Chemical glossary

Chemical glossary

Acetate

A salt or ester of acetic acid.

Acrylamide
Acrylamide is a monomer used primarily as a building block in the production of synthetic water soluble polymers.

Acrylonitril(e)
Acrylonitrile is a monomer used as a building block in the production of synthetic polymers and as raw material in production of acrylamide.

Aluminum hydrate (Al(OH)3)
The main raw material for aluminum-based coagulants. The hydrate is produced of alumina, Al2O3, which originates from bauxite ore.

Anionic product
A product carrying negative charge in its structure.

Biocide
Biocides are formulations of one or more active substances which can kill or control viruses, bacteria, algae, moulds or yeasts

Biogas boosting
Sludge stabilization by anaerobic biological method, i.e., digestion produces biogas. Biogas contains methane, which allows the biogas utilization as biofuel. Biogas boosting refers to digestion process enhancement with addition of suitable chemicals, which increase the biogas generation.

Bleaching chemical
A chemical that removes colors and whitens, e.g., fiber, often via oxidation or reduction. Common oxidizing bleaching chemicals are hydrogen peroxide, ozone, peracetic acid, chlorine dioxide and sodium chlorate. Common reducing bleaching chemicals are sodium dithionite and sodium borohydride.

By-product
Is a secondary or incidental product deriving from a manufacturing process or a chemical reaction and is not the primary product or service being produced. A by-product can be useful and marketable, or it can be considered waste.

Calcium sulfate (CaSO4)
Calcium sulfate or gypsum. The main sources of calcium sulfate are the naturally-occurring gypsum or it is produced as a by-product in a number of industrial processes.

Carbon dioxide (CO2)
A colourless, non-poisonous gas that is a normal part of the ambient air. Carbon dioxide is formed in combustion of fossil fuel and carbon-containing materials, in fermentation, and in respiration of animals and human beings and employed by plants in the photosynthesis of carbohydrates.

Cationic monomer
A building block in polyacrylamide flocculant polymers. Makes the polymer cationically charged.

Cationic product
A product carrying positive charge in its structure.

cEOR
Chemically enhanced oil recovery, one of three primary techniques used in enhanced oil recovery which is a process used to modify reservoir conditions, hydrocarbon characteristics or both to help produce more oil from the reservoir.

Chlorine
In its normal state, chlorine is a greenish yellow gas. It is the eleventh most common element in the earth's crust and is widespread in nature. Chlorine is a key building block of modern chemistry and used in three principal ways: direct use (e.g., to disinfect water); as a raw material for chlorine-containing products (e.g., plastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides) and as an intermediate to manufacture non-chlorinated products. Effective oxidizing agent.

Chlorine dioxide ( ClO2)
This reddish-yellow gas crystallizes as orange crystals at −59 °C. As one of several oxides of chlorine, it is a potent and useful oxidizing agent used in water treatment and in bleaching.

Clarifier
An upflow solids contact tank with a volume of one million gallons. The clarifier removes the suspended solids, organic material, taste, odor and color from the waste water. The clarification is accomplished by feeding coagulant, which forms flocs in the water with the impurities, The flocs with the impurities settle readily to the bottom of the clarifier. A rotating rake located in the bottom of the clarifier collects these impurities toward the center of the clarifier and removes them to waste.

Coagulant
Coagulation is the first step in separation process, where impurities in the water are collected to larger coagulated particles with the aid of coagulant. The coagulant is a water treatment chemical based on aluminum or iron salts. The coagulation is usually followed by flocculation in which, with the aid of polymers, the coagulated particles are bound together and even larger flocculated particles are formed. The large particles are then separated from the water with suitable separation process like clarification, flotation or filtration. See also “Flocculant.”

Colorant
Colourants are, e.g., dyes, pigments or coloured chemicals added to another substance(s) to cause a change in colour or shade.

Corrugated medium
Papers used as fluting for the production of corrugated board.

Defoamer
A chemical additive that reduces and hinders the formation of foam in industrial process liquids. A defoamer is normally used in industrial processes to increase production speed and reduce other problems. It addresses both problems with surface foam and entrained or entrapped air. The chemicals used as defoamers are typically surface active agents.

Demulsifier
Is a class of specialty chemicals used to separate components in emulsions from each other (water in oil). It is commonly used in the processing of crude oil, which is typically produced along with significant quantities of saline water. This water (and salt) must be removed from the crude oil prior to refining. If the majority of the water and salt are not removed, significant corrosion problems can occur in the refining process. Demulsifiers are typically based on highly charged cationic polymers, but also other chemistries are used.

De-oiling
Any process in which oil is removed from a material or surface such as water.

Deposit control
A system of chemical treatment to avoid unwanted deposition of materials in the circulation of a paper machine or tissue machine or on heated cylinders or calendar reels.

Disinfection
Disinfection means treatment process in which certain or all pathogenic organisms which may cause infection are destroyed from the water. Disinfection can take place by several means: chlorine gas is the most commonly used chemical, ozone and UV-light are competing technologies to chemicals.

Emulsion
A system in which one liquid is dispersed as droplets into another liquid (e.g., oil in water or water in oil).

Ferric sulfate
Ferric sulfate (PIX) is Fe3+ -based inorganic coagulant, which is produced from iron raw material and sulphuric acid. The iron raw material is often copperas, which is a by-product from titanium dioxide -pigment manufacturing. The ferric sulfate is used both in drinking water and waste water treatment to remove impurities from the water.

Flocculant
Flocculation is the second step in separation process, where impurities in the water are collected to larger flocculated particles with the aid of flocculant. The flocculant in the water treatment is usually a charged polymer with very high molecular weight. In the flocculation the coagulated particles are bound together and even larger flocculated particles are formed with the aid of polymers. The large particles are then separated from the water with suitable separation process like clarification, flotation or filtration. See also “Coagulant.”

Functional chemical
A functional chemical is added to achieve certain functional properties for the paper or tissue (e.g., hydrophobicity , softness, bulk, strength).

Hydrochloric acid (HCl)
A gaseous, strong acid, used typically as water solution. A key component in manufacturing inorganic coagulants.

Hydrogen peroxide” (H2O2)
Hydrogen peroxide has strong oxidizing properties, and is a powerful bleaching agent. It is also used as a disinfectant, an antiseptic agent and an oxidizer.

Inorganic coagulant
Aluminum or iron salt based water treatment chemicals.

Organic polymer
Organic polymers can be water soluble or water insoluble. Typical examples of water insoluble polymers are plastics. Water soluble organic polymers can be anionically or cationically charged, or they can be non-charged. Organic polymers can be long chained, like flocculants, or short chained, like antiscaling agents or organic coagulants. The origin of an organic polymer may be in synthetic building blocks, monomers, like in polyacrylamides, or it may be a natural based polymer, like starch.

Peracetic acid (CH3CO3H)
A highly oxidative organic compound. This organic peroxide is a colorless liquid with a characteristic odor reminiscenting acetic acid. It can be highly corrosive.

Pickling liquor
Pickling liquor refers to acid, which is used in mild steel pickling (surface treatment) in hot-roll process of steel manufacturing. After pickling the acid contains iron (Fe) metal and it is called spent pickling liquor (SPL). It is considered waste by many steel manufacturers. SPL can, however, be utilized as iron (Fe) and acid by-product raw material in iron-based coagulant manufacturing.

Polyacrylate
A typically acrylic acid based, short chained and highly charged water soluble anionic polymer. Used typically as dispersant and as antiscaling agent.

Polyaluminum chloride, PAC or PAX
Polyaluminum chloride is a generic name for aluminum-based inorganic coagulants carrying cationic charge also at neutral and mildly alkaline pH range. PAX is produced from aluminum hydrate and hydrochloric acid. PAX is used in drinking water and waste water treatment to remove impurities from the water.

Polyamine
A short chained, but highly charged water soluble cationic polymer. Used typically as organic coagulant in water treatment and as anionic trash control agent in papermaking.

Polymer
When certain individual molecules (monomers) come together and link up in a chain-like manner, they form a polymer. A high molecular weight, chain-like substance with a similar repeating chemical structure along the whole molecule chain. Made from smaller building blocks, monomers.

Process chemical
Process chemicals are chemicals used to improve the efficiency of the production process, but which have no direct effect on product properties. Process chemicals are, e.g., defoamers preventing foaming, biocides preventing microbial growth, dispersing agents and fixatives to prevent deposit forming, antiscalants to prevent inorganic scale forming and retention aids to improve fines retention on paper machine.

Propionate (C2H5COO)
A propionate (propionic acid minus one hydrogen ion) compound is a salt or ester of propionic acid.

REACH
REACH is the system for Registration, Evaluation and Assessment of Chemicals being proposed under the EU Chemicals Policy.

Scale inhibitor
A chemical treatment used to control or prevent scale deposition

Sludge dewatering
Sludge dewatering is one of the key unit processes in sludge management. Sludge contains usually more than 95 percent of water even after thickening and the goal of sludge dewatering is to separate as much water as possible from the sludge, so that the volume for further treatment or final disposal is minimized. Sludge dewatering takes place usually with equipment like centrifuge, belt filter press, screw press, chamber press or equal. Polymers are often used as dewatering aid to improve water separation.

Sludge management
Sludge management refers to variety of means of treatment, which are required to be able to finally dispose the excess sludge from the system. The sludge usually originates from biological (aerobic) waste water treatment, where primary and secondary sludges are collected and treated before disposal. Sludge management can include selected unit processes of: stabilization, thickening, dewatering, drying, composting or digestion or incineration and final disposal.

Sodium chlorate(NaClO3)
An efficient oxidizer and bleaching chemical.

Sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
Also known as caustic soda. It is used in many industries, mostly as a strong chemical base in the manufacture of, e.g., pulp and paper, textiles, drinking water.

Sodium sulfide (Na2S)
The name used to refer to the chemical compound Na2S but more commonly it refers to hydrate Na2S.9H2O. Both are colorless water-soluble salts that give strongly alkaline solutions. When exposed to moist air, Na2S and its hydrates emit hydrogen sulfide.

Stimulation
Oil well stimulation is the general term describing a variety of operations performed on a well to improve its productivity. Its main two types of operations are matrix acidization and hydraulic fracturing.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
A gaseous chemical compound. It is produced by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur dioxide. A reducing agent.

Sulfur (S)
The chemical element that has the atomic number 16. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Sulfur, in its native form, is a yellow crystalline solid. In nature, it can be found as the pure element and as sulfide and sulfate minerals. It is an essential element for life and one of the most common elements in various types of chemicals.

Sulfuric acid (H2SO4)
A strong mineral acid. Sulfuric acid has many applications, and is one of the top products of the chemical industry. Principal uses include ore processing, oil refining, wastewater processing, and chemical synthesis.

Surfactant
A surface active agent. Lowers the surface tension of a liquid, improves wetting of a solid substance in water, lowers the interfacial tension between two liquids thus improving their compatibility to each other and generates or prevents foaming.

Water footprint
The water footprint is an indicator of water use that looks at both direct and indirect water use of a consumer or producer. The water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business. Water use is measured in terms of water volumes consumed (evaporated) and/or polluted per unit of time. A water footprint can be calculated for any well-defined group of consumers (e.g., an individual, family, village, city, province, state or nation) or producers (e.g., a public organization, private enterprise or economic sector). The water footprint is a geographically explicit indicator, not only showing volumes of water use and pollution, but also the locations. (source: Water Footprint Network)

Water Quality Management
Means optimization of customer process to meet given efficiency requirements.

Water Quality and Quantity Management
Means reducing water usage, increasing recycling and reuse to ensure efficient process conditions and minimal waste.