The chemical industry produces substances required by many other industries; for example for the plastics industry, the food industry, automobile manufacture, mechanical engineering, the glass industry and the building materials industry. Important industries are also the fertiliser and pharmaceutical industry, adhesives, pigments and colours, paper, sealing materials, detergents and cosmetic products etc. As early as the beginning of the 19th century NEUMAN & ESSER has been a supplier for the chemical industry.
In 2010 the chemical industry’s worldwide total turnover was 3,140 billion Euro, in Germany 180.3 billion, in the USA 584 billion, in the People’s Republic of China 693.6 billion. The German chemical industry produces about 30,000 chemical products. For this purpose it needs 19 million tons of fossil raw materials (crude oil, natural gas, carbon), 2.7 million tons of renewable raw materials and 20 million tons of mineral raw materials.
‚Petrochemistry‘ means the production of chemical products from natural gas and suitable fractions of crude oil. The petrochemistry’s most important process is the ‚steamcracking‘ in the course of which ethane, LPG, naphtha, hydrowax, gasoil or other substances are produced.
Alkenes – the words alkene and olefin are often used interchangeably – such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene or benzene, are basic materials for many customers in the petrochemical industry. For example the plastics industry needs ethylene as fundamental basic component. The cracking procedure is applied for extracting the ethylene gas by separating by means of washing and separating at low temperatures. All steps are done under different pressure situations.