Dehydrogenation is a chemical reaction that involves the removal of hydrogen from an organic molecule. It is the reverse of hydrogenation. Dehydrogenation is an important reaction because it converts alkanes, which are relatively inert and thus low-valued, to olefins, which are reactive and thus more valuable. Alkenes are precursors to aldehydes, alcohols, polymers, and aromatics. Dehydrogenation processes are used extensively to produce aromatics and styrene in the petrochemical industry. Such processes are highly endothermic and require temperatures of 500 °C and above. Dehydrogenation also converts saturated fats to unsaturated fats. Enzymes that catalyze dehydrogenation are called dehydrogenases.
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