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Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry
Visit:2609 Date: 2017-10-08

The chemical industry comprises the companies that produce industrial chemicals. Central to the modern world economy, it converts raw materials (oil, natural gas, air, water, metals, and minerals) into more than 70,000 different products.
The plastics industry contains some overlap, as most chemical companies produce plastic as well as other chemicals.

History

Although chemicals were made and used throughout history, the birth of the heavy chemical industry (production of chemicals in large quantities for a variety of uses) coincided with the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in general.

Products

"Polymers and plastics, especially polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate, polystyrene and polycarbonate comprise about 80% of the industry’s output worldwide". These materials are often converted to fluoropolymer tubing products and used by the industry to transport highly corrosive materials. Chemicals are used in a lot of different consumer goods, but they are also used in a lot of different other sectors; including agriculture manufacturing, construction, and service industries.[11] Major industrial customers include rubber and plastic products, textiles, apparel, petroleum refining, pulp and paper, and primary metals. Chemicals are nearly a $3 trillion global enterprise, and the EU and U.S. chemical companies are the world's largest producers.

Sales of the chemical business can be divided into a few broad categories, including basic chemicals (about 35 to 37 percent of the dollar output), life sciences (30 percent), specialty chemicals (20 to 25 percent) and consumer products (about 10 percent).

Technology

From the perspective of chemical engineers, the chemical industry involves the use of chemical processes such as chemical reactions and refining methods to produce a wide variety of solid, liquid, and gaseous materials. Most of these products serve to manufacture other items, although a smaller number go directly to consumers. Solvents, pesticides, lye, washing soda, and portland cement provide a few examples of product used by consumers.

The industry includes manufacturers of inorganic- and organic-industrial chemicals, ceramic products, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, polymers and rubber (elastomers), oleochemicals (oils, fats, and waxes), explosives, fragrances and flavors. Examples of these products are shown in the Table below.

Although the pharmaceutical industry is often considered[who?] a chemical industry , it has many different characteristics that puts it in a separate category. Other closely related industries include petroleum, glass, paint, ink, sealant, adhesive, and food processing manufacturers.

Chemical processes such as chemical reactions operate in chemical plants to form new substances in various types of reaction vessels. In many cases the reactions take place in special corrosion-resistant equipment at elevated temperatures and pressures with the use of catalysts. The products of these reactions are separated using a variety of techniques including distillation especially fractional distillation, precipitation, crystallization, adsorption, filtration, sublimation, and drying.

The processes and product or products are usually tested during and after manufacture by dedicated instruments and on-site quality control laboratories to ensure safe operation and to assure that the product will meet required specifications. More organizations within the industry are implementing chemical compliance software to maintain quality products and manufacturing standards.[17] The products are packaged and delivered by many methods, including pipelines, tank-cars, and tank-trucks (for both solids and liquids), cylinders, drums, bottles, and boxes. Chemical companies often have a research-and-development laboratory for developing and testing products and processes. These facilities may include pilot plants, and such research facilities may be located at a site separate from the production plant(s).

World Chemical Production

The scale of chemical manufacturing tends to be organized from largest in volume (petrochemicals and commodity chemicals), to specialty chemicals, and the smallest, fine chemicals.

The petrochemical and commodity chemical manufacturing units are on the whole single product continuous processing plants. Not all petrochemical or commodity chemical materials are made in one single location, but groups of related materials often are to induce industrial symbiosis as well as material, energy and utility efficiency and other economies of scale.

Those chemicals made on the largest of scales are made in a few manufacturing locations around the world, for example in Texas and Louisiana along the Gulf Coast of the United States, on Teesside in the Northeast of England in the United Kingdom, and in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The large scale manufacturing locations often have clusters of manufacturing units that share utilities and large scale infrastructure such as power stations, port facilities, road and rail terminals. To demonstrate the clustering and integration mentioned above, some 50% of the United Kingdom's petrochemical and commodity chemicals are produced by the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster on Teesside.

Specialty chemical and fine chemical manufacturing are mostly made in discrete batch processes. These manufacturers are often found in similar locations but in many cases they are to be found in multi sector business parks.


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