Charcoal - Research Article from Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Charcoal.
This section contains 1,128 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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History

As humans entered the Bronze Age, charcoal was the only material that could simultaneously heat and reduce metallic ores. Later, the addition of an air blower made it possible to achieve temperatures high enough to soften or melt iron. During the Industrial Revolution, charcoal was largely displaced in most ironworks by coke derived from coal. However in Brazil, which lacks adequate coking coal resources, most of the charcoal produced is still used to reduce iron ore.

Charcoal was produced in pits, and later in kilns, by burning wood with air insufficient for complete combustion. The heat generated drives off the volatile materials in the wood, leaving a char that contains 60 to 90 percent carbon. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, these volatiles were a major source of raw materials, chiefly acetic acid, acetone, methanol and creosote, for the burgeoning organic chemical industry. However charcoal's utility as a source...

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This section contains 1,128 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Charcoal Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy
Charcoal from Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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