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to the Third Edition Following the success of the first two editions of this book in which the core subject matter has been retained, we have taken the opportunity.
Table of contents

Parallel to this, much work has been done in producing a wider range of synthetic chemicals for toiletries, cosmetics and fragrances. Units on selected consumer chemicals can be found within the Materials and Applications section. The chemical industry is a very important contributor to the wealth of a country.

Generally personnel in the industry are among the most well rewarded of all manufacturing industries because the industry has the largest proportion of highly qualified people and generally it is the most productive. Production in China and other Asian economies is rising rapidly Table 2. China itself in the space of just 10 years has increased its percentage share from 8. In contrast the proportion has shrunk in Europe from Overall they are taking smaller slices of a much larger cake, but the mass of the slice is still growing.

Nevertheless, the manufacturing core of the industry is now decisively in Asia. Table 3 shows the sales of the countries which have large sales. It can be seen Table 5 that the head offices are spread around the world and reflect not only the high growth of chemical markets in the Middle East and in Asia but also the desire of oil producers to participate in making chemicals.

Table 5 Chemical companies: Sales in and the location of their head office. The chemical industry is highly multi-national. This company exemplifies the changes wrought in the chemical industry. In fact there are very good reasons for the choice of sites, reasons which also reflect the industrial and consumer landscape of the day. At first sight it seems strange that what are currently the fourth and seventh largest chemical companies in the world, Dow and DuPont , are situated in two small US cities, Midland, Michigan and Wilmington, Delaware.

However, the reason that Henry Dow founded his company at Midland in was because the salt deposits in the area contain particularly high concentrations of bromide ions, and Dow had patented two methods for obtaining elemental bromine from these deposits. The falling water drove the machinery of the mill and the willow trees on the riverbanks were turned into charcoal, one of the three ingredients of gunpowder.


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The site was far enough away from Wilmington in case of explosion but near enough to wharves on the river to ship out the powder. A perfect and entirely logical location. There Friedrich Bayer and Johann Friedrich Weskott, one a salesman and the other a master dyer, set up a factory to manufacture synthetic dyestuffs from coal-tar for the textile industry. BASF, like Bayer, was founded to make dyes but its location was influenced by civic utilities and an early instance of industrial recycling. In Friedrich Engelhorn built a gasworks in Mannheim and installed the street lighting for the town council.

At the same time he seized the opportunity to use the by-product, coal-tar, to make dyes. The company also began to make the other chemicals necessary for dye production, notably alkalis and acids. With environmental foresight, the city fathers of Mannheim did not want any pollution of their city and so the plant was actually built across the Rhine at Ludwigshafen.

For example, the concentration of the chemical industry in the Northeast of England was influenced by the location of coal mines, the availability of iron ore for the steel industry and the closeness to ports.

Introduction to Industrial Chemistry

Similarly, the strong chlor-alkali industry chlorine, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate in the Northwest of England developed because of local coal and salt mines and the proximity of a major canal leading to a main port of England. The great cotton mills in Lancashire gave the obvious location for the dyestuff industry around Manchester, the largest city in Lancashire. All of the sites mentioned above are flourishing today, although the companies expanded during the subsequent years to make many other chemicals ranging from plastics to pharmaceuticals.

They have also added many new plants all over the world to be near their customers. Nevertheless, exactly the same range of factors that influenced locations in the nineteenth century are active today, for example:. This explains why some installations are sited adjacent to oil fields. For example, there is a cluster of companies adjacent to the oil fields in Texas, and the discoveries and development of gas shale still a controversial process in many countries in places like Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania are leading to new investment in chemical plants nearby.


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  • Shale gas is extracted by a process called 'fracking' which is still a controversial processes in many countres. Fracking is discussed in detail in the unit Extracting crude oil and natural gas. Access to the sea for transport remains a huge influence. Refineries and chemical companies have been built on the coast of many countries, whether they have their own indigenous oil and gas or whether they import it. Figures 4 and 5 Refineries are usually located near the sea, allowing for the ready import and export of raw materials and products.

    By kind permission of BP. Similarly, there are refineries on the coast of mainland Europe, for example near Antwerp Belgium and Rotterdam Netherlands. There are even pipelines that connect refineries, enabling easy transport of the ethene and, in the Netherlands and Belgium, the propene produced by them. Figure 6 Distribution of ethene by pipeline across Europe. Other examples of very large refineries with chemical plants either integrated into them or nearby can be seen in Saudi Arabia Al-Jubail, which has a large chemical complex built near a deep sea water harbour of Ras Tenura on the east coast near Bahrain , India Jamnagar in the state of Gujarat on the north west coast and South Korea Ulsan on the south-east coast on the Sea of Japan.

    Many oil producing countries made a strategic decision not just to sell the crude oil, but also to participate in the higher added value markets downstream. They began to invest in both refineries and petrochemical plants close to the oil fields in their own countries major production facilities now exist, for example, in Saudi Arabia. However, these are far away from the actual markets for the refined oils and chemicals. As it is cheaper to transport crude oil than to distribute many of its end products around the globe, there is now a trend for oil-producing countries to invest in more distant refineries and plants, closer to the consumer market.

    Meanwhile, US and European companies are investing heavily in vast refineries and chemical plants in emerging countries, in collaboration with the local chemical companies. Another major factor determining location has always been a profitable market for the end products. Since the chemical industry is its own biggest customer, it makes good sense to group together companies that use chemical products as intermediates in their own manufacturing process.

    This has led to clusters of plants Figure 3 which successively use the output of one process as the input to another.


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    For example, the manufacture of fertilizers, such as ammonium nitrate and carbamide urea , can be found adjacent to ammonia plants which are themselves close to plants with a ready source of raw materials, either methane or naphtha, used to make ammonia. More recently, close proximity to other high technology industries, as well as easy airport access, have been influential factors particularly for plants producing speciality chemicals. Investment in structures is mostly for industrial buildings and related structures loading docks, terminals, etc.

    The investment in equipment includes process equipment such as pressure vessels, storage tanks, heat exchangers, pumps, compressors and electrical equipment. These are discussed in the unit Chemical reactors. High priority is given to instrumentation, computers, and related automation orinformation processing technologies. New investment needs include expanding production capacity for both new and existing products,replacing worn-out or obsolete plant and equipment, and improving operating efficiencies saving energy, increasing protection for the environment.

    Industrial Chemistry

    To keep competitive the industry must:. Sometimes discoveries have been made by accident, for example, the discoveries of both low density and high density poly ethene. However, neither would have been discovered had chemists not already been doing fundamental research on the reactions of ethene. Other discoveries are the direct results of the clever ideas of chemists with specific aims in mind, for example the discoveries of polyamides , polyesters and, much later, linear low density poly ethene. Research into new catalysts is still very fruitful.

    In recent years, a new catalyst for the manufacture of methanol has meant that the plant can operate at lower temperatures and lower pressures than hitherto, thus saving much energy to the benefit of the environment. A new class of catalysts, the metallocenes have been developed for the manufacture of poly ethene and poly propene which give superior properties to these plastics for specialised uses.

    Other research areas that are now being commercialized include nanotechnology , biotechnology and the development of biofuels to supplement oil supplies. Research carried out in the laboratories of industry and universities is only the first step. These discoveries have to be converted into realistic industrial processes. This is the job of the chemical engineer who is responsible for translating the laboratory chemistry to a larger scale. Scaling up production from grams under laboratory conditions to thousands of tonnes in a full scale industrial plant is very painstaking work for chemists and chemical engineers.

    The intermediate stages between laboratory and full scale production involve equipment that is able to mimic the large scale process and enable the most favourable conditions to be found for a high yield of product obtained at a suitable rate Figure 7. Figure 7 An example showing some pilot batch reactors which are separate and operate in parallel. A computer controls each one and users can perform series of experiments, changing temperature, pressure and catalyst composition.

    By kind permission of the Cambridge Reactor Design Ltd. The photograph below Figure 8 shows an intermediate stage in which a a pilot plant, has been made, to find the most suitable conditions for the new OMEGA process to produce ethane-1,2-diol. This is a very important step as often the conditions that are suitable for the process in the laboratory are not necessarily suitable when the process is transferred to larger scale equipment. Thus many experiments under very carefully controlled conditions are carried out to obtain the maximum yield.

    The chemists and chemical engineers doing this work must also bear in mind the maximum yield may involve additional costs which make the process uneconomic. By kind permission of Shell International Ltd.

    Fundamentals of Industrial Chemistry / — University of Bologna

    If this work is successful the next stage is to make the material on a commercial scale which, as in the case of ethane-1,2-diol, is many hundreds of thousands of tonnes a year Figure 9. The profitability of the product lies in the design of the industrial scale reactor necessary for the safe manufacture of the desired products. The capital cost of such a plant is likely to be millions of dollars. Designing a plant is a team project and chemists, plant designers and chemical engineers select suitable materials for the construction of the plant.

    Horizons in Sustainable Industrial Chemistry and Catalysis, Volume 178

    Although the common image is of chemical plants made from gleaming steel, many other materials are used in their construction including a wide variety of metals, plastics, glass and rubber. As construction materials are themselves chemicals, choosing materials which do not react with the chemicals involved in the process is essential to avoid hazardous interactions, the breakdown of the plant, or the contamination of the product.

    Many of its products are potentially hazardous at some stage during their manufacture and transport. Manufacturing processes frequently involve high temperatures, high pressures, and reactions which can be dangerous unless carefully controlled. Because of this the industry operates within the safety limits demanded by national and international legislation.

    Figure 10 Hydrofluoric acid is a very corrosive liquid. Here it is being loaded automatically into a road tanker. By kind permission of Mexichem Fluor. In spite of dealing with hazardous operations, the chemical industry actually has a lower number of accidents than industry as a whole. Between and , across the whole of European manufacture of all types, there were over 4 injuries for every employees, twice that sustained in the chemical industry. US data, recorded as days lost due to accidents, show an even starker difference; the number of days lost in major companies in the chemical industry through accidents is 4 times less than in manufacturing generally.

    There are serious concerns about the potential impact of certain manufactured chemicals on living organisms, including ourselves, and on the natural environment. These concerns include air, land and sea pollution, global warming and climate change, ozone depletion of the upper atmosphere and acid rain.

    The chemical industry has a world-wide initiative entitled Responsible Care.

    itetswazim.tk Industrial Chemistry-An Introduction

    It began in Canada in and is practiced now in over 60 countries. It commits national chemical industry associations and companies to:. This, for example, has led to the reduction of hazardous releases to the air, land and water by 80 percent over the last 25 years.