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Well known chemical industrialist, Peter Spitz, presents an overview of the petrochemical industry from the perspective of his own experience. Covers the unusually rapid growth of the Petrochemical Industry from the 1920s to the 1970s, painting an interesting picture of interconnnected scientific, engineering and economic achievements. Starts with the German chemical industry in the early 1900s and follows its vast growth and great importance as a provider of a variety of products necessary in plastics, fibers, synthetic rubbers and more. Discusses problems relevant to current industry.
Partial table of contents:
The German Chemical Industry: Chemicals From Coal.
Early Petrochemical Production in the United States.
Cat Crackers: Wartime Fuels - and Petrochemical Raw Materials.
Aromatic Feedstocks From Petroleum: Universal Oil Products Company (UOP).
The Old Order: Cooperation and Cartels.
Plastics: The Engine for Growth.
From Cellulosic to Synthetic Fibers.
The Rush into Petrochemicals.
International Development and Growth.
Winners and Losers: The Case of Vinyl Chloride.
Large Plants: The New Economics.
The 1970s: Discontinuities and Uncertainties.
The Once and Future Industry.
Appendix: Description of Technical Terms.