Chemical process is the conversion or changing of a chemical compound. This conversion can be spontaneous or by an external agent. It involves chemical reaction. The conversion is usually done in a large scale with the sole aim of changing the chemical composition of the compound. Related technology such as reactor or more advance equipment can be achieve these conversions.
There are two processes used in chemical industries; they include: unit operation and unit process.
Unit operations are physical separation such as filtration, distillation, evaporation, sedimentation and many more. They are not chemically acted upon.
Unit processes are chemical operations that involve chemical reaction used in production of substances.
Some unit operations include:
- Distillation: substances such as crude oil can be separated to obtain petroleum product and other organic compounds which can be further acted onto in the other processing units to get different products.
- Chromatography: this is the separation of components of substance based on the relative velocities of the components.
- Adsorption: separation of gas or liquid substances by accumulating or trapping the on the surface of a bulk solid material.
- Absorption of gases
Chemical processes are those that result to different products from the feed. Unit operations and process are combined in the chemical plants for easy achievement of different products. some of these units may be catalytically based while some are not.
Chemical processes can be represented in a floe diagram or sheet. These diagrams are pictorial representation of stages using blocks and arrows. This could be studied under system control and response of a system. These are the keys roles of chemical Engineers
- Amylolysis: this is the conversion of starch to sugar.
- Chlorination: the addition or substitution of chlorine to an organic compound.
- Corrosion: this is the degradation of metal. It is an oxidation and reduction process.
- Oxidation: the loss of electrons
- Reduction: the gain of electron by an atom
- Dehydrogenation: this the removal of hydrogen from an organic compound
- Gasification: burning of coal to obtain gaseous compound
- Nitrification: the process of adding Nitro group to an organic compound
- Sequestration: the process of forming a stable compound in order to make it inert on further reactions
- Cracking: the breaking of larger molecules of hydrocarbon to obtain lower molecules
- Alkylation: this helps in petroleum refining.
These are production steps or technique which involves chemical, physical and other means by which a product is manufactured. They include:
- Contact process: for production of sulphuric acid using vanadium (iv) as a catalyst.
- Haber process: for ammonia production with Nickel as catalyst
- Scrubbing: process of removing pollutants from the exhaust gases
- Electrolysis: decomposition of compounds into ions ( in molten, solid or liquid state) by passing electricity through it.
- Distillation: click here
- Fractionating column
- Esterification: this is a type of reaction between alcohol and carboxylic acid. Click here
- Bessemer process