Introduction to the Chemical Industry: An Overview

  • Philip J. Chenier
Part of the Topics in Applied Chemistry book series (TAPP)


Before beginning a detailed discussion of the chemical industry, we should have a basic appreciation for the main sectors of a developed economy so that we may understand the role that this industry plays in the overall picture. Table 1.1 gives the major divisions of the U.S. economy along with their official designations or Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) by the U.S. Bureau of Census. A similar classification system is used in Western Europe, Japan, and other complex societies. These sectors are separate but interdependent. For example, manufacturing draws on mining to buy iron ore for steel manufacture. The manufacturing sector also converts steel to machinery to sell back to mining for its operations.


Gross Domestic Product Chemical Industry Vinyl Chloride Trade Balance Standard Industrial Classification 
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Suggested Readings

  1. Chemical and Engineering News, annual reports on various topics, especially “Fact and Figures for the Chemical Industry,” “Top 75 Chemical Producers,” “Global Top 50 Chemical Producers,” “American Chemical Society Salary Survey,” “Facts and Figures for Chemical R & D,” “Employment Outlook.”Google Scholar
  2. Kent, Riegel’s Handbook of Industrial Chemistry, pp. 1–14.Google Scholar
  3. Wittcoff and Reuben, Industrial Organic Chemicals, pp. 13–45.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip J. Chenier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin—Eau ClaireEau ClaireUSA

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