The Chemical Industry
Some Chemicals are produced on a large scale - thousands of tonnes worth - ammonia, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide and phosphoric acid - these are called bulk chemicals.
Some are produced on a small scale - these are called fine chemicals, such as drugs, food additives and fragrances.
New Chemicals need lot's of research, this can take years and expensive.
1) Testing potential catalylists using a process of trial and error
2) Making computer models of the reaction, working out which substance can be used as a catalyst
3) Designing or refining the manufacture of the catalyst - safe, cost efficiant
4) Investigating the risks to the environment
5)Monitering the quality of the product making sure it's not effected by the catalyst
Government regulations protect people and the environment
1) Using chemicals on crop is restricted to how much and requires signs
2) Storage must be stored in sealed containers
3) Transport need to display hazard symobls and identification numbers
Producing Chemicals 1
There are several stages in producing chemicals
Preparation of feedstock - synthesis - separation of products - monitering the purity of the product - handling of by products and waste.
1) Raw Materials are converted into feedstocks
Raw materials - crudeoil etc.Feedstock - actual reactants for the process eg hydrogen
2) Synthesis - The feedstocks are converted into products and controlled to make sure the reaction happens at a sensible rate
3) Products are separated - Separate out the by-products
4) The purity is monitered - makes sure it's between certain levels
5) By products and waste are dealt with - sold or used in another reaction, exothermic = waste heat.
Producing Chemicals 2
Eight Key questions about sustainability
1) Will the raw materials run out?
2) How good is the atom economy? - tells you how much mass ends up in useful products, if you're making a lot of waste, that's a problem
3) What do i do with the waste products?
4) What are the energy costs? fossil fuels being burnt, not good for environment
5) Will it damage the environment?
6) What are the health and safety risks?
7) Are there any benefits or risks to society?
8) Is it profitable?