The Growth of Industry in U- S. S. R. J. G . T O L P I N , Universal O i l Products Company, Chicago, III.
HE Russian resistance t o military invasion by Germany is backed b y an industry capable of supplying an army of several million men, even though a large proportion of the industrial resources of European Russia w a s lost t o the Germans. The U. S. S. R . celebrated the twentyfifth anniversary of t h e revolution that brought it into being o n November 7. The success of the Russian industry resulted from strenuous industrialization under the Five-Year Plans, the first of which was launched in 1928 and the third w a s to be completed in 1942. To the public at large and t o a large measure t o the scientists and engineers of this country this is a rather unexpected development, for only those w h o have made a systematic effort to follow the Russian technical literature have a more or less clear conception of the progress of industrialization of the U. S. S. R . The Universal Oil Products Co. and a group of other o i l and chemical companies h a v e been following for some years the progress made i n U. S. S. R. i n oil refining, hydrocarbon chemistry, and related sciences in general, as reflected i n the Russian scientific and technical literature. This is done in t h e form of weekly bulletins prepared by the Survey of Foreign Petroleum Literature. Figures from t h e Russian technical journals, reported i n this article without any a t t e m p t at interpretation, show the rate o f progress in some fields, a n d indicate t h e rapid building up of an industry that h a s already exerted a great effect on world events. The Five-Year Plans were conceived a n d carried out with t h e cooperation of the Russian Academy of Sciences, an institution which is o v e r 200 years old and many members of which are internationally recognized authorities in their fields. These plans, in which the consumers' industries had to b e largely neglected in the interests of the basic industries, included development of the heavy industry with a view to making Russia independent of foreign imports and able t o support a large army in case of invasion. This necessitated a shift of a part of the indust r y , and accordingly a shift of some part o f the population. A shift of t h e center of population was demanded by Lenin as early as 1918. From 1856 to 1 9 2 8 the geographical center o f the country was separated from the center of population b y over 1,500 miles a n d the center o f population from that of natural resources, such as coal, by another 1,000 miles; t h e industry w a s located too close to the western borders. This was in !66
put of 1942 the share of the plants to be built under the Third Five-Year Plan was only 26 per cent. When, however, the state of the chemical industry during recent years is compared with its state before the first World War or at the beginning of the industrialization drive, the difference is impressive. It is perhaps best t o project the growth of the chemical industry on the background of the growth of the whole Russian industry. This is illustrated b y the figures in Table I, given in prices of 192627 (the Russian ruble is not being quoted on exchanges outside of Russia; t h e official Soviet Government rate of exchange is approximately 5 rubles to a dollar). Tables I and II explain the view generally expressed in the Russian chemical literature that before industrialization the Russian chemical industry was in an embryonic state. A number of industries did not exist in Russia before t h e first World War. This includes nitrates, plastics, and organic chemicals: the aniline dye industry was working on imported intermediates and was controlled b y the German aniline dye industry. T h e output of the pharmaceutical industry was worth 13,600,000 rubles, but the import of pharmaceuticals was 16,200,000 rubles. There was n o production of such essentials as iodine and bromine. Chemical development during t h e first World War was designed to serve war needs only, and most plants lost their value after the war, since they were not supplied with enough water or power and were built a t considerable distances from consumer regions. I n some cases, however, notable successes were scored, as in the sulfuric acid industry. During the years immediately following the war, the
a measure corrected b y the developments mentioned above. The XJ. S. S. R. national censuses in 1926 and 1939 revealed a growth of the population in Eastern regions, Ural, Siberia, and t h e Far East, exceeding the average growth of the population. During this time the total population increased 15.9 per cent, and the Eastern regions. 33 per cent, especially noticeable in industrial urban centers. Russia was known until comparatively recently as an agricultural country. In 1913 over 80 per cent of the population derived their livelihood from agriculture, although all prerequisites for industrial growth were available. Industry employed a total of 2,618,142 workers in 1913, over 22,000,000 in 1933, and 28,000,0 0 0 in 1938. In 1937, at the end of the Second FiveYear Plan, 34.7 per cent of the entire population, an estimated 59,000,000 persons, were classified as nonagricultural wage earners, including industry, trade, transportation, and mining; 55.5 per cent of the population were engaged in agriculture, 4.2 per cent were in the army and t h e schools, etc. This trend was continued in later years.
Growth of Chemical Industry The chemical industry deserves special mention because t h e Third Five-Year Plan (1938-1942) is being consistently termed in U. S. S. R. the Chemical FiveYear Plan, in order t o stress the intended development of the chemical industries· T o be sure, the construction of chemical plants w a s largely completed during the previous industrialization period and it is the expansion of the quantity and improvement of the quality of the products that are being stressed. In the total out-
Distribution of coal production Donets basin (southeast European Russia) Kuznets basin (Siberia) Moscow basin
86.8 2.7 1.0 1932
Production of ferrous metals Southern regions Eastern regions Central regions
Distribution of chemical industry Northwestern Central Ural Western Siberia Volga-Vyatka Ukrainian Republic CHEMICAL
74.3 8.0 3.5 1937
% 65.6 12.7 4.9
64.1 16.8 19.1
54.6 29.5 15.9
44.21 42.07 2.7
24.66 51.51 5.04
14.73 45.85 6.41 4.25 2.47 9.95
E N G I N E E R I N G
Value of Industrial Output of U. S. S. R. 1913° 1929 1937 Plan for 1942 Millions of rubles 16,815 25,700 95,500 180,000 T o t a l Russian industry 501 600 5,940 13,400 Russian chemical industry German chemical industry 3,250 U. S. A. chemical industry4,500 α Data in this column refer to the territory of U. S. S. R. as of January 1939. Table I.
Progress of Individual Industries
1913 e Machine industry and metal processing (millions of rubles, prices as of 19261927) Tractors Locomotives Freight cars Automobiles Coal, metric tons Coke, metric tons Oil, metric tons G a s , metric tons I r o n ore, metric tons C a s t iron, metric tons Steel, metric tons Sulfuric acid, metric tons C100 per cent) Soda, metric tons Cement, metric tons Superphosphate fertilizers. metric tons Electrical energy, billions of Icw.-hr.
9,410 3,349 27,519 62,000 50,600 3,300 115,600* .. . 575 827 1,214 2,090 664 15,900 23,100 66,100 90,000 14,800 1,400 23,900 200,000 400,000 230,000,000 29,100,000 40,100,000 64,400,000 128,000,000 4,300,000 13,500,000 . .. 9,132,700 13,800,000 21,413,000 28,400,000 48,500,000 897,000 1,980,000 5,500,000 .. . . .. 8,000,000 12,100,000 9,200,000 27,800,000 .. . 4,000,000 4,200,000 6,200,000 14,500,000 22,000,000 e 20,300,000 27,500,000 ... .... ... 1,446
121,000 160,000 1,500,000
265,000 231,400 2,200,000
552,000 284,900 3,500,000
1,666,000* 495,700* 5,500,000
.. . .. .
*b For t h e territory of TJ. S. S. R. as of January 1939. Figure for 1936. * Estimated for 1938. * Planned; amount produced in 1936 was 1,430,000 tons.
position o f the chemical industry in Russia deteriorated still more. T h e expanding scope of the chemical industry of the U . S. S. R . in recent years is indicated b y the statement published in the Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences t h a t in 1941 t h e number of chemical ele m e n t s utilized by industry in various forms reached 80, against 20 used before 1 9 1 7 . T h e chemical plants in opera t i o n at t h e present time were almost in variably built in execution of the FiveY e a r Plans. I n 1937 t h e output of the chemical plants built before industrializa t i o n was only 7.3 per cent of the entire production of the chemical industry; in 1941 the old plants were producing o n l y 4 per cent of the output of this industry. The increasing production of t h e new plants was expected to reduce the s h a r e of t h e old plants in the total output of the chemical industry to 3 per cent in 1942. Achievements of some industries serv i n g civilians, as well as t h e army, are es pecially noteworthy. Russian chemists a n d engineers claim first place in the world for the synthetic rubber industry. This industry, which aimed a t self-sufficiency of the Soviet industry in the rubber field b y 1942, was started in 1928 and toward V Ο LU MF
1938 reached a n estimated production of 100,000 metric tons of rubber made by polymerization of butadiene in t h e pres ence of metallic sodium. T h e butadiene is prepared b y t h e method of S. V. Lebedev, involving dehydration, dehydrogenation, and condensation of ethyl alcohol in the presence of a dehydrogenating-dehydrating catalyst, such as a mixture of the oxides of aluminum and zinc. T h e voluminous literature published since the inception of this industry indicates that intensive research is going on in U. S. S. R. in this field. With newly developed catalysts yields of butadiene amounting to 4 0 to 4 1 per cent on the converted alcohol (70 per cent theoretical) were at tained toward the end of 1939 against the original 20 to 2 2 per cent reported b y Lebedev in 1928. The average amount of alcohol consumed per ton of butadiene rubber gradually decreased from t h e origi nal 5 tons t o 3.4 i n 1937, 3.3 tons in 1938, and 2.8 tons in 1939. A further line of research pursues de velopment of methods of synthesis of rubber from sources other than alcohol, since the alcohol is manufactured from foodstuffs. In this category belongs chloroprene rubber (Sovprene), one ton per d a y of which has been produced on a
pilot-plant scale since July 1934. Con struction of a commercial plant for pro duction of Sovprene rubber was started a little later. The methods used in this work were developed by A. L. Klebanskiï and co-workers and involve conversion of vinylacetylene to chloroprene and polymerization of t h e latter. In 1940 and 1941 much attention was attracted by a new method of preparation of isoprene rubber developed b y A. E . Favorskiï, who prepared dimethylvinylcarbinol b y hydrogénation of t h e corresponding acetylene alcohol and d e hydrated the former to isoprene. Polymerization of the latter gave up to 9 9 per cent rubber of satisfactory quality. For this method the veteran chemist was awarded Stalin prizes in 1940 and 1941. Research on copolymers of butadiene with styrene, acrykmitrile, ether derivatives of isoprene, etc., h a s not reached commercial development, a s far as can be judged from the literature. However, native-grown rubber has been extracted from a number of plants, over 1,000 of which, collected from all parts of the U . S. S. R. by numerous expeditions, were tested a n d 3 or 4 are being industrially used. T h e amount of this rubber is apparently much smaller than that of butadiene rubber. Of these plants Tau-Sagyz and Kok-Sagyz are the most important. T h e oil, steel, and some other industries were also rapidly expanded and adapted to modern methods of production, partly patterned according to foreign methods and partly developed in Russia. N e w oil-bearing areas were developed during these five-year industrialization periods, the most important of which are located in the Emba region northeast of the Caspian Sea, from which 649,500 tons of oil were produced in 1938 a n d over 2,000,000 were expected for 1942, and t h e fields between the Volga and Ural, which produced 1,292,000 tons in 1938 and 7,000,000 were expected in 1942. N e w methods of oil prospecting include the soil gas analysis developed by Sokolov a n d methods of rapid and efficient drilling for oil. T h e enormous territory of Siberia produces little oil a t present, and its industrialization plans provide for oil substitutes, including wood, charcoal, anthracite, lignite, peat, shale oil, benzene, alcohol blends, coal gases, producer gases, coke-oven gases, acetylene, etc. AU these fuels are being tested, using specially adapted engines in prolonged road tests. Information is available showing projected use of oil substitutes as supplementary fuel even in areas where petroleum motor fuels are normally used. The Russian Republic of the U. S. S. R . had in 1940 under construction 70 plants for producing wood chips to be used a s motor fuel. It is estimated that toward the end of 1942 the number of wTood-burning automobiles and trucks in actual operation in U. S. S. R. reached 100,000. 167
Producer gas is being manufactured under the g r o u n d in coal mines and i n abandoned oil fields in a project, first t h o u g h t of by JD. I. Mendeleev a n d S i r William R a m s a y and practically i n i t i a t e d by Lenin. T w o commercial underground plants p r o d u c i n g gas from coal were i n operation, according t o a report published in 1941, a n d oth.ers were u n d e r construction. I n view of t h e i m p o r t a n c e of s t a t e supervised agriculture in the Soviet U n i o n , it is interesting t o note some development in fertilizers, th.e output o f which w a s negligible in R u s s i a before 1917. T h a n k s to the expansion of the sulfuric acid indust r y , the o u t p u t o f the phosphate fertilizer industry rose t o 1,500,000 tons i n 1937, or 275,000 tons calculated a s 100 p e r cent phosphorus penfcoxide. T h e resources of phosphate m i n e r a l s in Kara-Tau, s o u t h ern K a z a k h s t a n , are estimated t o reach 600,000,000 t o n s , which creates favorable conditions for development o f a p h o s p h a t e fertilizer i n d u s t r y in m i d d l e Asia regions which have not heretofore h a d a fertilizer industry; 2 5 per c e n t of all p h o s p h a t e fertilizers produced i n U. S. S. R . in 1939 were shipped t o m i d d l e Asia. A n i m p o r t a n t base of p h o s p h a t e s w a s developed in t h e far north, on the K o l ' s k i ï Peninsula. T h e resources a n d the q u a l i t y of t h e stock mined are said to exceed all similar deposits in E u r o p e . L a r g e potassium mineral deposits (sylvinite) are s t a t e d t o h a v e also been prospected o n the Kol'skiy Peninsula. T h e resources of potassium s a l t s in U. S. S. R . have been estimated t o a m o u n t to IS.7 billion tons, the resources of apatites and p h o s p h o r i t e s , to 6 billion tons. Personnel N o plans c a n be successfully carried o u t without enlisting the enthusiasm of t h e skilled w o r k e r s a n d trained personnel w h o are called upon to d o the work. G r e a t emphasis n a s therefore been placed since 1935 on tfcie human element, which found its expression in the slogan coined b y Stalin, " T h e trained personnel decides everything." I n 1913 R u s s i a h a d 1,000 chemists. T h e Russian C h e m i c a l Society (known as the chemical division of the R u s s i a n Physico-Chemica.1 Society, t o which b o t h chemists a n d physicists belonged) n u m bered 415 m e m b e r s in 1927. The n u m b e r of geologists, mineralogists, and soil e x p e r t s together d i d not exceed 550 i n 1913. However, in 1939 the n u m b e r of g r a d u a t e chemists w a s a b o u t 50,000. During t h e Second F i v e - Y e a r P l a n t h e number of students in universities and technical colleges reached 550,000. It was e s t i m a t e d t h a t at t h e end o f the Third Kive-Year P l a n (in 1942) the n u m b e r of college grade schools in the c o u n t r y would be 601 a n d t h e n u m b e r of s t u d e n t s 660,000 exclusive of 3,500 s e c o n d a r y technical schools w i t h 800,000 s t u d e n t s . ι*β
Before t h e first World W a r it w a s estimated t h a t 56 per cent of t h e population was illiterate, a l t h o u g h the S t a t e D u m a (parliament) m a d e m a n y a t t e m p t s t o introduce universal education, beginning with 1908, and actually p r o m u l g a t e d a plan according t o which this aim would have been achieved b y 1922, a t which time 15,850,000 children of school age were expected t o be educated in various schools. T h e population of Russia was 139,300,000 in 1914, 147,000,000 in 1926, and 170,500,000 in J a n u a r y , 1939. T h e n u m b e r of s t u d e n t s in all t y p e s of schools was reported in 1938 to h a v e reached 34,000,000, the n u m b e r of pupils in t h e p r i m a r y a n d secondary schools h a v i n g risen during the preceding five-year period from 21,300,000 to 29,400,000, which m a y serve as a general indication of t h e success of the educational program launched b y t h e Soviet government simultaneously with t h e industrialization p r o g r a m , even considering the increase in population a n d t h e lengthening of the schooling period in p r i m a r y schools b y a t least a year. Lack of technically trained personnel constituted a barrier t o development of t h e industry to a certain extent and figures were published showing the deficiencies of technical personnel in the various industries. I t w a s n o t expected t h a t e v e n b y 1942 t h e discrepancy between t h e r e quirement of technical personnel a n d t h e n u m b e r s of graduates of various t y p e s of schools would be eliminated, and e x p a n sion a n d intensification of educational facilities constitute a n important p a r t of all plans. T h e Soviet Ambassador t o t h e United States, M . Litvinov, s t a t e d on J u n e 22, 1942, t h a t " t h r o u g h o u t the y e a r of war j u s t completed, t h e cultural-educational work of t h e Soviet peoples, in t h e spheres of science and art, h a s been going o n all t h e t i m e with extremely fruitful a n d valuable results." T h e number of engineers a n d technical personnel serving the entire Russian industry in 1937 reached 8.7 per c e n t and in t h e chemical industry, 13 per cent of t h e t o t a l n u m b e r of workers in this i n d u s t r y a n d was t o reach 15 per cent by 1942, a l t h o u g h the t o t a l n u m b e r of employees in t h e chemical industry was scheduled for a 33 per c e n t increase d u r i n g the same period of time. In addition t o various phases of scientific research pursued at institutions of learning, m a n y branches of i n d u s t r y maintain research institutes devoted t o the s t u d y of their special problems. T h e number of institutes of this k i n d operating in very recent times is not known to t h e writer, b u t in 1935 t h e heavy industries were served by 99 institutes, 27 of which have subsidiary divisions. T h e staffs of these institutes comprised 33,380 people; of these, 11,189 were scientific personnel and 9,358 were engineers a n d laboratory assistants. I t m a y b e assumed t h a t this number greatly increased in later years. Of t h e 126 institutes t h e chemical i n d u s t r y C H E M I C A L
maintained the largest number, 3 2 ; m a chine building, 17; mining, 14; "building construction, 15; fuel industries, 9 ; physics, 6. Women constitute a la-rge a n d steadily increasing proportion of th.e technical personnel in all branches o f industry, as evidenced by the numbers o f women who publish important research i n Russian journals. Scientific Literature T h e Russian scientific literature always carried m a n y i m p o r t a n t papers, but i t s volume was small a n d much o f it w a s largely unnoticed outside Eussia. Tht-e Journal of the Russian Chemical· Society was represented in 1868-69 (first year o f publication) by 264 pages, in 1.914 b ; y 2,220 pages, in 1926 by 1,43S pages. There were few other important c h e m i c a l journals published in Russia before 1920. T h e subsequent growth of the Russiajn technical literature is seen from t h e f a c t t h a t t h e n u m b e r of Russian pa-pers r e viewed in Chemical Abstracts, published b y the
SOCIETY, c o n -
s t i t u t e d 2.5 per cent of t h e total number o f papers reviewed in 1913, 11.1 per* cent Lo. 1939, and 14.1 per cent in 19^0. Tixe n u m b e r of Russian journals covered b y Chemical Abstracts in 1937 exceeded 20O, and i t was estimated t h a t the number o f periodicals of chemical interest rxad moire t h a n doubled within t h e preceding: 5 years. At least 358 scientific and engineerint^ journals were published in Russia in 1937, exclusive of a n u m b e r of daily papers p a r t l y devoted to technical pxoblerns. This does n o t include t h e technical literature in other languages, for educational work and m a n y publications a r e c o n ducted, besides Russian, in m a n y other languages. T h e n u m b e r of l a n g u a g e s and dialects spoken in t h e Soviet Union i s over 100; some of t h e m were never used i n written form before t h e enlightenment drive, when committees of philologists compiled alphabets for them. -Approxim a t e l y 60 languages are now recognized for official use in the various republics antd territories of t h e Soviet Federation. .A n u m b e r of journals a r e also published i n English, G e r m a n , and French f o r the i n formation of non-Russian readers. A report published in 1939 gives t h e regional distribution of 8,827 c a n d i d a t e s ("aspirants") who were preparing in 19S8 for scientific positions after completion o f their college education. They c a m e from 10 republics of t h e Union and represented 55 national groups. T h e largest numbex, 6,689, came from the Russian R e p u b l i c . T h e Ukrainian Republic was represented by 1,682 candidates, Azerbaidzhan by 15 JL, White Russia b y 105, Georgia by 4 0 , Soviet Armenia by 58, and Uzbekistan ï>y 53. Utilization of the mineral resources o f the far north required settling thie nortjfa., and spectacular achievements in exploration of the Arctic by Soviet scien t i s t s w e r e A N D
*^ Ε W S
reported with a. view n o t only to studying weather conditions, in which the work of Y u . Scbmidt i s well known, b u t even building railroads on permanently frozen ground. D e m a n d s are often voiced in the Rus s i a n tecfcmical literature of increasing the transfer of laboratory results into the industry. The difference between labora t o r y research and commercial use of its results is evident. However, certain achievements i n this respect are notable. T h i s pertains n o t only t o the development of synthetic rubber and utilization of the results o>f searches for natural rubber, but to the large-scale employment of "yaroviza tion", a method of growing cereals which brought about in recent 3rears a pro nounced rise in wheat crops. Similar adaptation of methods of animal breeding a n d other important innovations in agri culture, industry, medicine, etc., have been reported- Blood preservation and trans-
Electrical energy Cast iron Steel Coal
U. S. S. R. 1 1 1 1
France 2 Over 2 About 2 Somewhat over 1
Despite rapid progress, the planning organizations of U . S. S. R. are mindful of the fact that Russian industry a s a whole is far from the goal expressed in the slogan "to reach and outstrip" the output o f all other countries. Thus, i n formulating the Third Five-Year Plan, Molotov, then President of the Council of Peoples' Com missars, gave in 1939 the figures of produc tion per person in various countries. The reconstruction of TT. S. S . R. after the war will not be limited to reaching any previous level, a n d the tempo of indus trialization will be rapid, partly because of a better understanding a n d closer coopera tion between U. S. S. R. and her allies.
tries, including calcium carbide, refrac tories, and abrasives. Substantial amounts of sulfuric acid and ammonium sulfate are being made, and several
hydroelectric projects are nearing com pletion. Companies in India are being urged to investigate the u s e of crude Baluchistan sulfur, since supplies from abroad have been curtailed. D e p o s i t s d i s c o v e r e d in Baluchistan are being worked by the government, and the sulfur i s taken to t h e nearest railroad for transport to other parts o f India. A n organiza tion t o sell and dis-tribute the ore is being set up under the Directorate General of Supply, New Delhi. Crude sulfur can be used i n sulfuric acid plants employing the chamber process a n d also in sugar refineries i f certain modifications are made in existing burners. India's munitions program is rapidly being geared to high c a p a c i t y . A cordite factory has been established, a high explosives plant modern ized, and plans made for an additional toluene plant. A plan for t h e manufacture of calcium carbide is under consideration.
D O T A S S I U M permanganate is now being made in India from locally obtained chrome ore. Other new prod u c t s include wood creosote, liquid glucose, and emetine hydrochloride, the latter made from ipecachuana grown in Bengal. Manufacture of atro p i n e sulfate will be under taken shortly, and the output of caffeine citrate stepped up to meet orders placed by the Indian Stores Department. The Indian Department of Industries in Bengal reports steady progress in the chemi cal section, which has made several important investiga tions under t h e auspices of t h e Bengal Industrial Research Board, including one on adhesives. Research projects n o w in progress include dex trine a n d gum-dextrine adhesives, casein adhesives, writ i n g ink for fountain pens, Chinese ink, metal polishes, a n d sealing wax. The Scientific and Indus trial Research Council has b e e n manufacturing phthalic anhydridLe a t its Alipore laboratory, according to a report t o the Commerce D e partment;, and a pilot plant WESTINQHOU8E P H O T O is being erected, where the Skis Assume New Role possibility of large-scale pro T. D - Yensen, head of the M a g n e t i c Department at Westingduction of t h e anhydride in house Research Laboratories, saves his " A " coupons by ski India w i l l be studied. ing two and a half miles to work. H e r e the Norwegian-born A recent p r e s s d i s p a t c h scientist enters the laboratories gate after his morning states t h a t Mysore State plans trip. H e is also a leader in the Western Pennsylvania Ski Patrol/ which polices the mountains and woods in wartime. a d d i t i o n a l chemical indus ME
Germany U . S. A. 3.5 5.5 2.5 3 3 4 Considerably more
fusion for use on the battlefield were in troduced b y Dr. Yudin in Moscow before it became a universal practice. Biochemi cal research of A. N . Bakb was utilized b y the Soviet tea, wine, and bread-baking industries. Because the Soviet Union runs its indus try t o a large extent as a single unit, largescale experimentation is facilitated in cer tain cases. This applies not only to in dustry, b u t also t o agriculture, public health, etc. In 1934 a method of im munization from typhoid fever was tested in which over 200,000 patients were treated and the records collected by a single organization.
Industry Meets War Needs in India
V C L U
England About 3 Over 2 3
., „r. ,c c p p y
A p y
1 Ç 4 Î
B E A C H sands along the northern coast of N e w South Wales, Australia, contain an estimated million t o n s of zir conium, probably t b e best de posit i n the world, a s well as titanium minerals a n d smaller amounts of monazite sand, according t o reports to the Department of Commerce. 169