Standard Article

Hydrogenation reactions


Other energy conversion related topics

  1. E. Pastor,
  2. J. L. Rodríguez

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f207054

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Pastor, E. and Rodríguez, J. L. 2010. Hydrogenation reactions. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. Universidad de La Laguna Avda, Departamento de Química Física, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Hydrogenolysis reactions (at alcohols) and hydrogenation of unsaturated groups (double and triple bonds in hydrocarbons and alcohols) are analyzed by combining data obtained applying traditional electrochemical methods, such as long-term electrolysis followed by chromatographic studies, with results from differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS). This technique allows the detection not only of the gases evolved in these processes, but also of the volatile products formed. Thus, for example, the formation of propanol and allyl alcohol during the electroreduction of propargyl alcohol at platinum was established from DEMS, while previous studies only suggested this possibility as an explanation for the current efficiency of about 60–70% calculated for the gas production. Moreover, the formation of each reduction product can be recorded independently with time, choosing appropriate mass to charge values for these compounds, as shown for benzyl alcohol at platinum and palladium. Finally, the introduction of single crystals to the electrochemical systems provides a new tool for the study of the influence of the structure on the reactivity towards the reduction of these molecules. The hydrogenation of ethene, ethyne or benzene at different oriented surfaces serves as illustration of this effect.


  • hydrogenation;
  • hydrogenolysis;
  • reduction of alcohols;
  • long-term electrolysis;
  • unsaturated hydrocarbons;
  • unsaturated alcohols;
  • single crystals;
  • isotopically labelled compounds;
  • noble metal electrodes;
  • differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS)