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Meaning of destructive distillation

destruc'tive distilla'tion

Pronunciation: [key]
— Chem. Chem.
  1. the decomposition of a substance, as wood or coal, by heating with a minimal exposure to air, and the collection of the volatile products formed.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.