The dynamic growth of the economy leads to accelerated consumption of all types of resources (material, energy, financial, etc.). This paper will focus only on the problems of the use of raw materials and energy resources, as it is one of the most topical problems nowadays. Over the decade, global consumption of oil, gas and coal increased by almost half, while the demand for energy is doubling every 12-14 years.
About 70% of oil and 50% of coal extracted from the subsoil were mined over the last 15-20 years. Naturally, all this has led to the depletion of the rich deposits located in the European part of the country. The mining industry has focused on the exploitation of increasingly poor mineral deposits, chemical and mineralogical compositions of which vary not only by geographical area, but also within the area of individual fields.
Processing companies are forced to adapt to the frequent changes in the content of target components and type of impurities in the feed. This situation is becoming typical for many of the major types of chemical raw materials: oil, ores, phosphates, etc. Coal mining, gas, oil, moved to Siberia because of the large capital investment in the development of deposits and the high cost of transportation of raw materials. All this led to a rise in the cost of raw materials (gas, oil, and coal) and the value of derived from them products (gasoline, diesel fuel, plastics, synthetic fibers, synthetic rubbers). For example, the average cost of production of one cubic meter of natural gas has increased over 20 years by 8-10 times, and costs associated with its transportation – by 2-4 times. In general, capital investments per unit increase in output in the mining industry 3 times higher than in the processing.
Further development of the chemical industry will take place in the conditions under which the raw materials and energy resources may no longer be considered inexhaustible. Therefore, at each new stage of development of chemistry should be found other ways to save energy and raw materials at the expense of finding and implementing innovative technological solutions, as well as the creation of high-efficiency equipment and improved production systems (Hackett 127).
All of the above leads to reconsideration of the existing views, re-evaluation of the problem of careful integrated use of raw materials, secondary material and energy resources, waste production.
Complex Processing of Raw Materials
Natural raw materials in their structure except for the useful component usually contain impurities of other substances, the latter can vary quite widely and often greatly exceed the mineral content. For example, the amount of mineral matter (ash) in coals sometimes reaches 50%, and in oil shales these impurities may reach 95%. Apatite-nepheline ores as a source of phosphate raw materials contain only 15 wt. % P2O5. The remaining 85% are represented by Al2O3, TiO2, SiO2, and other components. Therefore, the main direction in solving the problem of raw material savings is the development and application of integrated processing.
Complex processing of raw materials is the use of mineral constituents of raw materials by converting them into useful products by combining multiple industries within a single enterprise. Thus, the conversion of natural gas together with hydrogen to synthesize NH3 produced carbon dioxide, which in the process of synthesis of NH3 is not applicable. Therefore, there is usually combined production of ammonia with the urea. Based on a comprehensive utilization of non-ferrous metal concentrates, organized large-scale production of metals such as cadmium, bismuth, indium, rhenium, selenium, tellurium, and other trace elements.
With the integrated use of raw materials contacts the problem of processing and recycling of by-products and waste production and their use as secondary material resources. Almost every chemical production except the desired product, there are formed substances that are not implemented and go to waste. There is a variety of causes of waste: impurities in the raw materials, low selectivity of complex reactions, multicomponent materials. In the waste are well-spent ancillary materials (catalysts, solvents, extractants, etc.). Each enterprise usually forms three types of waste: liquid, solid and gaseous (Bhattacharyya and Hodler 610).
Solid wastes are stored in heaps, gradually accumulating on the premises. They are burned, buried and dumped into the old generation. Meanwhile, millions of tons of waste dumps contain substances, which by mechanical, thermal or chemical treatment can be converted into useful products.
An interesting example of the implementation of this idea is the use of large-scale waste pulp production - technical hydrolytic lignin. Technical lignin is a complex multiphase and polydisperse solid material, which in addition to lignin, include polysaccharides, resins, humic substances, moisture. The most interesting component of this mixture is itself lignin - a natural polymer having a complex structure containing aromatic rings. Its processing can be performed in three ways: 1) the use of lignin after machining and heat treatment in its natural form; 2) thermal treatment (incineration); 3) chemical modification.
After drying and milling, lignin flour is used as filler instead of carbon black plastics, wood flour, and completely eliminates compounding of rubbers frame fumed extremely scarce. Thermal incineration is impractical because of the waste components possessing certain application properties, especially pronounced in the sorption capacity, which can be enhanced by chemical modification. By nitration, chlorination and sulfonation, lignin is processed into products such nitrolignin (control of structural and mechanical properties of the mud), chlorolignin (substitute natural tanning adsorbent to extract rare earth metals from solutions), etc.
The exhaust gases contain components such as CO, CO2, NO, NO2, SO2, H2S. Composition of exhaust gases depends on the type of production. These gases poison the atmosphere, reducing soil fertility, and destroy the crops. The most dangerous component of the exhaust gases is considered sulfur dioxide, which reacts in the air with water vapor and falls to the ground as acid rain, which has detrimental effect on human health, crops and buildings. Only industrial enterprises annually emit about 160 million tons of SO2, of which about 70% thermal power plants supply 15% - ferrous and non-ferrous metals and 15% - chemical and petrochemical industry. Using only offgases of ferrous metallurgy, sulfuric acid is obtained - more than 25% of its production in the country (Le Billon 27).
Wastewater discharged into water bodies contain harmful organic and inorganic substances. They reduce the amount of oxygen in the water, and have detrimental effect on flora and fauna reservoirs. Thus, waste problems are closely related to environmental protection.
Rightly, the chemical industry is believed to have no waste in ideal. Any waste is a chemical substance that can, and should be the raw material for various products. Therefore, the waste should be considered as secondary material resources. In recent years, thanks to the development of science and technology, there is constantly expanding range of waste used in the chemical industry. It should be noted that the energy consumption of aluminum from recycled 20 times and 10 times became lower than the power consumption of their primary production. Capital investments in the processing of secondary raw materials is about four times less than in the processing of the primary.
Fuel and Energy Problem
The most versatile and valuable raw material for the chemical and petrochemical industries are fossil fuels: oil, coal, natural gas and passing. However, these minerals are both primary sources of energy. Oil remains the main component of the energy balance and the main source of production of motor fuels. Global refining capacity is more than 4 billion tons/year, which provides in developed countries almost 40% of the energy produced. Of this amount, the proportion of energy to motor fuels, depending on the processing depth in different regions of the world have from 35 to 70%. In connection with using up the largest and most easily accessible oil and gas fields, the question arose: how to allocate reasonably the remaining resources of raw materials and to provide humanity with the required amount of energy. Until recent years, the increase of energy resources was mainly due to the increase in the share of oil and gas in the energy mix. However, in Russia in the 90s recession began production, developed into a deep energy crisis. Therefore, there is need to restructure the fuel and energy balance.
The decision of the fuel and energy problems can be identified in two directions: the deepening of oil and gas and the involvement of coal and natural gas in the production of alternative fuels. If 10-20 years ago needs of the economy in motor fuels, lubricants, chemical raw materials were met by increasing the volume of oil refining, now with the increased cost of its production, this approach is irrational. There is provided the creation of better technology of oil refining, which yield valuable light products would increase by reducing the proportion of heavy residues as fuel oil, tar, vacuum residues, etc. In modern conditions, it is the most economical way. Chemical recycling of these residues by destructive processes such as hydrocracking, hydrogenation and coking, increases the yield of liquid fuels and petrochemical feedstock resources without increasing oil production.
The problem of reducing the consumption of petroleum products for fuel goals can be achieved by replacing fuel oil in energy production of natural gas and coal-water-fuel oil mixtures, the use of compressed and liquefied natural gas vehicles, the introduction of the methanol gasoline and its derivatives and getting through methanol motor fuels (Van der Ploeg 368). Some of these problems must be solved by creating appropriate engine designs, but the main role belongs to chemistry. It is necessary to create large model factories for the production of methanol, develop catalysts and processes for production of methanol, higher alcohols enriched whose presence stabilizes the mixture. Methanol improves the octane number of gasoline, improves the fuel combustion process is cheap and accessible to the fuel additive. Used for the production of methanol synthesis gas, which can be obtained by gasification of petroleum residues and natural gas, coal, and in the future, apparently, and gasification of wood and agricultural residues. Using the developed methanol manufacture of many valuable products: protein-vitamin concentrate esters tert-butyl alcohol, which are high-octane additive to gasoline, solvents, plasticizers, pharmaceuticals, etc.
As a fuel for motor vehicles, there is planned to use the associated gas and hydrogen. Chemists are actively involved in the creation of strong, lightweight fuel tanks for liquefied gases, developing new catalysts that allow at moderate temperatures (in the core of nuclear reactors) to decompose water into elements. Thus, the problem of chemical and petrochemical raw materials is achieved by replacing a portion of oil used as fuel for synthetic fuel by deep complex processing of oil and associated gas. This will increase the volume of production of monomers and starting materials for industrial organic synthesis without increasing the production of hydrocarbons.
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