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Chemical industry Production of Leading Nations
Many manufacturing industries are the consumers of heavy chemicals. And therefore heavy chemical industries are particularly well developed in the great industrial countries.
The USA - The United States of America is by far the world's largest producer of heavy chemicals. The country possesses a great wealth of raw materials and fuels an enormous domestic market, capital funds, well-equipped laboratories, chemists, engineers and technicians.
Forty percent of world's heavy chemical are produced here In 1988 the country produced over 34 million tonnes of sulphuric acid followed by a second largest production of 22 million tonnes in Russia. Sulphuric acid is produced here from native sulphur or pyrites. Depending mostly on the sulphur deposits of Texas and Louisiana, sulphuric acid plants have developed in many states of the country. Taking distribution on regional basis, 50 per cent of country's sulphuric acid is produced in the southern states, 35 per cent in the northeastern quarter of the country and 15 per cent in the western states. One-third of country's sulphuric acid is used in fertilizer industries and a quarter is used for chemicals.
In the production of common alkalis also the U.S.A. leads all other countries. Soda ash is produced with the help of local limestone and salt (mostly rock-salt). The annual production is 1.6 million tonnes. 30 per cent of country's production is used in glass industry, 25 per cent in producing chemicals and the remainder is used in producing caustic soda, paper and pulp, textiles etc.
Russia - Possession of many coke ovens and of rock phosphates, salt, etc., has been favorable factor for the extensive development of chemical industries in the former Soviet Union. Chemical works are particularly well developed in (a) the steel centres of Ukraine. (b) Moscow, (c) St Petersburg and (d) the Ural steel centres.
Germany - German supremacy in chemical industries is well known. A superior knowledge of chemical science and the presence of salt, potash and coal are the favorable factors. Three distinct areas are important.
(a) The Elbe basin (East Germany) - due to the presence of salt and potash - chief centre, Strassfurt.
(b) The Ruhr valley steel towns-engaged in manufacturing coal tar chemicals due to the presence of coke oven plants; chief centres, Essen, Elberfeld, Frankfurt and Gilsenkirchen.
(c) Bavaria-heavy chemicals and electro-chemicals-due to the presence of potash and hydro-electricity-chief centre, Munich.
Great Britain - Due to her possession of salt and coal, Great Britain is an important producer of heavy chemicals and coal tar chemicals. Important areas are: (a) South Lancashire, (b) North-east England at Newcastle, Durham and Middlesbrough, (c) other centres,-London, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Other Countries: Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Japan are well developed in heavy chemicals. Due to cheap hydro-electricity these countries have special advantage in electro-chemicals producing calcium carbide and chemical fertilizers. Japan and Italy have also big deposits of sulphur, which is an important raw material for sulphuric acid.
In many growing countries of Asia and Africa heavy chemical industries are being developed gradually.
India: Heavy Chemical industry is a weak link in the industrial economy of India. But the recent growth and expansion of heavy chemical using industries engaged in the production of textiles, rayon, paper, glass, petroleum, dyestuffs, chemicals, fertilizers etc. have greatly raised the demand for heavy chemicals.
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