Despite chemicals being used in one way or another throughout history, it wasn’t until the industrial revolution that the chemical industry as we know today began. We are going to look back over the past, looking at the early years, the revolution, and the adaptation of the chemical industry in the modern era.

The start of chemical manufacturing

Although chemical production on a poster scale didn’t start off till the 19th century it will be copied back thousands of years. It is thought that the primary sorts of chemical products were in 7000BC wherever alkali and stone were mixes by middle eastern men to create glass. 

Then around the 10th century A.D the Chinese combine saltpeter and sulfur to create an explosive solution like gunpowder, known as a black powder. Between the 10th century and also the alchemist of the middle ages continued to experiment with totally different chemicals however it wasn’t till pilgrims in 1635 started using chemicals for tanning and powder that showed the world the impact that chemicals can have on industries.

Chemical Manufacturing in the Industrial Revolution

With alchemy becoming increasingly popular before the 18th century the industrial revolution was seen as the perfect time to produce chemicals on a larger scale. One of the primary chemicals produced in bulk was sulfuric acid, that remains one among the foremost recognized chemicals in the industry today over 250 years later.

Before sulphuric acid was created in massive quantities clothes were bleached using other means but even though the process was made more efficient it wasn’t till the breakthrough by Charles Tennant once he manufactured bleaching powder that the industry took off. After opening a factory in 1799 the production went from 52 tons to almost 10,000 tons in just five years thanks to his combination of chlorine and dry slaked lime solution.

Sulphuric acid plants were built across the world between 1740 and 1810 as well as Britain, France, Russia, and Germany. With the primary Soda plants being built in the same period between 1793 and 1892 across constant countries. Soda at the time was used for manufacturing soaps and glass and it was this that result in more advancements in chemistry.

The advancements meant that companies could produce synthetic dyes from coal tar which allowed the textile industry to expand in the 1850s.

Chemical Manufacturing during the 19th & 20th Century

Chemical Manufacturing during the 19th & 20th Century

The 19th century saw the explosion of the industry in terms of both quantity and more importantly quality. France, Belgium, and Britain were among the first to adopt chemicals on an industrial scale but by the time World War 2 started petrochemicals were being used in both Germany and the USA.

After world war 2 the previously used organic chemicals like coal were less fashionable and petrochemicals took precedence during a shift across the business. It was Britain that held the leading position in the market up until 1975 when Germany began to take the lead, and through concentration on high level scientific and technological development, it maintained a monopoly on the global chemical market (source).

America didn’t get involved until after a lot of European countries but in the early 20th century the introduction of the manmade fiber Rayon in the textile industry by the American Cyanamid Company revolutionized the agriculture industry.

This revolution along with the increasing interest in petrochemicals meant that in the late 20th century America had 54% of the globe chemical production. 

The Modern Era

Since the industrial revolution and post-WW2, the chemical industry has thrived and instead of the market being dominated by a few global companies there are now small, medium, and large chemical manufacturers located across the world. The estimated value of the chemical industry in 2016 was $4,378.7 billion, and this is set to continue to grow even further by 2021.

As Indonesia’s best chemical supplier, we are set on providing the best quality chemicals to businesses across countries so if you are looking for the best chemical manufacturing partner in Indonesia then get in touch today.

Tradeasia is the leading chemical supplier in Indonesia. We provide integrated chemical procural services with certainty and trust, which makes Tradeasia distinctive. This makes Tradeasia the Leading Industrial Chemical Trader and Supplier that offers you the commitment to obtaining each detail right and ensures that our International services forever meet the very best levels of consistency and quality chemical products

Indonesia’s Chemical Industry

Now, let’s zoom in on Indonesia, where the chemical scene is no less groovy. The latest data spills the beans on a chemical party happening right there. From petrochemicals to agrochemicals, Indonesia’s rocking the chemical game and making its mark on the global stage.

Indonesia is gearing up for a chemical revolution, and they’ve set their sights on a whopping $31.5 billion in investments by 2023. It’s all part of the grand plan laid out by the government, and trust us, it’s shaping up to be one heck of a chemical adventure. With its killer location, abundant natural resources, and a growing squad of chemical whiz-kids, Indonesia’s becoming a heavyweight in the global chemical jam.

So, what’s the game plan? The Indonesian government is laying down the blueprint for a chemical industry boom. With the ambitious investment target, they’re looking to boost production, create jobs, and position Indonesia as a heavyweight in the global chemical scene. It’s not just about the money; it’s about making Indonesia a key player in the chemical game.

By aiming for this colossal investment, Indonesia is sending a clear message to the world – they mean business. The global chemical industry is taking notice, and investors are looking at Indonesia with newfound interest. It’s not just about the beautiful beaches anymore; it’s about the economic potential bubbling in the chemical labs of Indonesia.


The chemical industry’s evolution is like a rad mixtape of human smarts, from alchemy vibes to today’s green scene. As it keeps pushing boundaries, the industry’s commitment to keeping it clean and green is shaping a future that’s as chill as it gets. Keep on rocking, chemical wizards!