Raw materials are defied to be the natural materials and semiproducts used in the manufacture of industrial products. The raw materials are among the main elements determining to a considerable extent the production technology, the quality and cost of the products. The demands of the developing chemical industry for diverse available and cheap raw materials constantly make it necessary to introduce new kinds of raw materials into the manufacturing process. Semiproducts or the residues of other enterprises are used to manufacture a number of chemical materials. Both the raw materials and the products must meet definite requirements corresponding to the relevant state standards.
The material are classified according to a variety of features: their chemical composition (inorganic and organic), their original (mineral, vegetative, and animal), and their state of aggrefation (solid liquid and gaseous)
Mineral raw materials are divided into ore (metalic), non-metalic and combustible (organic). Ore mineral raw materials used for producing commercially pure metals consist of natural minerals. Ore minerals mainly contain metal oxides and sulphides (Cu2S, CuS, Fe2O3, Fe3O4, ZnS, etc.). In ferrous metallurgy, they include SiO2, Al2O3, CaO and MgO. But these oxides can be used as the ores of non-ferrous metals (ex. Al2O3 was raw material in Al production).
Non-metallic mineral raw materials are diverse in their chemical composition and are used either in their natural state (sand, clay, asbestos, and mica) or are delivered for chemical processing (chloride, phosphates, sulphates, carbonates, and aluminosilicates).
Combustible mineral raw materials such as lignite, peat, coal, shale, and also petroleum and natural gas which are relate to organic compounds and are also used as energy source.
Vegetative and animal raw materials include wood, cotton, oils and fats, milk, hides and wool. They are processed either in to food products (food raw materials) or into products for domestic and industrial use. Such available and cheap raw materials as water and air are also widely used in the chemical industry.
The cost of the raw materials in the chemical industry about 60-70% of the product cost. To determine the main trends in solving the raw material problem :
1) the surveying and use of cheaper raw materials
2) the used of concentrated raw materials
3) the complete utilization of raw materials
4) the replacement of food raw materials with non-edible ones and of vegetative materials with mineral ones.