Editorial June 2022 Chemical Industry in a nutshell Part 2

Rajiv Parikh

15 Jun 2022
Recap From Part1:

We discussed and explained Polymers and plastics, Basic chemicals, Polymers, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Poly- propylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), Inorganic chemicals.

Fertilizers are the smallest category (about 6 percent) and include phosphates, ammonia, and potash chemicals.

Life sciences
Life sciences (about 30% of the dollar output of the chemistry business) include differentiated chemical and biological substances, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, animal health products, vitamins, and pesticides. While much smaller in volume than other chemical sectors, their products tend to have high prices - over ten dollars per pound - growth rates of 1.5 to 6 times GDP, and research and development spending at 15 to 25% of sales. Life science products are usually produced with high specifications and are closely scrutinized by government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration. Pesticides, also called "crop protection chemicals", are about 10% of this category and include herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides.

Specialty chemicals
Specialty chemicals are a category of relatively high valued,rapidly growing chemicals with diverse end product markets. Typical growth rates are one to three times GDP with prices over a dollar per pound. They are generally characterized by their innovative aspects. Products are sold for what they can do rather than for what chemicals they contain. Products include electronic chemicals, industrial gases, adhesives and sealants as well as coatings, industrial and institutional cleaning chemicals, and catalysts. In 2012, excluding fine chemicals, the $546 billion global speciality chemical market was 33% Paints, Coating and Surface Treatments, 27% Advanced Polymer, 14% Adhesives and Sealants, 13% additives and 13% pigments and inks.

Speciality chemicals are sold as effect or performance chemicals. Sometimes they are mixtures of formulations, unlike"fine chemicals," which are almost always single-molecule products.

Consumer products
Consumer products include direct product sale of chemicals such as soaps, detergents, and cosmetics. Typical growth rates are 0.8 to 1.0 times GDP.

Consumers rarely come into contact with basic chemicals.Polymers and specialty chemicals are materials that they encounter everywhere daily. Examples are plastics, cleaning materials, cosmetics, paints & coatings, electronics, automobiles and the materials used in home construction. These speciality products are marketed by chemical companies to the downstream manufacturing industries as pesticides, specialty polymers, electronic chemicals, surfactants, construction chemicals, Industrial Cleaners, flavours and fragrances, speciality coatings, printing inks, water-soluble polymers, food additives, paper chemicals, oil field chemicals, plastic adhesives,adhesives and sealants, cosmetic chemicals, water management chemicals, catalysts, textile chemicals. Chemical companies rarely supply these products directly to the consumer.

Annually the American Chemistry Council tabulates the US production volume of the top 100 chemicals. In 2000, the aggregate production volume of the top 100 chemicals totaled 502 million tons, up from 397 million tons in 1990. Inorganic chemicals tend to be the largest volume, though much smaller in dollar revenue terms due to their low prices. The top 11 of the 100 chemicals in 2000 were sulfuric acid (44 million tons), nitrogen (34), ethylene (28), oxygen (27), lime (22), ammonia (17), propylene (16), polyethylene (15), chlorine (13), phosphoric acid (13) and diammonium phosphates (12)


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