Learn the basics about different types of chemical industries, from agriculture to pharmaceutical to energy, and many other uses.
In this video, we consider the environmental impact caused by a range of different types of chemical industries.
Chemicals produced by the chemicals industry are used to make virtually every human-made product we know and play an important role in our everyday lives. These products can protect our crops from pests and increase their yields. Other chemicals can prevent and cure diseases. Some might provide us with insulation to reduce energy use and offer countless other benefits.
The use of these resources could impact the environment in two ways. Firstly, chemical industries deplete our resources, especially renewable and nonrenewable; and secondly they can create pollution.
Chemical industries use water. The key use of water is as waste control, where the waste stream from chemical processes are treated with water to dissolve materials; and in the and heating and cooling of reactions. The impact of water use on the environment is not only the volume of water consumed, but also the altered chemical composition, or the temperature of the used water being returned to the environment. Polluted water is a concern, but the also heated waste water can also have a significant impact on aquatic ecosystems.
The energy used to power these chemical industries comes from oil, natural gas and coal, which contribute carbon dioxide emissions.
Substances that cause acid rain and the tropospheric ozone are on the decline. Also, chemicals like CFCs are also in decline because of their recognised impact on forming holes in the stratospheric ozone layer.
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