CIEC Promoting Science at the University of York, York, UK

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Using this web site

There are 76 concise units, which are written and illustrated so that you can ‘dip in’ to them to retrieve the information you need. Although the units are self-contained, you will find that throughout this web site there are cross-references to material in other units, which is easily obtained by the designated hyperlinks.  There is also a facility which allows you to search the whole site.  This provides a link to each of the units in which the search term appears, then within a unit, Ctrl f can be used to locate each instance of the term's appearance. These approaches to cross-referencing and searching will help you to follow up related topics and to explore more widely.

There is an overview of the Chemical Industry which looks at the industry in an international context.  The other 75 units are presented in five thematic groups:

1. Industrial processes includes topics such as distillation, catalysis and the range of chemical reactors available. 

2. Materials and applications which have been developed and produced by the industry.  These include colorants, crop protection chemicals, fertilizers, paints, surfactants and nanomaterials. 

3. Basic chemicals includes units on all the major organic and inorganic building blocks such as ethene, propene, butadiene and benzene and chlorine, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid and titanium dioxide.  Units explore the sources, manufacture and applications for each chemical. 

4. Polymers includes the techniques employed in the design of materials with the properties required for specific uses.  All the major polymer groups are included such as the polyalkenes, polyurethanes, acrylics, polycarbonates and silicones. 

5. Metals includes aluminium, copper, iron and steel, lead, magnesium, titanium, zinc and their important alloys.

All units in sections 3-5 use the same consistent headings to guide you instantly to the relevant information:

  • Uses
  • Annual production quantities
  • Manufacture