IHS Chemical Week
100th Anniversary

Explore 100 years of IHS Chemical Week


Revisiting the first cracker, in West Virginia, as shale rekindles interest

Clendenin: Workers on the first ethylene plant construct piping for the project.

The discovery of a cheaper and more efficient way to directly produce ethylene by George Curme in 1919 laid the foundation of the modern chemical industry. Applications for ethylene quickly spread beyond what had been originally conceived, including various plastic products used in several growing industries. The new technology of steam cracking from hydrocarbons to produce ethylene, and its derivatives—including ethylene glycol (EG), ethylene oxide (EO), and ethyl alcohol—would fuel the rise of US industry. It started with the first major commercial ethylene plant at Clendenin, WV, in 1920, built by Union Carbide. Carbide is now part of Dow Chemical. Read more»

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CW 100: A look at chemical industry innovation
CW 100 - A century of industry R&D (MR). Corporate R&D likely has its origins in German dyes industry of the late 1800s.  A look at how chemical industry research has evolved over the past 100 years, the industry’s contributions to industrial R&D, and the state of R&D today.


Responsible Care
CW 100: A look at industry’s environmental legacy.
How has greater awareness of the environmental impacts affected how industry operates and how it is viewed by the public? What is the legacy is Silent Spring, Bhopal and other incidents?  How does industry operate differently today and contributions can it make to mitigate harmful impacts and contribute to improvements in energy and material efficiency.  


100 years of polyvinyl chloride
We just recently learned that 1914 is also the 100th anniversary of polyvinyl chloride, still one of the most widely used and still growing plastics. PVC is one of the first widely used commercial polymers and is still widely used, critical to infrastructure, and growing at above-GDP rates (unlike Bakkelite and cellophane, which were also introduced around the same time).  We plan a feature that looks at the history and development of this versatile polymer and the contributions it still makes today.

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