Unit 1
Chemical Industry 化学工业
Before reading the text below, try to answer following question:
  1. When did the modern chemical industry start?
  2. Can you give a definition for the chemical industry?
  3. What are the contribution which the chemical industry has made to meet and satisfy our needs?
  4. Is the chemical industry capital- or labor-intensive? Why?
  1.Origins of the Chemical Industry Although the use of chemicals dates back to the ancient civilizations, the evolution of what we know as the modern chemical industry started much more recently. It may be considered to have begun during the Industrial Revolution, about 1800, and developed to provide chemicals roe use by other industries. Examples are alkali for soapmaking, bleaching powder for cotton, and silica and sodium carbonate for glassmaking. It will be noted that these are all inorganic chemicals. The organic chemicals industry started in the 1860s with the exploitation of William Henry Perkin’s discovery if the first synthetic dyestuff?mauve. At the start of the twentieth century the emphasis on research on the applied aspects of chemistry in Germany had paid off handsomely, and by 1914 had resulted in the German chemical industry having 75% of the world market in chemicals. This was based on the discovery of new dyestuffs plus the development of both the contact process for sulphuric acid and the Haber process for ammonia. The later required a major technological breakthrough that of being able to carry out chemical reactions under conditions of very high pressure for the first time. The experience gained with this was to stand Germany in good stead, particularly with the rapidly increased demand for nitrogen-based compounds (ammonium salts for fertilizers and nitric acid for explosives manufacture) with the outbreak of world warⅠin 19
  14. This initiated profound changes which continued during the inter-war years (1918-19
  39).
  1. 化学工业的起源 尽管化学品的使用可以追溯到古代文明时代, 我们所谓的现代化学工业的发展却是非常 近代(才开始的) 。可以认为它起源于工业革命其间,大约在 1800 年,并发展成为为其它工 业部门提供化学原料的产业。比如制肥皂所用的碱,棉布生产所用的漂白粉,玻璃制造业所 用的硅及 Na2CO
  3. 我们会注意到所有这些都是无机物。有机化学工业的开始是在十九世纪 六十年代以 William Henry Perkin 发现第一种合成染料?苯胺紫并加以开发利用为标志的。 20 世纪初,德国花费大量资金用于实用化学方面的重点研究,到 1914 年,德国的化学工业 在世界化学产品市场上占有 75%的份额。这要归因于新染料的发现以及硫酸的接触法生产 和氨的哈伯生产工艺的发展。 而后者需要较大的技术突破使得化学反应第一次可以在非常高 的压力条件下进行。这方面所取得的成绩对德国很有帮助。特别是由于 1914 年第一次世界 大仗的爆发,对以氮为基础的化合物的需求飞速增长。这种深刻的改变一直持续到战后 (1918-19
  39) 。 date bake to/from: 回溯到 dated: 过时的,陈旧的 stand sb. in good stead: 对。。很有帮助 。
1
Since 1940 the chemical industry has grown at a remarkable rate, although this has slowed significantly in recent years. The lion’s share of this growth has been in the organic chemicals sector due to the development and growth of the petrochemicals area since 1950s. The explosives growth in petrochemicals in the 1960s and 1970s was largely due to the enormous increase in demand for synthetic polymers such as polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, polyesters and epoxy resins. 1940 年以来,化学工业一直以引人注目的速度飞速发展。尽管这种发展的速度近年来 已大大减慢。化学工业的发展由于 1950 年以来石油化学领域的研究和开发大部分在有机化 学方面取得。 石油化工在 60 年代和 70 年代的迅猛发展主要是由于人们对于合成高聚物如聚 乙烯、聚丙烯、尼龙、聚脂和环氧树脂的需求巨大增加。 The chemical industry today is a very diverse sector of manufacturing industry, within which it plays a central role. It makes thousands of different chemicals which the general public only usually encounter as end or consumer products. These products are purchased because they have the required properties which make them suitable for some particular application, e.g. a non-stick coating for pans or a weedkiller. Thus chemicals are ultimately sold for the effects that they produce. 今天的化学工业已经是制造业中有着许多分支的部门,并且在制造业中起着核心的作 用。它生产了数千种不同的化学产品,而人们通常只接触到终端产品或消费品。这些产品被 购买是因为他们具有某些性质适合(人们)的一些特别的用途,例如,用于盆的不粘涂层或 一种杀虫剂。这些化学产品归根到底是由于它们能产生的作用而被购买的。
  2. Definition of the Chemical Industry At the turn of the century there would have been little difficulty in defining what constituted the chemical industry since only a very limited range of products was manufactured and these were clearly chemicals, e.g., alkali, sulphuric acid. At present, however, many intermediates to products produced, from raw materials like crude oil through (in some cases) many intermediates to products which may be used directly as consumer goods, or readily converted into them. The difficulty cones in deciding at which point in this sequence the particular operation ceases to be part of the chemical industry’s sphere of activities. To consider a specific example to illustrate this dilemma, emulsion paints may contain poly (vinyl chloride) / poly (vinyl acetate). Clearly, synthesis of vinyl chloride (or acetate) and its polymerization are chemical activities. However, if formulation and mixing of the paint, including the polymer, is carried out by a branch of the multinational chemical company which manufactured the ingredients, is this still part of the chemical industry of does it mow belong in the decorating industry?
  2. 化学工业的定义 在本世纪初, 要定义什么是化学工业是不太困难的, 因为那时所生产的化学品是很有限 的,而且是非常清楚的化学品,例如,烧碱,硫酸。然而现在有数千种化学产品被生产,从 一些原料物质像用于制备许多的半成品的石油, 到可以直接作为消费品或很容易转化为消费 品的商品。 困难在于如何决定在一些特殊的生产过程中哪一个环节不再属于化学工业的活动 范畴。举一个特殊的例子来描述一下这种困境。乳剂漆含有聚氯乙烯/聚醋酸乙烯。显然, 氯乙烯(或醋酸乙烯)的合成以及聚合是化学活动。然而,如果这种漆,包括高聚物,它的 配制和混合是由一家制造配料的跨国化学公司完成的话, 那它仍然是属于化学工业呢还是应 当归属于装饰工业中去呢?
2
It is therefore apparent that, because of its diversity of operations and close links in many areas with other industries, there is no simple definition of the chemical industry. Instead each official body which collects and publishes statistics on manufacturing industry will have its definition as to which operations are classified as the chemical industry. It is important to bear this in mind when comparing statistical information which is derived from several sources. 因此,很明显,由于化学工业经营的种类很多并在很多领域与其它工业有密切的联系, 所以不能对它下一个简单的定义。 相反的每一个收集和出版制造工业统计数据的官方机构都 会对如何届定哪一类操作为化学工业有自己的定义。 当比较来自不同途径的统计资料时, 记 住这点是很重要的。
  3. The Need for Chemical Industry The chemical industry is concerned with converting raw materials, such as crude oil, firstly into chemical intermediates and then into a tremendous variety of other chemicals. These are then used to produce consumer products, which make our lives more comfortable or, in some cases such as pharmaceutical produces, help to maintain our well-being or even life itself. At each stage of these operations value is added to the produce and provided this added exceeds the raw material plus processing costs then a profit will be made on the operation. It is the aim of chemical industry to achieve this.
  3. 对化学工业的需要 化学工业涉及到原材料的转化,如石油 首先转化为化学中间体,然后转化为数量众多 的其它化学产品。 这些产品再被用来生产消费品, 这些消费品可以使我们的生活更为舒适或 者作药物维持人类的健康或生命。在生产过程的每一个阶段,都有价值加到产品上面,只要 这些附加的价值超过原材料和加工成本之和, 这个加工就产生了利润。 而这正是化学工业要 达到的目的。 It may seem strange in textbook this one to pose the question “do we need a chemical industry?” However trying to answer this question will provide(?) an indication of the range of the chemical industry’s activities, (?) its influence on our lives in everyday terms, and (?) how great is society’s need for a chemical industry. Our approach in answering the question will be to consider the industry’s contribution to meeting and satisfying our major needs. What are these? Clearly food (and drink) and health are paramount. Other which we shall consider in their turn are clothing and (briefly) shelter, leisure and transport. 在这样的一本教科书中提出: “我们需要化学工业吗?”这样一个问题是不是有点奇怪 呢?然而,先回答下面几个问题将给我们提供一些信息: (
  1)化学工业的活动范围, (
  2)化 学工业对我们日常生活的影响, (
  3)社会对化学工业的需求有多大。在回答这些问题的时候 我们的思路将要考虑化学工业在满足和改善我们的主要需求方面所做的贡献。 是些什么需求 呢?很显然,食物和健康是放在第一位的。其它我们要考虑的按顺序是衣物、住所、休闲和 旅行。 (
  1) Food. The chemical industry makes a major contribution to food production in at least three ways. Firstly, by making available large quantities of artificial fertilizers which are used to replace the elements (mainly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) which are removed as nutrients by the growing crops during modern intensive farming. Secondly, by manufacturing crop protection chemicals, i.e., pesticides, which markedly reduce the proportion of the crops consumed
3
by pests. Thirdly, by producing veterinary products which protect livestock from disease or cure their infections. (
  1)食物。化学工业对粮食生产所做的巨大贡献至少有三个方面。第一,提供大量可以 获得的肥料以补充由于密集耕作被农作物生长时所带走的营养成分。 (主要是氮、磷和钾) 。 第二,生产农作物保护产品,如杀虫剂,它可以显著减少害虫所消耗的粮食数量。第三,生 产兽药保护家禽免遭疾病或其它感染的侵害。 (
  2) Health. We are all aware of the major contribution which the pharmaceutical sector of the industry has made to help keep us all healthy, e.g. by curing bacterial infections with antibiotics, and even extending life itself, e.g. ??blockers to lower blood pressure. (
  2)健康。我们都很了解化学工业中制药这一块在维护我们的身体健康甚至延长寿命 方面所做出的巨大贡献,例如,用抗生素治疗细菌感染,用 β-抗血栓降低血压。 (
  3) Clothing. The improvement in properties of modern synthetic fibers over the traditional clothing materials (e.g. cotton and wool) has been quite remarkable. Thus shirts, dresses and suits made from polyesters like Terylene and polyamides like Nylon are crease-resistant, machine-washable, and drip-dry or non-iron. They are also cheaper than natural materials. 衣物。在传统的衣服面料上,现代合成纤维性质的改善也是非常显著的。用聚脂如涤纶 或聚酰胺如尼龙所制作的 T 恤、上衣、衬衫抗皱、可机洗,晒干自挺或免烫,也比天然面 料便宜。 Parallel developments in the discovery of modern synthetic dyes and the technology to “bond” them to the fiber has resulted in a tremendous increase in the variety of colors available to the fashion designer. Indeed they now span almost every color and hue of the visible spectrum. Indeed if a suitable shade is not available, structural modification of an existing dye to achieve this can readily be carried out, provided there is a satisfactory market for the product. 与此同时, 现代合成染料开发和染色技术的改善使得时装设计师们有大量的色彩可以利 用。的确他们几乎利用了可见光谱中所有的色调和色素。事实上如果某种颜色没有现成的, 只要这种产品确有市场,就可以很容易地通过对现有的色彩进行结构调整而获得。 Other major advances in this sphere have been in color-fastness, i.e., resi
 

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