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Did you know that Spain was on the brink of being invaded by the United States during the Second World War? Despite what many people believe, Spain played a significant and decisive role in terms of strategy during the global conflict.  Not only because of its location in southern Europe, guarding the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, but also because of its tungsten mines. Tungsten, or wolfram, is a chemical element that was crucial to the war time industry. 

The year that is coming to a close has been incredibly important for those of us that form part of the chemical sector.  The truth is that 2019 has elevated chemistry to the position it deserves thanks to the United Nations initiative to celebrate the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. 

When chickens are little, they tend to peck at just about everything. What's more, poultry farms use high-pressure hot water for cleaning purposes. These two factors cause the spray polyurethane foam-based thermal insulation in these installations to "rapidly deteriorate" and, "in just a few years, it has to be replaced by the farmer", explains Mónica Fabra, Business Development Manager for Polyurethanes with Grupo Barcelonesa.

Just starting with its symbol (K, from the German word Kalium), potassium shows itself to be a peculiar metal. It is so soft it can easily be cut with a knife and so lightweight that it floats in water, despite violently reacting with it. Ever since it was isolated in 1807, it has become an essential element. No other material can replace it: "As a metal, its industrial use is scarce, but it gives rise to numerous, highly useful compounds" explains Noemí Badia, from Grupo Barcelonesa.

Polyurethane coexists with you without you even noticing its presence all around. More and more everyday items employ polyurethane due to its amazing properties – beds, cars, cleaning products, sportswear, sofas, refrigerators, the walls and ceilings of your home, even the shoes you wear out on the street contain polyurethane. And just as with any other chemical substance that is used on a day-to-day basis, it is the subject of multiple rumours and myths.

Conducting activities focused on the overall sustainability of the planet, including society, people, and the environment, is one of the values we seek to uphold at Grup Barcelonesa. Between 2016 and 2018, this commitment was translated into "a 32% reduction in CO2 ​ emissions associated with electricity and fossil fuel use and a 9% direct decrease in electricity use", explains Jordi Prats, the company's head of QSHE.

To paraphrase Sheldon Cooper, though much to our chagrin, chemistry clearly isn't as attractive as other scientific disciplines such as physics, with its black holes, string theory, and the possibility to time travel (even if only on the theoretical plane). It seems that chemistry has always been the great unknown at the social level. Nevertheless, chemistry is far more important than most would think. While for many people it doesn't go beyond mixing various "concoctions" in a laboratory, this perception of our sector is actually quite short-sighted.

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We invite you to discover and stay up-to-date on all the projects we are working on within our different markets. We aim to offer you high-quality and transparent content on our activities as well as keeping you informed on all the news related to the chemical industry..

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