In air and heating it quickly solidifies and becomes rancid. For example, linseed oil liquid is stored in a closed dark bottle, but if it is to pour a thin layer outdoors (increasing contact with oxygen), it oxidizes and forms a solid film - it has long been used by artists and carpenters.
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The same, only more slowly happening with sunflower oil and other liquid oils. Cope with this drawback technology helped hydrogenation of fats, ie getting out of cheap oil firm, stable to oxidation of fat mass - hydrogenated fat. Of hydrogenated fat began to make margarine, confectionery, cooking and frying fats (shortenings).
Creator method hydrogenation (addition of hydrogen to the double bond) consider the French chemist Paul Sabatier. In June 1897 he made a discovery, which laid the foundations of the conversion of vegetable oil into a solid, and in 1912 received the Nobel prize for it.
Actually Sabatier discovered that fine particles of nickel are a good catalyst for the reaction of ethylene with hydrogen gas, simple hydrocarbons with a double bond. But it soon became clear that the same method can be attached hydrogen and other substances with a double bond.