are procedures involving chemical
steps to aid in the manufacture
of an item or items, usually carried out on a very large scale.
Industrial processes are the key components of heavy industry.
Most processes make the production of an otherwise rare material vastly cheaper, thus changing it into a commodity; i.e. the process makes it economically feasible for society to use the material on a large scales, in machinery, or a substantial amount of raw materials, in comparison to batch or craft processes. Production of a specific material may involve more than one type of process. Most industrial processes result in both a desired product(s) and by-products, many of which are toxic, hazardous, or hard to deal with. Very, very few processes are self-contained.
These may be applied on their own, or as part of a larger process.
There are several processes for reshaping a material by cutting, folding, joining or polishing, developed on a large scale from workshop techniques.
The shaping of materials by forming their liquid form using a mould.
Many materials exist in an impure form, purification, refining
or separation provides a usable product.
The availability of electricity and its effect on materials gave rise to several processes for plating or separating metals.
Iron and Steel
Early production of iron
was from meteorites, or as a by-product of copper
refining. Heating iron ore and carbon in a crucible at 1000 K produces wrought iron
. This process gained popularity during the Iron Age
. Temperatures of 1300 K were produced around the 8th century by blowing air through the heated mixture in a bloomery
or blast furnace
(12th century); producing a strong but brittle cast iron
. Furnaces were growing bigger, producing greater quantities; a factor contributing to the Industrial Revolution
. In 1740 the temperature and carbon content could be controlled sufficiently to consistently produce steel
; very strong and very workable. The 19th century saw the development of electric arc furnaces
that produced steel in very large quantities, and are more easily controlled.
Petroleum and organic compounds
The nature of an organic molecule means it can be transformed at the molecular level to create a range of products.
Organized by product:
- Aluminium - (Deville process, Bayer process, Hall-Héroult process, Wöhler process)
- Ammonia, used in fertilizer & explosives - (Haber process)
- Bromine - (Dow process)
- Chlorine, used in chemicals - (Chloralkali process, Weldon process)
- Fat - (Rendering)
- Fertilizer - (Nitrophosphate process)
- Gold - (Bacterial oxidation)
- Heavy Water, used to refine radioactive products - (Girdler sulfide process)
- Hydrogen - (Steam reforming, Water Gas Shift Reaction)
- Lead (and Bismuth) - (Betts electrolytic process, Betterton-Kroll process)
- Nickel - Mond process
- Nitric acid - (Ostwald process)
- Paper - (Pulping, Kraft process, Fourdrinier machine)
- Rubber - (Vulcanization)
- Salt - (Alberger process, Grainer evaporation process)
- Semiconductor crystals - (Bridgeman technique, Czochralski process)
- Silver - (Patio process, Parkes process)
- Sodium carbonate, used for soap - (Leblanc process, Solvay process, Leblanc-Deacon process)
- Sulfuric acid - (Lead chamber process, Contact process)
- Titanium - (Hunter process, Kroll process)
- Zirconium - (Hunter process, Kroll process, Crystal bar process, Iodide process)
A list by process: