Carbonization or Carbonisation is the term for the conversion of an
organic substanceinto carbonor a carbon-containing residue through pyrolysisor destructive distillation. It is often used in organic chemistrywith reference to the generation of coal gasand coal tarfrom raw coal. Fossil fuels in general are the products of the carbonization of vegetable matter.
Carbonization is often
exothermic, which means that it could in principle be made self-sustaining and be used as a source of energy which does not produce carbon dioxide. (See [" [http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg19826542.400-burying-trees-to-fight-climate-change.html Burying trees to fight climate change] " by Richard Lovett, New Scientist, 3 May, 2008, pp. 32-5.] .) In the case of glucose, the reaction releases about 237 caloriesper gram.
biomaterialis exposed to sudden searing heat (as in the case of an atomic bombexplosion or pyroclastic flowfrom a volcano, for instance), it can be carbonized extremely quickly, turning it into solid carbon. In the destruction of Herculaneumby a volcano, many organic objects such as furniture were carbonized by the intense heat.
In one study Ref|1 carbonization was used to create a new
catalystfor the generation of biodieselfrom ethanoland fatty acids. The catalyst was created by carbonization of simple sugars such as glucoseand sucrose. The sugars were processed for 15 hours at 400 °Cunder a nitrogen flow to a black carbon residue consisting of a complex mixture of polycyclic aromaticcarbon sheets. This material was then treated with sulfuric acidwhich functionalized the sheets with sulfonite, carboxyland hydroxylcatalytic sites.
* [http://vulcan.fis.uniroma3.it/vesuvio/excursiontext.html carbonization processes at Herculaneum site]
* "Green chemistry: Biodiesel made with sugar catalyst" Masakazu Toda, Atsushi Takagaki, Mai Okamura, Junko N. Kondo, Shigenobu Hayashi, Kazunari Domen and Michikazu Hara Nature 438, 178 (10 November 2005) doi:10.1038/438178a [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7065/abs/438178a.html;jsessionid=5EF9576FD23F6923C31E50D18DEA7AFF Abstract]
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