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Chemical process equipment is vast and requires proper selection
Chemicals are often toxic and require extra care for operators (according to acceptable operator exposure level – AOEL), as well as waste water cleaning systems. In this sense, chemical process technology has made production of chemicals easy and less hazardous. When producing chemicals, keeping potential risk in check is mandatory to protect the environment and human health. So using personal protective equipment isn’t all that you need when using the chemical process equipment. Make sure to take account of chemical reaction kinetics and equipment design by doing thorough investigation of the process. The scarcity of raw materials may be a challenge to manufacturers, who also need to mind strict industry regulations. One of them is the US Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), which prohibits the export of five specific mercury compounds.
Chemical reactors, the key equipment to produce chemicals
Chemical reactors are key to producing chemicals. They have a design and configuration that provides proper environment such as temperature and presence of a catalyst for the chemicals reaction to take place. There are two main types of chemical reactors: the batch reactor and the continuous reactor. The former usually makes products with different reactants, as in production of colorants and drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. The latter consistently produces ammonia and other chemicals in large quantities.
Dry milling is also one of the core processes in manufacturing chemical products, as it controls particle size and removes excess moisture from products. It is advisable to dry at a low temperature because very high temperatures can melt products. You need to monitor the flow of production from the upstream production process (sourcing of raw materials) to the downstream activities, such as purification of chemicals into finished products. This is to ensure good product quality and improve profitability.
Some chemical products and their industrial applications
Industries that use big processing plants buy chemical products in order to make intermediate products. Chemical products like toners, dyes, nitrogen fertilizer, synthetic resins, glue, glycerin, fine chemicals and others work as ingredients of these finished products. The materials and the manufacturing process depend on the industry and final consumer of the products. You can use glycerin in the pharmaceutical industry, for foods and soaps. Also, synthetic resins have wide application in the plastic industry. To provide colors to materials in the textile industry, use dyes. The automotive and furniture industries use adhesives in production.
EU regulations moving towards green chemistry
The release of chemicals, whether in liquid, solid or gas states, can pollute the underground water, soil and air, which in turn poses health risks to humans. To tackle this, the European Union has put in place strategies to ensure the minimal usage and production of harmful chemicals. The strict EU’s regulations aim to put chemical exposure to check from production level to disposal level. They intend to achieve this by phasing out the use of highly toxic chemicals like mercury chloride except their use is essential and promoting green chemistry for sustainability. For example, instead of producing mercury-based batteries, there are alternatives like alkaline.