Chemical Process

In a scientific sense, a chemical process is a method or means of somehow changing one or more chemicals or chemical compounds. Such a chemical process can occur by itself or be caused by an outside force, and involves a chemical reaction of some sort. In an "engineering" sense, a chemical process is a method intended to be used in manufacturing or on an industrial scale (see Industrial process) to change the composition of chemical(s) or material(s), usually using technology similar or related to that used in chemical plants or the chemical industry.

Neither of these definitions is exact in the sense that one can always tell definitively what is a chemical process and what is not; they are practical definitions. There is also significant overlap in these two definition variations. Because of the inexactness of the definition, chemists and other scientists use the term "chemical process" only in a general sense or in the engineering sense. However, in the "process (engineering)" sense, the term "chemical process" is used extensively. The rest of the article will cover the engineering type of chemical process.

Although this type of chemical process may sometimes involve only one step, often multiple steps, referred to as unit operations, are involved. In a plant, each of the unit operations commonly occur in individual vessels or sections of the plant called units. Often, one or more chemical reactions are involved, but other ways of changing chemical (or material) composition may be used, such as mixing or separation processes. The process steps may be sequential in time or sequential in space along a stream of flowing or moving material; see Chemical plant. For a given amount of a feed (input) material or product (output) material, an expected amount of material can be determined at key steps in the process from empirical data and material balance calculations. These amounts can be scaled up or down to suit the desired capacity or operation of a particular chemical plant built for such a process. More than one chemical plant may use the same chemical process, each plant perhaps at differently scaled capacities.

Such chemical processes can be illustrated generally as block flow diagrams or in more detail as process flow diagrams. Block flow diagrams show the units as blocks and the streams flowing between them as connecting lines with arrowheads to show direction of flow.

In addition to chemical plants for producing chemicals, chemical processes with similar technology and equipment are also used in oil refining and other refineries, natural gas processing, polymer and pharmaceutical manufacturing, food processing, and water and wastewater treatment.

Read more about Chemical Process:  Unit Processing in Chemical Engineering

Other articles related to "chemical process, chemical, chemicals, process":

Chemical Plant - Chemical Processes
... Chemical plants typically use chemical processes, which are detailed industrial-scale methods, to produce the chemicals ... The same chemical process can be used at more than one chemical plant, with possibly differently scaled capacities at each plant ... Also, a chemical plant at a site may be constructed to utilize more than one chemical process ...
Index Of Chemical Engineering Articles - Z
... Zeolite -- zinc -- Zinnwaldite -- Zircon -- Zirconium -- Zone melting -- Chemical Engineering Topics History History of chemical engineering Concepts Unit operations Unit processes Chemical ...
Tube Cleaning - Chemical Process
... Chemical tube cleaning is understood to be the use of cleaning liquids or chemicals for removing layers and deposits ... cleaning liquids may be used which also require a multi-stage treatment chemical activation cleaning rinsing This method of cleaning calls for a shutdown of the relevant system which causes ... Generally the process of chemical tube cleaning is applicable for any diameter, however practical limits of use ensue from the volume of a pipeline ...
Chemical Process - Unit Processing in Chemical Engineering
... Unit processing is the basic processing in chemical engineering ... it forms the main principle of the varied chemical industries ... Each genre of unit processing follows the same chemical law much as each genre of unit operations follows the same physical law ...

Famous quotes containing the words process and/or chemical:

    When you start with a portrait and search for a pure form, a clear volume, through successive eliminations, you arrive inevitably at the egg. Likewise, starting with the egg and following the same process in reverse, one finishes with the portrait.
    Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)

    Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into war, use chemical sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves, engage in child labor, exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but watch television.
    Lewis Thomas (b. 1913)