Industrial processes

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Steelworks of Italy in 1958

Industrial processes are procedures involving chemical, physical, electrical or mechanical steps to aid in the manufacturing of an item or items, usually carried out on a very large scale. Industrial processes are the key components of heavy industry.

Chemical processes by main basic material[edit]

Certain chemical process yield important basic materials for society, e.g., (cement, steel, aluminum, and fertilizer). However, these chemical reactions contribute to climate change by emitting carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, through chemical reactions, as well as through the combustion of fossil fuels that generate the high temperatures required.


CaCO3(s) → CaO(s) + CO2(g)


Fe2O3(s) + 3CO(g) → 2Fe(s) + 3CO2(g)


  • Hall–Héroult process – smelting aluminum (Al2O3) from coke (C) through electrolysis at high temperatures to yield pure aluminum (Al) and a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and CO
2Al2O3(s) + 3 C(s) → 4Al(s) + 3CO2(g)


CH4(g) + H2O(g) → CO(g) + 3H2(g)
CO(g) + H2O(g) → H2(g) + CO2(g)
N2(g) + 3H2(g) → 2NH3(g)

Other chemical processes[edit]


The availability of electricity and its effect on materials gave rise to several processes for plating or separating metals.



Iron and steel[edit]


The physical shaping of materials by forming their liquid form using a mould.


Many materials exist in an impure form, purification, or separation provides a usable product.


Distillation is the purification of volatile substances by evaporation and condensation

Additive manufacturing[edit]

In additive manufacturing, material is progressively added to the piece until the desired shape and size are obtained.

Petroleum and organic compounds[edit]

The nature of an organic molecule means it can be transformed at the molecular level to create a range of products.

Organized by product[edit]

A list by process:

See also[edit]