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The Alkali industry, together with the Sulphuric Acid industry constituted the basis of commercial prosperity of a developed country until well into this century. The programme shows how economic, ...policical and technological factors influenced the rise of the alkali industry. Dr Archie Clow, the historian of the chemical industry visits sites of the alkali industry in the Midlands and in particular the ICI Mond Ltd, factory in the grounds of Winnington Hall, Cheshire. Here alkali is produced, This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the process in this country by Brunner & Mond and the factory has changed very little from the original design. The programme also includes archive film of the first successful method for manufacturing alkali -- the "Leblanc process".
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: AST281, Science and the rise of technology since 1800
Item code: AST281; 07
First transmission date: 20-06-1973
Published: 1973
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:06
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Producer: David Nelson
Contributor: Archie Clow
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Alkali industry; Hydrochloric acid; Leblanc process; Soda manufacturing; Solvay process
Footage description: Archie Clow on top of a spoil heap describes the nature of the alkali industry. Shots of bagging machinery in operation. Archie introduces the programme, which will concentrate on the production of sodium carbonate, and describes the uses to which sodium carbonate was and is put in other industries. Engraving of eighteenth century textile manufacturers and glass manufacturers. Archie Clow describes the methods of obtaining alkalies before the development of the Le Blanc and Solvay processes. Engravings are shown. Archie Clow describes the early synthetic sodium carbonate processes leading to the development of the Le Blanc process. Shots of portrait statue of Nicolas Le Blanc and of Paris of the 18th century. Shots of battle scenes. Film is shown of the Le Blanc process of soda manufacture. Archie Clow commenting and describing over. A model of a Le Blanc plant is first shown. Archie Clow describes the siting of the first Le Blanc sites and discusses the effect of this process on its environment. Portrait of James Muspratt. Shots of industrial areas. Pollution on the Tyneside is described. Archie Clow describes early attempts to make bleaches from the hydrochloric acid gas effluents. Other attempts to control pollution by tall chimney stacks also are described. Archie Clow recounts the formulation of the Alkali Act and its effects. Archie Clow stresses the need then felt for an alternative method of manufacture. A laboratory demonstration of the Solvay process is made, Archie Clow, describing the details. Archie Clow describes Ludwig Mond's establishment of the first soda manufacturing works. Portrait statue of Mond and film of the site of the first works. Shot of the whole site area as it is now. The whole Solvay process is shown in detail, Archie Clow commentating. Film is used. Shots of all main processes. Archie Clow describes, over film of the process, the regeneration of the ammonia used in the Solvay process. He describes the commercial development of the firms employing the rival LG Blanc process and with others the eventual formation of I.C.I.
Master spool number: 6HT/70960
Production number: 00525_3034
Videofinder number: 3367
Available to public: no