INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY: BULK INORGANIC CHEMICALS
It shows a selection of the major inorganic chemicals that are defined in annual quantities of many millions of tones. Substances build in comparable amounts that are not listed include organic chemicals and fuels produced from construction such as iron metals, and petroleum. In many cases the basic chemical reactions used to produce the compounds are simple, although catalysts are usually required. The design of processes to build the most economical use of energy and raw materials, and to minimize polluting wastes, is, however, not straightforward. The raw materials require include air (for N2 and O2), sulfur (mined as obtained S or native from processing sulfide minerals), natural oil and gas (a source of energy and H2), calcium carbonate, and NaCl and phosphate. It is interesting to consider some details of the chlor-alkali industry, one of the oldest parts of the chemical industry, which links the production of Cl2, Na2CO3 and NaOH. The source material, NaCl, is used in larger amounts than any other raw material in the entire inorganic chemical industry.