What Is Raney Nickel?


Quick Answer

Raney nickel is an alloy of nickel and aluminum that has much of the aluminum removed through a leaching process with sodium hydroxide. It is used as a catalyst in organic chemistry and as a reagent.

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Full Answer

Raney nickel is a finely divided gray solid. It is thermally and structurally stable, and it is for this reason that it is usable in hydrogenation reactions involving high temperatures and pressures. Raney nickel is highly pyrophoric when dry, meaning it catches fire easily when atmospheric conditions allow it to dry out. It is kept submerged under water or any suitable solvent, such as dioxane or ethanol.

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