Why are BIC and BOC Called Commodity Chemicals?

Why are BIC and BOC Called Commodity Chemicals?

What Are Commodity Chemicals?

Commodity chemicals (also known as bulk chemicals) are chemicals that are produced in bulk quantities by a large number of manufacturers. These chemicals tend to have extremely minimal product variation between producers, as development is very standardized to ensure exact matches in chemical composition. Commodity chemicals’ massive-scale production ensures consistent composition so that they can be used for the production of other specialty chemicals.

What are BIC and BOC?

BIC are basic inorganic chemicals and BOC are basic organic chemicals.

Basic organic chemicals include:

  • ethylene
  • propylene
  • C4 fraction
  • benzene
  • toluene
  • xylene
  • methane

Basic inorganic chemicals include:

  • sulphuric acid
  • nitrogen
  • oxygen
  • ammonia
  • lime
  • sodium hydroxide
  • phosphoric acid
  • chlorine

These chemicals are direct or immediate byproducts of naturally occurring resources. This ready availability allows them to be produced easily in large quantities.

What are BIC and BOC used for?

BIC often have high melting points and particular high or low conductivity properties, making them useful for specific jobs–sulphuric acid is a key aspect in the production of fertilizers, as well as other products like dyes, drugs, paints, and detergents. It may also be used in petroleum refining to wash impurities out of gasoline or other refined products. Ammonia is also used in fertilizers, as well as in the productions of nylon, fibers, plastics, polyurethanes, aspects of jet fuels, and explosives. Chlorine is used in agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals for water treatment. Essentially, the basic inorganic chemicals are used as catalysts, pigments, surfactants, fuels, and many more.

BOC compose most modern materials around us. They are found in agrochemicals, coatings, cosmetics, detergents, dyes, food, plastics, rubber, and more. Ethylene is a particularly vital chemical to our manufacturing industry—it is used in plastic, polyester, antifreeze, PVC pipes, medical devices, tires, and foam insulation. Another BOC, propylene, is used in automobile plastics, electrical appliances, electronic devices, toys, packaging, carpets, wires, aircraft de-icing fluids, cleaners, and a plethora of more applications.

How do they Qualify as Commodity Chemicals?

BIC and BOC are simple chemicals that can be used in the production of other specialty chemicals. These compounds are considered “building blocks” for more complex compounds. The ease of production and versatility that these chemicals bring is what classifies them as commodities.

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