Industrial chemistry

Image of an oil refineryThe chemical industry is where many of the important products in our everyday lives are made.

Some companies produce bulk (sometimes called commodity) chemicals. These can be organic compounds like hydrocarbons or inorganic compounds like sulfuric acid. These chemicals are made on a large scale. Global annual production of sulfuric acid, for example, is nearly 300 million tons!

Other industries make fine chemicals. These tend to be made on a smaller scale and the chemicals are higher cost. The chemicals might be sold on to a pharmaceutical company or agrochemicals manufacturer.

Once pure chemicals have been made they can be reacted together to make specialist molecules, mixtures of molecules or materials. This is where chemistry comes together to make the products that we are familiar with in our everyday lives. People with a degree in chemistry work across all these different industries. To find out more about some particular types of industry, see below:

Formulation for personal care products