Chemical Industries

  • Chemical industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. The Indian chemical industry accounts for 3% of the global chemical industry share. Some of the major types of chemical industries are:
  1. Petrochemicals
  2. Synthetic Fibre
  3. Polymers
  4. Oil Refineries, and
  5. Fertilisers
  • Petrochemical industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the Indian economy. It is located near oil refineries as it is easy to obtain raw materials, like naphtha or ethylene and benzene. This industry provides the foundation for manufacturing industries, such as pharmaceuticals, construction, agriculture, textiles, automotive, and packaging industry, etc.
  • Synthetic fibres are man-made, which are prepared in the laboratory by the joining of monomers into polymers, by the process of polymerisation. India’s synthetic fibre industry is dominated largely by polyester.


  • Polymers are made up of ethylene and propylene. They provide the basic raw materials for the plastic industry. Plastics are synthetic polymers, which provide the basic raw material for the plastic industry. Plastics are used widely in packaging, and building industry.
  • Crude oil is processed in oil refineries before use. Various products obtained during refining are kerosene, diesel, petrol, lubricants, bitumen, etc. The first ever oil refinery in India was established at Digboi, in Assam, which started working in 1901. Oil refineries are located near oilfields or sea coast. There are a total of 19 oil refineries in India. 17 of these are in public sector, which include refineries at Digboi, Trombay, Mathura, Panipat, Haldia and Kochi. There is one oil refinery under private sector, which is the Reliance Petroleum Limited (RPL) at Jamnagar. There is one oil refinery in joint sector as well, which is at Numaligarh (IOC).
  • Chemical fertilisers are of synthetic origin, which are added to the soil to supply one or more nutrients and improve its fertility. Fertilisers help in increasing the agricultural production of any country. The impact of chemical fertilisers was at peak during the Green Revolution. India is the 3rd largest producer of fertilisers in the world. There are more than 57 large-sized and 64 medium- and small-sized chemical fertilizer production units in India and the prominent products are nitrogenous fertilizers, ammonium sulfate, phosphate-based fertilizers, calcium ammonium nitrate, urea, etc.

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  • Q1

    What are main characteristics of plastics?


    Main characteristics of plastic are as follows:

    • It has high moulding capacity.
    • Versatility
    • Non corrosive
    • Moisture resistant
    • Physically and chemically strong
    • Economically viable

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  • Q2

    What are the main products of petrochemicals?


    Some of the main products of petrochemicals are:

    • Fertilisers and insecticides
    • Resins and adhesives for industries
    • Plastic items for domestic use
    • Drugs and pharmaceuticals
    • Synthetic fibres
    • Synthetic rubber
    • Paints and furniture varnish, and
    • Carbon black

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  • Q3

    Which was the first petrochemical complex under private sector?


    Union Carbide India Ltd was set-up at Trombay, Maharashtra in 1966. It was the first petrochemical complex under private sector. It has an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes naphtha cracker.

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  • Q4

    Which company is the largest producer of nitrogenous fertiliser in the country?


    NFL is the largest producer of nitrogenous fertiliser in the country.

    It has a total installed capacity of 10.36 lakh tonnes of nitrogen.

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  • Q5

    Name some chemical industries.


    Some of the major types of chemical industries are:

    • Petrochemicals
    • Synthetic Fibre
    • Polymers
    • Oil Refineries and
    • Fertilisers

    View Answer