RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Catalysed hydrogenation reaction. Animation showing the hydrogenation of a double bond on a metal catalyst. Hydrogenation is a reaction in which a carbon-carbon double bond is broken and replaced by two hydrogen atoms. It is performed industrially on a large scale, usually to hydrogenate vegetable oils to more solid fats. In this animation, a molecule of oleic acid (C18.H34.O2), a monounsaturated fatty acid, is seen with a molecule of hydrogen gas (H2) above the metal surface. As the oleic acid binds to the metal, its single double bond is broken. The hydrogen molecule also binds to the metal surface, forming two hydrogen atoms. These hydrogen atoms attach to the bound carbon atoms, forming a linear saturated molecule of stearic acid (C18.H36.O2). In the food industry, nickel is often used as the catalyst for hydrogenation reactions.
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