AbstractThe main objective of this contribution was to develop and validate new catalytically reactive porous membranes for hydrogenation of edible oil in a membrane reactor. High flux polymer membranes from polyethersulfone and polyamideimide with and without inorganic alumina filler were produced on a technical membrane casting machine. These porous membranes show water fluxes of about 30,000 L/m2 h bar and oil fluxes of 900–2000 L/m2 h bar at 60 °C. The pore volumes are in the range of 5–7 mL/100 cm2 of membrane area. Large pores at high porosity were received by addition of a water soluble ethyleneoxide-propyleneoxide-b-copolymer (Pluronic® F127), that forms distinctive globules in the solution when cooled below 10 °C. The catalytic activity was obtained by two different methods: by wet impregnation of the membrane in a catalyst precursor solution (palladium acetate or hexachloroplatinate) followed by calcination, respectively, chemical reduction or by addition of ready-made supported catalysts to the membrane casting solutions. Catalytically activated membranes with different Pt-contents (0.1–1 g/m2) were applied in first membrane reactor tests to hydrogenate refined sunflower oil. Within 6 h the iodine value decreased considerably and about a half of the linoleic acid was hydrogenated, which is the major compound in sunflower oil triglycerides. The overall trans-content of the fatty acids was about 25%. Membrane performance was verified in up to 5 days of discontinuous operation.