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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Apr 2006

Pepetide apis|Anticancer drugs|Natural etoposide|Carbon fiber|Cyclohexanedimethanol

Highlights of Some of the Articles
NEED FOR ACTIVE RESEARCH BASE -EMULATE THE US MODEL India’s development programmes are well-known for investments in physical infrastructure, but a lack of focus on innovation is one of the key deficits in trying to catch up with the developed countries. Innovation is a necessity, not a luxury, in the process of convergence. Without the industries and researchers being actively engaged in innovation, it will not be possible to achieve rapid and effective introduction and use of modern and appropriate technologies. Introduction of such updated technologies are the basic pre-requisites to sustain the growth of chemical industries Without an active research base, it is next to impossible to generate research excellence and homegrown innovation. It is important that everyone involved should be aware of the importance of research and innovation as part of a balanced development strategy. Investment and efforts should be made mainly in the following three areas • Encouragement for research projects,especially for applied and competitive research, based in universities and public research institutes; • Creation of research and innovation infrastructure, including research facilities and equipment at public institutes as well as technology transfer centres and incubators; and • Moral and material support for innovation and technology transfer, including support for partnerships between businesses and research centres. The Central and State Governments should facilitate unique opportunities and provide structural funds for R&D activities both for supporting structural reform and for creating a knowledge-based economy. India has to learn a lot from developed countries particularly from United States of America, in chalking out its research and development strategies for chemical industry. A careful study of the scenario in United State of America would readily indicate the fact that the government is actively involved in identifying the research and development opportunities along with the industries and research organisations and is making significant contribution in achieving the R&D objectives. The governments in the Western countries have a healthy methodology of influencing the growth of the research and development efforts without interfering in the matter and are actively involved in promoting appropriate climate and atmosphere for research by extending proper incentives, benefits and funds support. One of the striking aspects of the research and development efforts in USA is the active co-operation between the universities and educational institutions on the one hand and industrial establishments on the other. In this way, industries have been enabled to optimize the investments in creating its own research and development base and have been encouraged to adopt the dynamic policy of outsourcing research from the universities which have become extended research and development arm and wing of the industries to a large extent. In the process, the quality of performance of the universities have also improved dramatically providing excellent opportunities, focus and target for the universities. This goes a long way in moulding the students into scientists and technologies even during the period when they undergo education and studies. India is yet to implement such model in the industry university research co-operation, even though enormous investments have been made in creating necessary infrastructure facilities in the universities in the country. Both the Central and State governments certainly have a legitimate role in encouraging co-operation between the industries and universities and creating a basis for working together between these institutions. The government can aid this development by initiating appropriate policies and incentive programmes.
Peptides are chains of amino acids and they are building blocks of proteins. These building blocks are linked together linearly in various combinations and permutations, make up the peptides and proteins of living things. The development of peptide chemistry, which is a sub discipline of organic chemistry, has been developed through 20th century and its roots can be traced to a chemist Emil Fischer. Their key role is to regulate body functions such as the release of hormones, the regulation of blood sugar levels, bone metabolism and various neurological processes. Peptides are responsible for a wide variety of biological functions (blood pressure control, calcium regulation, pain relief, uterine contractions). This article further discusses the following details
  • Chemistry of peptides
  • Applications of peptides
  • Market scenario
  • Status of global therapeutic peptide drugs
  • Demand drivers
  • Challenges
  • Synthesis of peptides
  • Solid phase peptide synthesis (SPSS)
  • Solution phase peptide synthesis
  • New technology / process development
  • Industry trends
  • Selected global players
  • Some representative peptides and protein drugs and their potential functions and applications 
In August, September and October 2005 issues, the details on Paclitaxel, Vincristine and Camptothecin, the anticancer drugs derived from Natural products were discussed. Etoposide, a semisynthetic drug derived from Podophyllotoxins which is isolated from Podophyllum peltatum (May apple family) is discussed in this issue Etoposide is a chemotherapy medicine (Topoisomerase II inhibitor). It is most commonly used to treat lung cancer and testicular cancer. During the process of chemotherapy treatments, Topoisomerase enzymes control the manipulation of the structure of DNA necessary for replication. Topoisomerase II inhibitors cause breaks in the genetic material (DNA) inside the cancer cells and prevent them from further dividing and multiplying. Then the cells die. Etoposide and Teniposide are derivatives of phyllotoxin that are much less toxic and are safely used in chemotherapy. Both compounds block the cell cycle in at least two specific places Of the two drugs, Etoposide is much more widely used. Etoposide is used in the first line treatment of smallcell lung cancer and is the only chemotherapic treatment for testiculat cancer.Etoposide is also used for chorionic carcinomas, Kaposi’s sarcoma, lymphomas and malignant melanomas Etoposide and Teniposide are produced from the Podophyllum emodii from South East Asia but supply is dwindling. The scientists have developed Mayapple as source. Etoposide is a clear liquid for infusion into a vein and it is also available as a pink capsule form to be taken by mouth. This article contains the following details:
  • Characteristics
  • Approval
  • Source of Etoposide
  • Extraction method
  • Indian Patent
  • Future trend
  • Indian Manufacturer
  • Indian Formulations
  • Countrywise import/export details
This article discusses the application aspects and process technology as well as Indian import/export trends for 1,4-Cyclohexanedimethanol (CHDM) Synonyms
  • 1,4-Bis (hydroxymethyl) cyclohexane,
  • 1,4-Dimethylolcyclohexane,
  • Cyclohexane-1,4-dimethanol,
  • 1, 4-Dimethylolcyclohexane,
  • CHDM
CHDM is available as a mixture of trans and cis forms. The optimum ratio of trans:cis form is 70:30. The cis form is undesirable but conversion of cis form is expensive process   CAS 105-08-8 Mol formula C 8 H 16 O 2 Appearance White Waxy Solid Purity 90 / 99 % Water 0.1 % Melting point 41-61 deg C Specific Gravity 1.038 Applications CHDM helps in improving various physical properties of resins such as transparency, glossiness, shockresistance, weather-proofing, glass transition temperature, and flexibility depending on how it is mixed with resin. CHDM provides special properties to polymers that are used in numerous applications including displays, store fixtures, indoor and outdoor signs, sports helmets, medical devices and packaging, electronic packaging, polyester films, protective coatings and plastic bottles The major application of CHDM is in the manufacturing of various specialty plastics products like PCTA (Copolyester of CHDM and PTA) and PCT (poly 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol terephthalate). This article further discusses the following aspects:
  • Application of PCT and Copolyester _PCTA
  • Production process
  • Global Players
Process Outline The process for making carbon fibers is part chemical and part mechanical. The precursor is drawn into long strands or fibers and then heated to a high temperature without allowing it to come in contact with oxygen. Without oxygen, the fiber cannot burn. Instead, the high temperature causes the non-carbon atoms are expelled. This process is called carbonization and leaves a fiber composed of long, tightly inter-locked chains of carbon atoms with only a few non-carbon atoms remaining. The fibers are coated to protect them from damage during winding or weaving. The coated fibers are wound onto cylinders called bobbins. Process flow diagram of PAN Type Carbon Fiber This article further discusses the following details:
  • Sequence of operation
  • Polymerisation
  • Spinning
  • Oxidation
  • Carbonization
  • Treating the surface
  • Sizing
  • Quality control
  • Carbon Fiber from Pitch
  • Carbon Fiber can be manufactured using pitch or rayon as the precursor instead of PAN –Process flow diagram of Pitch Type Carbon Fiber
  • Pitch preparation
  • Reforming, refining
  • Spinning and Drawing
  • Stabilization
  • Carbonization
  • Technology Development Efforts
STATUS OF CBM PROJECTS IN INDIA Firm moves have begun in India for the exploration of coal-bed methane, the economic viability of which has already been proven in the U.S., which began looking for methane from coal-beds in the 1970s. CBM now meets about eight per cent of the U.S. energy needs. Several other coal-producing countries such as Australia, China, Great Britain, Poland and now India, have begun paying increasing attention to harnessing this form of energy. Coal-bed methane is actually methane gas present in coal seams. This is the gas that threatens the lives of miners working in underground mines. At other times it is released into the atmosphere, from working mines, abandoned mines and through the exhaust system of mines, leading to emission of a greenhouse gas. Efforts are also on to extract CMM or coal mine methane. There is no difference in the chemical composition of the two and only the geo-mining conditions vary. CBM is methane gas that lies trapped in virgin coal seams while CMM is the gas trapped in seams that have been worked on. Abandoned mine methane and ventilated mine methane are also covered under CMM. While the former refers to methane extracted from abandoned mines, VAM (ventilated air methane) refers to the gas tapped from the exhaust of mine fans. This article further discusses the following:
  • Energy Possibilities
  • India’s Policy Initiatives
  • Pilot scale project
  • BCCL’s project
TECHNOLOGY EFFORTS IN SERICULTURE PROJECTS Central Sericulture Research & Training Institute (CSTRI) Buoyed by the response to the new cross-breed cocoons which blend the hardier multivoltine with the qualitatively superior bivoltine, the Mysore-based Central Sericulture Research & Training Institute (CSTRI) will offer as many as four different varieties for commercial use. The most ambitious one is Jayalakshmi, a crossbreed variety got from a multivoltine breed (ND7) and a bivoltine strain (CSR2). Thanks to a variety of factors like better yarn
lustre and lower renditta count (the term for the quantity of cocoon required to produce one kg of silk yarn), cross-breeds have gained in popularity with silkworm rearers in Kolar and other major silk producing districts of the state.
Kolar Gold, a cross-breed which was developed in ’04-05, was got by using the male from the bivoltine CSR2 while the female was the multivoltine NB4D2. Cross-breed cocoons like Kolar Gold have fetched as much as Rs 292 per kg. Jayalakshmi, much like Kolar Gold, was got by multiplying NB7 with CSR2. The renditta for Jayalakshmi is around 6 to 6.25 which is significantly lower than the 8 to 8.2 for Kolar Gold. CSRTI has also released Chamaraja, a bivoltine variety got by multiplying CSR50 and CSR51.

India, which is the world’s second largest silk producer, has an annual production of 15,000 tonnes. Karnataka accounts for over 60% of the country’s silk output.
CSRTI officials were optimistic that grainages would be able to produce adequate quantity of cross-breed cocoons like Jayalakshmi to meet the demand. While the state grainages produce about 15 to 20% of the cocoons, the balance is met through the Central Silk Board’s National Silkworm Seed Project. Central Silk Board The Central Silk Board (CSB) is looking at the possibility of having a drying and pupa oil extraction package introduced for the sericulture sector during the Eleventh Plan period. The package is critical to address the issue of disposal of pupa waste generated during silk reeling. Unlike other silk producing nations like Thailand, which have limited cocoon production and resort to drying and storing the cocoons for use in the non-producing season, India uses green (fresh) cocoons for producing silk yarn. It is a common sight to see mounds of putrefying pupa waste lying on the road near many reeling centres. Under the package, the Central Silk Board intends to provide technical support besides helping the entrepreneurs procure the drying chamber and oil extraction unit. The idea is that the entrepreneur would chip in with land and infrastructure to house the equipment. The Board will provide hands-on training and support in the initial phase to run the equipment. Once dried, the oil is extracted from the pupa, using the solvent-extraction method. Each pupa can yield around 20 to 22% of oil. Estimates indicate that India, which has an annual production of about 15,000 tonnes of silk can produce over 2,000 tonnes of pupa oil which finds application in various industries like lubricants and paints. The country could have as many as four such units operational in major reeling centres like Ramanagaram and Sidlaghata (both in Karnataka), Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu) and Hindupur in Andhra Pradesh during the Eleventh Plan period. The board is also looking to tie up with energy consultants or solar-heating technology providers to offer technologies which are not just cost effective but also eco-friendly. ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN CHLOR ALKALI INDUSTRIES AN OVERVIEW Contributed by
Madhav Kamath -Research Associate
The Energy and Resources Institute, Southern Regional Centre,
Post Box No. 7117, 4th Main, Domlur II Stage, 2nd Cross,
Bangalore [560 071]. email:
Mercury process for Caustic soda is now being steadily replaced by Membrane process The major advantage with respect to membrane cells is because of its environmentally friendly nature compared to mercury cells, where the mercury seepage is high into the product and causes environmental degradation. In the membrane process, the anode and cathode sections are separated by a cation-exchange membrane that selectively transmits sodium ion but suppresses the migration of hydroxyl ions from the cathode section into the anode section. Saturated brine is fed into anode compartment, where chlorine gas is evolved at the anode and sodium ions migrate into the catholyte through the membrane. Depleted brine is discharged from the anolyte chamber of the cell. In the cathode compartment, hydrogen is evolved at the cathode, leaving hydroxyl ions, which together with sodium ions constitute the caustic soda. This article further discusses the following details:
  • Energy Consuming Equipments in Caustic Plant
  • Energy conservation measures in auxiliary equipments-Cooling tower pumps
  • Chlorine compressors
  • Chlorine liquefaction chillers
  • Instrument air compressors
  • Electric motors
  • Lighting system
COAL TO CHEMICALS IN CHINA: AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION TO RISING FEEDSTOCK COSTS Developing coal-based liquid fuel and chemicals is a strategic issue for China. With crude oil imports currently exceeding 100 million tonne per year and growing, the Chinese government is understandably eager to find ways to lower oil imports. China is the largest producer and supplier of coke in the world, with about 4000 coke producers, of which 700 are of large capacity. By the end of 2003, the top 1304 producers had 2780 furnaces with 240 million tonne per year total production capacity. Partly due to the availability of low cost coal and power, production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) via the well-established calcium carbide/acetylene route has flourished in China. More recently, coal-to-methanol and other chemicals (butanediol and derivatives, etc) have also become important. While a number of small coal-to-ammonia/urea plants have been shut down in the past decade due to poor economics and competition from imports, Sinopec and PetroChina have a few naphtha-based ammonia/urea plants that have been retrofit to use coal as the feedstock, via the coal gasification route from Shell among others. At least, one domestic company is also developing a coal gasification process. This article further discusses the following details:
  • Viability of Acetylene Technology
  • The Acetylene Process
  • Competitiveness of Calcium carbide route
  • Calcium carbide production
  • Alternative gasification process
  • US Interests in coal Gasification
ALTERNATIVE FEEDSTOCKS FOR PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY Several initiatives have been taken in recent times to develop alternative feedstocks. There is a resurgence of interest in projects that use synthesis gas (syngas) obtained from coal as a source of petrochemicals. There is also growing interest in using hydrocarbon sources such as Canadian oil sands as a feedstock source.Some firms are looking to cut their dependence on fossil fuels by developing projects that use renewable raw materials, such as corn, to produce chemicals. This article contains the following details:
  • Chemicals from Coal
  • Eastman’s Coal Gasification Projects
  • Project of Sasol
  • Polyethylene from Coal
  • Projects in China
  • Project of Dow Chemical in China
  • Use of Canadian Oil Sands
  • Hydrogen Potential
  • Project from Agri Products
USE OF SYNTHETIC FUELS IN RUSSIA RECENT DEVELOPMENTS With the help of gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology, remote or stranded gas resources and flared gas can be converted to liquid fuels Remote gas or stranded gas fields account for 30% to 50% of all confirmed gas resources worldwide and, with the help of gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology, these gas resources could be converted to liquid fuels. With around 26% of global proved natural gas reserves and 17% of global coal reserves, Russia is now researching technologies to convert these abundant resources into synthetic fuels, both through state funded research institutes and through privately held R&D departments of mineral oil and gas corporations. This article further discusses the following details:
  • Initiative of Gazprom
  • SAPR-Neftekhim
  • Dimethyl ether
  • Coal to liquid technology
  • Advantages of synthetic fuels
FUNCTIONAL GENOMICS AND PROTEONICS - STATUS REPORT IN INDIA In 2002, the human genome was mapped in India. Functional genomics involves the understanding of gene functions, comparative analysis of genome sequences and various genome manipulations techniques Comparative analysis of genome sequences through tools of bioinformatics, large scale gene expression analysis using micro arrays and proteomics approaches are some of the new powerful ways for acquiring knowledge about the function of genes. India has the potential to play an important role in genome analysis and has contributed around 10% of the gene sequencing efforts.But still India has a long way to go in functional genomics and proteomics. There is need for focus in understanding the functional part of genomes to move into a new era in biology. Further, India has taken strides in crop genomics by participating in international rice genome sequencing project. India is also part of the International Solanaceae Genome Project’ which endeavours to map the tomato genome sequence. This article further discusses the following details:
  • Applications of Proteomics
  • Research Areas in Proteomics
  • Institutes Involved in Proteomics Research in India
  • Need for Super Computer Facilities
  • Recent Developments
  • Anti Dumping Page
  • Safety & Accident Page
  • Clinical Trials on TGN 1412 Efforts to save the volunteers
  • Patent Page
  • Captive Mining of Coal in India
  • China Issues Green Standard for E-imports
  • Six Sigma Methodology
  • Sewage Water Project in Chennai
  • A Machine that kills germs
  • Certification issues
  • Update on CDM
  • RCF’s CDM Projects
  • Update on Nanotechnology
  • Incinerator in BARC-CAG’s Adverse Report
  • News Round Up-International/India
  • Norms for Fertiliser Units
  • China News
  • Biotechnology Page-International
  • Technology Development-International/India
  • Herbal Page
  • Fellowship for Women Technologists
  • Update on Biofuel
  • Energy Page
  • New Energy Matrix in India
  • Petrochemcial Page – India
  • Pharma Page – Byetta-A New Drug for Diabetics
  • Pharma Page-International/India 
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