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Chemical-Technical Industry of Sweden

Chemical or chemical-technical industries are expressions which have very varying applications. In scientific and engineering cireles they have a far wider meaning than in every-day language. Under this heading come thus, besides the ordinary chemical industries known to the layman, also metallurgical industries, silicate industries, cellulose and paper works and the industries connected with the manufacture of sugar and products of fermentation. In the following article only the silicate and non-metallurgical mineral industries will be described. The others are described elsewhere.

Matches. It has been said that Sweden is »la terre classique des explosives ». With the same good right the assertion that Sweden is the classical country for matches can be defended. The manufacture of Swedish matches has made rapid progress both in regard to quantities manufactured and exported and in regard to the quality. At first only phosphorus matches were manufactured and later on safety matches were introduced in 1852 although in small quantities to begin with, whereby the sale of phosphorus matches gradually decreased and lost its importance. In 1901 the sale of phosphorus matches in Sweden was forbidden but they were still manufactured for export until 1912, when this also ceased after the accession of Sweden to the international convention of Berne of 1906 concerning prohibition against the use of poisonous white phosphorus in the match industry. The phosphorus matches were, however, less sensitive to humidity than the non-poisonous safety matches and, unlike these latter, they ignited by rubbing on any surface whatever, for which reason they were especially in demand among sailors, fishermen, lumbermen and others. As a substitute for the phosphorus matches the manufacture of non-poisonous so-called sesqui-sulphide matches was commenced in 1906. These matches ignite, like the phosphorus matches, against any surface. They are chiefly exported to Great Britain and its overseas dominions but in an insignificant proportion compared to safety matches, which also find their greatest market within the British Empire, but which are also sold to all countries. During the war, when export difficulties arose, the Japanese match industry entered, at the expense of the Swedish, into several overseas markets such as China, the British and Dutch Indies, U. S. A. and Australia, but upon the resumption of unrestricted shipping the Swedish match industry, thanks to superior quality, has regained the lost markets and resumed its position as the leading match industry of the world. The sales are managed by Svenska Tandsticks A.-B. of Stockholm (The Swedish Match Trust).

The Chlorate Industry. In order to meet the local demand for chlorates for the match industry, the Mansbo chlorate factory was established in 1891 based on the use of hydro-electrical power. It was the second of its kind in the world for the manufacture of chlorates and pcrehlorates, also for export. Later three more similar factories have been established in Sweden at Alby and Trollhattan. Exporters of these chemicalsare Stockholms Superfosfatfabriks A.-Ii. and Svenska Tandsticks .:/.-/?., both of Stockholm. The exports go to the majority of the European countries but also to China, Japan, U. S. A. and South America.

Explosives. The first factory in the world for the manufacture of nitroglycerine explosives was founded near Stockholm by I. Nobel in 1802 and has since been followed by many similar ones in all industrial countries. At the present time also explosives other than those containing nitro-glycerine are manufactured, such as gun cotton, chlorate and toluol explosives (T. N. T.) and besides ordinary black gun powder also smokeless powder of excellent quality. The exports are shipped practically exclusively to the neighbouring countries and the Netherlands. The principal manufacturers and exporters are Nitroglycerin A.-B. of Stockholm, Skdnska Bomullskrutfabriks A.-B. and A.-B. Skdnska Krutfaktorierna, both in Landskrona, A.-B. Bofors Nobelkrut, Bofors, and Stockholms Superfosfatfabriks A.-B., Stockholm.

Cement. Sweden has inexhaustible resourees of excellent raw material for cement so situated that it has been possible to build the cement works in advantageous positions for export. This, in combination with the very good quality of Swedish cement, has brought about a considerable export of that commodity not only to the neighbouring countries but also to the Sunda Islands, the Argentine, Brazil, Chile and Australia. The sales of cement are managed by Svenska Cementfbrsaljnings A.-B. of Malmo, Slite Cement- & Kalk A.-B., which sells its products through Kommanditbolaget Du Rielz & Co., Stockholm; A.-B. Vallevikens Cementfabrik, Stockholm, who have placed their home sales in the hands of Hector & Co., Stockholm, while the export business is managed by the company's own organization.

Ceramic Industries. The pottery industry stands very high in Sweden both in regard to faience and in regard to real feldspar poreelain, more especially where artistic products are in question. But also mass products of the trade such as household china, sanitary goods and electrical china (insulators) have reached a high state of development. These articles are exported to the neighbouring countries and also to other European countries and to North America. Of more common grades of earthenware, wall and floor tiles, potters ware, acid-proof shaped brick for chemical factories, saltglazed drain pipes and wells, faced brick, fire-proof brick, roofing tiles, hollow bricks, gas retorts and other products of earthenware industry the manufacture and export is considerable. The latter goes to the above mentioned countries and Japan. Also raw and burnt fireproof clay, roasted clay for chemical use and hard burned clay (chamotte) for fire-proof walls, etc. are exported. The principal firms for china are A.-B. Rorstrands Porslinsfabriker, Stockholm, A.-B. Gustafsbergs Fabriks Intressenter, Gustafsberg, A.-B. Lidkopings Porslinsfabrik and Gefle Porslinsfabriks A.-B. For other goods Hogands-Billesholms A.-B., Helsingborg, holds the leading position. A.-B. If 6 Chamotte- & Kaolinverk at Bromolla manufacture and sell also kaolin and crystal glass sand.

Glass. Sweden has no less than about sixty glass works of which the major portion are small but who, in spite of this, also manufacture for export. The manufacture consists principally of small household glass of all qualities from the more simple kinds to the finest crystal, decanters, bottles, window glass and illumination glass. The art of glass blowing is highly developed in Sweden so that artistically made crystal glass is also manufactured for export. The largest export consists, however, of cheaper glassware such as dishes, jars, bottles and unground flasks and window glass (not plate glass). The foreign sales principally go to the neighbouring countries and among other European countries chiefly to Great Britain, but also to America, Asia and Australia. The most important sellers are Buteljglasbrukens Forsdlfnings A.-B., A.-B. De Svenska Kristallglasbruken, Fbnsterglasbrukens A.-B., all in Stockholm; A.-B. Fredr. Brusewitz, Limmared, Ornberg & Anderssons A.-B., Gothenburg, Orrefors Bruks A.-B., Orrefors, A.-B. Arvid Bohlmarks Lampfabrik, Stockholm, and others.

Artificial Fertilizers. Also in this branch of manufacture the Swedish production has a good reputation. Thus superphosphate of a particularly dry, even and finely granulated composition is manufactured and exported to Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Poland, Germany and Czecho-Slovakia. Caleium-cyanamid and sulphate of ammonia and also the raw material for these products, caleium-carbide, are manufactured in and exported from Sweden; carbide to the majority of European countries, principally Great Britain, and also to Asia, America and Australia; caleium-cyanamid hitherto chiefly to Germany and ammonium-sulphate mainly to Spain and the Netherlands. The superphosphate works also manufacture for sale sulphuric acids but very little for export. In greater quantities, however, aluminium salts (alum and aluminium sulphate), and indirectly purple-ore (which is an iron ore obtained as a by-product from working up caleined cupreous pyrites, from the sulphuric acid and sulphite-cellulose factories, in the copper extraction works) are exported to Germany. Exporters of these commodities are Svenska Superfosfatforsdljnings A.-B. of Helsingborg, Stockholms Superfosfatfabriks A.-B., Stockholm, Reymersholms Gamla Industri A.-B., Halsingborg, A.-B. Svenska Konstgbdnings- och Svafvelsyrefabrikerna, Malmo, and Konstgodningsfabriks A.-B., Landskrona. Of these factories Stockholms Superfosfatfabriks A.-B. turns out, besides superphosphate, also carbide, caleium-cyanamid and ammoniumsulphate; the Reymersholm company produces aluminium salts, while the others only sell superphosphate and other fertilizers.

Bonemeal, Bonefat and Glue are manufactured and exported by Stockholms Benmjolsfabriks A.-B., Stockholm.

Fat Industries. Oil Extraction. The Swedish oil factories, which formerly only operated with presses for linseed and rape oil, have during later years extended their activities to include both pressing and extraction of all kinds of oils, their refining also for food purposes (margarine oils) and the hardening of liquid fat to solid or semi-solid fat. Exports have occurred of recent years of rape oil, cottonseed oil and particularly soya oil chiefly to neighbouring countries, Germany and Holland. The principal exporters are Reymersholms Gamla Industri A.-B., Helsingborg, Nya Margarinaktiebolaget Svea, Kalmar, and Svenska Oljefabriks A.-B., Gothenburg.

Soap and Soft Soap is manufactured in about eighty factories but the exports are of no consequence consisting principally of finer qualities to neighbouring countries and some to Latvia and Russia. Of laundry, household and polishing media not inconsiderable quantities are exported to Norway and Denmark. Swedish makes of both fine toilet soaps and ordinary laundry soaps are equal to the best of foreign production. Manufacturers and exporters are Lars Monten, Hylin & Co.s Fabriks A.-B., A.-B. Grumme & Son, all of Stockholm, Henrik Gahns A.-B., Uppsala, and others.

In connection with the soap industry there is a considerable development in perfumery, cosmetics and toilet- and mouth-waters of several kinds and various names such as aseptin, gahnelit, stomatol, vademccum, antisepton, lazarol and others. Sweden was the first country where the manufacture of gargles commenced (by Gahn in Uppsala 1867). Exports of all these goods take place but are small. Principal manufacturers are Hylin & Co:s Fabriks A.-B., Henrik Gahns A.-B.,Barndngens Tekniska Fabrikers A.-B., Parfymeri F. Pauli A.-B., both the last named in Stockholm.

The Manufacture of Stearine stands very high in Sweden in regard to quality and no country produces stearine and composition candles equal to the Swedish product in appearance and burning properties. In the same way the by-product olein obtained in the manufacture of stearine is of excellent quality, the best in the world, with less than 0-5 % non-saponifying matter. Swedish glycerine, which also is a by-product of stearine manufacture, is of a very high quality. Practically no candles are exported but olein and glycerine are sold to the neighbouring countries, Germany and occasionally to America. The largest and most important producer of these products is Liljeholmens Stearinfabriks A.-B., Stockholm.

The Margarine Industry also occupies an important position among the Swedish industries connected with fats and oils, and probably nowhere is a better tasting margarine produced. A certain amount is exported to the neighbouring countries although on no great scale compared to the production. Export firms are A.-B. Pellerins Margarinfabrik, Gothenburg, Margarinaktiebolaget Zenith, Malmo, Nya Margarinaktiebolaget Svea, Kalmar, and others. Not only margarine is exported but also a certain amount of oleomargarine and premier jus.

Wood Destination Products. The wealth of forest in Sweden, and particularly of coniferous forest, and the amount of waste wood available therefrom have in connection with the wood industries produced a considerable industry for the utilization of the unmarketable kinds of wood referred to partly by dry distillation, i. e. carbonization with, in some cases, a simultaneous collecting of the volatile products arising therefrom such as acetone, crude and refined, wood spirit, crude and refined, acetic acid, acetate of lime, tar and tar oils, turpentine oil, pitch, and others. The larger proportion of the waste timber is, however, carbonized in pits whereby no other products than chareoal are obtained. In burning tar in a so-called »tar pit» from wood rich in resin only a small amount of chareoal is obtained and the principal products are tar, so-called »daltjara» (pit tar), which is considered to be the best of all kinds of tars and which for centuries has been known over practically the entire civilized world. During the 17th and 18th centuries Swedish tar, which then and sometimes now goes under the name of Stockholm tar, was one of the most important export commodities from this country. At the present time a large amount of chareoal, tar and other byproducts are manufactured in large and small factories by the carbonization of refuse from the forests and sawmills in kilns or retorts of varying construction.

Acetone is principally exported to Norway and other neighbouring countries, some also to Asia and America; wood spirit is sold mostly to Germany and Great Britain and in smaller quantities to other European countries, Asia and America. Acetic acid with varying contents of acid finds its most important market in Great Britain and in the neighbouring countries but some also goes to more distant parts such as Brazil, etc. Tar and tar oils are exported to practically all European countries, especially to Norway, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and others and to Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. Turpentine oil goes to Germany and Great Britain, other European countries, to South America, etc.

Exporters of the above mentioned wood distillation products are Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags A.-B., one of the very largest firms in Sweden and the oldest still existing company in the world. A large number of other factories in this branch have a combined sales office in Stockholm, Fbreningen Svenska Trddestillationsverken.

Distillation Products of Coal. Sweden is lacking in coal suitable for dry distillation but the gas and coke works, which import suitable coal for their purpose, obtain as by-products coal tar and tar oils of several kinds such as benzol and creosote oils, naphthaline, pitch, ammonium-sulphate, gas cleaning composition and occasionally ferri and ferro cyanide. Coal tar and tar oils and also pitch of both coal and wood tar are exported partly to Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, Finland, Esthonia, Latvia, etc. and also to countries outside Europe. Benzol oils are mostly sold to Denmark, Great Britain, Germany. The market for ammonium-sulphate has previously been mentioned and the gas cleaning composition goes to Germany. The principal sellers are Gas- och Koksverkens Ekonomiska Forening, Stockholm.

Colours. Of colours Sweden produces so-called earth colours, red ochre and washed chalk also lamp black, printing ink and a few butter and cheese colours. The red ochre is obtained by the heating to a red heat of so-called red earth from the mines in Falun or by the heating of bog-ore. Som red ochre is exported to the neighbouring countries and the Netherlands, washed chalk to a number of European countries and in considerable quantities to South America. Lamp black chiefly to neighbouring countries. Printing ink is sold also to the neighbouring countries and the same applies to butter and cheese colours, but the latter are also exported to countries outside Europe as far away as Australia. Exporters are for red ochre Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags A.-B., Stockholm, and Beckman & Johnsson, Gothenburg; for lamp black Ousby Kimroksfabriks A.-B., Ousby, for washed chalk A.-B. Kritbruksbolaget i Malmo, Malmo, for printing ink Fabriken Typokroma, Stockholm, and A.-B. Lagerholms Fargfabrik, Liljcholmen, butter and cheese colour by S. Barnekows Tekn. Kern. Laboratorium, Malmo.

Compressed Gases. Of these the principal manufactures are carbonic acid gas, oxygen, and so-called dissous gas, i. e. acetylene dissolved in acetone under pressure which is principally used as an illuminant in the renowned AGA-Iighthouses. All these gases are sent in liquid or highly compressed form in steel cylinders (bombs). Carbonic acids and oxygen gas are exported to the neighbouring countries and Esthonia as is also dissous gas for the AGA-lighthouses, spread over distant parts. Exporters are De Forenade Kolsyrefabrikernas A.-B., Svenska A.-B. Gasaccumulator, Nordiska Syrgasverkens A.-B., all in Stockholm, also others.

Alcohol. Of later years so-called sulphite spirit is produced from waste liquids from the manufacture of sulphite-cellulose. The capacity of the 21 sulphite spirit factories now working in Sweden is about 22 million litres per annum caleulated at 100 % aleohol, but the raw material for three times this quantity is available. This spirit is now rectified so that it. is just as pure as the spirit from starehy raw-materials. Sulphite spirit is exported to the neighbouring countries, to France, England, but chiefly to Germany and a certain amount of countries outside Europe. The factories have a common sales organization in A.-B. Svensk Sprit, Stockholm. Fusel oils which are obtained by the distillation of crude spirit are exported to Germany, Holland, Great Britain, France and Switzerland and are sold through A.-B. Vin- & Spritcentralen, Stockholm.

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