hydrocracking

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hydrocracking

[′hī·drō‚krak·iŋ]
(chemical engineering)
A catalytic, high-pressure petroleum refinery process that is flexible enough to produce either high-octane gasoline or aviation jet fuel; the two main reactions are the adding of hydrogen to petroleum-derived molecules too massive and complex for gasoline and then the cracking of them to the required fuels; the catalyst is an acidic solid and a hydrogenating metal component.