Many Applications

The broad usefulness of this apparatus is best illustrated by the numerous references to it in chemical literature published during the past ninety years. Applications arise wherever low pressure catalytic reactions are used, as in the fields of teaching, research, product development and in the production of fine organic chemicals and pharmaceuticals. In addition, these reactors are frequently used in quantitative investigations to assay compounds containing hydrogen saturable double bonds and to test the activity of catalysts used in industrial processing.


No attempt is made here to list the hundreds of references to the Parr hydrogenator which have appeared in chemical literature since Dr. Roger Adams published his first paper describing an apparatus of this kind in 1922. More than five hundred literature references are cited in Augustine’s book on Catalytic Hydrogenation that is listed below. Additional references can be obtained from other books in this list. Among these, the books by Augustine, Freifelder and Rylander will be particularly helpful to those users who want additional information regarding hydrogenation techniques, catalysts and procedures for treating specific functional groups. The following references are therefore highly recommended:

  • Adams, R., In Organic Synthesis, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New York, 1928; 8, p. 10-16.
  • Augustine, R.L., Catalytic Hydrogenation, Marcel Dekker, Inc.: New York, 1965.
  • Freifelder, M., Practical Catalytic Hydrogenation, Wiley-Interscience Div. of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New York, 1971.
  • Blatt, A.H.; Gilman, H., Organic Synthesis, Collective, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New York, 1948; Volume I, p. 65.
  • Lohse, H.W., Catalytic Chemistry, Chemical Publishing Co., Inc.: New York, 1945.
  • Rylander, P.N., Catalytic Hydrogenation Over Platinum Metals, Academic Press: New York, 1967.
  • Rylander, P.N., Catalytic Hydrogenation in Organic Synthesis, Academic Press: New York, 1979.
  • Rylander, P.N., Hydrogenation Methods, Academic Press: New York, 1985.
  • Voorhees, V.; Adams, R. The Use of the Oxides of Platinum for the Catalytic Reduction of Organic Compounds. I, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1922, 44 (6), pp 1397–1405.
  • Biennial conferences held by the Organic Reactors Catalysis Society (ORCS) ( in even-numbered years starting in 1966 have produced excellent collections of papers under the general title, Catalytic Hydrogenation and Analogous Pressure Reactions. The initial set is published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 145, Art. 1, pp. 1-206 (1967). Papers presented at conferences held in more recent years are published by CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, under the general title, Catalysis of Organic Reactions.