UNIT PROCESSES IN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Unit processes are the fundamental processes or chemical changes involved in any chemical process. It gives necessary information about the:

1) The reaction temperature and process

2) The extent of chemical process

3) Reaction nature of the reaction, whether endothermic or exothermic

4) Catalyst type.

Halogenation:

It is a reaction that occurs when a halogen groups in an organic or inorganic compound by a halogen for making various halogen derivatives. Although chlorine derivatives have many applications, some fluorine and bromine derivatives are equally significant. Some of the chlorinating agents are chlorine, hydrochloric acid, phosgene, and hypochlorite. It is used to produce dyes, flame retardants.

Sulfonation and Sulfation:

Sulfonation is where the sulfonic acid group replaces the H atom or corresponding salt like sulfonyl halide.

Sulfation is the process where the sulfate -OSO₂OH or -SO₄- replaces H-atom. These processes play a role in the production of dyes, color intensifiers, medicines, pigments, pesticides, pigments.

Oxidation:

It is the process used in the production of many chemicals. Some essential products obtained from oxidation are ketones, benzyl alcohol, ethylene oxide, aldehydes, vanillin, benzoic acid, maleic acid.

Nitration:

Nitration is the process where nitro groups are added into reacting molecules using nitrating agents like nitric acid or a mixing nitric acid with sulphuric acid in batches or continuous process. The nitration process is used widely in the manufacture of explosives, dyes, solvents, pharmaceuticals. R&D companies like Lizard Labs USA are experts in this type of chemical process.

Hydrolysis:

It is a process wherein a compound is broken down after reacting with water. It is associated with changes in the acidity of a solution. It is widely applied in the oils and fats industry to manufacture soaps. 

Polymerization:

It is a process where monomer molecules react to form polymer chains or 3-d chains. It finds applications in manufacturing synthetic fiber, rubber, paint, petroleum products, and polymer. Some products obtained from this process are PVC, nylon, acrylic fiber, urea, resin products, etc.

Fermentation: 

It has wide uses in the food and beverage industry for preservations of foods like pickles, yogurt, and production of beer and wine. Products like acetic acid, ethanol, and citric acid, glycerol, antibiotics, riboflavin are made. Ethyl alcohol produced after sugar fermentation is an essential component of liquid biofuel.

Decomposition:

It involves the breaking down of complex particles like proteins, lipids, bones, nucleic acids. The process used in photography mainly. It also plays a role in forensic sciences.

Esterification:

It is the process of forming an ester and water by combining alcohol and organic acid. Sulphuric acid is the catalyst used. It is useful in the preparation of cosmetics, pesticides, perfumes, paint solvents, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, and biodiesel.

Electrolysis:

It is a process where complex molecules are broken down into simpler substances by passing electric current. Electroplating and electrochemical machining are two processes mainly used in the manufacturing industry. The former has purposes as in-vehicle bodies or coins. The latter has uses in sharpening hard metal surfaces like tools.

There are chemicals present in the soap that you use to the dress that you wear. Without the underlying processes, it is not possible to manufacture any of the items we use in our daily life. Unit processes, along with unit operations, form the basis of any significant chemical processes used in the chemical industry.