Chemical chemical manufacturers

What Are The Different Types Of Chemicals that Industries Produce?   


jauhar khan
@jauhar123 | Posted 16 Aug. 2019


The products of the chemical industry can be divided into three categories:

  • Basic chemicals

  • Speciality chemicals

  • Consumer chemicals

Some other categorisations used, but this one is simple and effective in the context of this web site. Outputs range broadly, with basic chemicals produced in large quantities and some speciality chemicals produced in average kilogramme quantities but with very high value. As described in the unit on Chemical Reactors, the selection of the reactor often governed by the amount of chemical that is to produce.


Basic chemicals:

  • Basic chemicals derived from oil, known as petrochemicals

  • polymers

  • basic inorganics

An example is a methanol, generally produced from oil and natural gas in the US including Europe but from coal in China. Another is ethene, obtained from oil and gas in the US and Europe but frequently from biomass in Brazil. Other examples specify in the units on this web site.


Basic chemicals, manufactured in large quantities like Sodium hydride are mainly sold within the chemical industry and to other industries before growing products for the general consumer. For example, ethanoic acid is exchanged on to make esters, much of which in turn is sold to make paints and at that point sold to the customer.

Speciality chemicals:

This category covers a broad variety of chemicals for crop protection,  inks, paints, colourants (dyes and pigments). It also involves chemicals used by industries as diverse as paper, textiles and engineering.