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Sorbitol Production

Sorbitol Production

Producing sorbitol through glucose hydrogenation

Sorbitol Production is a technology for creating the sugar alcohol sorbitol through the batchwise hydrogenation of aqueous glucose solution. Through this reliable process, Air Liquide Engineering & Construction enables its clients to produce technical, food or pharmaceutical grade sorbitol.

Sorbitol solution or powder

Glucose from wet milling plants provides the feedstock for sorbitol production. Inside a batch reactor, the glucose solution is hydrogenated using a nickel or ruthenium catalyst. Following the reaction, which takes place at a temperature of 110 ┬░Celsius and 40 bar pressure, the catalyst is recovered by filtering the product slurry.

Using ion exchange, the crude sorbitol solution is then purified and evaporated to its final concentration. Clients may choose to produce sorbitol powder through melt crystallisation.


  • Process generates technical, food or pharma grade sorbitol
  • Sorbitol powder can be produced through melt crystallisation

Key figures

  • Capacity: 100 to 200 tons per day
  • Operational Expenditure: 130-165 United States Dollar (USD)/ton (without feedstock or fixed costs)