charcoal

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charcoal,

substance obtained by partial burning or carbonization (destructive distillationdistillation,
process used to separate the substances composing a mixture. It involves a change of state, as of liquid to gas, and subsequent condensation. The process was probably first used in the production of intoxicating beverages.
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) of organic material. It is largely pure carboncarbon
[Lat.,=charcoal], nonmetallic chemical element; symbol C; at. no. 6; interval in which at. wt. ranges 12.0096–12.0116; m.p. about 3,550°C;; graphite sublimes about 3,375°C;; b.p. 4,827°C;; sp. gr. 1.8–2.1 (amorphous), 1.9–2.3 (graphite), 3.
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. The entry of air during the carbonization process is controlled so that the organic material does not turn to ash, as in a conventional fire, but decomposes to form charcoal.

The most common variety of charcoal, wood charcoal, was formerly prepared by piling wood into stacks, covering it with earth or turf, and setting it on fire. In this process volatile compounds in the wood (e.g., water) pass off as vapors into the air, some of the carbon is consumed as fuel, and the rest of the carbon is converted into charcoal. In the modern method, wood is raised to a high temperature in an iron retort, and industrially important byproducts, e.g., methanolmethanol,
 methyl alcohol,
or wood alcohol,
CH3OH, a colorless, flammable liquid that is miscible with water in all proportions. Methanol is a monohydric alcohol. It melts at −97.8°C; and boils at 67°C;.
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 (wood alcohol or wood spirit), acetoneacetone
, dimethyl ketone
, or 2-propanone
, CH3COCH3, colorless, flammable liquid. Acetone melts at −94.8°C; and boils at 56.2°C;. It is the simplest aliphatic ketone.
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, pyroligneous acidpyroligneous acid
, a dark liquid that is essentially a mixture of acetic acid and methanol (wood alcohol) and is obtained in the destructive distillation of wood. It once served as a commercial source of acetic acid.
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, and acetic acidacetic acid
, CH3CO2H, colorless liquid that has a characteristic pungent odor, boils at 118°C;, and is miscible with water in all proportions; it is a weak organic carboxylic acid (see carboxyl group). Glacial acetic acid is concentrated, 99.
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, are saved by condensing them to their liquid form. Air is not really needed in the carbonization process, and advanced methods of charcoal production do not allow air to enter the kiln. This results in a higher yield, since no wood is burned with the air, and quality is improved. Charcoal is also obtained from substances other than wood such as nut shells and bark; that obtained from bones is called bone black, animal black, or animal charcoal.

Charcoal yields a larger amount of heat in proportion to its volume than is obtained from a corresponding quantity of wood and has the further advantage of being smokeless. The greatest amount is used as a fuel. Charcoal is often used in blacksmithing, for cooking, and for other industrial applications. One of the most important applications of wood charcoal is as a component of gunpowdergunpowder,
explosive mixture; its most common formula, called "black powder," is a combination of saltpeter, sulfur, and carbon in the form of charcoal. Historically, the relative amounts of the components have varied.
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. It is also used as a reducing agent in metallurgical operations, but this application was diminished by the introduction of cokecoke,
substance obtained by the destructive distillation of bituminous coal. Coke bears the same relation to coal as does charcoal to wood. A hard, gray, massive, porous fuel, coke is the solid residue remaining after bituminous coal is heated to a high temperature out of
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. A limited quantity is made up into the form of drawing crayon. Bamboo charcoal is the principal ingredient in sumi-e, a form of Japanese ink painting that uses only black ink in various concentrations.

Because of its porous structure, finely divided charcoal is a highly efficient agent for filtering the adsorption of gases and of solids from solution. It is used in sugar refining, in water purification, in the purification of factory air, and in gas masks. Wood charcoal can remove coloring agents from solutions, but this is accomplished more efficiently by animal charcoal. By special heating or chemical processes the adsorptive property can be greatly increased; charcoal so treated is known as activated charcoal.

Charcoal

 

a drawing material made from charred wood, mainly twigs or sticks of linden, willow, and other trees. Hard pressed charcoal, made from charcoal powder with an added gum, became popular in the 19th century. Charcoal is widely used for finished drawings and preliminary sketches. It is valued because its stroke has a velvety texture and because it combines lines and tonal effects.

charcoal

[′chär‚kōl]
(materials)
Also known as char.
A porous solid product containing 85-98% carbon and produced by heating carbonaceous materials such as cellulose, wood, or peat at 500-600°C in the absence of air.
The residue obtained from the carbonization of a noncoking coal, such as subbituminous coal, lignite, or anthracite.

charcoal

1. a black amorphous form of carbon made by heating wood or other organic matter in the absence of air: used as a fuel, in smelting metal ores, in explosives, and as an absorbent
2. a stick or pencil of this for drawing
3. a drawing done in charcoal
References in periodicals archive ?
It's great taking the neighbours there and learning old crafts like coppicing and charcoal burning - total relaxation.
Charcoal burning has become one of major source of livelihoods among the rural people as they are able to earn income from it throughout the year.
Plaques were designed depicting bell pits - a primitive form of mining - charcoal burning, smallholdings and pack mules.
Project Description: SAYD Alternative Energy Project aims to promote installation and use of biogas as a safe source of energy for cooking and lighting that is environmentally sustainable as it prevents eye infections and other health risks associated with cooking using firewood for cooking, reduces the rate of charcoal burning, which erodes forest cover and contributes to land degradation, and gives local farmers the opportunity to use slurry as fertilizer for their farms
It was hoped that the visitor centre would provide a sustainable income stream for the community - subsistence farmers who struggle to make a living out of charcoal burning.
Another Pleasant Valley Sunday, charcoal burning everywhere .
A recent report on South Sudan's environment said charcoal burning, which requires large quantities of wood, has significantly contributed to deforestation in the young nation.
For example, the restriction of the sale of charcoal in supermarket chains in Hong Kong has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of suicides by poisoning from charcoal burning, and a concerted community response to suicide prevention at a district level shows a positive impact on rates of deliberate self-harm and suicide.
National Lottery funding provided a series of hands-on workshops for the Villa Real pupils with local craftsmen in traditional skills including blacksmithing, stone carving, charcoal burning, basket weaving and woodturning.
But the smoke and the smell from trash incineration was secondary to the noxious clouds from wood and charcoal burning, which is how the village's energy needs are met.
But wood and charcoal burning on open fires is inherently inefficient--much of the energy is wasted--and contributes to desertification as Africa's precious timber is chopped down for fuel.
From pounds 300,000 automatic tree harvesters, the lumberjack competition, willow weavers, charcoal burning, horse logging, you name it - we have anything and everything to do with wood.