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Glossary & *Trademarks
Names marked with an asterisk * are trade marks that are owned and used by companies of the Shell Group. The expression "Shell Chemicals" refers to the companies of the Shell Group engaged in chemical businesses. Each of the companies which make up the Shell Group of companies is an independent entity and has its own separate identity.
Measure of solvency of hydrocarbon solvents
Catalyst presulfurization system
Any organic compound in which the main structure is a chain of carbon atoms joined to each other is classified as being aliphatic.
American National Standards Institute
Aromatics are a highly reactive group of hydrocarbons with unsaturated rings of carbon atoms, producing a great variety of products. As their name implies, they have a strong odour, which is not unpleasant.
American Society for Testing and Materials
A group of chemicals produced in bulk from raw materials such as oil, gas and coal. Other chemicals are derived from base chemicals
The simplest aromatic compound with a ring of six carbon atoms and six hydrogen atoms; one of the most important feedstocks for the chemical industry.
Solvent formulation software
(4,4'-isopropylidenediphenol) An intermediate used in the production of epoxy, polycarbonate and phenolic resins. The name was coined after the condensation reaction by which it may be formed-two (bis) molecules of phenol with one of acetone (A). (Whittington's Dictionary of Plastics, published by Technomic Publishing)
British thermal unit (BTU)
The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
Abbreviation of the aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, toluene and xylene.
Isocyanates for polyurethane production
Polyols for polyurethane production
Additive for polyurethane foam manufacture
A technology for flexible foam production
A substance which aids or promotes a chemical reaction without forming part of the final product. It enables the reaction to take place faster or at a lower temperature, and remains unchanged at the end of the reaction.
NaOH = Sodium hydroxide. A corrosive substance due to its high pH
A thermal cracking process to break up large molecules into smaller ones with the generation of quantities of petroleum coke.
The process of breaking down large molecules of oil into smaller ones. When this process is achieved by the application of heat only, it is known as thermal cracking. If a catalyst is used as well it is known as catalytic cracking. It is known as hydrocracking if the catalytic process is conducted in a hydrogen atmosphere. Cracking causes molecular decomposition and recombination to produce a range of more useful base chemicals.
Customer services provided on-line in the field of bulk business to business chemical sales, in class 35 (U.S. CLS. 100, 101 and 102). Customer Lounge is a Shell trademark.
Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether
Diethylene glycol monomethyl ether
Dimethyl cyclohexyl amine catalyst for polyurethane foam
(Fractional distillation) A process based on the difference in boiling points of the liquids in the mixture to be separated. Successive vaporisation and condensation of crude oil in a fractionating column will separate out the lighter products, leaving a residue of fuel oil or bitumen. Distillation is carried out in such a way as to avoid any cracking. It is the basic process that takes place in an oil refinery.
Acids for detergent manufacture
The chemical bond between two carbon atoms can involve one, two or three pairs of electrons, producing a single (C-C), double (C=C) or triple (CÂºC) bond. While the extra pairs of electrons give the bond more energy they also make it more chemically reactive.
Oils for natural and synthetic rubber
Ethyl alcohol = ethanol
Ethyl butyl ketone, solvent
Ethylene glycol = 1,2-ethanediol = dihydroxyethane Alcohol formed by hydrolysis of Ethylene Oxide (EO)
Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether
A polymer with the properties of rubber. Polymers that can be formulated as elastomers are polyurethane, butyl rubber, silicones and specially treated ethylene-propylene copolymers.
Elemica is a trademark of the Elemica group of companies.
Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) surfactants
Exploration and Production function of the Shell Group
United States Environmental Protection Agency
(ethyl alcohol) A chemical formed by fermentation or synthesis; used as a raw material in a wide range of industrial and chemical processes.
An olefin consisting of two carbon atoms and four hydrogen atoms, a very important base chemical in the chemical and plastics industries.
United States Food and Drug Administration
Raw material for a processing unit
Polyurethane foam formulation software
Antifreeze and coolant
When a polymer is derived from a single monomer then all the repeating units along its chain are the same and it is described as a homopolymer. Copolymer is made from two monomers.
An organic compound that consists exclusively of the elements carbon and hydrogen. Generally, the term hydrocarbon is used for the chemicals that are derived from natural gas, oil and coal.
Isobutyl alcohol = isobutanol
Initial boiling point of a mixture of liquids
Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE)
A plastic that is used predominantly in film applications due to its toughness, flexibility and relative transparency. LLDPE is the preferred resin for injection molding because of its superior toughness and is used in items such as grocery bags, garbage bags and landfill liners. (Adapted from Modern Plastics Encyclopedia 1995)
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
A plastic used predominantly in film applications due to its toughness, flexibility and relative transparency. LDPE has a low melting point, making it popular for use in applications where heat sealing is necessary. Typically, LDPE is used to manufacture flexible films such as those used for plastic retail bags and garment dry cleaning and grocery bags. LDPE is also used to manufacture some flexible lids and bottles, and it is widely used in wire and cable applications for its stable electrical properties and processing characteristics. (Adapted from Modern Plastics Encyclopedia 1995)
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Methyl Alcohol = methanol
Methyl isobutyl ketone
A relatively simple compound that can react to form a polymer (i.e. polymerize). (Plastics Engineering Handbook of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., edited by Michael L. Berins)
Material Safety Data Sheet
Naphtha, which also contains some aromatics, is the primary source from which petrochemicals are derived.
Linear higher olefins
Detergent alcohols and derivatives
Ethoxylates produced from alcohols derived from oleochemical processes
Alcohol ethoxy carboxylic acid (use as a detergent for personal care)
Drilling fluids range derived from olefins and paraffins
Higher olefin-based solvents
Branched olefin produced by the polymerisation of propylene
Olefins are aliphatic hydrocarbons with one or more double bonds along the chain. The lower olefins have short chains with only two, three or four carbons, and the simplest one is ethylene. The higher olefins have chains of up to 20 or more carbon atoms, and generally have the double bond between the first two carbons of the chain. These are termed the alpha olefins.
These are based on carbon compounds and form the backbone of the petrochemicals industry, while inorganic chemicals are non-carbon chemicals, such as mineral acids, alkalis, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and various salts.
An organic compound that has been derived from petroleum or natural gas. There are almost 200 chemicals that can be so described and they include many simple hydrocarbons (such as methane, ethane, etc.) aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, toluene, etc.), olefins (ethylene, propylene, etc.), naphthenes and various of their derivatives.
Polymer is derived from the Greek word poly meaning many while the term monomer is derived from mono meaning one. When identical simple molecules (monomers) come together and link up in a chain-like fashion they form a polymer. Polymers can be short chains of only a few dozen units, or long chains with millions of units. The chemical reaction that forms a polymer is called polymerisation. There are natural polymers (often referred to as biopolymers) such as cellulose, rubber and DNA, and synthetic polymers such as polyethylene, nylon and PVC.
This is an organic molecule with three or more alcohol groups attached. The correct chemical term for an alcohol group is a hydroxy group with the combination of one oxygen attached to one hydrogen (OH).
This is the collective name given to those polymers that are made from the lower olefins: ethylene, propylene, butylene and isoprene. The polyolefins are thermoplastic polymers (see under thermoset).
A co-polymer polyols production technology
Parts by weight per billion parts
Parts by weight per million parts
Any of a class of solid or semi-solid organic products of natural or synthetic origin, generally of high molecular weight with no definite melting point. Most resins are polymers. (Plastics Engineering Handbook of The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., edited by Michael L. Berins, 1991)
Detergent normal paraffins
Secondary butyl alcohol
Antifreeze and coolant
A liquid that is capable of dissolving another substance is called a solvent. Solvents can be chosen or blended to dissolve almost any kind of material and they are an integral part of the chemicals industry. They are an essential part of all cleaning processes, both industrial and domestic.
Drilling mud and oilfield production chemical components
This is short for surface-active agent and is used to describe a chemical that will reduce the surface tension of water when it is added to it. This enables the water to mix with materials it would otherwise not dissolve, such as grease. Surfactants can be detergents, wetting agents and emulsifiers, but all have the same chemical ability for one end of the molecule to be attracted to water and the other to organic materials, like greases, fats or oils.
To meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (The World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, 1987)
This is an abbreviation of synthesis gas and is applied to several kinds of mixtures that are produced by reacting steam, or steam and oxygen, with a heated carbon-containing material such as natural gas, heavy petroleum oil, coal or coke. Syngas consists mainly of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, and this can then be converted to other more useful chemicals such as methanol, acetic acid, gasoline, or waxes.
The process of heating a thermoplastic sheet to a working temperature and then forming it into a finished shape by means of heat or pressure. (Modern Plastics Encyclopedia 1995)
Plastic which is solid when cold, but which may flow and be re-formed with the application of heat.
A polymer that solidifies when heated, in other words it sets and cannot thereafter be changed, is called a thermoset. Some polymers behave like this because the heating process causes the chains of the polymer to bind to each other, via cross-links, and these cannot then be broken. Polymers that remain malleable after heating and cooling are referred to as thermoplastics. Polymers of this kind can also be cross-linked by the addition of certain cross-linking agents and turned into rigid materials.