postal stamps.
Georg Jayme died in Darmstadt Germany on January 1, 1979.