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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Jun 2003

Ethanol Mixed Petrol | Ultra Violet Stabilizers | Isabgol | Psyllium

Highlights of some of the articles

It appears to be a fashion to compare India with China in every forum, whether it concerns software or sports or industries or administration and culture. While admittedly China has progressed substantially in the recent past, it would not be appropriate or acceptable to simply down grade India in comparison to China. Each country has its own strength and weakness. Therefore, each country has to follow the course of action which it considers as the best option under the prevailing circumstances. The problem for Indian Chemical Industries in the past has been the blind copying of the pattern of growth of developed countries, which made India remain all the time behind the developed countries. This condition has forced the Indian industries to simply buy the technology and know how at whatever prices that was quoted from abroad. Many in India have been simply assuming that whatever that comes from developed countries like US, Europe could be best for India and therefore, the country has to simply adopt and follow such methods. This has caused disastrous consequences leading to serious imbalance in development and problems for the country. While there are a few things common between India and China, there are many things that are not common to both the countries. The approach towards the political and value system which largely determine the pattern of economic growth could be one big factor causing difference between both the countries. There are a few things, which China can do which India cannot . For example, in Free Trade Zones in China provided to the multi national companies, who receive red carpet treatment, extensive facilities are given, which cannot be offered in the same form in India. Most of such Free Trade Zones almost operate as separate islands in China, where labour unrest would not be tolerated and even some of the areas are restricted for free entry by the natives in a substantial way. Several multi national companies operate in these regions in highly protected environment and are totally isolated from the local problems and pressures. Such things cannot be done in India, in view of the democratic political system and the comparatively better level of liberty enjoyed by the Indian citizens. Large number of industries have come up in China in several sectors, some of which could collapse in the near future due to lack of the competitive edge. For example, it is said that there are over one hundred Titanium dioxide plants in China (as against four in India) and more than 50 Tartaric acid units in China. It is even said that some of the figures published by the Government of China are entirely not reliable with regard to production figures and performance level. In rapidly moving system at great pace, it is possible that the Chinese are ignoring certain fundamental issues, which could cost them dearly in the long run.Of course, Chinese are capable of taking the corrective steps as and when required. While the differences can be further explained, what is necessary is to identify the positive aspects in the Chinese system that have enabled it to advance rapidly in the global sphere and avoids the temptation to do whatever China has done in recent times. Obviously, India has to take lessons from China with regard to enthusiasm and aggressive postures but it should not attempt to do anything similar to what China does without taking the basics prevailing in India into consideration. For example, blindly rushing to form joint ventures in every sphere with China may not be appropriate, except in specific fields such as pharmaceuticals and software where India has the edge. When overseas ventures are planned by the Indian units, they need to have certain overwhelming superiority over the native industries; similar to what multi national companies from the developed countries have. Urgent need of the hour is to develop original ideas and original strategies that are in tune with the country's strength and resources and opportunities. India is largely agro based country and it would remain so for all time to come. Therefore, focusing largely on agrochemicals could be one strategy that India can profitably adopt. Similarly, mineral based projects and projects based on marine resources could be another big area for investment. Petrochemical is one area where India cannot grow anymore. Massive petrochemical projects like that of IPCL and Reliance implemented in the past may not any more be appropriate due to shortage of feedstock . Pragmatic approach is to avoid such projects and concentrate R&D efforts and investment in other more appropriate areas. While China should be lauded for it efforts and progress, India can achieve similar results not by copying or by getting obsessed with China but only by adopt innovative and appropriate methods and policies for growth.
Thanks to the Kyoto Protocol, controlling emissions of green house gases (GHG) is no longer a purely expense-driven exercise. On the contrary, if structured suitably, it can be very profitable. There is now an active market for Certified Emissions Reduction (CER) in the form of GHG trading, as likely participants position themselves and get used to the mechanisms of carbon trading. For example, last year, the US power producer, AES Corp. bought $3 million worth of greenhouse credits. AES bought the credits from Hungary, which built renewable biomass power plants that reduce overall carbon production. Projects generating 90 million tonnes of CER have been approved under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) route and almost 10 million tonnes of reductions have been approved under the Joint Implementation (JI) route, as prescribed in the Kyoto Protocol. CDM has seven projects (namely, wind power and biomass power) projects in India.
Coagulation, a derivation from the Latin word "COAGULARE", meaning 'To drive together', is very well accepted unit process in water purification. Adding chemicals to aqueous dispersion to combine finely dispersed particles with larger agglomerates and removing them, after flocculation, by subsequent processes like settling, decantation and/or filtration is a process of purification practiced by human being since early days. The process of coagulation is generally applied directly on raw water and is considered to be one of the most important processes in surface water treatment. Surface water contains substances originating from nature and due to human activities. Aluminium alum, Sodium aluminate , etc., are the conventional coagulants being used world wide for a very long time. But Aluminium has recently been implicated in the etiology of two severe neuro-degenerative diseases - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerasis and Perkinsonism Dementia. Aluminium poisoning can also lead to loss of memory, tremors, and jerking. In Southern Norway and United Kingdom, it was found that in places where Aluminium concentration in drinking water exceeds 0.01 mg/L, the incidence of Alzheimer disease is 50 % greater compared to those places where Aluminium concentration is below 0.01 mg/L1. Hence it is increasingly becoming obligatory for the water treatment authorities to replace Aluminium based coagulants with some other safer coagulants for treatment of drinking water. Keeping these in mind, a new Iron-based coagulant has been developed and marketed in India, which is devoid of any such shortcomings besides being a superior coagulant compared to conventional Aluminium-based alums.
If you have felt a `hot-spot in the brain’ when you speak on your mobile phone or have a `face-ache’ after a daylong of staring into your computer make no mistake, you have joined the increasing list of victims of electromagnetic radiation(EMR). EMR is touted to be the biggest newage health concern. And the dramatic increase in radiation worldwide, caused by radiation-emitting devices going mass market, has brought the worry of electro-magnetic pollution closer home than ever imagined. Consider the multiple risks one is exposed to at every single moment of one’s life from the cell-phone, cordless phone, computer, music system, micro-waves, remote-controls, electronic toys, television, the list is never ending. Since people cannot stay away from gadgets and technology, Green 8 has introduced into India products to help neutralise harmful EMR, without affecting the gadget’s operation. The company, through its alliance with Bauer, services the domestic and SAARC markets. Bauer has till date sold over three million pieces in the global market, since 1996. Green 8 products range from a foil to be placed in your cell phone’s battery compartment, priced at Rs.750 per piece to a PSt (Perfect System Technology) 24-chip to protect against radiation emitted by satellities, GPS and GSM, priced at Rs.1399 to PST transformers to protect from transmitter masts, CDMA, wireless and cordless systems, at a price of Rs.10,000. While the cell-phone foil has a life long guarantee, the PST transformer has a six year life.
Spirulina is a blue green aquatic plant and it has high content of organic nutrition. Spirulina occurs naturally in certain regions in the world such as Chad Lake in Africa and in Mexico. In other regions, Spirulina is cultivated under controlled laboratory conditions. Spirulina contains around 70% protein, apart from being 25 times richer in beta carotene than carrots. It also has sulpholipids and polysacharides, selenium and vitamin E. Physical Properties Appearance Fine powder Colour Dark green Odour and taste Mild, protein rich resembling sea vegetables Bulk density 0.5 g/l Particle size 9.25 micron Indian installed capacity:Around 300 tonnes per annum Import level : Negligible Export level : Around 20 to 25 tonnes per annum Estimated Indian demand for natural nutritional supplements: Around Rs.40000 millions SPPIRULINA PATENT ISSUE The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has developed a new strain of Spirulina with a higher protein and betacarotene content. The IARI scientists would do well to apply for a patent for developing the new Spirulina strain. In fact, they are eligible to apply both for the new product (new strain Spirulina) and the method that they have used for inducing this mutation.
DEVELOPING A NEW DRUG On average, it takes 12 years for an experimental drug to travel from the lab to the medicine cabinet. Only 5 in 5,000 compounds that enter the preclinical testing phase actually make it to human testing. One of these five drugs tested in people is approved. As you can see, it is a rigorous and costly process that must be followed to get a new drug to the medicine cabinet. It is estimated that on an average, a company may spend $300 to $400 million dollars to get just one drug to the medicine cabinet. It is not hard to see why some new medicines on the market are so expensive.  FOCUS ON e-CHEMICAL BUSINESS NANDINI CHEMICAL JOURNAL would publish a focus issue in the month of September 2003 covering Software Programmes in Chemical Industry, e-commerce and portals as well as related developments. Articles are invited on the subject and also details from organisations involved in the field. Please send details to Editor, NANDINI CHEMICAL JOURNAL on or before 18th August 2003. SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL
This article discusses the application aspects and process technology as well as Indian import/export trends for1,3-Dichloroacetone. FINGER PRINTING OF AYURVEDIC MEDICINE The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) Hyderabad, India has developed a unique fingerprinting method using a software Chromatographic Fingerprinting Herboprint-for standardisation of traditional medicines apart from providing scientific validating these medicines.
In a recent innovation, for which international patent applications have been filed by the Central Salt and Marine Chemical Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar, India the plant has been used to produce vegetable salt for the first time. This salt, named as `Saloni’ by the inventors contains several important nutrients not normally found in sea salt and is therefore promising as a health salt.
Control Over drug prices exist in one form or the other in most countries. Government control over pricing of medicines in India had begun during the Sino-Indian War, but a structured price control mechanism was first introduced in 1979 with the issuance of the first Drug price Control Order (DPCO) based on the recommendations of the Hathi Committee., The DPCO was subsequently revised in 1987 and in 1995, leading to reduction of the scope of controls.
The Government of India Petroleum Ministry's move to appoint the Tariff Commission to determine an `appropriate price' for ethanol being procured by domestic refineries for blending with petrol has irked sugar mills, who hold that it would tantamount to a return to the pre-1993 era of price controls on molasses and alcohol. HYDROGEN FUEL POWERED AUTOMOBILES The new material developed for electric cars locks hydrogen into cage-like molecules at room temperature and releases it when the fuel is needed. The material could be customised to store vast amounts of hydrogen safely.
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