After all, chemistry is chemistry. In school, you can react with a few grams of chemicals; in industry, the same chemical can be used for the same reaction. In industry, a small amount of chemicals can make a lot of money. Maybe you want to know industrial chemistry, including what happened in this field and which chemical products are used on a large scale. Here are the 10 most common chemical products. The quantities vary from year to year, but the production of all listed chemicals exceeds 100 million metric tons. Here you can see the effect of chemicals on your daily life.
Sulfuric acid (H2SO4)
No matter what year, sulfuric acid is the most produced chemical products in the world. The main use of sulfuric acid is to produce fertilizer ammonium sulfate and superphosphate. However, sulfuric acid is also used in other products, including:
Automobile lead acid battery
Other chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, dyes, explosives, pigments and drugs
Sulfuric acid is also used as a reactant in the production or processing of some products. Here are some examples of its functions:
Removing impurities in petroleum refining
Removal of metal oxides before electroplating and galvanizing
The removal of water in some chemical reactions
It is used as reactant in the production of man-made fiber and nitroglycerin
Nitrogen is largely an inert gas because it is often used as a cover gas, which means it protects oxygen sensitive materials from air contact. Here are some of the many industrial uses of liquid nitrogen:
Quick freezing of materials for processing; for example, it is often used to freeze old tires so that they can be shredded and recycled
Making steel and other metals
Cooling concrete to improve the performance of building materials
Freezing wet land makes construction easier
Cooling chemical reactors enables chemical engineers to control side reactions more effectively
Nitrogen and liquid nitrogen are also used in the following industries:
Food: the food industry uses rapid cooling to reduce cell damage caused by ice crystals that are usually formed during normal freezing. Another use is in food services: liquid nitrogen is used to refrigerate trucks to reduce food air contact.
Healthcare: the healthcare industry uses liquid nitrogen to freeze blood and tissue samples, as well as to destroy tissues such as warts during cryosurgery.
At least one college chemistry club uses liquid nitrogen to make ice cream. There’s no production here; it’s done in less than a minute!
Ethylene is one of the main raw materials in chemical industry, especially in plastics industry. You may be surprised to find that this chemical has so many uses. It has the following uses:
It produces ethylene glycol (antifreeze), styrene (used to produce polystyrene for packaging and insulation) and polyethylene, one of the most widely used plastics; in fact, about half of ethylene is used to make all kinds of polyethylene
Production of industrial ethanol; according to the law, ethanol for human consumption must be produced by fermentation
Production of polyester (such as polyester casual wear in 1970s)
Production of synthetic rubber
The main function of oxygen is in the following combustion process:
Commercially produced oxygen is used for oxyacetylene and oxyhydrogen torches.
Oxygen is used in the steel industry to help burn impurities in molten ore. It takes about a ton of oxygen to produce a ton of steel!
Liquid oxygen (LOX) is used as an oxidant for missiles and rockets. The oxygen tank used to launch the shuttle contains about 550000 liters of liquid oxygen.
In the chemical industry, oxygen is also used to decompose hydrocarbons (carbon and hydrogen only) into smaller hydrocarbon products, such as ethylene, propylene and acetylene, which are used to produce plastics, paints and other products.
Propylene is mainly used as an intermediate in the production of other compounds
Polyethylene for the production of synthetic fibers for indoor / outdoor carpets
It is used to produce propylene glycol for automobile brake fluid, detergent and paint
Used for producing polyurethane rigid foam insulation materials
Used to produce various types of ABS plastics, used for telephone and auto parts