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Chemical industries are really wonderful creations of human knowledge. Chemicals are essential materials for many modern industries. And so the chemical industry is considered as the key industry. For proper development of this industry higher knowledge of science, laboratory experiments, enough of capital outlay and a fairly big industrial demand for chemicals are important factors.
Chemical products may be sub-divided into nine groups, such as
(1) Heavy Chemicals including Electro-Chemicals. (2) Coal-Tar Chemicals, (3) Derived Chemicals (4) Explosives, (5) Chemical Fertilizers, (6) Plastics, (7) Petro-Chemicals, (8) Drugs and Medicines and (9) Insecticides.
Today, Chemical industries produce over 700,000 useful chemicals of which as many as 200,000 are products such as coal tar.
1. Heavy chemicals: This branch of chemical industry manufactures certain simple chemicals of common use. It includes the production of (a) the common alkalis like caustic soda, soda ash and chlorine;
(b) the common acids like Sulphuric acid, Hydrochloric acid, Nitric acid etc.
2. Coal-tar Chemicals : Coal tar is a by-product of coal gas manufacturing or of coke oven plants. By distilling coal tar a great variety of chemicals are produced among which dyes, medicines, disinfectants, explosives, scents and photographic chemicals are important.
3. Derived Chemicals: Basic chemicals in combination with various raw materials yield innumerable products. Important examples are glass, tanned leather, paper, cement, plastics, synthetic fibres (rayon, nylon, terylene, etc.), synthetic rubber, synthetic oil and host of other things. In broader sense, even the smelting of metals like the manufacturing of steel, copper, aluminium etc. may be considered as derived chemical industries.
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