Sergey Lebedev (1874–1934) was born in Lublin. He completed his education at Saint Petersburg University in 1900. During 1900–1902 he worked at the fat factory in St. Petersburg and at the Institute of Railway Engineers. In 1902 he returned to Saint Petersburg University. In 1904–1906 he was on military service in Novoaleksandriya. In 1906–1916 he worked at Saint Petersburg University in the laboratory A.E. Favorskii and since 1915 he also was Professor in Women’s Pedagogical Institute. Since 1916 he was professor at the Military Medical Academy at St. Petersburg and at the same time in 1925 he organized the laboratory of Oil in Leningrad University, converted in 1928 to the laboratory of synthetic rubber, the head of which he remained until his death.
The main research interests of Lebedev devoted to polymerization, isomerization and hydrogenation of unsaturated compounds. In 1910 for the first time he obtained a sample of synthetic butadiene rubber and in 1914 he began studies on the polymerization of ethylene hydrocarbons, which formed the basis of modern industrial methods for producing butyl rubber and polyisobutylene. In 1926–1928 he developed single-stage industrial process for preparing butadiene from ethyl alcohol by a combined catalytic dehydrogenation reaction and dehydration on mixed Zn/Al catalyst.
In 1928 he obtained synthetic caoutchouc by polymerization of butadiene under the action of metallic sodium and in 1930 developed methods of producing rubber and various rubber products on the basis of this caoutchouc.
The development of synthetic rubber industry by the Lebedev`s method began in 1932 in the USSR for the first time in the world.