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Hydrogenation of Aromatic Compounds

Hydrogenation of Aromatic Compounds: Mechanism

The mechanism of the hydrogenation of aromatic compounds is similar to the one observed for the hydrogenation of alkenes and alkynes. However, much stronger conditions have to be applied (hydrogen pressure ~ 90 bar , temperature ~ 100 - 150°C ). Since aromatic compounds are stabilized by the mesomeric effect, a much higher activation energy is required to hydrogenate the first π-bond. This first step is endothermic, followed by fast and exothermic hydrogenation of the resulting olefinic double bonds.

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