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Thermochemical Processes

  • By: Elizabeth Rholetter Purdy
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

Thermochemistry is the branch of physical chemistry that deals with the ways in which chemical reactions either absorb or produce heat. Researchers in the field are playing a significant role in promoting sustainability by discovering ways in which thermochemical processes can be used to deal with waste products that threaten the environment. Such processes are being used around the world to convert trees, grasses, agricultural crops, agricultural residues, forest residues, animal waste, and municipal solid waste into ethanol, renewable diesel, gasoline, and hydrogen that are used for fuel. Other uses for waste products include the generation of electricity and the chemical production of plastics, adhesives, paints, dyes, detergents, and a score of other products. The fact that since the 1970s, researchers have been experimenting with ...

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