Thermal decomposition


Thermal decomposition
For the biological process, see decomposition.

Thermal decomposition, or thermolysis, is a chemical decomposition caused by heat. The decomposition temperature of a substance is the temperature at which the substance chemically decomposes.

The reaction is usually endothermic as heat is required to break chemical bonds in the compound undergoing decomposition. If decomposition is sufficiently exothermic, a positive feedback loop is created producing thermal runaway and possibly an explosion.

Examples

CaCO3 → CaO + CO2
The reaction is used to make quick lime, which when hydrated becomes slaked lime and is used a building material.
Engraving of assorted scientific equipment, such as a pneumatic trough. A dead mouse rests under one glass canister.
Equipment used by Priestley in his experiments on gases
  • Many oxides decompose at high enough temperatures, an example being the decomposition of mercuric oxide to give oxygen and mercury. The reaction was used by Joseph Priestley to make the gas for the first time.
  • Some foods will decompose exothermically at cooking temperatures; anyone who has overheated sugar or syrupy foods will know how long they take to cool. Mild versions of the process will produce caramelised dishes that are pleasant, but cannot be tasted safely before they have cooled to a comfortable temperature. Once they start to char, such dishes commonly will continue in a positive feedback loop; they become dangerously hot and continue to blacken from the inside out, and smoke even well after being removed from the heat. In films, where stuntmen have to jump through breaking windows, the window panes are made of sugar, which is safer than glass. Melting the sugar however, is a tricky business; an error of just a few degrees will start a caramelisation process that will ruin the product.
  • Water, when heated to well over 2000 °C, decomposes to its constituent elements:
2 H2O → 2 H2 + O2

See also

References



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Thermal decomposition — Thermal decomposition. См. Термическое разложение. (Источник: «Металлы и сплавы. Справочник.» Под редакцией Ю.П. Солнцева; НПО Профессионал , НПО Мир и семья ; Санкт Петербург, 2003 г.) …   Словарь металлургических терминов

  • thermal decomposition — is a chemical reaction where a chemical substance breaks up into at least two chemical substances when heated …   Petroleum refining glossary

  • thermal decomposition — šiluminis skaidymas statusas T sritis radioelektronika atitikmenys: angl. thermal decomposition vok. thermische Zersetzung, f rus. термическое разложение, n pranc. décomposition thermique, f …   Radioelektronikos terminų žodynas

  • thermal decomposition — terminis skilimas statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Medžiagos skilimas aukštoje temperatūroje. atitikmenys: angl. pyrogenic decomposition; thermal decomposition rus. термический распад; термическое разложение …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • Decomposition (disambiguation) — Decomposition may refer to the following: Decomposition, biological process through which organic material is reduced Chemical decomposition or analysis, in chemistry, is the fragmentation of a chemical compound into elements or smaller compounds …   Wikipedia

  • décomposition thermique — šiluminis skaidymas statusas T sritis radioelektronika atitikmenys: angl. thermal decomposition vok. thermische Zersetzung, f rus. термическое разложение, n pranc. décomposition thermique, f …   Radioelektronikos terminų žodynas

  • thermal black — noun : a carbon black made by thermal decomposition of hydrocarbons (as natural gas and acetylene) in preheated furnaces called also furnace thermal black; compare acetylene black …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chemical decomposition — Chemical decomposition, analysis or breakdown is the separation of a chemical compound into elements or simpler compounds. It is sometimes defined as the exact opposite of a chemical synthesis. Chemical decomposition is often an undesired… …   Wikipedia

  • pyrogenic decomposition — terminis skilimas statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Medžiagos skilimas aukštoje temperatūroje. atitikmenys: angl. pyrogenic decomposition; thermal decomposition rus. термический распад; термическое разложение …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • Differential thermal analysis — Acronym DTA Classification Thermal analysis Other techniques Related Dynamic mechanical analysis Thermomechanical analysis Thermogravimetric analysis Differential thermal analysis Dielectric thermal analysis Differential thermal an …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.