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I.C NO : 921218-08-6166



o Introduction 1
o Objective 2
o Information 3 -7
o Discussion 8 - 11
o Introduction 12
o Objective 13
o Information 14 - 18
o Discussion 19 - 21

o Introduction 22
o Objective 23
o Information 24 - 27
o Discussion 28 - 29
o Introduction 30
o Objective 31
o Information 32 - 35
o Discussion 36 - 38
o Introduction 39 - 40
o Objective 41
o Information 42 - 43
o Discussion 44 - 49
o Introduction 50
o Objective 51
o Information 52 - 71
o Discussion 72 - 73


What is manufactured substance in industry? Almost everything we see is a
manufactured product. Industrial products are manufactured for our comfort. Spoons,
forks, pots are industrial products used in the kitchen. Washing liquids such as
detergents are manufactured from ammonia. Bucket bottles, plastic plates and bowls
are example of synthetic polymer normally used in our daily life.

A strong mineral acid with the chemical formula H2SO4. It is a colorless, oily liquid,
sometimes called oil of vitriol or vitriolic acid. The pure acid has a density of 1.834 at 25°C
(77°F) and freezes at 10.5°C (50.90°F). It is an important industrial commodity, used
extensively in petroleum refining and in the manufacture of fertilizers, paints, pigments,
dyes, and explosives.

Sulphuric acid is produced on a large scale by two commercial processes, the Contact process
and the lead-chamber process. In the Contact process, sulfur dioxide, SO2, is converted to
sulphur trioxide, SO3, by reaction with oxygen in the presence of a catalyst. Sulphuric acid is
produced by the reaction of the sulphur trioxide with water. The lead-chamber process
depends upon the oxidation of sulfur dioxide by nitric acid in the presence of water, the
reaction being carried out in large lead rooms.

Sulphuric acid reacts vigorously with water to form several hydrates. The concentrated acid,
therefore, acts as an efficient drying agent, taking up moisture from the air and even
abstracting the elements of water from such compounds as sugar and starch. The
concentrated acid also acts as a strong oxidizing agent. It reacts with most metals upon
heating to produce sulphur dioxide.

Concentrated Sulphuric Acid

When heated, the pure 100% acid loses sulphur trioxide gas, SO3, until a constant-boiling
solution, or azeotrope, containing about 98.5% H2SO4 is formed at 33 0C. Concentrated
sulphuric acid is a weak acid and a poor electrolyte because relatively little of it is dissociated
into ions at room temperature. When cold it does not react readily with such common metals
as iron or copper. When hot it is an oxidizing agent, the sulphur in it being reduced; sulphur
dioxide gas may be released. Hot concentrated sulphuric acid reacts with most metals and
with several nonmetals, e.g., sulphur and carbon. Because the concentrated acid has a fairly
high boiling point, it can be used to release more volatile acids from their salts, e.g., when
sodium chloride (NaCl), or common salt, is heated with concentrated sulphuric acid,
hydrogen chloride gas, HCl, is evolved.
Concentrated sulphuric acid has a very strong affinity for water. It is sometimes used as a
drying agent and can be used to dehydrate (chemically remove water from) many compounds,
e.g., carbohydrates. It reacts with the sugar sucrose, C12H22O11, removing eleven molecules of
water, H2O, from each molecule of sucrose and leaving a brittle spongy black mass of carbon
and diluted sulphuric acid. The acid reacts similarly with skin, cellulose, and other plant and
animal matter.
When the concentrated acid mixes with water, large amounts of heat are released; enough heat
can be released at once to boil the water and spatter the acid. To dilute the acid, the acid
should be added slowly to cold water with constant stirring to limit the buildup of heat.
Sulphuric acid reacts with water to form hydrates with distinct properties.

Dilute Sulphuric Acid

Dilute sulphuric acid is a strong acid and a good electrolyte; it is highly ionized, much of the
heat released in dilution coming from hydration of the hydrogen ions. The dilute acid has
most of the properties of common strong acids. It turns blue litmus red. It reacts with many
metals (e.g., with zinc), releasing hydrogen gas, H2, and forming the sulphate of the metal. It
reacts with most hydroxides and oxides, with some carbonates and sulfides, and with some
salts. Since it is dibasic (i.e., it has two replaceable hydrogen atoms in each molecule), it
forms both normal sulphate (with both hydrogen replaced, e.g., sodium sulfate, Na2SO4) and
acid sulfates, also called bisulphate or hydrogen sulphate (with only one hydrogen replaced,
e.g., sodium bisulphate, NaHSO4).

I. List the uses of sulphuric acid.

II. Explain the industrial process involved in the manufacture of sulphuric acid.

III. Explain that sulphur dioxide causes environmental pollution.

i) Uses of sulphuric acid

i. Manufacture of fertilizers such as ammonium sulphate, (NH4)2SO4

ii. Manufacture of electrolyte in lead-acid accumulators (car battery)
iii. Manufacture of soaps and detergents
iv. Manufacture of pesticides (insecticides)
v. Manufacture of plastic items such as rayon and nylon
vi. Manufacture of paints
vii. Leather tanning

Manufacture of car batteries Manufacture of detergents Manufacture of detergents

Manufacture of paints Manufacture of plastic items Leather tanning

Manufacture of pesticides

ii) Manufacture of sulphuric acid

Sulphuric acid, H2SO4, is manufactured in industry through the Contact process. The
manufacture of sulphuric acid, H2SO4, is called Contact Process because sulphur
dioxide SO2 reacts with oxygen in contact with the catalyst in several times. Catalysts
are normally made from transition elements to speed up the rate of reaction. The raw
materials used are sulphur, air and water. The manufacturing of sulphuric acid,
H2SO4, in industry involves three stages.
The manufacture of sulphuric acid, H2SO4 in the Contact Process

Stage 1

Sulphur dioxide gas, SO2, can be produced by burning To produce sulphur dioxide gas,
sulphur in air. The gas produced is purified and cooled. SO2

S + O2 SO2
Stage 2 To produce sulphur trioxide gas,
The gas mixture of sulphur dioxide, SO2, and oxygen, O2,
is passed over vanadium (V) oxide, V2O5, (catalyst) at
temperature 450 – 500oC and under the pressure of 1
atmosphere to produce sulphur trioxide, SO3.
2SO2 + O2 2SO3

About 99.5% of the sulphur dioxide, SO2, is converted

into sulphur trioxide, SO3, through this reversible

Stage 3

In the absorber, the sulphur trioxide, SO3, is dissolved in

concentrated sulphuric acid, H2SO4, to form a product
called oleum, H2S2O7.

SO3 + H2SO4 H2S2O7

To produce sulphuric acid, H2SO4.
The oleum, H2S2O7, is then diluted with water to produce
concentrated sulphuric acid, H2SO4 in large quantities.

H2S2O7 + H2O 2H2SO4

The three stages involved in the Contact Process.

iii) Environmental pollution causes by sulphur dioxide.

Sulphur dioxide, SO2 is one of the by-products of the Contact Process. It can cause
environmental pollution. Almost all sulphur dioxides, SO2 in the air comes from the
burning of fossil fuels such as petrol containing sulphur. Below are the environmental
pollution causes by sulphur dioxide :
Visibility Impairment - Haze occurs when light is scattered or absorbed by particles and
gases in the air. Sulfate particles are the major cause of reduced visibility in many parts of
the U.S., including our national parks.

Acid Rain – SO2 and nitrogen oxides react with other substances in the air to form acids,
which fall to earth as rain, fog, snow, or dry particles. Some may be carried by the wind for
hundreds of miles. This due to the reaction of sulphur dioxide, SO2 with rainwater. Acid rain
destroys trees in forest.

Plant and Water Damage - Acid rain damages forests and crops, changes the makeup of
soil, and makes lakes and streams acidic and unsuitable for fish. Continued exposure over a
long time changes the natural variety of plants and animals in an ecosystem. Lake and rivers
become acidic. Aquatic organism dies. pH of soils decreases. Plants die of malnutrition and
Aesthetic Damage - SO2 accelerates the decay of building materials and paints, including
irreplaceable monuments, statues, and sculptures that are part of our nation's cultural

Respiratory Effects from Gaseous SO2 - Peak levels of SO2 in the air can cause temporary
breathing difficulty for people with asthma who are active outdoors. Longer-term exposures
to high levels of SO2 gas and particles cause respiratory illness and aggravate existing heart

Respiratory Effects from Sulfate Particles - SO2 reacts with other chemicals in the air to
form tiny sulfate particles. When these are breathed, they gather in the lungs and are
associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and
premature death.

There are two major processes (lead chamber and contact) for production of sulphuric
acid, and it is available commercially in a number of grades and concentrations. The
lead chamber process, the older of the two processes, is used to produce much of the
acid used to make fertilizers; it produces a relatively dilute acid (62%–78% H2SO4).
The Contact process produces a purer, more concentrated acid but requires purer raw
materials and the use of expensive catalysts. In both processes sulphur dioxide is
oxidized and dissolved in water. The sulphur dioxide is obtained by burning sulphur, by
burning pyrites (iron sulphides), by roasting nonferrous sulphide ores preparatory to
smelting, or by burning hydrogen sulphide gas. Some sulphuric acid is also made from
ferrous sulphate waste solutions from pickling iron and steel and from waste acid
sludge from oil refineries.

Contact Process

Sulphuric acid, H2SO4, is manufactured in industry through the Contact process. The
manufacture of sulphuric acid, H2SO4, is called Contact Process because sulphur dioxide
SO2 reacts with oxygen in contact with the catalyst in several times. Catalysts are normally
made from transition elements to speed up the rate of reaction. The raw materials used are
sulphur, air and water. The manufacturing of sulphuric acid, H2SO4, in industry involves
three stages. In the contact process, purified sulfur dioxide and air are mixed, heated to about
450°C, and passed over a catalyst; the sulfur dioxide is oxidized to sulfur trioxide. The
catalyst is usually platinum on a silica or asbestos carrier or vanadium pentoxide on a silica
carrier. The sulfur trioxide is cooled and passed through two towers. In the first tower it is
washed with oleum (fuming sulfuric acid, 100% sulfuric acid with sulfur trioxide dissolved
in it). In the second tower it is washed with 97% sulfuric acid; 98% sulfuric acid is usually
produced in this tower. Waste gases are usually discharged into the atmosphere. Acid of any
desired concentration may be produced by mixing or diluting the products of this process.

Lead Chamber Process

In the lead chamber process hot sulphur dioxide gas enters the bottom of a reactor called a
Glover tower where it is washed with nitrous vitriol (sulphuric acid with nitric oxide, NO,
and nitrogen dioxide, NO2, dissolved in it) and mixed with nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide
gases; some of the sulphur dioxide is oxidized to sulphur trioxide and dissolved in the acid
wash to form tower acid or Glover acid (about 78% H2SO4). From the Glover tower a
mixture of gases (including sulphur dioxide and trioxide, nitrogen oxides, nitrogen, oxygen,
and steam) is transferred to a lead-lined chamber where it is reacted with more water. The
chamber may be a large, boxlike room or an enclosure in the form of a truncated cone.
sulphuric acid is formed by a complex series of reactions; it condenses on the walls and
collects on the floor of the chamber. There may be from three to twelve chambers in a series;
the succession. The acid produced in the chambers, often called chamber acid or fertilizer
acid, contains 62% to 68% H2SO4. After the gases have passed through the chambers they are
passed into a reactor called the Gay-Lussac tower where they are washed with cooled
concentrated acid (from the Glover tower); the nitrogen oxides and unreacted sulphur dioxide
dissolve in the acid to form the nitrous vitriol used in the Glover tower. Remaining waste
gases are usually discharged into the atmosphere.


Laboratory harzard
The corrosive properties of sulphuric acid are accentuated by its highly exothermic reaction
with water. Hence burns from sulphuric acid are potentially more serious than those of
comparable strong acids (e.g. hydrochloric acid), as there is additional tissue damage due to
dehydration and particularly due to the heat liberated by the reaction with water; i.e.
secondary thermal damage. The danger is obviously greater with more concentrated
preparations of sulphuric acid, but it should be remembered that even the normal laboratory
"dilute" grade (approx. 1 M, 10%) will char paper by dehydration if left in contact for a
sufficient time. Solutions equal to or stronger than 1.5 M should be labeled CORROSIVE,
while solutions greater than 0.5 M but less than 1.5 M should be labeled IRRITANT. Fuming
sulphuric acid (oleum) is not recommended for use in schools due to it being quite hazardous.
The standard first aid treatment for acid spills on the skin is, as for other corrosive agents,
irrigation with large quantities of water: Washing should be continued for at least ten to
fifteen minutes in order to cool the tissue surrounding the acid burn and to prevent secondary
damage. Contaminated clothing must be removed immediately and the underlying skin
washed thoroughly.

Preparation of the diluted acid can also be dangerous due to the heat released in the dilution
process. It is essential that the concentrated acid is added to water and not the other way
round, to take advantage of the relatively high heat capacity of water. Addition of water to
concentrated sulphuric acid leads at best to the dispersal of a sulphuric acid aerosol, at worst
to an explosion. Preparation of solutions greater than 6 M (35%) in concentration is the most
dangerous, as the heat produced can be sufficient to boil the diluted acid: efficient
mechanical stirring and external cooling (e.g. an ice bath) are essential.

Industrial hazards

Although sulphuric acid is non-flammable, contact with metals in the event of a spillage can
lead to the liberation of hydrogen gas. The dispersal of acid aerosols and gaseous sulfur
dioxide is an additional hazard of fires involving sulphuric acid.

Sulphuric acid is not considered toxic besides its obvious corrosive hazard, and the main
occupational risks are skin contact leading to burns (see above) and the inhalation of
aerosols. Exposure to aerosols at high concentrations leads to immediate and severe irritation
of the eyes, respiratory tract and mucous membranes: this ceases rapidly after exposure,
although there is a risk of subsequent pulmonary edema if tissue damage has been more
severe. At lower concentrations, the most commonly reported symptom of chronic exposure
to sulphuric acid aerosols is erosion of the teeth, found in virtually all studies: indications of
possible chronic damage to the respiratory tract are inconclusive as of 1997.


Ammonia is a compound with the formula NH3.Ammonia solution NH3 can be used to
identify the presence of certain cation in aqueous soluiton in laboratory. It is normally
encountered as a gas with a characteristic pungent odor. Ammonia contributes
significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor
to foodstuffs and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is also a building
block for the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals. Although in wide use, ammonia is
both caustic and hazardous. In 2006, worldwide production was estimated at 146.5
million tonnes.

Ammonia, as used commercially, is often called anhydrous ammonia. This term

emphasizes the absence of water in the material. Because NH3 boils at -33 °C, the liquid
must be stored under high pressure or at low temperature. Its heat of vaporization is,
however, sufficiently great that NH3 can be readily handled in ordinary beakers in a
fume hood. "Household ammonia" or "ammonium hydroxide" is a solution of NH3 in
water. The strength of such solutions is measured in units of baume (density), with 26
degrees baume (about 30 weight percent ammonia at 15.5 °C) being the typical high
concentration commercial product. Household ammonia ranges in concentration from 5
to 10 weight percent ammonia. Ammonia, NH3, is used to manufacture nitric acid,
HNO3. Nitric acid, HNO3, is then used to manufacture explosives and nitrate fertilisers.


I. List the uses of ammonia.

II. State the properties of ammonia.

III. Explain the industrial process in the manufacture of ammonia.

IV. Design an activity to prepare ammonium fertiliser.

i) Uses of ammonia

i. Manufacture of fertilisers
ii. Manufacture of nitric acid , HNO3, through the Ostwald Process
iii. Manufacture of electrolytes in dry cells
iv. Manufacture of cleaning agents such as washing powder and detergents
v. Maufacture of explosives such as trinitroluene (TNT)
vi. Manufacture of dyes

ii) Properties of ammonia

of weak alkali
when dissolve
in water.

Produce thick
white fumes
with hydrogen
Colorless gas


Less dense
Pungent smell than air.

Very soluble
in water

iii) Manufacture of ammonia

Ammonnia, NH3 is manufactured on a large scale in factories through the Haber
Process. There are three main stages in the manufacture of ammonia. The Haber
process is the third stage and uses a catalyst.

The three main stages in ammonia synthesis

a) conversion of methane and steam

to hydrogen and carbon monoxide
b) removal of the carbon monoxide
and the production of a mixture of
hydrogen and nitrogen
c) synthesis of ammonia in the Haber

The process combines nitrogen gas, N2, from the air with hydrogen gas, H2, derived
mainly from natural gas to form ammonia, NH3. The two gases are mixed in the ratio
of 1:3 volumes.

N2 + 3H2 2NH3

The hydrogen gas is obtained from methane CH4, a type of natural gas, while nitrogen
gas is obtained from air by fractional distillation of liquified air. The gas mixture is
passed over iron (catalyst) at a temperature of 450 – 550 0C to speed up the rate of
reaction and compressed under a pressure of 200 – 500 atmospheres.
The manufacture of ammonia,NH3 through the Haber Process.

iv) Preparation of ammonium fertiliser.

To prepare ammonium sulphate, (NH4)2SO4, salts

Ammonia solution, NH3, 1 mol dm-3, sulphuric acid, H2SO4, 1 mol dm-3, red litmus

250 cm3 beaker, glass rod, tripod stand, Bunsen burner, wire gauge, filter funnel, filter
paper, measuring cylinder, dropper, asbestos tile

Preparation of ammonium sulphate, (NH4)2SO4, salts

1. 50 cm3 of sulphuric acid, H2SO4, 1 mol dm-3 is measured with a measuring
cylinder and poured into a 250 cm3 beaker.
2. While stirring, ammonia solution, (NH4)2SO4, 1 mol dm-3, is added drop by drop
from a dropper into the sulphuric acid, H2SO4, until an excess amount is used
(when ammonia, NH4, can be smelled)
3. The mixture is then poured into an evaporating dish.
4. The mixture is boiled until it evaporates to form a saturated solution.
5. The saturated solution is then cooled to room temperature until crystals salts is
6. The crystals are then filtered and rinsed with a little cold distilled water.
7. The salt crytals are then dried on filter paper.

Neutaralisation occur between sulphuric acid, H2SO4, and ammonia solution or
ammonia hydroxide, NH4OH, and can be represented by the chemical equation below :

H2SO4 + 2NH4OH (NH4)2SO4 + 2H2O

Ammonium sulphate, (NH4)2SO4, salt can be prepared from the reaction between
sulphuric acid, H2SO4, amd ammonia solution NH3.

The mixture formed in the beaker is tested from time to time with red litmus paper. The
adding of ammonia solution, NH3, drops are stopped when the red litmus paper turns

The most familiar compound composed of the elements nitrogen and hydrogen, NH3. It is
formed as a result of the decomposition of most nitrogenous organic material, and its
presence is indicated by its pungent and irritating odor.

Ammonia has a wide range of industrial and agricultural applications. Examples of its use are
the production of nitric acid and ammonium salts, particularly the sulfate, nitrate, carbonate,
and chloride, and the synthesis of hundreds of organic compounds including many drugs,
plastics, and dyes. Its dilute aqueous solution finds use as a household cleansing agent.
Anhydrous ammonia and ammonium salts are used as fertilizers, and anhydrous ammonia
also serves as a refrigerant, because of its high heat of vaporization and relative ease of

The physical properties of ammonia are analogous to those of water and hydrogen fluoride in
that the physical constants are abnormal with respect to those of the binary hydrogen
compounds of the other members of the respective periodic families. These abnormalities
may be related to the association of molecules through intermolecular hydrogen bonding.
Ammonia is highly mobile in the liquid state and has a high thermal coefficient of expansion.

Most of the chemical reactions of ammonia may be classified under three chief groups: (1)
addition reactions, commonly called ammonation; (2) substitution reactions, commonly
called ammonolysis; and (3) oxidation-reduction reactions.

Ammonation reactions include those in which ammonia molecules add to other molecules or
ions. Most familiar of the ammonation reactions is the reaction with water to form
ammonium hydroxide. The strong tendency of water and ammonia to combine is evidenced
by the very high solubility of ammonia in water. Ammonia reacts readily with strong acids to
form ammonium salts. Ammonium salts of weak acids in the solid state dissociate readily
into ammonia and the free acid. Ammonation occurs with a variety of molecules capable of
acting as electron acceptors (Lewis acids), such as sulfur trioxide, sulfur dioxide, silicon
tetrafluoride, and boron trifluoride. Included among ammonation reactions is the formation
of complexes (called ammines) with many metal ions, particularly transition metal ions.
Ammonolytic reactions include reactions of ammonia in which an amide group (NH2), an
imide group), or a nitride group replaces one or more atoms or groups in the reacting

Oxidation-reduction reactions may be subdivided into those which involve a change in the
oxidation state of the nitrogen atom and those in which elemental hydrogen is liberated. An
example of the first group is the catalytic oxidation of ammonia in air to form nitric oxide. In
the absence of a catalyst, ammonia burns in oxygen to yield nitrogen. Another example is the
reduction with ammonia of hot metal oxides such as cupric oxide.

The physical and chemical properties of liquid ammonia make it appropriate for use as a
solvent in certain types of chemical reactions. The solvent properties of liquid ammonia are,
in many ways, qualitatively intermediate between those of water and of ethyl alcohol. This is
particularly true with respect to dielectric constant; therefore, ammonia is generally superior
to ethyl alcohol as a solvent for ionic substances but is inferior to water in this respect. On
the other hand, ammonia is generally a better solvent for covalent substances than is water.
The Haber-Bosch synthesis is the major source of industrial ammonia. In a typical process,
water gas (CO, H2, CO2) mixed with nitrogen is passed through a scrubber cooler to remove
dust and undecomposed material. The CO2 and CO are removed by a CO2 purifier and
ammoniacal cuprous solution, respectively. The remaining H2 and N2 gases are passed over a
catalyst at high pressures (up to 1000 atm or 100 megapascals) and high temperatures
(approx. 1300°F or 700°C). Other industrial sources of ammonia include its formation as a
by-product of the destructive distillation of coal, and its synthesis through the Cyanamid
process. In the laboratory, ammonia is usually formed by its displacement from ammonium
salts (either dry or in solution) by strong bases. Another source is the hydrolysis of metal


The Romans called the ammonium chloride deposits they collected from near the Temple of
Jupiter Amun (Greek Ἄμμων Ammon) in ancient Libya 'sal ammoniacus' (salt of Amun)
because of proximity to the nearby temple. Salts of ammonia have been known from very
early times; thus the term Hammoniacus sal appears in the writings of Pliny, although it is
not known whether the term is identical with the more modern sal-ammoniac.

In the form of sal-ammoniac, ammonia was known to the Arabic alchemists as early as the
8th century, first mentioned by Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan), and to the European alchemists
since the 13th century, being mentioned by Albertus Magnus. It was also used by dyers in the
Middle Ages in the form of fermented urine to alter the colour of vegetable dyes. In the 15th
century, Basilius Valentinus showed that ammonia could be obtained by the action of alkalis
on sal-ammoniac. At a later period, when sal-ammoniac was obtained by distilling the hoofs
and horns of oxen and neutralizing the resulting carbonate with hydrochloric acid, the name
"spirit of hartshorn" was applied to ammonia.

Gaseous ammonia was first isolated by Joseph Priestley in 1774 and was termed by him
alkaline air; however it was acquired by the alchemist Basil Valentine. Eleven years later in
1785, Claude Louis Berthollet ascertained its composition.

The Haber process to produce ammonia from the nitrogen in the air was developed by Fritz
Haber and Carl Bosch in 1909 and patented in 1910. It was first used on an industrial scale
by the Germans during World War I, following the allied blockade that cut off the supply of
nitrates from Chile. The ammonia was used to produce explosives to sustain their war effort.

Prior to the advent of cheap natural gas, hydrogen as a precursor to ammonia production was
produced via the electrolysis of water. The Vemork 60 MW hydroelectric plant in Norway
constructed in 1911 was used purely for this purpose and up until the second world war
provided the majority of Europe's ammonia.

The Haber process (also known as Haber–Bosch process) is the reaction of nitrogen and
hydrogen, over an iron-substrate, to produce ammonia. The Haber process is important
because ammonia is difficult to produce, on an industrial scale. Even though 78.1% of the air
we breathe is nitrogen, the gas is relatively inert due to the strength of the triple bond that
keeps the molecule together. It was not until the start of the twentieth century that this
method was developed to harness the atmospheric abundance of nitrogen to create ammonia,
which can then be oxidized to make the nitrates and nitrites essential for the production of
nitrate fertilizer and munitions.

It was developed immediately prior to World War I by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, German
chemists. Haber won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1918 for his discoveries, while Bosch
shared a Nobel Prize with Friedrich Bergius in 1931 for his work on high-pressure chemical
reactions. At first a German national secret, the chemistry and techniques behind the effective
synthesis of ammonia spread to the rest of the world in the 20s and 30s.

Ammonia is important because it is the primary ingredient in artificial fertilizers, without

which modern-day agricultural yields would be impossible. Sometimes called the "Haber
Ammonia process", the Haber-Bosch process was the first industrial chemical process to
make use of extremely high pressures (200 to 400 atmospheres). In addition to high
pressures, high temperatures (750 to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit or 400 to 650 degrees Celsius)
are used. The efficiency of the reaction is a function of pressure and temperature - greater
yields are produced at higher pressures and lower temperatures.

In the first decade of the 20th century, the artificial synthesis of nitrates was being researched
because the world's supply of fixed nitrogen was declining rapidly relative to the demand.
While nitrogen in its inactive, atmospheric gas form is very plentiful, agriculturally useful
"fixed" nitrogen compounds were harder to come by at that time in history. Agricultural
operations require liberal amounts of fixed nitrogen to produce good yields. At the turn of the
century, all the world's developed countries were required to mass import nitrates from the
largest available source - Chilean saltpeter (NaNO3). Many scientists started worrying about
the declining supply of nitrogen compounds.

The Haber-Bosch process provided a solution to the shortage of fixed nitrogen. Using
extremely high pressures and a catalyst composed mostly of iron, critical chemicals used in
both the production of fertilizers and explosives were made highly accessible to German
industry, making it possible for them to continue fighting WWI effectively. As the Haber-
Bosch process branched out in global use, it became the primary procedure responsible for
the production of fertilizer to feed the world's population. Without it, billions of people might
not exist. Today, the Haber-Bosch process is used to produce more than 500 million tons (453
billion kilograms) of artificial fertilizer per year; roughly 1% of the world's energy is used for
it, and it sustains about 40% of our planetary population.


An alloy is a partial or complete solid solution of one or more elements in a metallic
matrix. Complete solid solution alloys give single solid phase microstructure, while
partial solutions give two or more phases that may be homogeneous in distribution
depending on thermal (heat treatment) history. Alloys usually have different properties
from those of the component elements.

Alloying one metal with other metal(s) or non metal(s) often enhances its properties.
For instance, steel is stronger than iron, its primary element. The physical properties,
such as density, reactivity, Young's modulus, and electrical and thermal conductivity, of
an alloy may not differ greatly from those of its elements, but engineering properties,
such as tensile strength and shear strength may be substantially different from those of
the constituent materials. This is sometimes due to the sizes of the atoms in the alloy,
since larger atoms exert a compressive force on neighboring atoms, and smaller atoms
exert a tensile force on their neighbors, helping the alloy resist deformation. Alloys may
exhibit marked differences in behavior even when small amounts of one element occur.
For example, impurities in semi-conducting ferromagnetic alloys lead to different
properties, as first predicted by White, Hogan, Suhl, Tian Abrie and Nakamura. Some
alloys are made by melting and mixing two or more metals. Brass is an alloy made from
copper and zinc. Bronze, used for bearings, statues, ornaments and church bells, is an
alloy of tin and copper.

Unlike pure metals, most alloys do not have a single melting point. Instead, they have a
melting range in which the material is a mixture of solid and liquid phases. The
temperature at which melting begins is called the solidus and the temperature when
melting is complete is called the liquidus. However, for most alloys there is a particular
proportion of constituents which give them a single melting point or (rarely) two. This is
called the alloy's eutectic mixture.

I. Relate the arrangement of atoms in metals to their ductile and malleable properties.

II. State the meaning of alloy.

III. State the aim of making alloys.

IV. List the composition and properties of alloys.

V. Relate the properties of alloys to their uses.

VI. Relate the arrangement of atoms in alloys to their strength and hardness.

i) Arrangement of atoms in metals
Most metals are solid. Pure metal is soft and not very strong. Pure metal have similar size
and shape and are arranged closely but there is still space between the atoms. The
arrangement of the atoms in metals gives the metals their ductile and malleable properties.

o When force is applied to pure metals, the atoms slide along one another easily. This
property causes pure metal to be ductile, that is, it can be stretched into wire.

Metals are ductile

o When knocked or hammered, metal atoms slide along one another to fill spaces between
the metal atoms. This property causes pure metal to be malleable, that is, it can be
knocked or pressed into various desired shapes.

Metals are malleable

ii) Alloys

Two soft metals can be mixed together to make stronger metal called alloy. An alloy is a
mixture of two or more elements with a certain fixed composition on which the major
component is a metal. Most pure metals are weak and soft. The properties of pure metals can
be improved by making them into alloys. The aim of making alloys is to make them into
alloys. The process of mixing atoms of impurities with atoms of pure metal by melting is
called alloying.

iii) Aims of alloying are to :

a) increase the strength and hardness of the metal

b) prevent corrosion of the metal
c) have a better furnish and lustre

iv) Composition and properties of alloy

Steel o 99% iron o Hard and strong
o 1% carbon o Withstand corrosion
Bronze o 90% copper o Hard and strong
o 10% tin o Withstand corrosion
o Has shiny surface
Brass o 70% copper o Strong
o 30% zinc o Shiny
o Harder than copper
Stainless steel o 74% iron o Shiny
o 8% carbon o Strong
o 18% chromium o Does not rust
Duralumin o 93% aluminium o Light
o 3% copper o Strong
o 3% magnesium o Withsand corrosion
o 1% manganese
Pewter o 96% tin o Lustre
o 3% copper o Smooth and shiny
o 1% antimony surface
o Strong
o Withstand corrosion
Copper nickel o 75% copper o Strong
o 25% nickel o Shiny silver colour
v) Uses of alloy
Properties of alloys and their uses.

vi) Arrangement of atoms in alloys.

Impurity atoms which are mixed may be larger or smaller than atoms of pure metal. Impurity
atoms will fill the empty spaces between the atoms in pure metal. Impurity atoms can prevent
the layers of metal atoms from sliding along one another easily. Due to this, an alloy is harder
and stronger than pure metal.

The formation of alloy

Alloy is a metal product containing two or more elements as a solid solution, as an
intermetallic compound, or as a mixture of metallic phases. Alloys are frequently described
on the basis of their technical applications. They may also be categorized and described on
the basis of compositional groups. For example,Beryllium alloys; Iron alloys.

Except for native copper and gold, the first metals of technological importance were alloys.
Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, is appreciably harder than copper. This quality made
bronze so important an alloy that it left a permanent imprint on the civilization of several
millennia ago now known as the Bronze Age. Today the tens of thousands of alloys involve
almost every metallic element of the periodic table.

Alloys are used because they have specific properties or production characteristics that are
more attractive than those of the pure, elemental metals. For example, some alloys possess
high strength; others have low melting points; others are refractory with high melting
temperatures; some are especially resistant to corrosion; and others have desirable magnetic,
thermal, or electrical properties. These characteristics arise from both the internal and the
electronic structure of the alloy. An alloy is usually harder than a pure metal and may have a
much lower conductivity.

Bearing alloys are used for metals that encounter sliding contact under pressure with another
surface; the steel of a rotating shaft is a common example. Most bearing alloys contain
particles of a hard intermetallic compound that resist wear. These particles, however, are
embedded in a matrix of softer material which adjusts to the hard particles so that the shaft is
uniformly loaded over the total surface. The most familiar bearing alloy is babbitt. Bearings
made by powder metallurgy techniques are widely used because they permit the combination
of materials which are incompatible as liquids, for example, bronze and graphite, and also
permit controlled porosity within the bearings so that they can be saturated with oil before
being used, the so-called oilless bearings.

Certain alloys resist corrosion because they are noble metals. Among these alloys are the
precious-metal alloys. Other alloys resist corrosion because a protective film develops on the
metal surface. This passive film is an oxide which separates the metal from the corrosive
environment. Stainless steels and aluminum alloys exemplify metals with this type of
protection. The bronzes, alloys of copper and tin, also may be considered to be corrosion-

Dental alloys contain precious metals. Amalgams are predominantly silver-mercury alloys,
but they may contain minor amounts of tin, copper, and zinc for hardening purposes. Liquid
mercury is added to a powder of a precursor alloy of the other metals. After being compacted,
the mercury diffuses into the silver-base metal to give a completely solid alloy. Gold-base
dental alloys are preferred over pure gold because gold is relatively soft. The most common
dental gold alloy contains gold, silver, and copper. For higher strengths and hardnesses,
palladium and platinum are added, and the copper and silver are increased so that the gold
content drops. Vitallium and other corrosion-resistant alloys are used for bridgework and
special applications.

Die-casting alloys have melting temperatures low enough so that in the liquid form they can
be injected under pressure into steel dies. Such castings are used for automotive parts and for
office and household appliances which have moderately complex shapes. Most die castings
are made from zinc-base or aluminum-base alloys. Magnesium-base alloys also find some
application when weight reduction is paramount. Low-melting alloys of lead and tin are not
common because they lack the necessary strength for the above applications.

In certain alloy systems a liquid of a fixed composition freezes to form a mixture of two
basically different solids or phases. An alloy that undergoes this type of solidification process
is called a eutectic alloy. A homogeneous liquid of this composition on slow cooling freezes
to form a mixture of particles of nearly pure copper embedded in a matrix (background) of
nearly pure silver.

High-temperature alloys have high strengths at high temperatures. In addition to having

strength, these alloys must resist oxidation by fuel-air mixtures and by steam vapor. At
temperatures up to about 1380°F (750°C), the austenitic stainless steels serve well. An
additional 180°F (100°C) may be realized if the steels also contain 3% molybdenum. Both
nickel-base and cobalt-base alloys, commonly categorized as superalloys, may serve useful
functions up to 2000°F (1100°C). Nichrome, a nickel-base alloy containing chromium and
iron, is a fairly simple superalloy. More sophisticated alloys invariably contain five, six, or
more components; for example, an alloy called René-41 contains Cr, Al, Ti, Co, Mo, Fe, C,
B, and Ni. Other alloys are equally complex. A group of materials called cermets, which are
mixtures of metals and compounds such as oxides and carbides, have high strength at high
temperatures, and although their ductility is low, they have been found to be usable. One of
the better-known cermets consists of a mixture of titanium carbide and nickel, the nickel
acting as a binder or cement for the carbide.

Metals are bonded by three principal procedures: welding, brazing, and soldering. Welded
joints melt the contact region of the adjacent metal; thus the filler material is chosen to
approximate the composition of the parts being joined. Brazing and soldering alloys are
chosen to provide filler metal with an appreciably lower melting point than that of the joined
parts. Typically, brazing alloys melt above 750°F (400°C), whereas solders melt at lower

As discussed here, prosthetic alloys are alloys used in internal prostheses, that is, surgical
implants such as artificial hips and knees. External prostheses are devices that are worn by
patients outside the body; alloy selection criteria are different from those for internal
prostheses. Alloy selection criteria for surgical implants can be stringent primarily because of
biomechanical and chemical aspects of the service environment. The most widely used
prosthetic alloys therefore include high-strength, corrosion-resistant ferrous, cobalt-based, or
titanium-based alloys: for example, cold-worked stainless steel; cast Vitallium; a wrought
alloy of cobalt, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, and titanium; titanium alloyed with
aluminium and vanadium; and commercial-purity titanium.


A polymer is a large molecule (macromolecule) composed of repeating structural units
typically connected by covalent chemical bonds. While polymer in popular usage suggests
plastic, the term actually refers to a large class of natural and synthetic materials with a
variety of properties and purposes

Well-known examples of polymers include plastics and proteins. A simple example is

polypropylene, whose repeating unit structure is shown at the right. However, polymers are
not just limited to having predominantly carbon backbones, elements such as silicon form
familiar materials such as silicones, examples being silly putty and waterproof plumbing
sealant. The backbone of DNA is in fact based on a phosphodiester bond.

Natural polymer materials such as shellac and amber have been in use for centuries.
Biopolymers such as proteins and nucleic acids play crucial roles in biological processes. A
variety of other natural polymers exist, such as cellulose, which is the main constituent of
wood and paper.

The list of synthetic polymers includes Bakelite, neoprene, nylon, PVC, polystyrene,
polyacrylonitrile, PVB, silicone, and many more.

Polymers are studied in the fields of polymer chemistry, polymer physics, and polymer

I. State the meaning of polymers.

II. List the naturally occuring polymers and their uses.

III. Identify the monomers in the synthetic polymers.

IV. Justify the uses of synthetic polymers in daily life.


i) Meaning of polymers
Polymers are long chains of molecules made from combination of many small molecules.
Small molecules that combine together by covalent bond to form polymers are called
monomers. Polymerisation is a process of combining monomers to form a long chain of

Formation of polymer

Polymers can be divided into two types:

a) natural polymer
b) synthetic polymer


A natural polymer is a polymer that occurs naturally. Naturals polymer are normally made by
living organism.


Rubber Isoprene
Cellulose Glucose
Starch Glucose
Protein Amino acid
Fat Fatty acid and glycerol
Nucleic acid Nucleotides
Examples of natural polymers and their monomers

Synthetic polymers are man-made polymers that are produced from chemical compunds
through polymerisation. Plastic, synthetic fibres and synthetic rubbers are three examples of
synthetic polymers.

There are two types of polymerisation:

a) Additon polymerisation
b) Condensation polymerisation

Addition polymerisation
Unsaturated monomers that contain double bonds between two carbon atoms undergo
addition polymerisation.

Condesation polymerisation
Small molecules such as water, H2O, and ammonia, NH3, are released in condensation

Examples of synthetic polymers (products of condensation polymerisation, with their

a) Adipic acid and hexanediamine Nylon
b) 1,4-dicarboxylbenzene and ethene-1,2diol Terylene

ii) Natural polymers and their uses

Rubber Tyres, eraser, condom, electric insulation, elastic bands
and belts.
Cellulose Paper, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and explosives
Starch To stiffen cloth (as in laundering), used in cooking to
thicken foods, manufactured of adhesives, paper, textiles
and as a mold in the manufacture of sweets.
Protein Essential in the diet of animals for the growth and repair
of tissue,
Fat Maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs
against shock, promoting healthy cell function and serve
as energy stores for the body

iii) Monomers in the synthetic polymers

Polythene Ethene
Polyvinyl chloride Chloroethene (Vinylchloride)
Polypropene Propene
Perspex Methyl-2-methylpropenoate
(Methyl metacrylate)
Polystyrene Styrene
Nylon Adipic acid and hexanediamine
Terylene 1,4-dicarboxylbenzene and ethene-1,2diol

iv) Uses of synthetic polymers in daily life

Polythene a) Make buckets
b) Make plastic bags
c) Make raincoats
d) Make films
e) Make rubbish bins
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) a) Make water pipes
b) Make electric cables
c) Make mats
d) Make vinyl records
e) Make clothes hangers
Polypropene a) Make ropes
b) Make bottles
c) Make chairs
d) Make drink cans
e) Make carpets
Perspex a) Make car windows
b) Make plane windows
c) Make spectacle lenses (optical instruments)
Nylon a) Make ropes
b) Make curtains
c) Make stockings
d) Make clothes
Polystyrene a) Make packing boxes
b) Make buttons
c) Make noticeboards
Terylene a) Make textile items such as clothes and cloths

The word polymer is derived from the Greek words πολυ (poly), meaning "many"; and μέρος
(meros), meaning "part". The term was coined in 1833 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius, although his
definition of a polymer was quite different from the modern definition.

Historical development
Starting in 1811, Henri Braconnot did pioneering work in derivative cellulose compounds,
perhaps the earliest important work in polymer science. The development of vulcanization
later in the nineteenth century improved the durability of the natural polymer rubber,
signifying the first popularized semi-synthetic polymer. In 1907, Leo Baekeland created the
first completely synthetic polymer, Bakelite, by reacting phenol and formaldehyde at
precisely controlled temperature and pressure. Bakelite was then publicly introduced in 1909.

Despite significant advances in synthesis and characterization of polymers, a correct

understanding of polymer molecular structure did not emerge until the 1920s. Before that,
scientists believed that polymers were clusters of small molecules (called colloids), without
definite molecular weights, held together by an unknown force, a concept known as
association theory. In 1922, Hermann Staudinger proposed that polymers consisted of long
chains of atoms held together by covalent bonds, an idea which did not gain wide acceptance
for over a decade and for which Staudinger was ultimately awarded the Nobel Prize. Work by
Wallace Carothers in the 1920s also demonstrated that polymers could be synthesized
rationally from their constituent monomers. An important contribution to synthetic polymer
science was made by the Italian chemist Giulio Natta and the German chemist Karl Ziegler,
who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963 for the development of the Ziegler-Natta
catalyst. Further recognition of the importance of polymers came with the award of the Nobel
Prize in Chemistry in 1974 to Paul Flory, whose extensive work on polymers included the
kinetics of step-growth polymerization and of addition polymerization, chain transfer,
excluded volume, the Flory-Huggins solution theory, and the Flory convention.

Synthetic polymer materials such as nylon, polyethylene, Teflon, and silicone have formed
the basis for a burgeoning polymer industry. These years have also shown significant
developments in rational polymer synthesis. Most commercially important polymers today
are entirely synthetic and produced in high volume on appropriately scaled organic synthetic
techniques. Synthetic polymers today find application in nearly every industry and area of
life. Polymers are widely used as adhesives and lubricants, as well as structural components
for products ranging from children's toys to aircraft. They have been employed in a variety of
biomedical applications ranging from implantable devices to controlled drug delivery.
Polymers such as poly (methyl methacrylate) find application as photoresist materials used in
semiconductor manufacturing and low-k dielectrics for use in high-performance
microprocessors. Recently, polymers have also been employed in the development of flexible
polymer-based substrates for electronic displays.
Polymer synthesis
Polymerization is the process of combining many small molecules known as monomers into
a covalently bonded chain. During the polymerization process, some chemical groups may be
lost from each monomer. The distinct piece of each monomer that is incorporated into the
polymer is known as a repeat unit or monomer residue.

Polymer structure
The structural properties of a polymer relate to the physical arrangement of monomer
residues along the backbone of the chain. Structure has a strong influence on the other
properties of a polymer. For example, a linear chain polymer may be soluble or insoluble in
water depending on whether it is composed of polar monomers (such as ethylene oxide) or
nonpolar monomers (such as styrene). On the other hand, two samples of natural rubber may
exhibit different durability, even though their molecules comprise the same monomers.
Polymer scientists have developed terminology to describe precisely both the nature of the
monomers as well as their relative arrangement.

Polymer properties
Types of polymer properties can be broadly divided into several categories based upon scale.
At the nano-micro scale there are properties that directly describe the chain itself, and can be
thought of as polymer structure. At an intermediate mesoscopic level there are properties that
describe the morphology of the polymer matrix in space. At the macroscopic level properties
describe the bulk behavior of the polymer.

The bulk properties of a polymer are those most often of end-use interest. These are the
properties that dictate how the polymer actually behaves on a macroscopic scale.

Melting point
The term melting point, when applied to polymers, suggests not a solid-liquid phase
transition but a transition from a crystalline or semi-crystalline phase to a solid amorphous
phase. Though abbreviated as simply Tm, the property in question is more properly called the
crystalline melting temperature. Among synthetic polymers, crystalline melting is only
discussed with regards to thermoplastics, as thermosetting polymers will decompose at high
temperatures rather than melt.

Boiling point
The boiling point of a polymer substance is never defined because polymers will decompose
before reaching theoretical boiling temperatures.
Chemical properties of polymers
The attractive forces between polymer chains play a large part in determining a polymer's
properties. Because polymer chains are so long, these interchain forces are amplified far
beyond the attractions between conventional molecules. Different side groups on the polymer
can lend the polymer to ionic bonding or hydrogen bonding between its own chains. These
stronger forces typically result in higher tensile strength and melting points.

The intermolecular forces in polymers can be affected by dipoles in the monomer units.
Polymers containing amide or carbonyl groups can form hydrogen bonds between adjacent
chains; the partially positively charged hydrogen atoms in N-H groups of one chain are
strongly attracted to the partially negatively charged oxygen atoms in C=O groups on
another. These strong hydrogen bonds, for example, result in the high tensile strength and
melting point of polymers containing urethane or urea linkages. Polyesters have dipole-
dipole bonding between the oxygen atoms in C=O groups and the hydrogen atoms in H-C
groups. Dipole bonding is not as strong as hydrogen bonding, so a polyester's melting point
and strength are lower than Kevlar's (Twaron), but polyesters have greater flexibility.

Ethene, however, has no permanent dipole. The attractive forces between polyethylene chains
arise from weak Van der Waals forces. Molecules can be thought of as being surrounded by a
cloud of negative electrons. As two polymer chains approach, their electron clouds repel one
another. This has the effect of lowering the electron density on one side of a polymer chain,
creating a slight positive dipole on this side. This charge is enough to attract the second
polymer chain. Van der Waals forces are quite weak, however, so polyethene can have a
lower melting temperature compared to other polymers.

Materials made by cooling certain molten materials in such a manner that they do not
crystallize but remain in an amorphous state, their viscosity increasing to such high values
that, for all practical purposes, they are solid. Materials having this ability to cool without
crystallizing is relatively rare, silica, SiO2, being the most common example. Although
glasses can be made without silica, most commercially important glasses are based on it. The
most important properties are viscosity; strength; index of refraction; dispersion; light
transmission (both total and as a function of wavelength); corrosion resistance; and electrical

Chemically, most glasses are silicates. Silica by itself makes a good glass (fused silica), but
its high melting point (1723°C or 3133°F) and its high viscosity in the liquid state make it
difficult to melt and work. To lower the melting temperature of silica to a more convenient
level, soda, Na2O, is added in the form of sodium carbonate or nitrate, for example. This has
the desired effect, but unfortunately the resulting glass has no chemical durability and is
soluble even in water (water glass). To overcome this problem, lime, CaO, is added to the
glass to form the basic soda-lime-silica glass composition which is used for the bulk of
common glass articles, such as bottles and sheet (window) glass. Although these are the main
ingredients, commercial glass contains other oxides (aluminum and magnesium oxides) and
ingredients to help in oxidizing, fining, or decolorizing the glass batch.

Special kinds of glass have other oxides as major ingredients. For example, boron oxide is
added to silicate glass to make a low-thermal-expansion glass for chemical glassware which
must stand rapid temperature changes, for example, Pyrex glass. Also, lead oxide is used in
optical glass because it gives a high index of refraction.
Inorganic, nonmetallic materials processed or consolidated at high temperature. This
definition includes a wide range of materials known as advanced ceramics and is much
broader than the common dictionary definition, which includes only pottery, tile, porcelain,
and so forth. The classes of materials generally considered to be ceramics are oxides, nitrides,
borides, carbides, silicides, and sulfides. Intermetallic compounds such as aluminides and
beryllides are also considered ceramics, as are phosphides, antimonides, and arsenides.

Ceramic materials can be subdivided into traditional and advanced ceramics. Traditional
ceramics include clay-base materials such as brick, tile, sanitary ware, dinnerware, clay pipe,
and electrical porcelain. Common-usage glass, cement, abrasives, and refractories are also
important classes of traditional ceramics.

Advanced materials technology is often cited as an enabling technology, enabling engineers

to design and build advanced systems for applications in fields such as aerospace,
automotive, and electronics. Advanced ceramics are tailored to have premium properties
through application of advanced materials science and technology to control composition and
internal structure. Examples of advanced ceramic materials are silicon nitride, silicon
carbide, toughened zirconia, zirconia-toughened alumina, aluminum nitride, lead magnesium
niobate, lead lanthanum zirconate titanate, silicon-carbide-whisker-reinforced alumina,
carbon-fiber-reinforced glass ceramic, silicon-carbide-fiber-reinforced silicon carbide, and
high-temperature superconductors. Advanced ceramics can be viewed as a class of the
broader field of advanced materials, which can be divided into ceramics, metals, polymers,
composites, and electronic materials. There is considerable overlap among these classes of

I. List the type of glass and their properties.

II. List the uses of glass.

III. State the properties of ceramics.

IV. List the uses of ceramics.

i) Types of glasses and their properties


Fused silica glass o Very high melting point
o Not easy to change its shape
o Does not easily expand or shrink with changes of

o Transparent to ultraviolet ray

Soda-lime glass o Transparent
o Low melting point
o Easily to be shaped
o Easily broken

o Cannot withstand heat and chemical reactions

Borosilicate glass o Withstand heat and chemical reactions
o High melting point
o Transparent to light and infrared ray but not to
ultraviolet ray

o Expand and shrink very little and only when

temperature changes
Lead crystal glass o Very transparent
o Shiny
o High refractive index

o High density

ii) Uses of glass


Fused silica glass Lenses, spectacles, laboratory glassware, ultraviolet
Soda-lime glass Bottles, glass containers, mirrors, electrical bulbs,
glass windows
Borosilicate glass Bowls, plates, saucers, pots and laboratory glassware
such as test tubes, beakers and flasks
Lead crystal glass Lenses, prisms, glasses and ornamental items

iii) Properties of ceramics

o Brittle
o Extremely hard
o High melting point
o Withstand compression
o Crack when temperature changes drastically
o Inert to chemicals ( withstand corrosion)
o Good insulator of heat and electricity

iv) Uses of ceramics

o Manufacture of computer microchips

o Make porcelaine vase and ornamental items
o Make plates, bowls and pots
o Make dentures – enamel
o Used in the manufacturing of car engines, spacecraft, superconductors and nuclear
o Make construction materials such as bricks, cement, tiles, underground piping or
roof tiles.
General properties, uses, occurrence

Flat panel display, using thin sheets of special alkali-free glass

Ordinary glass is prevalent due to its transparency to visible light. This transparency is due to
an absence of electronic transition states in the range of visible light. The homogeneity of the
glass on length scales greater than the wavelength of visible light also contributes to its
transparency as heterogeneities would cause light to be scattered, breaking up any coherent
image transmission. Many household objects are made of glass. Drinking glasses, bowls and
bottles are often made of glass, as are light bulbs, mirrors, aquaria, cathode ray tubes,
computer flat panel displays, and windows.

In research laboratories, flasks, test tubes, and other laboratory equipment are often made of
borosilicate glass for its low coefficient of thermal expansion, giving greater resistance to
thermal shock and greater accuracy in measurements. For high-temperature applications,
quartz glass is used, although it is very difficult to work. Most laboratory glassware is mass-
produced, but large laboratories also keep a glassblower on staff for preparing custom made
glass equipment.

Sometimes, glass is created naturally from volcanic lava, lightning strikes, or meteorite
impacts (e.g., Lechatelierite, Fulgurite, Darwin Glass, Volcanic Glass, Tektites). If the lava is
felsic this glass is called obsidian, and is usually black with impurities. Obsidian is a raw
material for flintknappers, who have used it to make extremely sharp glass knives since the
stone age.

Glass sometimes occurs in nature resulting from human activity, for example trinitite (from
nuclear testing) and beach glass.

Glass in buildings
Glass is commonly used in buildings as transparent windows, internal glazed partitions, and
as architectural features. It is also possible to use glass as a structural material, for example,
in beams and columns, as well as in the form of "fins" for wind reinforcement, which are
visible in many glass frontages like large shop windows. Safe load capacity is, however,
limited; although glass has a high theoretical yield stress, it is very susceptible to brittle
(sudden) failure, and has a tendency to shatter upon localized impact. This particularly limits
its use in columns, as there is a risk of vehicles or other heavy objects colliding with and
shattering the structural element. One well-known example of a structure made entirely from
glass is the northern entrance to Buchanan Street subway station in Glasgow.
Glass in buildings can be of a safety type, including wired, heat strengthened (tempered) and
laminated glass. Glass fibre insulation is common in roofs and walls. Foamed glass, made
from waste glass, can be used as lightweight, closed-cell insulation. As insulation, glass (e.g.,
fiberglass) is also used. In the form of long, fluffy-looking sheets, it is commonly found in
homes. Fiberglass insulation is used particularly in attics, and is given an R-rating, denoting
the insulating ability.

Glass production
Glass ingredients

Oldest mouth-blown window-glass from 1742

Quartz sand (silica) as main raw from Kosta Glasbruk, Småland, Sweden. In the
material for commercial glass production middle is the mark from the glass blower's pipe

Pure silica (SiO2) has a "glass melting point"— at a viscosity of 10 Pa·s (100 P)— of over
2300 °C (4200 °F). While pure silica can be made into glass for special applications (see
fused quartz), other substances are added to common glass to simplify processing. One is
sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), which lowers the melting point to about 1500 °C (2700 °F) in
soda-lime glass; "soda" refers to the original source of sodium carbonate in the soda ash
obtained from certain plants. However, the soda makes the glass water soluble, which is
usually undesirable, so lime (calcium oxide (CaO), generally obtained from limestone), some
magnesium oxide (MgO) and aluminium oxide are added to provide for a better chemical
durability. The resulting glass contains about 70 to 74 percent silica by weight and is called a
soda-lime glass. Soda-lime glasses account for about 90 percent of manufactured glass.

As well as soda and lime, most common glass has other ingredients added to change its
properties. Lead glass, such as lead crystal or flint glass, is more 'brilliant' because the
increased refractive index causes noticeably more "sparkles", while boron may be added to
change the thermal and electrical properties, as in Pyrex. Adding barium also increases the
refractive index. Thorium oxide gives glass a high refractive index and low dispersion, and
was formerly used in producing high-quality lenses, but due to its radioactivity has been
replaced by lanthanum oxide in modern eye glasses. Large amounts of iron are used in glass
that absorbs infrared energy, such as heat absorbing filters for movie projectors, while
cerium(IV) oxide can be used for glass that absorbs UV wavelengths (biologically damaging
ionizing radiation).

Besides the chemicals mentioned, in some furnaces recycled glass ("cullet") is added,
originating from the same factory or other sources. Cullet leads to savings not only in the raw
materials, but also in the energy consumption of the glass furnace. However, impurities in the
cullet may lead to product and equipment failure. Fining agents such as sodium sulfate,
sodium chloride, or antimony oxide are added to reduce the bubble content in the glass.

A further raw material used in the production of soda-lime and fiber glass is calumite, which
is a glassy granular by-product of the iron making industry, containing mainly silica, calcium
oxide, alumina, magnesium oxide (and traces of iron oxide).

For obtaining the desired glass composition, the correct raw material mixture (batch) must be
determined by glass batch calculation.

Silica-free glasses
Besides common silica-based glasses, many other inorganic and organic materials may also
form glasses, including plastics (e.g., acrylic glass), carbon, metals, carbon dioxide (see
below), phosphates, borates, chalcogenides, fluorides, germanates (glasses based on GeO2),
tellurites (glasses based on TeO2), antimonates (glasses based on Sb2O3), arsenates (glasses
based on As2O3), titanates (glasses based on TiO2), tantalates (glasses based on Ta2O5),
nitrates, carbonates and many other substances.
Some glasses that do not include silica as a major constituent may have physico-chemical
properties useful for their application in fibre optics and other specialized technical
applications. These include fluorozirconate, fluoroaluminate, aluminosilicate, phosphate and
chalcogenide glasses.

Under extremes of pressure and temperature solids may exhibit large structural and physical
changes which can lead to polyamorphic phase transitions. In 2006 Italian scientists created
an amorphous phase of carbon dioxide using extreme pressure. The substance was named
amorphous carbonia(a-CO2) and exhibits an atomic structure resembling that of Silica.

Physical properties
The following table lists some physical properties of common glasses. Unless otherwise
stated, the technical glass compositions and many experimentally determined properties are
taken from one large study. Unless stated otherwise, the properties of fused silica (quartz
glass) and germania glass are derived from the SciGlass glass database by forming the
arithmetic mean of all the experimental values from different authors (in general more than
10 independent sources for quartz glass and Tg of germanium oxide glass). Those values
marked in italic font have been interpolated from similar glass compositions (see Calculation
of glass properties) due to the lack of experimental data.

Roman Cage Cup from the 4th century A.D. Roman glass

Naturally occurring glass, especially obsidian, has been used by many Stone Age societies
across the globe for the production of sharp cutting tools and, due to its limited source areas,
was extensively traded. According to Pliny the Elder, Phoenician traders were the first to
stumble upon glass manufacturing techniques at the site of the Belus River. Georgius
Agricola, in De re metallica, reported a traditional serendipitous "discovery" tale of familiar

"The tradition is that a merchant ship laden with nitrum being moored at this place, the
merchants were preparing their meal on the beach, and not having stones to prop up their
pots, they used lumps of nitrum from the ship, which fused and mixed with the sands of the
shore, and there flowed streams of a new translucent liquid, and thus was the origin of glass."

This account is more a reflection of Roman experience of glass production, however, as

white silica sand from this area was used in the production of Roman glass due to its low
impurity levels. But in general archaeological evidence suggests that the first true glass was
made in coastal north Syria, Mesopotamia or Old Kingdom Egypt. Due to Egypt's favourable
environment for preservation, the majority of well-studied early glass is found in Egypt,
although some of this is likely to have been imported. The earliest known glass objects, of
the mid third millennium BC, were beads, perhaps initially created as accidental by-products
of metal-working slags or during the production of faience, a pre-glass vitreous material
made by a process similar to glazing.

During the Late Bronze Age in Egypt and Western Asia there was an explosion in glass-
making technology. Archaeological finds from this period include coloured glass ingots,
vessels (often coloured and shaped in imitation of highly prized wares of semi-precious
stones) and the ubiquitous beads. The alkali of Syrian and Egyptian glass was soda ash,
sodium carbonate, which can be extracted from the ashes of many plants, notably halophile
seashore plants: (see saltwort). The earliest vessels were 'core-wound', produced by winding
a ductile rope of metal round a shaped core of sand and clay over a metal rod, then fusing it
with repeated reheatings. Threads of thin glass of different colours made with admixtures of
oxides were subsequently wound around these to create patterns, which could be drawn into
festoons by using metal raking tools. The vessel would then be rolled flat ('marvered') on a
slab in order to press the decorative threads into its body. Handles and feet were applied
separately. The rod was subsequently allowed to cool as the glass slowly annealed and was
eventually removed from the centre of the vessel, after which the core material was scraped
out. Glass shapes for inlays were also often created in moulds. Much early glass production,
however, relied on grinding techniques borrowed from stone working. This meant that the
glass was ground and carved in a cold state.

By the 15th century BC extensive glass production was occurring in Western Asia and Egypt.
It is thought the techniques and recipes required for the initial fusing of glass from raw
materials was a closely guarded technological secret reserved for the large palace industries
of powerful states. Glass workers in other areas therefore relied on imports of pre-formed
glass, often in the form of cast ingots such as those found on the Ulu Burun shipwreck off the
coast of Turkey.

Glass remained a luxury material, and the disasters that overtook Late Bronze Age
civilisations seem to have brought glass-making to a halt. It picked up again in its former
sites, in Syria and Cyprus, in the ninth century BC, when the techniques for making
colourless glass were discovered. In Egypt glass-making did not revive until it was
reintroduced in Ptolemaic Alexandria. Core-formed vessels and beads were still widely
produced, but other techniques came to the fore with experimentation and technological
advancements. During the Hellenistic period many new techniques of glass production were
introduced and glass began to be used to make larger pieces, notably table wares. Techniques
developed during this period include 'slumping' viscous (but not fully molten) glass over a
mould in order to form a dish and 'millefiori' (meaning 'thousand flowers') technique, where
canes of multi-coloured glass were sliced and the slices arranged together and fused in a
mould to create a mosaic-like effect. It was also during this period that colourless or
decoloured glass began to be prized and methods for achieving this effect were investigated
more fully.

During the first century BC glass blowing was discovered on the Syro-Palestinian coast,
revolutionising the industry and laying the way for the explosion of glass production that
occurred throughout the Roman world. Over the next 1000 years glass making and working
continued and spread through southern Europe and beyond.
Types of ceramic materials
For convenience ceramic products are usually divided into four sectors, and these are shown
below with some examples:

• Structural, including bricks, pipes, floor and roof tiles

• Refractory, such as kiln linings, gas fire radiant, steel and glass making crucibles
• White wares, including tableware, wall tiles, decorative art objects and sanitary ware

Examples of white ware ceramics

• Bone china
• Earthenware, which is often made from clay, quartz and feldspar.
• Porcelain, which are often made from kaolin
• Stoneware

Other applications of ceramics

• Ceramics are used in the manufacture of knives. The blade of the ceramic knife will
stay sharp for much longer than that of a steel knife, although it is more brittle and
can be snapped by dropping it on a hard surface.

• Ceramics such as alumina and boron carbide have been used in ballistic armored
vests to repel large-caliber rifle fire. Such plates are known commonly as small-arms
protective inserts (SAPI). Similar material is used to protect cockpits of some military
airplanes, because of the low weight of the material.

• Ceramic balls can be used to replace steel in ball bearings. Their higher hardness
means that they are much less susceptible to wear and can offer more than triple
lifetimes. They also deform less under load meaning they have less contact with the
bearing retainer walls and can roll faster. In very high speed applications, heat from
friction during rolling can cause problems for metal bearings; problems which are
reduced by the use of ceramics. Ceramics are also more chemically resistant and can
be used in wet environments where steel bearings would rust. The major drawback to
using ceramics is a significantly higher cost. In many cases their electrically
insulating properties may also be valuable in bearings.

• In the early 1980s, Toyota researched production of an adiabatic ceramic engine

which can run at a temperature of over 6000 °F (3300 °C). Ceramic engines do not
require a cooling system and hence allow a major weight reduction and therefore
greater fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency of the engine is also higher at high
temperature, as shown by Carnot's theorem. In a conventional metallic engine, much
of the energy released from the fuel must be dissipated as waste heat in order to
prevent a meltdown of the metallic parts. Despite all of these desirable properties,
such engines are not in production because the manufacturing of ceramic parts in the
requisite precision and durability is difficult. Imperfection in the ceramic leads to
cracks, which can lead to potentially dangerous equipment failure. Such engines are
possible in laboratory settings, but mass-production is not feasible with current

Ay material made from at least two discrete substances, such as concrete. Many materials are
produced as composites, such as the fiberglass-reinforced plastics used for automobile bodies
and boat hulls, but the term usually is used to describe any of various modern industrially
manufactured composites, such as carbon fiber–reinforced plastics. Composite materials
allow a blending of properties of the separate components. Carbon fiber–reinforced plastics
combine the high strength and stiffness of the fiber with the low weight and resistance to
fracture of the polymeric matrix. Glass, wood, and other kinds of fibers are also used, and the
fibers may be layered or woven. Other modern composites include wood fiber or chunks in a
concrete matrix and silicon carbide, a ceramic, in a titanium matrix.

I. Describe the needs to produce new materials for specific purposes.

II. State the meaning of composite materials.

III. List examples of composite materials and their components.

IV. Compare and contrast the properties of composite materials with those of their

original components.

V. Justify the use of composite materials.

VI. Generate ideas to produce advanced materials to fulfill specific needs.

VII. Describe the importance of synthetic materials in daily life.

VIII. Justify the importance of doing research and development continuously.

IX. Practice being responsible when handling synthetic materials and their wastes.
i. The needs to produce new materials for specific purposes.

Since the old days, human beings have been using clay, wood, stones or metals as
building materials. These substances either corrode or decay easily. Otherwise, they are
too heavy, bulky or difficult to be shaped or carved.

Many of our modern technologies require materials with unusual combinations of

properties that cannot be met by the conventional metal alloys, ceramics and polymeric
materials. Therefore, continuous research and development have been done in search of
new structural materials. Today, many of such materials are created and used for various
fields. New materials are needed today to supply high demand for the new industries.

To fulfil the needs, these building materials must have properties like:

• Low density
• Strong
• Resistance to heat and corrosion
• Last longer
• Easier and more convenient to use
• Able to withstand high pressure

ii. Meaning of composite materials.

A composite material is a structural material that is formed by combining two or more

different substances such as metal, alloys, glass, ceramics and polymers. The different
materials work together to give composite unique properties. The resulting material has
properties that are superior than those of original components. Composite materials are
created for specific application.

Composite exist in nature. A piece of wood is a composite, with long fibres of

cellulose (a very complex form of starch) held together by a much weaker substances
called lignin. Cellulose is also found in cotton and linen, but it is the binding power of
the lignin that make a piece of timber much stronger than bundle of cotton fibres.
iii. Examples of composite materials and their components.


Mixture of :

• Cement
• Gravel
Reinforced concrete • Sand
• Water
• Iron

• Steel
• Yttrium oxide
• Barium carbonate
• Copper (II) oxide
• Silica
• Sodium carbonate
Fibre optic
• Calcium oxide
• Glass fibre
Fibre glass
• Polyester (a type of plastic)
• Glass
Photochromic glass
• Silver chloride or silver bromide
iv. Comparison the properties of composite materials and their original components.


Concrete Reinforced Very strong

Low tensile

Yttrium oxide,
Non- Barium carbonate, Superconductor Very good
conductor Copper (II) oxide conductor

Non carbonate, Fibre optic
transparent Calcium oxide

Transparent Glass
but not Transparent
sensitive to but sensitive
the intensity Photochromic to the
of light rays glass intensity of
light rays
Sensitive to
the intensity Silver chloride
of light rays
v. Uses of composite materials


Reinforced concrete Construction of large structures like
o Highways
o High-rise buildings
o Bridges
o Oil platforms
o Airport runners
o Dams
Superconductor o Transportation
o Telecommunication
o Astronomy
o Industry
o Medical fields
Fibre optic o Used in medical field to observe internal
organs (endoscope)
o Transmit data, voice, images in a digital
Fibre glass o Water storage tanks
o Badminton rackets
o Small boats
o Skis
o Helmets
o Used to make protective apparel for
astronauts and firefighters.
Photochromic glass o To make optical lenses
o Glass windows (windshields) of vehicles
o Lens in camera
o Information display panels
o Optical switches
o Light intensity meters
Bridge are is used to reinfrorced concrete

Magnetic resonance imaging, MRI in hospitals

A helmet that is made from fibre glass

A fibre optic cable

Lenses made from photochromic glass can
protect our eyes from harmful ultaviolet rays

Advanced materials and the future

A lot of time and resources have to be invested through a series of research and tests to
produce a new composite materials. This is essential to fulfil the ever expamdaing needs
especially to help Malaysia to achieve a status of developed country in year 2020. With the
abundant natural resources, dynamic workforce and advance infrastructure that we have, we
are certain that Malaysia will produce outstanding materials of world’s standard.

There are so many synthetic materials being produced and used in our daily lives.
Synthetic materials may have improve our standard of living but at the same time, they may
cause adverse effects on human beings and the environment. Therefore it is very important to
do research and develepmont continuosly.
Importance of doing research and development continuously

The phrase research and development (also R and D or, more often, R&D), according to the
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, refers to "creative work
undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including
knowledge of human, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise
new applications

New product design and development is more than often a crucial factor in the survival of a
company. In an industry that is fast changing, firms must continually revise their design and
range of products. This is necessary due to continuous technology change and development
as well as other competitors and the changing preference of customers. A system driven by
marketing is one that puts the customer needs first, and only produces goods that are known
to sell. Market research is carried out, which establishes what is needed. If the development
is technology driven then it is a matter of selling what it is possible to make. The product
range is developed so that production processes are as efficient as possible and the products
are technically superior, hence possessing a natural advantage in the market place.
R&D has a special economic significance apart from its conventional association with
scientific and technological development. R&D investment generally reflects a government's
or organization's willingness to forgo current operations or profit to improve future
performance or returns, and its abilities to conduct research and development.

In 2006, the world's four largest spenders of R&D were the United States (US$343 billion),
the EU (US$231 billion), Japan (US$130 billion), and China (US$115 billion). In terms of
percentage of GDP, the order of these spenders for 2006 was China (US$115 billion of
US$2,668 billion GDP), Japan, United States, EU with approximate percentages of 4.3, 3.2,
2.6, and 1.8 respectively. The top spenders in terms of percentage of GDP were China,
Sweden, Finland, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Iceland, United States, followed by 9
other countries, and then the EU.

In general, R&D activities are conducted by specialized units or centers belonging to

companies, universities and state agencies. In the context of commerce, "research and
development" normally refers to future-oriented, longer-term activities in science or
technology, using similar techniques to scientific research without predetermined outcomes
and with broad forecasts of commercial yield.

Statistics on organizations devoted to "R&D" may express the state of an industry, the degree
of competition or the lure of progress. Some common measures include: budgets, numbers of
patents or on rates of peer-reviewed publications.

Bank ratios are one of the best measures, because they are continuously maintained, public
and reflect risk.

In the U.S., a typical ratio of research and development for an industrial company is about
3.5% of revenues. A high technology company such as a computer manufacturer might spend
7%. Although Allergan (a biotech company) tops the spending table 43.4% investment,
anything over 15% is remarkable and usually gains a reputation for being a high technology
company. Companies in this category include pharmaceutical companies such as Merck &
Co. (14.1%) or Novartis (15.1%), and engineering companies like Ericsson (24.9%).

Such companies are often seen as poor credit risks because their spending ratios are so

Generally such firms prosper only in markets whose customers have extreme needs, such as
medicine, scientific instruments, safety-critical mechanisms (aircraft) or high technology
military armaments. The extreme needs justify the high risk of failure and consequently high
gross margins from 60% to 90% of revenues. That is, gross profits will be as much as 90% of
the sales cost, with manufacturing costing only 10% of the product price, because so many
individual projects yield no exploitable product. Most industrial companies get only 40%

On a technical level, high tech organization explore ways to re-purpose and repackage
advanced technologies as a way of amortizing the high overhead. They often reuse advanced
manufacturing processes, expensive safety certifications, specialized embedded software,
computer-aided design software, electronic designs and mechanical subsystems.
Research often refers to basic experimental research; development refers to the exploitation
of discoveries. Research involves the identification of possible chemical compounds or
theoretical mechanisms. In the United States, universities are the main provider of research
level products. In the United States, corporations buy licenses from universities or hire
scientists directly when economically solid research level products emerge and the
development phase of drug delivery is almost entirely managed by private enterprise.
Development is concerned with proof of concept, safety testing, and determining ideal levels
and delivery mechanisms. Development often occurs in phases that are defined by drug
safety regulators in the country of interest. In the United States, the development phase can
cost between $10 to $200 million and approximately one in ten compounds identified by
basic research pass all development phases and reach market.

Research and development is nowadays of great importance in business as the level of
competition, production processes and methods are rapidly increasing. It is of especial
importance in the field of Marketing where companies keep an eagle eye on competitors and
customers in order to keep pace with modern trends and analyze the needs, demands and
desires of their customers.

R&D alliance
An R&D alliance is a mutually beneficial formal relationship formed between two or more
parties to pursue a set of agreed upon goals while remaining independent organizations,
where acquiring new knowledge is a goal by itself. The different parties agree to combine
their knowledge to create new innovative products.

Importance of synthetic materials in daily life

Materials science plays a pivotal role in determining and improving economic performance
and the quality of life, particularly in the following areas:

Living Environment: Because of pressing environmental concerns more efficient use of

material and energy resources is urgently required. Materials science is helping to develop
new energy generation technologies, more energy efficient devices, and easily recyclable,
less toxic materials.

Health: Overcoming disease and providing worldwide medical care are high priorities.
Materials science, in conjunction with biotechnology, can meet this challenge by, e.g.,
developing artificial bones and organ implants, safe drug delivery systems, water filtration
systems, etc.

Communication: The increasing interconnectedness of our world requires faster and more
reliable means of communication. The information and associated computer revolutions
closely depend on advances made by scientists working on new electronic, optical, and
magnetic materials.
Consumer Goods: Consumers have come to expect global products/services that are
delivered rapidly at reasonable prices. Materials science can improve not only the products
but also the way they are handled (e.g., packaging), resulting in faster production and
delivery times and higher quality goods.

Transport: Whether for business, holidays, or space exploration, materials science is needed
to provide durable, high-performance materials that make traveling faster, safer, and more
comfortable. Examples are the development of light-weight aluminium bodies for
automobiles, brake systems for high-speed trains, quieter aircrafts, and insulation tiles for re-
entry spacecrafts.

Handling synthetic materials and their wastes


Recycling involves processing used materials into new products in order to prevent waste of
potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy
usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by
reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as
compared to virgin production. Recycling is a key component of modern waste management
and is the third component of the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" waste hierarchy.

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles, and
electronics. Although similar in effect, the composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste
– such as food or garden waste – is not typically considered recycling. Materials to be
recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted,
cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials bound for manufacturing.

In a strict sense, recycling of a material would produce a fresh supply of the same material,
for example used office paper to more office paper, or used foamed polystyrene to more
polystyrene. However, this is often difficult or too expensive (compared with producing the
same product from raw materials or other sources), so "recycling" of many products or
materials involves their reuse in producing different materials (e.g., cardboard) instead.
Another form of recycling is the salvage of certain materials from complex products, either
due to their intrinsic value (e.g., lead from car batteries, or gold from computer components),
or due to their hazardous nature (e.g., removal and reuse of mercury from various items).

Critics of recycling claim that it often wastes more resources than it saves, especially in cases
where it is mandated by the government. Note here that municipal recycling may
nevertheless still be worthwhile if the net cost is less than the landfill or other disposal costs
for the same amount of material

A number of different systems have been implemented
to collect recyclates from the general waste stream.
These systems tend to lie along the spectrum of trade-off b
etween public convenience and government ease and expense.
The three main categories of collection are "drop-off centres",
"buy-back centres" and "curbside collection".

Drop-off centres require the waste producer to carry the

recyclates to a central location, either an installed or mobile
collection station or the reprocessing plant itself. They are
the easiest type of collection to establish, but suffer from low Recycle bin in Malaysia
and unpredictable throughput. Buy-back centres differ in that
the cleaned recyclates are purchased, thus providing a clear
incentive for use and creating a stable supply. The post-processed material can then be sold
on, hopefully creating a profit. Unfortunately government subsidies are necessary to make
buy-back centres a viable enterprise, as according to the United States Nation Solid Wastes
Management Association it costs on average US$50 to process a ton of material, which can
only be resold for US$30.
Curbside collection

Curbside collection encompasses many subtly different systems,

which differ mostly on where in the process the recyclates are sorted
and cleaned. The main categories are mixed waste collection,
commingled recyclables and source separation.
A waste collection vehicle generally picks up the waste.

At one end of the spectrum is mixed waste collection,

in which all recyclates are collected mixed in with the rest
of the waste, and the desired material is then sorted out and
cleaned at a central sorting facility. This results in a large amount
A recycling truck collecting the
of recyclable waste, paper especially, being too soiled to reprocess,
contents of a recycling bin in
but has advantages as well: the city need not pay for a separate
Canberra, Australia
collection of recyclates and no public education is needed.
Any changes to which materials are recyclable is easy to
accommodate as all sorting happens in a central location.

In a Commingled or single-stream system, all recyclables for collection are mixed but kept
separate from other waste. This greatly reduces the need for post-collection cleaning but does
require public education on what materials are recyclable.

Source separation is the other extreme, where each material is cleaned and sorted prior to
collection. This method requires the least post-collection sorting and produces the purest
recyclates, but incurs additional operating costs for collection of each separate material. An
extensive public education program is also required, which must be successful if recyclate
contamination is to be avoided.

Source separation used to be the preferred method due to the high sorting costs incurred by
commingled collection. Advances in sorting technology (see sorting below), however, have
lowered this overhead substantially—many areas which had developed source separation
programs have since switched to comingled collection.


Once commingled recyclates are collected and delivered to a central collection facility, the
different types of materials must be sorted. This is done in a series of stages, many of which
involve automated processes such that a truck-load of material can be fully sorted in less than
an hour. Some plants can now sort the materials automatically, known as Single Stream. A
30% increase in recycling rates has been seen in the areas where these plants exist.

Initially, the commingled recyclates are removed from the collection vehicle and placed on a
conveyor belt spread out in a single layer. Large pieces of cardboard and plastic bags are
removed by hand at this stage, as they can cause later machinery to jam.
Next, automated machinery separates the recyclates by weight, splitting lighter paper and
plastic from heavier glass and metal. Cardboard is removed from the mixed paper, and the
most common types of plastic, PET (#1) and HDPE (#2), are collected. This separation is
usually done by hand, but has become automated in some sorting centers: a spectroscopic
scanner is used to differentiate between different types of paper and plastic based on the
absorbed wavelengths, and subsequently divert each material into the proper collection

Strong magnets are used to separate out ferrous metals, such as iron, steel, and tin-plated
steel cans ("tin cans"). Non-ferrous metals are ejected by magnetic eddy currents in which a
rotating magnetic field induces an electric current around the aluminum cans, which in turn
creates a magnetic eddy current inside the cans. This magnetic eddy current is repulsed by a
large magnetic field, and the cans are ejected from the rest of the recyclate stream.

Finally, glass must be sorted by hand based on its color: brown, amber, green or clear.

Common recyclables
Aggregates and concrete

Concrete aggregate collected from demolition sites is put through a crushing machine, often
along with asphalt, bricks, dirt, and rocks. Smaller pieces of concrete are used as gravel for
new construction projects. Crushed recycled concrete can also be used as the dry aggregate
for brand new concrete if it is free of contaminants. This reduces the need for other rocks to
be dug up, which in turn saves trees and habitats.

Some batteries contain toxic heavy metals,

making recycling or proper disposal a high priority

The large variation in size and type of batteries makes their recycling extremely difficult:
they must first be sorted into similar kinds and each kind requires an individual recycling
process. Additionally, older batteries contain mercury and cadmium, harmful materials which
must be handled with care. Because of their potential environmental damage, proper disposal
of used batteries is required by law in many areas. Unfortunately, this mandate has been
difficult to enforce.

Lead-acid batteries, like those used in automobiles, are relatively easy to recycle and many
regions have legislation requiring vendors to accept used products. In the United States, the
recycling rate is 90%, with new batteries containing up to 80% recycled material.

Biodegradable waste

Garden waste for composting

Kitchen, garden, and other green waste can be recycled into useful material by composting.
This process allows natural aerobic bacteria to break down the waste into fertile topsoil.
Much composting is done on a household scale, but municipal green-waste collection
programs also exist. These programs can supplement their funding by selling the topsoil


Recycling clothes via consignment or swapping has become increasingly popular. In a

clothing swap, a group of people gather at a venue to exchange clothes amongst each other.
In organizations like Clothing Swap, Inc., unclaimed clothing is donated to a local charity.
Electronics disassembly and reclamation

The direct disposal of electrical equipment—such as old computers and mobile phones—is
banned in many areas due to the toxic contents of certain components. The recycling process
works by mechanically separating the metals, plastics, and circuit boards contained in the
appliance. When this is done on a large scale at an electronic waste recycling plant,
component recovery can be achieved in a cost-effective manner.

Steel crushed and baled for


Ferrous metals

Iron and steel are the world's most recycled materials, and among the easiest materials to
reprocess, as they can be separated magnetically from the waste stream. Recycling is via a
steelworks: scrap is either remelted in an electric arc furnace (90-100% scrap), or used as part
of the charge in a Basic Oxygen Furnace (around 25% scrap). Any grade of steel can be
recycled to top quality new metal, with no 'downgrading' from prime to lower quality
materials as steel is recycled repeatedly. 42% of crude steel produced is recycled material.

Non-ferrous metals

Aluminium is one of the most efficient and widely-recycled materials. Aluminium is

shredded and ground into small pieces or crushed into bales. These pieces or bales are melted
in an aluminium smelter to produce molten aluminium. By this stage the recycled aluminium
is indistinguishable from virgin aluminium and further processing is identical for both. This
process does not produce any change in the metal, so aluminium can be recycled indefinitely.

Recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy cost of processing new aluminium. This is
because the temperature necessary for melting recycled, nearly pure, aluminium is 600 °C,
while to extract mined aluminium from its ore requires 900 °C. To reach this higher
temperature, much more energy is needed, leading to the high environmental benefits of
aluminium recycling. Americans throw away enough aluminum every year to rebuild their
entire commercial air fleet. Also, the energy saved by recycling one aluminum can is enough
to run a television for three hours.
Public glass waste collection point for separating clear, green
and amber glass


Glass bottles and jars are gathered by a curbside collection truck and bottle banks, where the
glass may be sorted into color categories. The collected glass cullet is taken to a glass
recycling plant where it is monitored for purity and contaminants are removed. The cullet is
crushed and added to a raw material mix in a melting furnace. It is then mechanically blown
or molded into new jars or bottles. Glass cullet is also used in the construction industry for
aggregate and glassphalt. Glassphalt is a road-laying material which comprises around 30%
recycled glass. Glass can be recycled indefinitely as its structure does not deteriorate when


Paper can be recycled by reducing it to pulp and combining it with pulp from newly
harvested wood. As the recycling process causes the paper fibres to break down, each time
paper is recycled its quality decreases. This means that either a higher percentage of new
fibres must be added, or the paper downcycled into lower quality products. Any writing or
colouration of the paper must first be removed by deinking, which also removes fillers, clays,
and fibre fragments.

Almost all paper can be recycled today, but some types are harder to recycle than others.
Papers coated with plastic or aluminium foil, and papers that are waxed, pasted, or gummed
are usually not recycled because the process is too expensive. Gift-wrap paper also cannot be
recycled due to its already poor quality.

Sometimes recyclers ask for the removal of the glossy inserts from newspapers because they
are a different type of paper. Glossy inserts have a heavy clay coating that some paper mills
cannot accept. Most of the clay is removed from the recycled pulp as sludge which must be
disposed of. If the coated paper is 20% by weight clay, then each ton of glossy paper
produces more than 200 kg of sludge and less than 800 kg of fibre.

Plastic shipping crates


Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastics and reprocessing the
material into useful products. Compared to glass or metallic materials, plastic poses unique
challenges. Because of the massive number of types of plastic, they each carry a resin
identification code, and must be sorted before they can be recycled. This can be costly; while
metals can be sorted using electromagnets, no such 'easy sorting' capability exists for plastics.
In addition to this, while labels do not need to be removed from bottles for recycling, lids are
often made from a different kind of non-recyclable plastic.

To help in identifying the materials in various plastic items, resin identification code numbers
1-6 have been assigned to six common kinds of recyclable plastic resins, with the number 7
indicating any other kind of plastic, whether recyclable or not. Standardized symbols are
available incorporating each of these resin codes.


A brown cloth

When considering textile recycling one must understand what the material consists of. Most
textiles are composites of cotton (biodegradable material) and synthetic plastics. The textile's
composition will affect its durability and method of recycling.

Workers sort and separate collected textiles into good quality clothing and shoes which can
be reused or worn. There is a trend of moving these facilities from developed countries to
developing countries either for charity or sold at a cheaper price.Many international
organisations collect used textiles from developed countries as a donation to those third
world countries. This recycling practise is encouraged because it helps to reduce unwanted
waste while providing clothing to those in need.Damaged textiles are further sorted into
grades to make industrial wiping cloths and for use in paper manufacture or material suitable
for fibre reclamation and filling products. If textile reprocessors receive wet or soiled clothes
however, these may still be disposed of in a landfill, as the washing and drying facilities are
not present at sorting units.
Fibre reclamation mills sort textiles according to fibre type and colour. Colour sorting
eliminates the need to re-dye the recycled textiles. The textiles are shredded into "shoddy"
fibres and blended with other selected fibres, depending on the intended end use of the
recycled yarn. The blended mixture is carded to clean and mix the fibres and spun ready for
weaving or knitting. The fibres can also be compressed for mattress production. Textiles sent
to the flocking industry are shredded to make filling material for car insulation, roofing felts,
loudspeaker cones, panel linings and furniture padding.


A stack of wooden pallets awaits reuse or recycling.

Recycling timber has become popular due to its image as an environmentally friendly
product, with consumers commonly believing that by purchasing recycled wood the demand
for green timber will fall and ultimately benefit the environment. Greenpeace also view
recycled timber as an environmentally friendly product, citing it as the most preferable
timber source on their website. The arrival of recycled timber as a construction product has
been important in both raising industry and consumer awareness towards deforestation and
promoting timber mills to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.

Wood recycling is a subject which has in recent years taken an ever greater role in our lives.
The problem, however, is that although many local authorities like the idea of recycling, they
do not fully support it. One of the countless examples, which has been in the news is the
concept of actually recycling wood which is growing in the cities. Namely, recycling timber,
trees and other sources.
Other techniques

Several other materials are also commonly recycled, frequently at an industrial level.

Ship breaking is one example that has associated environmental, health, and safety risks for
the area where the operation takes place; balancing all these considerations is an
environmental justice problem.

Tire recycling is also common. Used tires can be added to asphalt for producing road
surfaces or to make rubber mulch used on playgrounds for safety. They are also often used as
the insulation and heat absorbing/releasing material in specially constructed homes known as

Sustainable design

Much of the difficulty inherent in recycling comes from the fact that most products are not
designed with recycling in mind. The concept of sustainable design aims to solve this
problem, and was first laid out in the book "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make
Things" by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart. They suggest that
every product (and all packaging they require) should have a complete "closed-loop" cycle
mapped out for each component—a way in which every component will either return to the
natural ecosystem through biodegradation or be recycled indefinitely.

As with environmental economics, care must be taken to ensure a complete view of the costs
and benefits involved. For example, cardboard packaging for food products is more easily
recycled than plastic, but is heavier to ship and may result in more waste from spoilage.
A material system composed of a mixture or combination of two or more constituents that
differ in form or material composition and are essentially insoluble in each other. In
principle, composites can be constructed of any combination of two or more materials—
metallic, organic, or inorganic; but the constituent forms are more restricted. The matrix is
the body constituent, serving to enclose the composite and give it bulk form. Major structural
constituents are fibers, particles, laminae or layers, flakes, fillers, and matrices. They
determine the internal structure of the composite. Usually, they are the additive phase.

Because the different constituents are intermixed or combined, there is always a contiguous
region. It may simply be an interface, that is, the surface forming the common boundary of
the constituents. An interface is in some ways analogous to the grain boundaries in
monolithic materials. In some cases, the contiguous region is a distinct added phase, called
an interphase. Examples are the coating on the glass fibers in reinforced plastics and the
adhesive that bonds the layers of a laminate together. When such an interphase is present,
there are two interfaces, one between the matrix and the interphase and one between the fiber
and the interface.

Interfaces are among the most important yet least understood components of a composite
material. In particular, there is a lack of understanding of processes occurring at the atomic
level of interfaces, and how these processes influence the global material behavior. There is a
close relationship between processes that occur on the atomic, microscopic, and macroscopic
levels. In fact, knowledge of the sequence of events occurring on these different levels is
important in understanding the nature of interfacial phenomena. Interfaces in composites,
often considered as surfaces, are in fact zones of compositional, structural, and property
gradients, typically varying in width from a single atom layer to micrometers.
Characterization of the mechanical properties of interfacial zones is necessary for
understanding mechanical behavior.
Advanced composites comprise structural materials that have been developed for high-
technology applications, such as airframe structures, for which other materials are not
sufficiently stiff. In these materials, extremely stiff and strong continuous or discontinuous
fibers, whiskers, or small particles are dispersed in the matrix. A number of matrix materials
are available, including carbon, ceramics, glasses, metals, and polymers. Advanced
composites possess enhanced stiffness and lower density compared to fiber-glass and
conventional monolithic materials. While composite strength is primarily a function of the
reinforcement, the ability of the matrix to support the fibers or particles and to transfer load
to the reinforcement is equally important. Also, the matrix frequently dictates service
conditions, for example, the upper temperature limit of the composite.

The use of fiber-reinforced materials in engineering applications has grown rapidly. Selection
of composites rather than monolithic materials is dictated by the choice of properties. The
high values of specific stiffness and specific strength may be the determining factor, but in
some applications wear resistance or strength retention at elevated temperatures is more
important. A composite must be selected by more than one criterion, although one may

Components fabricated from advanced organic-matrix–fiber-reinforced composites are used

extensively on commercial aircraft as well as for military transports, fighters, and bombers.
The propulsion system, which includes engines and fuel, makes up a significant fraction of
aircraft weight (frequently 50%) and must provide a good thrust-to-weight ratio and efficient
fuel consumption. The primary means of improving engine efficiency are to take advantage
of the high specific stiffness and strength of composites for weight reduction, especially in
rotating components, where material density directly affects both stress levels and critical
dynamic characteristics, such as natural frequency and flutter speed.

Composites consisting of resin matrices reinforced with discontinuous glass fibers and
continuous-glass-fiber mats are widely used in truck and automobile components bearing
light loads, such as interior and exterior panels, pistons for diesel engines, drive shafts,
rotors, brakes, leaf springs, wheels, and clutch plates.

The excellent electrical insulation, formability, and low cost of glass-fiber-reinforced plastics
have led to their widespread use in electrical and electronic applications ranging from motors
and generators to antennas and printed circuit boards.

Composites are also used for leisure and sporting products such as the frames of rackets,
fishing rods, skis, golf club shafts, archery bows and arrows, sailboats, racing cars, and

Advanced composites are used in a variety of other applications, including cutting tools for
machining of super alloys and cast iron and laser mirrors for outer-space applications. They
have made it possible to mimic the properties of human bone, leading to development of
biocompatible prostheses for bone replacements and joint implants. In engineering,
composites are used as replacements for fiber-reinforced cements and cables for suspension

Sulphuric acid H2SO4, is used to make fertiliser, the electrolyte in car batteries, paint
and detergent. Sullphuric acid, H2SO4, is made in industry through the Contact process. The
burning of fossil fuels such as petrol and products made from sulphuric acid, H2SO4, will
produce sulphur dioxide, SO2, which pullutes the environment. Sulphur dioxide can caused
acid rain which harmful for human and nature.

The main use of ammonia, NH3, is in the manufacture of nitrogenous fertilers. Ammonia
NH3, is mass produced in factories through the Haber process. Examples of ammonium salts
that can be used as fertiliser are ammonium nitrate, NH4NO3, ammonium sulphate,
(NH4)2SO4, and ammonium phosphate, (NH4)3PO4.

An alloy is a compound formed by mixing metals with other elements. The process of
mixing atoms of pure metals and atoms of impurities such as metals or non-metals by
melting is called alloying. Alloying aims to increase the strength and hardness of metals,
prevent metal corrosion and to improve the appearance of metals so that they are more

A polymer is a long-chained molecule made from the combination of many small

molecules (monomers). Polymerisation is the process of combining monomers to form a
long-chained polymer. There are two types of polymers; natural polymer and synthetic
polymer. A natural polymer is a polymer that occurs naturally, such as starch and cellulose. A
synthetic (artificial) polymer is a man-made polymer that is formed from chemical
compounds through polymerisation.

The main component of glass is silica or silicon dioxide, SiO2. Glass is brittle, hard,
transparent and chemically inert. Types of glass include fused silica glass, soda-lime glass,
borosilicate glass and lead crystals glass. Ceramics are items made from clay that have been
heated at high temperature. The main properties of ceramics include being brittle, a good
insulator of heat and electricity, very hard, having a very high melting point and being heat

Composite materials are compound that are formed from combinations of two or more
different compounds. The new subtance has the properties that are superior to those of the
original components. Examples of composite materials are reinforced concrete, composite
plastics, fibre optics, fibre glass and photochromic.

1. Form 4 Chemistry Text Book (KBSM)
2. Reference Text Series Chemistry (Pearson Longman)
3. www.wikipedia.org/wiki/sulfuric_acid
4. www.epa.gov/air/urbanair/so2/hlth1.html
5. www.portal.unesco.org/education
6. www.answers.com/topic/sulfuric-acid
7. http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/entry?id=45647
8. www.ibchem.com/IB/ibnotes/full/ope_htm/sulphuricacid.htm
9. www.wikipedia.org/wiki/ammonia
10. www.schoolscience.co.uk
11. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/alloy
12. www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-haber-bosch-process.htm
13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/synthetic_polymer
14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/polymer
15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/compositematerial
16. www.answers.com/topic/glass
17. www.answers.com/topic/ceramic