Most plastics are made from oil. Oil is a long-chain hydrocarbon, meaning that it is composed of long chains of carbon molecules. These long chains of carbon molecules give plastic its characteristic strength and flexibility.Know More
Plastic is full of long, organic molecules, called polymers. While most plastics are made from oil or similar petrochemicals, they can be formed from just about any organic polymer available. Different types of plastics are suited for different types of tasks, and the manner in which they are made varies from one type to another. Some plastics are designed to be transparent and carry drinking water, while others are designed to be opaque and carry dangerous chemicals.
In addition to being easy to work with and strong, plastics are benign materials that do not react with many chemicals. This is why plastics can be used to carry many different types of substances. For example, alcohol, gasoline and some acids can be contained safely in plastic containers. While this is beneficial to those who produce plastics or use it for commercial purposes, it also means that plastic does not break down quickly. Plastics may linger in landfills for centuries before microscopic organisms and chemicals are able to degrade them.Learn more about Chemistry
Plastic is potentially flammable. Flammability is a trait tested in commercial plastic products by Underwriters Laboratories, the industry standard in plastic flammability ratings. Underwriters Laboratories testing assigns a horizontal or vertical burn rating to plastic products, certifying those that meet its standards.Full Answer >
Fluorine is a highly reactive element that is used in processing nuclear fuel, in producing plastics and as a glass etching solution. It can also be found in toothpaste and drinking water, and it is a component in air conditioning and refrigeration. Because of its highly explosive nature, it is also used in rocket fuels.Full Answer >
Ethane is used in the production of ethylene for making plastics, anti-freeze and detergents; it's a ripening agent for foods, a refrigerant, a substance in producing welding gas and a primary ingredient in mustard gas. Ethane is a component in the natural gas methane and is removed by cryogenic liquefaction.Full Answer >
An engineer uses chemistry to transform raw materials into usable products such as plastics, drugs, fertilizers, foods and petrochemicals. Engineers use chemistry to design and construct plants and to design and perform experiments, with the aim of creating innovative and improved methods of production, resource conservation and pollution control.Full Answer >