Nigel Colenutt reviews the fifth edition

The Essential Chemical Industry: Book cover

The Essential Chemical Industry (5th edition)
Allan Clements et al.
UK: Chemical Industry Education Centre 2010 | Pp250 | £25 (PB) | ISBN9781853425950

Many years ago when the school curriculum was experiencing yet another change there was a requirement to include content on the chemical industry, processes, economics and environmental impact but there were very few resources. So there was great excitement in the prep room when an earlier edition of this book arrived. It was comprehensive, authoritative, up to date and provided a great deal of help to teachers. Modern syllabus specific texts now cover the processes required for their syllabus but nowhere will you find a volume that covers so much of the chemical industry in one place.

The fifth edition has been extensively updated and now has colour photos on most pages. The book is divided into colour coded sections on processes, materials and applications, chemicals, polymers and metals along with a comprehensive index. Most of the chemicals are given two pages but the other sections are a little longer. The chemical pages contain information on uses, the amount produced annually and the manufacturing processes used.

As might be expected of a book promoting chemistry the positive contribution of the industry and its attempts to be safe and environmentally friendly are covered but the negative aspects have not been addressed. This is a minor criticism of a highly informative book that should have a place in every school prep room or library.

It is not a textbook in the typical sense of the word but an excellent reference volume that will be of interest and use to many chemistry teachers as well as those students that have an interest that lies beyond their current syllabus. The book is well laid out and has good visual appeal.

Sample material from the book can be viewed on the Chemical Industry Education Centre website.

The essential industrial chemistry

A website based around the text