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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Sep 2009


Highlights of Some of the Articles
With the heavy dependence on crude oil imports and increasing price trend of crude oil in the global market, India is facing conditions of energy and power insecurity. The Government of India is considering and initiating number of steps .to
overcome the problem such as setting up of massive nuclear power projects, setting up gas based power plant in Iran etc. However, such steps are being questioned by knowledgeable sources on several count.
There are obvious choice for India such as massive exploitation of solar energy resource, wind power etc. Much remain to be done on such fronts.
Crude oil price trend Crude oil prices are expected to remain in the range of $70 to 80 per barrel in 2009 and 2010. Platts, a leading global energy and metals information provider said: "The global demand of crude oil has declined by 2.3 million barrels per day at 83.9
million barrels per day during January to July 2009. Still the crude oil prices rose from $33.78 per barrel in February 2009 to $74 per barrel and more .
Though the fundamentals of demand and supply have not improved and the demand from the OECD countries is still contracting, the crude oil prices are at the higher levels. The OPEC is trying to hold the crude oil prices in the range of $70 to $80 per barrel by cutting down production. It has cut the crude oil production by 4.2 million barrels per day at 24.8 million barrels. The crude oil production declined steadily from August 2008. The hopes of revival fuelled market sentiments that routed the fund flows to crude oil futures that also helped the prices to move up. India’s nuclear power strategy – Doubts persist The projection that an additional 20,000 MW of nuclear capacity in India may require Rs 800,000 million appear to be an under estimation. Only the other day, the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, was reported to have stated that the cost of nuclear power today is about Rs 60 million per MW. This seems to be more accurate as the cost of coal power itself is about the first mentioned level and it is well known that the cost of coal power is less than that of nuclear power. Additionally, the indirect costs, such as costs of mining for nuclear fuel, fuel processing and the cost of long term storage of spent fuel, etc., have not been included. Some other costs, that are externalised for the sake of convenience, such as health costs, the cost associated with the dependence on import, national security issues and so on, have not even been considered. Hence, the real cost to society of such additional nuclear power is much higher than the projected Rs 800,000 million. It may be in the range of about Rs 1,200,000 to Rs.1,500,000 million. Now, it is also well known that about a quarter of this colossal amount, if invested properly in measures such as efficiency improvement, energy conservation and demand side management, can help release more than the equivalent of 20,000 MW of power from the existing power infrastructure. Proposal for gas based power project abroad – Ill conceived plan The Government of India is said to be working on a project to set up a gas based power plant in Iran and wheel the power to India through an overland or sub sea transmission line. The plan is to use the abundant gas available in Iran and set up a 4,000 megawatt power plant at a cost of Rs 200,000 million. The idea of wheeling power from Iran, howsoever cheap the fuel (gas), appears ill conceived for several reasons. First is the experience of dealing with Iran for the gas pipeline project through Pakistan. Despite protracted negotiations over the last five years, India and Iran have been unable to finalise the terms of the project, not the least because of security considerations as the pipeline will pass through Pakistan. The proposed power transmission line will also have to traverse the same territory if it is overland and it is impossible to see how it can succeed where the gas pipeline scheme failed. There are also prickly geopolitical issues to be considered. Assuming that the transmission line will take a sub sea route, it is doubtful whether the project will pass the commercial and technical tests. Transmission via a sub sea network will cost several times more than through an overhead line. It is also not known if the technology to wheel power through sub sea cables over such a long distance has been applied  elsewhere India far behind in Solar power utilisation According to the World Watch Institute, solar thermal heating world wide has expanded by 19 gigawatts of thermal equivalent (GWth), with the highest annual growth rate since 1995 to reach 147 GWth (210 million square meter)  of capacity in 2007. In India, the estimated potential is 140 million square metre collector area. However, only 2.15 million sq metre collector area has been achieved, with only 6.17 lakh solar cookers in use. China, by far the largest market, has two thirds (79.9 GWth, 114.1 million sq.metre ) of global capacity and, despite a one third decrease in new installations to 16 GWth (22.9 million sq. metre) in 2007 compared with 2006, accounted for 80% of newly installed systems in 2007. The market in Turkey, second only to China, peaked in 2004 and reached an annually installation plateau of 490 mwth (700,000 sq.metre) in 2006 and 2007. The slowdown can be traced to increased access to new gas pipelines (which has affected cost competitiveness in some regions), a high value added tax and little government support. Germany remains the market leader in Europe, with 0.66 GWth (9,40,000 sq.metre) of new installations, despite a substantial 37% decrease between 2006 and 2007. This decline has been attributed to reductions in subsidies, a maturing heating market, the economic slowdown and an increase in the value added tax. In Israel, the fifth largest market, new installations (49.7 mwth, 71,000 sq.metre ) plummeted by two thirds in 2007 compared to 2006. Despite this, Israel has a long history of promoting solar thermal heating, dating back to 1980 when it became the first country to implement a solar thermal heating law. Solar thermal heating is now a mainstream technology and meets 4% of the country’s total energy demand. Similar initiatives have since been made in Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain. In the US, new installations increased by 28% to reach a cumulative total of 1.7 GWth. Solar water heating received a supporting hand in late 2008 with the extension of the federal investment tax credit to 2016 and with the removal of tax credit cap in early 2009. The International Energy Agency estimates that residential solar water heating could displace 60 to 70% of the natural gas and electricity that would otherwise be used in these buildings. Integration of solar thermal heating systems into architectural designs is becoming prevalent and provides additional benefits, including shading and thermal insulation. The best commercially available solar thermal heating systems demonstrate efficiencies of nearly 70%. Need to exploit solar energy Renewable heating resources such as solar thermal energy can displace conventional heating fuels, primarily natural gas and electricity. The thermal route uses the solar energy for water heating, cooking, drying, water purification, power generation and other applications, while the photovoltaic route converts the light in solar energy into electricity which can then be used for a number of purposes such as lighting, pumping, communications and power supply in unelectrified areas. For India which is seen gradually slipping into energy insecurity, there is much to learn and emulate from other countries. There are not many countries in the world that enjoy 270 days of sunshine a year; India does. The huge potential provided by solar energy – clean and renewable – needs to be tapped to meet the growing energy needs, especially in rural areas. One of the critical applications could be the setting up of solar driers for rapid drying of freshly harvested agricultural produce. Waste energy utilisation Another area of interest to developing countries such as India that burn large quantities of fossil fuel is waste energy recycling, which captures smokestack waste and other waste energy and puts it to work.
The demand for acetic acid in India has been steadily increasing over the years in view of its versatile applications and the trend is likely to continue. Chemical formula                                CH3COOH
Appearance                                        Colourless, water like liquid
Specification Description Value Acetic Acid 99.85 % min. by wt. Water 0.15% max. Colour 10 apha max. Formic Acid 0.05 % max. by wt. Acetaldehyde 0.05% max. by wt. Heavy Metals as Pb less than 2ppm Iodides 40 ppb max. Permanganate 2.00 hrs. min. Freezing Point 16.4 deg C Specific Gravity 1.049 at 25 deg C This articles discusses the following details:
  • Major derivatives and applications
  • Application chart for acetic acid
  • Annual imports
  • Pattern of countrywise imports-Period April 2007 to March 2008
  • Annual Exports
  • Pattern of countrywise exports-Period April 2007 to March 2008
  • Indian producers
  • Indian installed capacity
  • Indian production level
  • Plants presently not in operation
  • New project/expansion
  • Indian demand for acetic acid
  • Pattern of application sectorwise demand
  • Demand drivers
  • Manufacturing process
  • Global scenario
    • Global installed capacity
    • Important global producers
    • Units not in operation
    • New projects/expansion
    • Global demand for acetic acid
    • Pattern of application sectorwise demand
  • Prognosis
Nicosulfuroun is a selective systemic herbicide. It has broad spectrum of activity against grasses, broad leaf weeds and sedges It is effective against its target weeds at low rates and is selective to maize Nicosulfuron is resistant to wash off by rain, due to its systemic activity.It is safe to birds, fish, bee and other beneficial insects The process technology for nicosulfuron was jointly developed by ISK of Japan and DuPont of the United States. Appearance:               White or off-white powder
Molecular formula           C15H18N6O6S
Chemical Name              2-[(4,6-dimethoxypyrimidin-2-ylcarbamoyl) sulfamoyl]-N,N-dimethylnicotinamide
CAS Number                  [ 111991-09-4 ]
Chemical Family             Sulfonylurea
Pesticide Type                Herbicide
Phytotoxicity: Nicosulfuron may cause yellow bands on leaves on rare occasion. Research has shown that this symptom is translent and does not affect the yield. Specification: Nicosulfuron content, %            > 95.0
Water content, %                     < 1.0
PH range :                               4.0~7.0
Acetone insoluble, %                < 0.5
This article discusses the following:
  • Applications
  • Indian scenario
  • Global demand
  • Scenario in China
  • Brand name of selected formulators
Guar or cluster beans is a legume crop that grows best in semi-arid regions in India. Rajasthan and Haryana contribute 70 per cent and 20 per cent to India’s total production. Guargum could be in short supply to the tune of 80,000 tonnes this year, as guar crop production is expected to be at a 11-year low of 2,10,000 tonnes. This article discusses the following details :
  • Present production level
  • Export demand
  • Projections
Sales of products incorporating nanotechnology are growing faster in Asia/Pacific than in the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. and Europe account for more than two thirds of all nanomaterial sales, but through 2015 each region’s share of the market will drop 2% to 3%. Sales in Asia/Pacific during the same period should rise 5% in part due to the region’s more competitive automotive industry. Environmental applications for nanomaterials are projected to grow strongly. Market research firm BCC Research (Wellesley, MA,USA ) predicts that the global market for nanotechnology in environmental applications will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 61.8% in 2008-14 with sales reaching $21.8 billion in 2014 compared with $1.1 billion in 2008. This article discusses the following details :
  • BASF
  • Evonik Industries
  • Nanomarkets, USA
  • Demand for carbon nanotubes and graphene
  • Accreditation scheme for nanomaterials
The article discusses the plans for closure of selected units by the following players
  • BASF shuts Agchem Plant in India
  • Asahi Kasei and Teijin to close PTT Fibers joint venture
  • Bayer to close US plants
  • Closure of olefins plant by Total
  • Toagosei to close EDC unit
  • Mitsubishi quits polystyrene
  • Eastman slows spending on Beaumont Gasification Project
  • FMC to lay off employees
  • Bayer to close resins plant
  • Ethylene glycol unit closed in USA
ANTI DUMPING PAGE The antidumping measures introduced in  the various countries in the last few weeks on the following products are discussed:
  • Polypropylene
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Viscose staple fibre
  • Plain medium fibre board
SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE Following safety and accident details are discussed:
  • Blast at Total Cracker kills two
  • 3 killed in explosion in Kerala biogas plant
  • Short-circuit caused by a rat at MRPL plant
  • Fire in Guwahati oil refinery
UPDATE ON BIOFUEL The following recent developments on biofuel industry are discussed:
  • Algae based biofuel – Recent developments
  • Bio diesel project of Emami Biotech
  • Biodiesel Pilot Project In China
UPDATE ON CARBON TRADING The following recent developments on Carbon trading are discussed:
  • Hazard waste usage provides huge carbon trading opportunity
  • Carbon credit sale from India
NEWS ROUND UP The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed: INTERNATIONAL
  • Black liquor gasification project in paper mill
  • Propylene glycol from glycerin
  • Methanol
  • World’s major ethylene projects under implementation
  • Norms for underground gasification
  • Cement industry expansion
  • Polypropylene
  • Potassium chlorate
  • Agro based companies setting up with abroad
  • Shasun Chemicals & Drugs shuts unit due to environmental issues
  • Complex fertiliser production by Madras Fertilisers
CHINA NEWS The recent developments on the following products/events are updated :
  • Polysilicon project
  • Silicone emulsion plant
  • Acrylic polymer plant
  • Polybutylene terephthalate
  • Isopropanol amine
  • PVC Stabilizer
  • Heavy oil fluid catalytic cracking unit
  • Catalytic reforming facility
  • LNG project
  • Sulphur recovery technology
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT The recent developments on the following technology efforts are highlighted International
  • Use of grass spray to relieve stress
  • UOP to offer catalyst for diesel
  • Organic nanoparticles from LANXESS
  • Ethanol from watermelons
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Polymer to reduce radioactive waste
  • Viscosity grade bitumen
ENERGY PAGE The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • Solar thermal power plants
  • New geothermal heat extraction process to deliver clean power
  • Biomass burning stove to convert heat into sound, then electricity
  • Nano ink process to make solar cells
PHARMA PAGE The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • Unsuccessful clinical studies on oglemilast
  • Inhalable measles vaccine
  • Herbal drug to fight Malaria
ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • Study on plastic debris in Pacific
PRICE DETAILS – INTERNATIONAL Global price trends on the following products are provided :
  • Vinyl chloride monomer
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Liquid epoxy resin
  • Butadiene
  • Benzene
  • Styrene
  • Expandable polystyrene
  • Bulk chemical prices
  • Smuggling Of Muriate Of Potash – Disturbing Trend
  • Gas Discovery In Mahanadi Basin In Orissa Coast
  • Production Of Crude By Cairn India
  • Simplified NELP - VIII Norms For Oil Exploration
  • RCF’s Project For Gypsum Based Wall
  • ICIS Innovation Awards – 2009
  • Clean Coal Energy Production – IGCC Technology
  • Enzyme Based Technology To Process Leather
  • Global Research Efforts On Nanotechnology
  • Advanced Battery Production Projects In USA
  • Cannabis Chemicals For Treatment Of Prostate Cancer
  • Wheat To Bioethanol Facility
  • Indian Vanilla Industry Facing Uncertain Times
  • Tender
  • New Projects – International
  • Chemicals Imported At The Chennai Port During The Month of July 2009
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