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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Oct 2005

Campothecin|Cancer drug|Process intensification|Polyether ether ketone

Highlights of Some of the Articles
IMPORTANCE OF CORPORATE R&D STRATEGIES In the competitive global scenario, the pre condition for registering growth and progress for any chemical industry is the innovative ideas and approach, that should be fine tuned in relation to the strength of the organization. In the absence of such innovative strategies, the organizations would find itself operating with lower profit margin in a highly competitive and crowded market and stagnating in the process. This is the reason why the forward looking organizations all over the world pay as much attention to future R &D plans and strategies as they do to the present operations. Staying ahead in the race is a necessary condition even to hold on to one’s existing positions in the competitive global market. In India, while several organizations do care to develop long term corporate planning strategies, very few organizations work out specific long term corporate R&D strategies. Most of the organizations rely excessively on purchase of technologies from abroad for setting up new projects or even expanding the existing ones, instead of looking inward towards sourcing the technology. Many organizations with turnover of several hundred crores of rupees have very little to show by way of Research & Development achievements or development of new products or even successful application development efforts for the existing products. This is a big gap in the Indian industrial scenario, which is costing the nation and industries dearly. There are a few exceptions in the country like Gharda Chemicals Ltd., who have shown extraordinary qualities of R & D initiatives and developed very sophisticated products such as Poly sulphones and PEEK in recent times amongst many others. In the pre liberalization era, Indian industries were finding it comparatively easy to purchase technologies from abroad, as selling technologies and technically collaborating with projects was the only way for the overseas companies to penetrate the Indian market in many cases. However, in the present liberalized scenario, where there is no restriction for market penetration and sale of products in India by the overseas countries and with the import duty having been substantially slashed, the overseas and multinational organizations have little incentives to offer technologies to Indian units. Many of them already have a place in the Indian market by positioning and selling the goods in India that are produced in some other countries. Any careful observer of the Indian chemical industrial scenario would readily know that the number of new and innovative projects being set up in India have drastically come down in recent times. The industries are pathetically running from pillar to post scouting for technologies all over the world and often showing willingness to pay exhorbitant price for acquisition of technology even from little known organizations from abroad. The difficult technology acquisition conditions are evident everywhere including pharmaceutical and biotech sector, where the difficult patent regulations have made the reverse engineering impossible and most of the new pharma and biotech units being mere formulators and re packers and not basic producers of ingredients. One would suspect that the reason for the reluctance of Indian organizations to work out long term R&D strategies is the lack of confidence and unwillingness to wait for long time for results. They have to overcome this psychological barrier. Their lack of confidence is possibly the reason as to why the units are unwilling to make huge investments in creating R & D centers but only invest so much that are required for setting up “glorified quality control and trouble shooting laboratories” At the same time, one should not miss the fact that huge R & D infrastructure investments have been made in the CSIR labs belonging to Government of India and in several Universities. Most of such facilities are under utilized and are largely put to use only for “training the students and research scholars”. The industries that develop the R&D strategies should go for massive R&D collaborations with the Universities and CSIR labs with long time perspectives in view. This is how rapid progress in the R&D front have been achieved in USA and several European countries. The huge manpower talent in the country created at great cost by the Universities should be well utilized by the industries, who should develop interests in working out long term R &D priorities and strategies and also develop the work culture to collaborate with the outside research institutions and Universities.
Camptothecin is a quinoline-based alkaloid. It is isolated from Nothapodytes foetida. Camptothecin is present to the tune of 0.1% in leaves and the bark of the plant. Camptothecin is also isolated from the seeds of chinese tree Camptotheca acuminata Camptothecin is modified to create a host of other anti-cancer drugs including irinotecan, topotecan, 9-aminocamptothecin and CPT-11. Camptothecin and these analogs are being investigated to treat a wide variety of cancers, but the compounds are quite toxic, and only Topotecan (Hycamtin.) and Irinotecan HCl (Camptosar.) have met with FDA approval. Hycamtin. has been approved for ovarian cancer theray, and Camptosar is approved for metastatic colorectal cancers. This article further discusses the following aspects:
  • History
  • Product specification of Camptothecin
  • Approval
  • Use pattern and demand
  • Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.
  • Nothapodytes foetida
  • Camptotheca acuminata
  • Technology source
Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) polymer, is a high performance thermoplastic with a unique combination of properties: Characteristics
  • Outstanding Chemical Resistance
  • Outstanding Wear Resistance
  • Outstanding Resistance to Hydrolysis
  • Excellent Mechanical Properties
  • Outstanding Thermal properties
  • Very good Dielectric Strength, Volume Resistivity, Tracking Resistance
  • Excellent Radiation Resistance
PEEK have melting points greater than C., continuous use temperatures of C. or more and high mechanical strengths, such as tensile strength greater than 85 MPa. Application sector
  • Medical appliances including implantation
  • Aerospace application
  • Engineering applications like compressor plates, valve seats, moving parts for textile machines
  • Electrical, electronics and communication cables
  • Scientific laboratory instruments
Technology development efforts There are two major processes, nucleophilic and electrophilic, for the production of thermoplastic aromatic Polyether Ether Ketone. DEMAND DRIVER Medical applications are the fastest-growing end market for PEEK; that sector is less affected by the economic slowdown than other sectors. The volume of demand is smaller, but there is great potential for growth if the product can be tailored for specific needs. New applications in the semiconductor market, such as in silicon wafer carriers, are another major target for sales growth for PEEK. There is also a lot of potential for it to replace more metal components in the automotive industry, and in industrial applications such as wire coating.
Dr. Kailas L. Wasewar, Chemical Engg. Group, Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani – 333031, Raj., INDIA

In the last few years the world economy has faced dramatic changes. Indian chemical industries are facing the competition from other regions. The global marketplace has become more volatile, and maintaining market share has become much more difficult. For Indian chemical industries these economical changes are threatening but at the same time it is challenging. Development of new process/product/equipment, process optimization and process substitution are gain ever increasing importance due to the globalization. Throughout the world various chemical enginerrs are working towards these goals ‘Process Intensification’ which is a termed used to describe the strategy of making dramatic reductions in the size of chemical plant in order to reach a given production objectives.
This paper is in continuation of pervious papers on Process Intensification (PI) (Nandini Chemical Journal, 12(9), 5-7, 2005; 12(12), 39-41, 2005). In the present paper, various process-intensifying methods have been discussed.
Process intensifying methods are categorised into three major areas namely multifunctional reactors i.e. integration of reaction and one or more unit operations, hybrid processes and use of alternative energy sources. 1. Multifunctional Reactors It is the combination of reaction and one or more unit operation function in one apparatus. There are increased demands for processes that produce no waste, require little energy, are low in cost and produce an excellent quality. Hence, it is essential to develop multi-functional reactors. The details are further described as follows:
  • Reverse Flow Reactor
  • Extractive Fermentation
  • Reactive (Catalytic) Distillation
  • Fuel Cell
  • Membrane Reactors
  • Others
2. Hybrid separations Many of the developments in this area involve integration of membranes with another separation technique. The details are further described as follows:
  • Fermentation prevaporation
  • Membrane absorption and stripping
  • Membrane distillation
  • Adsorptive distillation
3. Use of alternative forms and sources of energy The details are further described as follows:
  • Ultrasonic intensification
  • Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry
  • Chemical synthesis
  • Polymer technology
  • Microwave heating
  • Electric field intensification
4. Other Methods
COAL GASIFICATION Research on the extraction of energy from coal are focused on two primary approaches: 1. Direct liquefaction by converting coal into liquids with the help of hydrogen and heavy oils; and 2. Indirect liquefaction by first gasifying coal and then converting the resulting gas into liquids through the process of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. This article further discusses the following aspects:
  • Comparative merits of direct and indirect coal liquefaction process
  • Fischer Tropsch Synthesis
  • Product upgrading
  • Surface coal Gasification Projects around the world
  • The pioneering efforts of Sasol
  • Sasol CTL products
  • Carbon Sequestration Programme
  • Coal to Liquid Projects in China
  • Coal to Methanol complex in China
  • Shell’s Offer of Coal gasification technology to China
  • GAIL’s Venture in China
  • GAIL’s Venture in India
  • Efforts of Headwater’s Coal to Liquid Projects in USA
  • Coal to Methanol Project in Australia
  • GTL Projects in Japan
  • Advanced Gasification Plant in Freiberg, Germany
  • Coal gasification project of Sustec Holding Group
  • Uhde’s Project
  • Project in France
  • Lurgi’s Project
  • Project of Air products of Prototype `ITM’ membrane for lower cost syngas to GTL
  • Project of Marathon to Boost GTL Process Efficiency
  • Used as the key raw material for the manufacture of dispersant additives
  • Used as a Chewing gum component
  • Medium molecular polyisobutylenes are employed in the production of adhesives, sealants, lubricants, clear food wraps, electronic equipment protective films, coatings, protection for optical fiber bundles, and electrical cable sheathing
Manufacturing Process All the Indian producers of Polyisbobutylene use C4 stream as the starting raw material. This articles also contains the following details:
  • Indian Manufacturers
  • Import/Export details
  • Global Scenario
  • Polyisobutylene as an alternative to MTBE
Sulfone polymer is a family of engineering thermoplastic resins characterized by the sulfone (SO2) group. The exceptional properties of these products including chemical and heat resistance, toughness, transparency and dimensional stability make them well suited for demanding applications in aerospace, automotive, electronic, electrical and consumer goods. This article further describes the following details:
  • Types & Its applications
  • Producer’s Specification
  • Manufacturing process
  • New Projects and Joint ventures
  • Indian and global manufacturers and their installed capacity level
  • Import/Export details
TWO-PHASE FLOW IN SHELL AND TUBE HEAT EXCHANGER - AN INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY INTRODUCTION Two-phase flow is a widely observed phenomenon in many engineering operations. It has been used in environmental, chemical and biochemical process in last decades.. Although two phase flow are successfully and widely used in commercial industrial operations, much remains to be done due to the complexity of it. In order to gain fundamental knowledge about the complex two-phase flow behavior, research is still needed and experimental work is obviously necessary. Converse to that of single-phase flow, literatures concerning the two-phase flow are comparatively rare. So efforts have been taken in the study of two-phase flow in 1-2 shell and tube heat exchanger for air-water system. This paper investigates
1) the study of heat transfer characteristics of two-phase flow in 1-2 shell and tube heat exchanger
2) determination of two-phase parameters such as two-phase multiplier, Lockhart-Martinelli parameter and quality.
3) dimensionless correlation between two-phase multiplier and Lockhart-Martinelli parameter
4) determination of two-phase heat transfer coefficient, if data on pure liquid h0 and pure liquid value m are known.
Despite taking into account a myriad of different technical parameters, traditional engineering designs for a new chemical plant do not always deliver the most economical solution or lowest overall cost process. In an attempt to overcome these limitations, engineers and modellers at BASF have devised an alternative approach that compares different process concepts based on monetary values that include both capital investment and projected operational costs. Presenting the results of plant simulations and optimisations in terms of "money flows" makes it possible to select the best alternative using one common set of criteria and can result in some significant savings in total cost. PETROCHEMICAL JOINT VENTURES IN CHINA China's petrochemical industry is expanding rapidly. Three multibillion-dollar petrochemical joint ventures will add a combined 2.3 million metric tonnes per year of ethylene capacity. The plants will increase China's total ethylene capacity by 37%, to 8.5 million metric tonnes per year. The article discusses the ventures of several companies such as BASF-YPC Co., Shanghai Secco, CSPC, Joint venture between Fujian Petrochemical and ExxonMobil and other projects.
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