In The Essential Chemical Industry - Online, there are 76 units which describe key aspects of the chemical industry in a concise way.  They are designed so that you can ‘dip in’ to them to retrieve the information you need.

Although the units are self-contained, you will find that throughout this web site there are cross-references to material in other units, which is easily obtained by the designated hyperlinks.  There is also a facility which allows you to search the whole site.  These two approaches will help you to follow up related topics and to explore more widely.

There is an overview of the chemical industry which looks at the industry in an international context.  The other 75 units are presented in five thematic groups:

  1. Industrial processes
  2. Materials and applications
  3. Basic chemicals
  4. Polymers
  5. Metals

Basic chemicals, produced in large quantities, are mainly sold within the chemical industry and to other industries before becoming products for the general consumer.  In this group of units,  each chemical is described in the same way, in three main sections which guides you instantly to relevant information:

  • Uses
  • Annual production quantities
  • Manufacture

There are units on major organic and inorganic compounds.

The organic compounds are either building blocks such as ethene, propene, butadiene and benzene and how they are used to make plastics and pharmaceuticals, or compounds made from these building blocks, such as ethane-1,2-diol, ethanoic acid and methanal, useful in their own right or are used to make other useful compounds.

The inorganic chemicals included in this web site are compounds such as calcium carbonate, chlorine, hydrogen chloride, nitric acid, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate and sulphuric acid, which are used to make other compounds, including plastics, fertilizers, soaps and surfactants, and building materials.


Inorganic basic chemicals Organic basic chemicals