Industrial health

1988/10/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

In 1843, the great chemist Justus von Liebig said that one had to look at the amount of sulfuric acid it produced to know the economic health of a people. And he was right.

Sulfuric acid is used in many industries. Much is used for the manufacture of phosphated fertilizers. The other part is used for the manufacture of paints, chemicals, detergents, natural fibers and plastics, among others. This is why a lot of sulfuric acid is used in the industry and is the most synthesized chemical.

On the other hand, sulfuric acid is very dangerous (due to its high corroxium strength) and is normally used as it is manufactured. Sulfuric acid is therefore a very prudent indicator of industrial activity.

However, sulfuric acid does not appear to be a good indicator of industrial health. During the last century and the first 60 years of this century, sulfuric acid has acted appropriately in this role of indicator. At this time the industry was based on metal products and natural fibers. In addition, phosphates were the main fertilizers. Today the industry's work area is changing. Plastics and polymers are increasingly being used and nitrates are replacing phosphates. However, these industries use less sulfuric acid.

Finding a new economic health indicator can be interesting. In the case of plastics, the production of organic chemicals could be considered. And if we choose a product we would take ethylene, as it is the origin of most plastics and polymers.

Sulfuric acid has been a prudent indicator of economic health for many years, but will ethylene be the one to do this?

Gai honi buruzko eduki gehiago

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