Industrial chemistry is the branch of chemistry that applies chemical knowledge to the economic production of special chemicals and materials with the least adverse impact on the environment.
Although a laboratory chemical process was traditionally adapted on an industrial scale, today processes are carefully modernized according to their scale. Thus, phenomena such as the transfer of matter or heat flow models or control systems that are grouped under the term of Chemical Engineering are brought into play . For the prediction of the effects of heat and fluid flow models, as well as the transfer of momentum, and for the evaluation of effects only empirically approachable, small scale pilot plants are widely used, taking advantage of the dimensioning definitive and the selection of materials and equipment.
The adaptation of the laboratory to the factory is the basis of the chemical industry , which can unite in a single continuous and stationary process, although it also operates unit operations that are carried out independently in the laboratory. These unit operations are the same regardless of the specific nature of the material being processed. Some examples of these unit operations are milling of solid raw materials, fluid transport, distillation of liquid mixtures, filtration , sedimentation , crystallization of products and extraction of complex matrix materials.
The Industrial chemistry is continually evolving. Modernly, the production processes in large quantities and with little added value are losing importance, compared to specific products of great molecular complexity and laborious synthesis. On the other hand, the traditional use of by-products and energy for economic reasons has added concern for the environment and sustainable processes.
Importance and development
Increasingly, the products of the chemical industry have added concern for the environment displacing the intermediate or finished natural products, obtained from those. In accordance with this trend, the chemical industry is becoming increasingly diverse and branching.
The manufacture of basic chemicals, the production and processing of combinations of nitrogen , tar dyes, pharmaceuticals, and many products that play an important role in the art, such as fats , oils , gums , synthetic resins , textiles, etc. ., mark the wide area of activity of the chemical. If the branches of industry in which chemical processes play an important role are added, the picture becomes even more uniform and important, since then it must include mining, metallurgy, the paper and beer industries, of sugar and many others in the general picture of the chemical industry.
The chemical industry is the daughter of modern times. Although some elements were already known in antiquity, especially gold, silver, iron, copper, lead, tin and mercury and with the help of chemical reactions some combinations were obtained, the last 250 years have led to impressive results and new insights that have paved the way for the development of the chemical industry.