Leadership

Fire and Explosion Hazards of Industrial Chemical Processes

Issue 12 and Volume 109.

Fire and Explosion Hazards of Industrial Chemical Processes OUT OF WORLD WAR II and the first decade of the postwar era, which was carried along to some extent on the inertia of the frenzied war period, have come unprecedented development and expansion of the chemical industry. Chemical production has expanded at an average of 11 times the national population rate, over three times the composite United States industry and has doubled its own size in the last eight years. Activity in the petrochemical field skyrocketed, for instance, because manufacture of fuel from crude petroleum raises the return by 250 per cent, while conversion to synthetics jumps the value to 1200 per cent. Products that have appeared during this period number in the thousands. Since 1940, substances like hydrazine, titanium, sulfur hexafluoride, acrylonitrile fibers, polyethylene, penicillin and butyl rubber took their place on the roster of commercially marketed innovations. In this…

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