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The tasks of technical chemistry
Technical chemistry primarily deals with the development and advancement of catalysts and processes, with so-called mechanical and thermal unit operations and chemical reaction engineering as well as process engineering in teaching and in research. Technical chemistry is a significant sub-field of applied chemistry, which has in particular the task to publicize findings gained mostly within scientific institutions and laboratories of chemistry practitioners in industry but also artists and individuals for commercial or private use in everyday life.
The history of technical chemistry
Technical chemistry began with the work of J. R. Glauber for manufacturing and industrial use in the development of salt, which has also been named after him. Particularly in the eighteenth century, technical chemistry experienced an early boom in the UK. Laboratory results were modified through special procedures so that they could be harnessed for emerging industry. The development of the lead chamber process for the production of sulphuric acid was one of the described highlights of technical chemistry that may have significantly contributed to the start of the industrial revolution in Britain. From the middle of the nineteenth century onwards, technical chemistry was, however, particularly closely linked to the establishment of the chemical industry as the economically most significant industry. The development of industrial equipment and processes for the industrial synthesis of ammonia by Haber and Bosch, which was the prerequisite for the industrial production of fertilizers and a significant improvement of the food supply for human and animal consumption, was yet another early highlight of technical chemistry.
Technical chemistry as an economic factor
Because chemical reactions occurring in the laboratory - and often under experimental conditions - could not simply be transferred to an industrial level where many hundred tons of chemical raw materials must be processed, technical chemistry takes on a great economic importance today which allows for the industrial utilization of experimental findings. This cannot be reduced to a matter of calculation of amounts and use of ratios. Also in the area of replacing fossil fuels with synthetic products, the importance of modern technical chemistry must never be underestimated.
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