Acetic acid: an essential constituent of vinegar, also used in the manufacture of many solvents, certain plastics and different pharmaceutical products. It is also used in perfumes, photography, printing…
Acrylic acid: used in the manufacture of plastics and paints.
Activated carbon: used to remove impurities from liquids.
Aluminum: used to produce soda cans and for food packaging. It is also found in the composition of alloys used in ironworks, shipbuilding, and the automotive, aeronautical and aerospace industries. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is used in very small quantities as an adjuvant in vaccines to increase their efficiency.
Ammonia: used in the manufacture of explosives, fertilizers and synthetic fibres such as nylon. It is also used as a fluid in industrial refrigeration systems.
Ammonium nitrate: mainly used to produce fertilizers and explosives.
Asbestos: composed of fibrous minerals, it has been used since the 1960s to insulate buildings. Due to the severe pulmonary defects it generates, its use has been extremely strictly regulated since the late 1970s.
Bauxite: ore from which aluminum is extracted.
Benzene: used to obtain ethylbenzene which in turn is used to produce styrene.
Butadiene: used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber, nylon, varnishes and paints.
Butane: used as an auxiliary fuel. It can also be used to synthesize acetic acid or butadiene.
Butanol: used as a solvent in many products (paints, varnishes, resins, cleaning agents, brake fluid) as well as in extraction and purification processes in vegetable oils, perfumes, antibiotics, vitamins...
Calcium carbide: used in the past to produce acetylene which is employed as a fuel for welding.
Carbon dioxide: constitutes the bubbles of carbonated fizzy drinks. It is also used in certain types of extinguishers. In solid form, it is known as carbon dioxide snow.
Caustic soda: used in the composition of soaps, detergents and plastics.
Citric acid: naturally present in lemon, it is used as a food additive. It is also used to prevent fungal, bacterial and algal growth.
Coal: burnt in thermal power plants and used in the manufacture of coke which is employed in the production of steel.
Copper: a good electrical conductor, commonly used in the production of cables used for electrical and electronic power distribution networks. The water pipes in buildings and individual houses can also be made of copper.
Cyanide: used as a pesticide but also in the mining industry to extract precious metals such as gold or silver.
Dichlorine: used to purify water and bleach paper. It is found in the composition of plastics, antiseptics, insecticides, paints, dyes and medicines.
Dichloroethane: mainly used as an intermediary in the production of other products such as vinyl chloride. It is also found in the composition of gasoline antifreeze, paint stripper and varnishes, as well as metal degreasers.
Dihydrogen: used in the production of ammonia, methanol, hydrochloric acid and cooking oils. It is also employed as a rocket propellant and as a coolant for the alternators of nuclear power stations.
Dinitrogen: used in liquid form for freezing at very low temperatures (< –150°C) as well as in gas form to preserve foods and certain medicines.
Ethanol: used as a fuel, disinfectant and solvent. It is also used in the manufacture of perfumes, paints and dyes.
Ethyl acrylate: mainly used in the production of polymers for instance for the textile, paper, leather and adhesive industries.
Ethylene: used as an anesthetic by inhalation, as well as in welding, in the industrial production of ethanol and in many organic products.
Ferrous sulphate (or iron sulphate): used as a moss killer and to treat wood.
Hydrochloric acid: very commonly used in different processes in the chemical industry, in particular to produce vinyl chloride, activated carbon, ascorbic acid (vitamin C)...
Hydrogen sulphide: used in the manufacture of certain organosulphur compounds such as methylmercaptan (odorant added to odourless gases) or thioglycolic acid (stabilizing agent in PVC, active ingredient in hair removal creams).
Iron: found in the composition of different alloys such as steel and cast iron.
Isopropyl alcohol: also known as isopropanol, used as a solvent in a wide range of products: varnishes, paints, inks, paint strippers, adhesives, insecticides, window cleaning products, perfumes, shampoos, nail varnishes, deodorants...
Lead concentrate: intermediate product between the ore and the metal of the same name.
Lead: mainly used for car batteries. It is also used to produce alloys for welding, pigments…
Lime: used to treat waste to make it inert.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG): mainly composed of methane. It is mostly used to produce energy. It constitutes one of the fundamental raw materials for the chemical and petrochemical industries.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG): mainly composed of butane and propane. It is used as a fuel for certain vehicles, as well as for heating and cooking.
Magnesium phosphide: used as a pesticide.
Mercury: used in the manufacture of batteries, light bulbs, disinfectants and to obtain gold and silver.
Methane: main constituent of natural gas, mostly used to produce energy. It also constitutes one of the fundamental raw materials for the chemical and petrochemical industries.
Methanol: mainly used to produce formalin, commonly used in permanent glues, and methyl tert-butyl ether, very common additive in unleaded gasoline.
Methylethylketone: mainly used as a solvent in various coatings (vinyl, acrylic) but also in paint stripper, lacquers, varnishes, glues and printing inks...
Methylmercury: waste derived from mercury and generated through different processes in the chemical industry.
Molasses: very thick syrup produced by refining sugar. It is used in human foods and cattle feeds. It is also used in biotechnological industries and to produce ethanol.
Naphtha: key intermediary in the manufacture of products from petrochemistry.
Nitric acid: mainly used to produce fertilizers and explosives.
Palm nut oil: very commonly used in the food industry (chocolate, margarine) and in soapmaking.
Palm oil: used in the agri-food industry, it is found in cereal, margarine, biscuits, mayonnaise, chocolate…
Phenol: mainly used as an intermediary in the synthesis of plastics, adhesives, insulation, solvents... It is also used in the manufacture of certain cosmetics and medicines.
Phosphate (rock): mainly used to manufacture phosphoric acid.
Phosphoric acid: used almost exclusively in the synthesis of fertilizers.
Polyester: mainly used to manufacture textile fibres.
Polystyrene: used to make the casing for objects such as hair driers, computers and electrical household appliances.
Polyvinyl chloride: found in the composition of many objects such as shoes and bank cards. It is also used in public health (catheters, blood bags), construction (window frames, pipes, electric cable ducts) and the automotive industry (bumpers, dashboards).
Potash: also known as potassium hydroxide, used in the production of fertilizers, soaps, detergents and synthetic rubber.
Propane: used as a fuel for heating and cooking.
Propylene: raw material widely used in the chemical industry, in particular to produce polypropylene, a commonly used plastic.
Silica: principal constituent of glass.
Sodium chlorate: mainly used to bleach papermaking pulp.
Sodium lauryl sulphate: used in cosmetics but also in scientific research as a detergent.
Sodium peroxide: involved in the synthesis of oxygenated water, but also found in certain air regeneration systems.
Styrene: used to synthesize polystyrene.
Sulphur: pale yellow chemical element used to synthesize sulphuric acid.
Sulphuric acid: mainly used in the production of phosphate fertilizers and pigments.
Tetrachloroethylene or perchloroethylene: used as a solvent, a dry cleaning agent and a degreaser for metal parts.
Toluene: used as an intermediary in the manufacture of many products (benzene, xylenes, phenol...) and as a solvent for paints, varnishes, printing inks and glues.
Tributyltin (TBT): used as an antifungal agent (paper, leather, textiles, cooling systems), a disinfectant (hospitals, power stations) and a parasite control agent (brewing, masonry).
Trichloroethylene: used to synthesize many organic compounds as well as to degrease metals.
Trinitrotoluene: also known as TNT, used as an explosive.
Vinyl acetate: used to synthesize polyvinyl acetate which is used in adhesives and quick drying paints.
Vinyl chloride: mainly used to synthesize polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Xylenes: used as solvents in the manufacture of paints, varnishes, glues and printing inks.