The production of the fatty base for edible margarines by the hydrogénation of vegetable oils is carried out at high temperatures and has serious disadvantages, among them the toxicity of the nickel catalysts and a fire-hazardous filtration stage. Here, a novel reactor and a
new, active and selective, low-loaded palladium catalyst are described which allow vegetable oil hydrogénation to take place at lower temperatures producing high quality, pure hydrogenated fat, free of catalyst. Under these milder conditions, the thermal decomposition of oils and fats
does not form secondary products, and heavy metals from the catalyst do not enter the final product. In addition, even lower hydrogénation températures can be used with the palladium catalyst, resulting in fat with a low trans-isomer content. The catalyst has been tested successfully
in full-scale production. Using an inertial separator in a new reactor, catalyst loss has been eliminated.
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