Charcoal Carbonisation Cylinders

Charcoal Carbonisation Cylinders

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 19th century carbonisation cylinders for the production of gunpowder charcoal (in horizontal and vertical section). Carbonisation is the conversion of wood into carbon by means of pyrolytic action, where thermochemical decomposition occurs at temperatures above 280 C. in the absence of oxygen. The charcoal manufactured for the purpose of gunpowder had to be of the highest grade and consistent in quality and was economically achieved with this industrial process.

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Keywords: 19th c, artwork, carbonisation, charcoal, explosives, french, gunpowder, history of science, illustration, industrial production, oxygen, pyrolysis, pyrolytic, thermochemical decomposition, wood

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