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Sunday, July 22, 2012

History of hydrogenation process

Large scale chemical usage derives from the beginning of the 20th century with hydrogenation processing of mineral oils and of vegetable and animal oils.

Hydrogenation process is an important oil modification method for altering the physical and chemical properties of the oils. The complete hydrogenation converts the unsaturated fatty acids to saturated ones. The process is widely applied to the processing of vegetable oil fats.

The invention of hydrogenation is generally attributed to Sabatier at the end of the 19th century.

French chemist Paul Sabatier is considered the father of the hydrogenation process. In Sabatier’s hydrogenation process, it brought about large variety of reactions, especially the reduction of double bonds between carbon atoms to single bonds in organic substances. In 1902, a German awarded patent for Sabatier’s invention.

Liquid-phase hydrogenation was reported in a patent issued to William Normann in 1903. Wilhelm Normann was awarded a patent in Germany in 1902 and in Britain in 1903 for the hydrogenation of liquid oils. In Normann’s hydrogenation, the process converted vegetable oils, such as cotton seed oil, and also animal oils such as whale oil and fish into hard, white fats so that they could be used as lard substitute for making margarine.

In 1909 a small quantity of hydrogenated fat was delivered, admittedly of cottonseed oil, to two German margarine manufacturing plants, the first attempt to use hydrogenated fat in the foodstuffs industry.

With the introduction of the hydrogenation process in 1909, hydrogenated vegetable oil quickly replaced ‘compound’ as the preferred type of blended shortening.

In United States The Procter & Gamble Company started their commercial production of hydrogenated cottonseed oil in 1911.
History of hydrogenation process

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