What Are Fine Chemicals?
Fine chemicals are single, pure and complex chemicals that are only produced in small amounts by multipurpose plants.
Most manufacturing firms produce chemicals in bulk using standardized reactions. Fine chemicals on the other hand are produced by a limited number of companies.
These chemicals are used for special applications by manufacturing firms that make the following products: Pharmaceuticals, paint, petrochemical, adhesives and agricultural products.
Types of fine chemicals
They are divided into three main forms: biocides, active pharmaceutical ingredients and specialty chemicals. The chemicals are never sold in their natural state. They added substances such as uncreative pigments, excipients and solvents before.
- Active pharmaceutical ingredients – They are then produced in varying doses as medical drugs.
- Biocides are chemicals used to kill weeds and pests. They include pesticides and herbicides.
- Specialty chemicals are used in various processes such as making ceramics, additive in plastics, glass and disinfectants or antioxidants.
Challenges in production
- Unlike the manufacture of bulk chemicals, fine chemicals are hard to manufacture because they require specialized knowledge. Their chemistry also changes often thus there are always new developments that lead to a change in raw materials and even the processes required for their manufacture.
- Due to their changing chemistry there are so many varieties in the market. This aspect also means that the manufacturing firms that produce them need to always be flexible. The changes in the chemistry are precipitated by the release of new drugs into the market whose formulation has changed.
- Production of fine chemicals leads to release of high amounts of waste. This means that the manufacturing companies not only incur costs in manufacturing but also in waste disposal. This increases production cost.
- Costs associated with training and getting the right people to manufacture the chemicals.
- Government compliance regulations in regard to their manufacture.
- Investments in safety protocols since most of the chemicals are produced from inflammable solvents.
Solutions to the challenges
Most manufacturing firms avoid having in-house fine chemical processing equipment because of the costs associated with production. They buy the fine chemicals from the manufacturers then use them to manufacture various commodities.
Choice of the right manufacturer
However, every manufacturing firm utilizes different chemicals thus there is a need to be able to get the right supplier.
- One of the key considerations in getting the right supplier is the reputation of the supplier. The reputation of the supplier determines whether the supplier can be trusted to provide the right chemical processes. Customer testimonials and customer service interaction can be used to determine their reputation.
- The longevity of the business – entrusting your chemical processing needs to a new entrant in the market can be detrimental to an organization. The problem is that the new entrant has no proven track record. The first thing every manufacturing firm needs to consider is the manufacturing capability of the outsourcing entity. It is good to know whether the entity has the right centrifuges, reactors and even storage capabilities.
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