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Monday, September 21, 2015

History of hydrogenation process

Hydrogenation is conversion process of liquid oils to semi-hard fats by the addition of hydrogen to the unsaturated double bonds; used for margarines and shortenings intend for bakery products.

The earliest hydrogenation is that of platinum catalyzed addition of hydrogen to oxygen in the Dobereiner’s lamp, a device commercialized as early as 1823.

The French chemist Paul Sabatier is considered the father of the hydrogenation process. In P. Sabatier’s hydrogenation method a mixture of hydrogen and the vapor of an organic compound was passed over a metallic catalyst, normally finely divided nickel. In 1902 a German patent was granted for Sabatier’s invention.

William Norman, an English chemist, invented a method of saturating unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids thus preventing them from turning rancid.

In 1903 Norman patented the hydrogenation process. He patented the simple process of bubbling hydrogen through heated oil in which finely divided nickel was suspended.

It was then around 1911 that the artificial fat business actually began to take off. These artificial fats did not spoil and turn rancid as unrefrigerated natural products do.

From about 1913 Frederick Bergius worked out methods of hydrogenating substances by reaction with hydrogen under great pressure and without a metallic catalyst.

In 1922 Joseph L. Rosefield of the Rosefield Packing Company of Alameda, California, applied these principles to peanut butter. He developed a process to prevent oil separation and spoilage in peanut butter.
History of hydrogenation process

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