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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 485194, 9 pages
Research Article

Selective Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of Linolenic Acid on Pd/Al2O3 and Pd-Co/Al2O3 Catalysts

1Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 Boulevard de l'Université, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada J1K 2R1
2Instituto de la Grasa, CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas), Avenida Padre García Tejero, 4. 41012 Sevilla, Spain

Received 5 July 2010; Revised 19 October 2010; Accepted 22 November 2010

Academic Editor: Shen-Ming Chen

Copyright © 2011 Sylvie Breton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electrochemical hydrogenation of linolenic acid as a model for polyunsaturated acids was studied on Pd and Pd/Al2O3 catalysts in acidic and alkaline media. The results are presented in terms of number of double bonds in the polyunsaturated fatty acid and interpreted in terms of the adsorption capacity of the catalysts in these media. The highest hydrogenation yield was obtained with Pd/Al2O3 at pH 13, in good correlation with the adsorption power of linolenic acid and its first hydrogenation product, linoleic acid, measured in this solution. A preliminary electrochemical hydrogenation study was conducted on Pd/Al2O3 catalyst containing Co, in the optimum electrolysis conditions, showing a cooperative effect of the noble metals regarding the cis/trans selectivity with preferential formation of cis-oriented monounsaturated compound. All the products were characterized by gas chromatography after derivatization of the samples; fifteen cis-trans isomers of monounsaturated fatty acid which could be identified are presented here.