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Unit operation

An ore extraction process broken into its constituent unit operations (Quincy Mine, Hancock, MI ca. 1900)

In chemical engineering and related fields, a unit operation is a basic step in a process. Unit operations involve a physical change or chemical transformation such as separation, crystallization, evaporation, filtration, polymerization, isomerization, and other reactions. For example, in milk processing, the following unit operations are involved: homogenization, pasteurization, and packaging. These unit operations are connected to create the overall process. A process may require many unit operations to obtain the desired product from the starting materials, or feedstocks.


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