Applications in the production of sorbitol by glucose hydrogenation

Sorbitol is an important fine chemical product, mainly prepared by glucose hydrogenation, hydrogenation catalyst widely used Raney Ni. Domestic existing glucose hydrogenation to sorbitol process, the use of domestic Raney Ni activity is poor, low hydrogenation conversion, easy to carbonize and coke during the reaction process, low product purity. In order to ensure the quality of sorbitol, some manufacturers have to use imported hydrogenation catalysts. According to this problem, our factory has developed a new amorphous alloy catalyst for the hydrogenation of glucose to sorbitol, which has the characteristics of high activity, high conversion rate, low agent consumption and good reusability, and can completely replace imported catalysts. At present, the new sugar alcohol amorphous hydrogenation catalyst independently developed by our company has been successfully applied to many domestic sorbitol manufacturers and achieved good results.

Comparison of the activities of SRNA catalyst and Raney Ni in glucose hydrogenation to sorbitol at home and abroad


Reaction temperature

Reaction pressure
( Mpa)

Reaction time

Dose-to-sugar ratio

Conversion rate



5 . 0


1 . 1g/150m l×53%


Foreign products 1




1 . 6g/150m l×53%


Raney Ni




1 . 1g/150m l×53%


Foreign products 2




2 . 0g/160m l×53%


Note: 53% is the concentration of glucose in water



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Reni nickel catalyst science knowledge(1)

Physical and chemical properties: Reni nickel catalyst before activation is silver-gray amorphous powder (nickel-aluminum alloy powder), with a moderate degree of flammability, partial activation in the presence of water and the production of hydrogen easy agglomeration, long-term exposure to air is easy to weather. Nickel-aluminum alloy powder is activated into gray-black particles, accompanied by active hydrogen, extremely unstable, oxidative combustion in the air, must be immersed in water or ethanol for preservation. It was first used by American engineer Murray Rainey as a catalyst in the hydrogenation of vegetable oils. The preparation process is to treat nickel-aluminum alloy with concentrated sodium hydroxide solution, in this process, most of the aluminum will react with sodium hydroxide and dissolve, leaving a lot of micropores of different sizes. In this way, the surface of Raininickel is a fine gray powder, but from a microscopic point of view, each tiny particle in the powder is a three-dimensional porous structure, this porous structure greatly increases its surface area, and the large surface area brings high catalytic activity, which makes Raininickel widely used as a heterogeneous catalyst in organic synthesis and industrial hydrogenation reactions. Since "Rainey" is a registered trademark of Grace Chemicals, strictly speaking, only products manufactured by the company's Davidson Chemical Division can be called "Lanny Nickel". The term "metal backbone catalyst" or "sponge-metal catalyst" is used to refer to catalysts with a microporous structure and physical and chemical properties similar to Raney nickel.