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[ri-fawr-ming] /rɪˌfɔr mɪŋ/
Chemistry. the process of cracking low-octane petroleum fractions in order to increase the octane number.
1920-25; reform + -ing1
Related forms
antireforming, adjective, noun
unreforming, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Encyclopedia Article for unreforming


in chemistry, processing technique by which the molecular structure of a hydrocarbon is rearranged to alter its properties. The process is frequently applied to low-quality gasoline stocks to improve their combustion characteristics. Thermal reforming alters the properties of low-grade naphthas by converting the molecules into those of higher octane number by exposing the materials to high temperatures and pressures. Catalytic reforming uses a catalyst, usually platinum, to produce a similar result. Mixed with hydrogen, naphtha is heated and passed over pellets of catalyst in a series of reactors, under high pressure, producing high-octane gasoline.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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