Gerald L. Farrar Contributing Editor The costs of three important chemicals used in crude-oil refining changed very little during the period, 1987-1990, while the costs of two others cycled significantly. The three stable chemicals were hydrofluoric acid, with Nelson-Farrar index of 407.5; sulfuric acid, with index almost constant at 363.3; and sodium Sodium carbonate varied from 342.1 in the first quarter of 1987, to 418.2 in the last quarter of 1990, or a gain of 76.1 index points during the period. The two chemicals with varying costs are platinum and sodium hydroxide. Over the 1987-1990 time span, plat...

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