Blackboard - Discussion Pages

Charles E. Ophardt, Professor of Chemistry, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL 60126,, Copyright 2004


ON-LINE Lecture Discussion Requirement:
Do one compound from the QUES 1 (counts as three questions for 6 points).

Extra credit 1 point: A third question may be to respond or comment to someone else, or use General Questions to ask a general question the Prof or others might answer.

Check answers already completed in
Blackboard - Discussion Pages

Write out answers to questions in a WORD PROCESSOR
and then copy and paste into

Requirements for the Lecture On-Line Discussion
Method to list references and citations.

Text Chapters - 8, 9, 16

 Introduction: Since prehistoric times, people have made a variety of "things" and used them for tools, weapons, shelter, transportation, food, and clothing. The "things" are derived from natural and mineral resources - the source of all chemical elements.

A modern industrial society drills and pumps, digs and mines rocks, minerals, oil, and gas from the earth; and extracts and pumps molecules and compounds from the air and water. Raw materials are refined, processed, manufactured, and synthesized into usable compounds and materials - all through the knowledge and processes of chemistry. Stop for a moment and contemplate where the nearest material that you see came from.

This is part of the Ecological Foot Print calculated in the the Topic 1. In this topic we will look at some industrial chemicals - some of which you may not use directly, but form the basis for the synthesis of many compounds and materials used in a modern society. Some questions included: What is the source of raw materials? What is the environmental impact of obtaining the raw material? How is the chemcial made from the raw materials? are there any related products? How is the product used and discarded?

General Reference Sources

A. C. Buehler Library Elmhurst College

Check out "Reference Sources", then "Access Science" - McGraw Hill Online Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. This is also available in the library reference section in hard copy.

Wikipedia is an online encylopedia which can be used to find a lot of info about specific chemicals and many other things as well.
Wikipedia - Chemistry Portal

Chemical Industry.Com - Gives a variety of links - may give some indications of uses of the chemical - -

MSDS Sheets - gives safety, hazard, and toxcity information - papers are Acrobat format

 1. Industrial Development vs. Environment  
 2. Sulfuric acid Sulfuric Acid Growth
 3. Ammonia and nitric acid Nitrogen: Food or Flames
 4. Chlorine and sodium hydroxide Tree for Salt as a Basic Raw Material
How is Chlorine Made?

 5. Derivatives of petrochemicals  ProfONotes: Petrochemicals
 A. Crude oil distillation
 ProfONotes: Oil Refining
 B. Ethylene and polyethylene

ProfONotes: Polymers
 C. Vinyl chloride and PVC
 ProfONotes: Polymers
 D. Other polymers such as nylon and polyesters
 ProfONotes: Polymers

 QUES. 1: Each person may choose ONE compound from those on the right column and write a brief report. This will count for the total of 6 points for the lecture on-line discussion. Please check the discussion forum so that you select a compound not already choosen.

First use the text book, then look at some of the general internet sites (sections 1-5 above). Then use various "search engines" such as Google on the internet or a Science encyclopedia to find as much as possible of the following information (hard copy or online copy - see link on right bottom to the Library.

1. Source of raw materials;
2. Synthesis reactions (words or equations);
3. Other products made with the compound or uses of the compound;
4. Environmental impacts (in making the compound or in its use and discard) or hazards;
5. Any other interesting details.

Write a short report (about 5 paragraphs) to summarize your findings. You should be able to copy from your word processor and paste into the message box of the CHM 110 Discussion Board.

 Assignment: Pick ONE compound that no one else has done.

Sulfuric Acid
Ammonium Nitrate
Chlorine gas- link to How is Chlorine Made?
Hydrochloric Acid- link to HCl
Nitric Acid
Phosphoric Acid
Sodium Hydroxide
Super Phosphate (fertilizer) -
link to environmental problems at fertilizer plants


ProfONotes: Polymers
Polyvinyl chloride
Styrene-butadiene rubber
Polyamide (Nylon)



Herbicides (synthesis not necessary, but give examples with several structures)

Insecticides (synthesis not necessary, but give examples with several structures)

Glass - Silicates

Silicon and Semiconductors

 A. C. Buehler Library
Elmhurst College

Also you may Check out "Reference Sources", then "Access Science" - McGraw Hill Online Encyclopedia of Science and Technology