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The hydrogenation of itaconic acid and dimethyl itaconate is transferred from methanol to aqueous micellar solutions of several surfactants, e.g., SDS and Triton X-100, in order to facilitate the recovery of the catalyst. The reaction rate and selectivity strongly depends on the chosen surfactant and in some cases also on the surfactant concentration. In the best case the selectivity is the same as in methanol but the reaction rate is still lower because of a lower hydrogen solubility in water.doi:10.1039/c1ra00397f fatcat:d7j6uqc4fvflbmkmqzo3xorjo4