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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Mar 2010

Indian nuclear power program|modified starch|glycerin|biodiesel production

Highlights of Some of the Articles
FUTURE OF INDIAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY DEPENDS ON  ITS INNOVATIVE CAPABILITIES The huge capacity creation for bulk and commodity chemicals  in the Middle East countries and China in recent years have significantly improved the global supply scenario for several chemicals. Under the circumstances, the task of  identification of appropriate chemical projects for investment  has become  a herculean task. With petroleum feed stock at their command, the project promoters in China and Middle East countries appear to think that they can dominate the world market by creating huge capacities.  This appears to be happening. The question is as to where do these developments leave the chemical industries in India?. Indian chemical industries hitherto have been following the pattern of developed countries for their growth profile and have been largely setting up projects based on acquired technology and technical collaborations.  With the liberalized import regime now in place and competition from imported products and international companies becoming a real threat,the capacity creation efforts in Indian chemical industry appears to be facing the threat of near stagnation.  This situation should cause concern. Given the situation, the one viable course of action available for Indian chemical industries is to opt for investment in specialty and niche chemicals, where there would be entry barriers and the competition threat would be less severe. But, the specialty chemicals  as the term implies, is technology intensive and require dynamic and innovative technological capabilities. The approach of the chemical industries to production technology and R&D practices in the case of specialty chemicals have to be considerably restructured, with innovative technology practices being given the essential central focus . The undue reliance on routine and repetitive plant operations have to be given up. Many multi national companies based in Europe and America are also thinking on similar lines of focusing more on research  intensive specialty chemicals  and production of value added derivative products.  For example, Solvay  group has recently said that the  4.5 billion US$ that it obtained by sale of its pharmaceutical business to Abbot Laboratories would be utilized to reinforce its capabilities in specialty chemicals and  value added polymers. DSM  is also planning to sell its commodity products in the field of fertilizers, melamine   and elastomers to focus in specialties in life sciences products and performance materials.  BASF   acquired Ciba’s specialty chemicals last year to focus on this area.

Even in India, there is ready example of Jubilant Organosys  shelving its bulk chemicals portfolio such as VAM  and now focusing on specialties such as pyridine based products etc.
The chemical industries in India have to necessarily look for new technologies to enter specialty chemicals segment in a big way and the right place to look for such technologies is universities, research institutes and even some start up companies promoted by capable technocrats.   The most important criteria to successfully venture into specialty chemical business is the need to lay stress on recruiting and retaining quality technical manpower. The technology and production network have to be managed by highly skilled technologists and engineers who have to be given the appropriate working conditions and an excellent productive environment.  The search for talent to carry out innovative scientific work has to be a continuous task.  The management of the chemical industries should start looking at the manpower not merely as a tool but an essential  partner in the growth and this calls for attitude change. The Indian chemical industries should also realize that the specialty chemical business cannot be built over night or at short notice. Money and resources have to be invested in R&D operations that may take long period to yield results.   The resources that have been created and now under utilized in the colleges and universities in the country have to be made better use of . There is considerable talent in the universities , in the institutions like IITs and CSIR laboratories. The scientists and technologists serving in these institutions are waiting for the call from the industries to deliver results and they aspire for more productive and satisfying role for themselves, in the technological and industrial advancement process.   If and when such calls come from industries,  the technologists and scientists would respond with great enthusiasm and a breakthrough in the field of specialty chemicals by Indian chemical industries would become possible. The ball is clearly in the court of Indian chemical industries.
Currently, nuclear energy in India accounts for 3% of the total primary energy consumption against the global average of 20%. The Government of India plans to increase nuclear power generation to 20,000 MWe by 2020 from 3,900 MWe in 2006-07. But adequate availability of uranium is likely to be a constraint.   Given the moderate uranium and the vast thorium resources in India, a three-stage nuclear power programme is envisaged.  This programme consists of setting up of pressurized heavy water resources (PHWRs) in the first stage, fast breeder reactors (FBRs) in the second stage and reactor based on the uranium-233, which  will be made by converting thorium 232 in fast breeders in the third stage.  There is potential for a little over one lakh tonnes of triuranium octoxide (U3O8) in the country to sustain a 10,000 MWe PHWR programme for 40 years in the first stage and an additional 5,30,000 Me energy by recycling the spent fuel in the second stage in FBRs. The spent fuel coming out of the first stage of the programme can be reprocessed to extract plutonium and depleted uranium.  These are then used as fuel in the second stage consisting of FBRs.  The PHWR programme has reached a stage of industrial maturity.  India has just entered the second stage with the commencement of construction of the prototype fast breeder reactors (PFBR) at Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu).  After a few FBRs become operational, thorium will be introduced as blankets in the FBRs.  The fast neutron flux available in the blanket region will convert thorium to uranium 233.  The reactor fuelled by uranium 233 derived from thorium will form the third stage nuclear power programme and it needs to be implemented in a sequential fashion. The fuel requirement for operating stations at 90% PLF in 2002-03 was met from the existing production of 220 tonnes nuclear fuel then and by utilizing the accumulated stock of about 2,000 tonnes of nuclear fuel from 1990 to 2002.  The accumulated stock is now fully exhausted.  Due to fuel shortage, the PPLF has come down to 70% in 2003-04 and, currently, it ranges at 58 to 60%.  The generation cost of nuclear power stations can be competitive with other sources of power, only if it operates at 70% PLF.  The increase in fuel requirement has been mainly due to larger nuclear PHWR programme, the capacity factors of power plants assumed at 70 to 90%, and significant reduction in gestation period.  In 2006-07, there was a shortage of fuel.  This situation arose as no new mining projects were started during 1996-2002.  Out of in-situ uranium identified reserves of over one lakh tonnes of U308, 46% is confined to Singhbhum (Jharkhand), 16% in the Mahadek basin (Meghalaya) and 25% in the Guddapah basin (Andhra Pradesh).  These constitute about 87% of the total reserves.  The production of uranium is restricted to a few developed mines in Singhbhum area. Although the assumption is that there is a potential of over one lakh tonnes to generate 10,000 MWe of electricity, most of these reserves are either in forest areas or in wildlife sanctuaries.  As a result, the mineable reserves may actually stand at 60% of the assessment. The situation with regard to availability of uranium supply is expected to be adverse for fuel supply to PHWR  projects.  Therefore, the nuclear deal with the US is important to meet future requirement of nuclear fuel and for importing fuel along with the relevant technology.  If not, there is a critical need to augment uranium supply from indigenous sources.  There is a dilemma between short-term needs of enhancing contribution of nuclear energy to the total energy mix which appears possible only with imports of U3O 8 and the long-term objective of achieving energy security for the country by utilizing the vast thorium resources.  For achieving the long-term objective, the R & D for the three-stage nuclear power programme must continue to be funded and reprocessing technologies further improved. Short term measures In the near term, efforts are required to improve reserves in the operating mines in Singhbhum, enhancing production from Singhbum and other areas and operate nuclear power stations at optimal PLF to generate power at competitive costs. Long term measures In the longer term, India need focused exploration strategy for discovery of uranium deposits involving geological modeling, geophysical survey and drilling technology.  Further, India need to develop technologies and exploration strategies that can detect deep-seated uranium lying 300 to 400 metres below the earth’s surface.  Future prospects Major uranium discoveries in Canada and Australia in the past 20-25 years have been deep-seated deposits and there is no reason to believe that such deposits do not exist in  India.  To achieve this, knowledge and skill sets available have to be upgraded by intensive efforts.  Nuclear reactors  - Operational & Planned Reactor type Capacity/ MWe 18 reactors at 6 sites under operation Tarapur, Rawatbhata, Kalpakkam, Narora, Kakrapar & Kaiga 4,340 4 PHWRs under construction at Kaiga (2 x 220 MWe), RAPS-5&6 (2 X 220 MWe) (to be operational by March 2010) 440 2 LWRs under construction at Kudankulam 
( 2 x 1000 MWe) ( to be operational during 2010-2011)
PFBR under construction at Kalpakkam 
(1 x 500 MWe (to be operational by 2012
PHWRs (8 x 700 MWe), FBRs (4 x 500 MWe), LWRs (6 x 1000 MWe), AHWR (1 x 300 MWe) 13,900 Total by 2020 21,180
Modified starch is produced from ordinary starch, by cooking the ordinary starch to change one or more characteristics such as pasting temperature, solids viscosity relationship, ionic character etc Types of important modified starch
  • Thin boiling starch  (Acid modified starch)
  • Oxidised starch
  • Cationic starch
  • Pregelatinised starch
Major Application Sector
  • Paper
  • Textile
  • Food / Pharmaceutical
  • Oil drilling
This article contains the following details :
  • Gradewise and sector of application
  • Import details
  • Export details
  • Indian manufacturers
  • New project
  • Indian installed capacity’
  • Demand drivers
  • Growth rate in demand
  • Indian demand  Period April 2009 to March 2010
  • Pattern of gradewise demand
  • Pattern of application sectorwise demand
  • Process
  • Global scenario
    • Global production
    • Growth rate
    • Global demand
    • Pattern of demand of application sectorwise demand
  • Prognosis
Appearance:           Clear, water-white, viscous, sweet tasting hygroscopic liquid.  Specification Characteristics Chemically pure Industrial white Glycerol, % by wt. min. 98 98 Sp.gravity at 30/30 deg.C min. 1.2552 1.2552 Ash, % by wt. max. 0.01 0.01 Arsenic, as (As), ppm,. ,ax/ 2.0 N.S Iron, as Fe, ppm, max. 0.5 n.s. Lead as Pb, ppm. Max. 1.0 n.s. Chlorides as Cl, ppm. Max. 10 60 Sulphates as SO4, ppm. Max. 10 n.s. Acraldehyde and glucose Tpt n.s. Reducing substances, (AgNO3) Tpt n.s. Acidity or alkalinity as Na2O, % by wt. Nil 0.01 This article contains the following details :
  • Conventional applications
  • Global scenario
  • Production pattern of glycerin from different sources
  • Projected global growth rate in demand
  • Global use pattern of glycerin
    • Demand in personal care sector
    • Demand in food sector
    • Demand in alkyd  resins sector
  • Selected global producers
  • Price trend in recent times
  • Products From Glycerin – Technology Development Efforts
  • Synthetic Glycerin Produced By Dow
Contributed by: M.R.Ananadhi Padmanabhan1 Dr.Shaleesha A.Stanley2, Anne beaulah3 and S.Anitha4 1 Research Scholar, Department of Biotechnology, 
Sathyabama University, Chennai.
2 HOD, Department of Biotechnology, Jeppiaar Engineering College, Chennai 3 & 4 Department of Chemical Engineering, Sathyabama University, Chennai. Algae are one of the best sources of biodiesel. In fact, algae are the highest yielding feedstock for biodiesel. It can produce up to 250 times the amount of oil per acre compared to soybeans. Scenedesmus is a unicellular microalgae belonging to the class Chlorophyceae. It is commonly found in the plankton of freshwater rivers, ponds and lakes and sometimes in brackish habitats. In this work, the concentration level of catalyst, methanol optimal time and temperature that gives the optimal yield of biodiesel from microalgal (Scenedesmus bijugatus) oil was determined. Biodiesel production from micro algae reached upto 98 percent.  The composition of fatty acid methyl ester (biodiesel) is determined by using Gas Chromatography method. The fatty acid profile showed Pentadecanoic acid (17.56%), 1.Nonadecenoic acid (20.1%), methyl palmitate (2.91%), methyl linoleate (12.07%), palmitic acid (1.97%) as major fatty acids. The major constituent in the biodiesel product was palmitic acid, oleic acid. The FAME content reached to about 98%, when 2% alkali catalyst was used in the reaction. These results indicate that biodiesel can be produced from Scenedesmus bijugatus and is the appropriate source for biofuel production. Details of the experimental results are provided in the article.
Silicone in China is mainly used in five sectors namely construction, textiles, papermaking, electronics and electric power, accounting for around 70% of the national total consumption.  The construction sector, in particular, accounts for around 30% of the national total.  In addition, coatings, daily chemical and chemicals together account for around 20% of the national total. Operations of silicone downstream sectors have turned for the better since the second half of 2009 and the demand for silicone has increased gradually.  It was estimated that the demand for silicone would reach more than 400 000 tonnes (counting on 100% polysiloxane) for 2009 as a whole. Further recovery of silicone downstream sectors is expected in 2010, and new sectors will become main players promoting the growth of silicone consumption.  This article further discusses the following ;
  • Constant demand growth
  • Industry reaching saturation
India’s total sugar demand is likely to go up to 23.5 million tonne this year as against the estimated output of 16 million tonne for 2009-10 season (October-September). The gap has to be met by imports which will have an impact on international price of sugar. Either due to local conditions and inadequate water availability or diversion to more remunerative crops, sugarcane acreages fluctuate from year to year  and the government has no control over this situation. This article discusses the following ;
  • Highlights of Indian sugar industry
  • Use of stevia
  • Stevia cultivation practices and yield
  • Global scenario on Stevia
  • Indian scenario on Stevia
The need for sufficient supply back -up is all the more so in the case of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP)  and  muriate of potash (MoP) — the two most consumed fertilisers after urea in India. This article further discusses the details.
GAS BASED ULTRA MEGA POWER PROJECTS IN INDIA India’s power requirement is rising at a much faster pace than the official projection. Global consultancy firm McKinsey has said that if India continues to grow at an average rate of 8%, the country’s demand for power will soar to 315 to 335 gigawatt (gw) by 2017, a projection that is 100 gw higher than the estimates put out by the Planning Commission. To meet the country’s projected electricity demand, McKinsey has suggested that India should focus on setting up peaking power sources like hydro and gas-based power plants. In this section following details are provided:
  • Hydro-based power
  • Gas availability
  • UMPP project scheme
  • Plans for 25,000 MW of Gas Fired Plants
  • Clean Coal Technology
    • The early project of BHEL
    • Ultra mega power project
    • India’s coal needs by 2018
    • Comparison IGCC technology and super critical technology
    • Coal extraction and quality problems
    • Coal extraction technology as used in India
  • UMPP bidding norms could be tightened
  • UMPPS allowed to use surplus coal for other power projects
PLANT CLOSURES The article discusses the plans for closure of selected units by the following players
  • Dupont shuts Texas site
  • DSI  to stop operations
  • Hexion exits European Solvent-Borne Coatings
  • Force majeure for acrylonitrile plant
  • Lonza closes three production facilities in bid to reduce costs
  • Quarter of Europe’s crackers uneconomical
  • Chemtura idles bromine /brine
  • Phenol, BPA complex in Singapore postponed
  • Olin declares force majeure for chlorine / caustic soda facility
  • Dow to Close TDI Unit
  • TDI unit down for 2010 in Taiwan
  • Chemical And Fermentation Sites Exited By Pfizer (Period 2005-2009)
ANTI DUMPING PAGE The antidumping measures introduced in  the various countries in the last few weeks on the following products are discussed
  • Filament yarn
  • Purified terephthalic acid
  • Coumarin
  • Truck, bus radials
  • Penicillin
  • Acetone
  • Phenol
  • Terephthalic Acid
SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE Following safety and accident details are discussed:
  • Leak In Montara Oil Field In Australia
  • Explosion at Lanzhou Petrochemical in China
  • Explosion at TEL in Tamilnadu
  • Accident kills two in Singapore
  • Fatality at DuPont’s Belle, WV site
UPDATE ON BIOFUEL The following recent developments on biofuel industry are discussed:
  • Czech biofuels deal
  • Biomass-to-fuels project in USA
  • US sets up biofuels and carbon capture policy
  • Five firms assigned over 50% of the Argentine biodiesel market
NEWS ROUND UP The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed: INTERNATIONAL
  • Butyl rubber
  • Cabot and Bluestar will expand  fumed silica facility
  • Fumed silica / polysilicone
  • Polysilicon project in South Africa
  • LPG tanker capacity
  • Funding plans of EU for carbon capture and storage
  • Formalin
  • ONGC to spend to enhance oil output
CHINA NEWS The recent developments on the following products/events are updated :
  • PTA project
  • DAP project
  • Coal-based syngas for dme pilot plant launched
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS The recent developments on the following technology efforts are highlighted INTERNATIONAL
  • Gas leak detection simulator
  • Flue gas carbon dioxide capture  
  • Thin film solar cells
  • Plastic from clay
  • Sewage-to-Biofuel pool
AGROCHEMICAL PAGE                 The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • Method for detection of pesticides
  • International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)’s Research Platform Molecular Breeding Programme
PHARMA PAGE                        The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • Diabetes Drug – Rosiglitazone – Is It Safe?
  • Methods To Keep Vaccine At Room Temperature
  • Fall In Clinical Trial Registrations In India
  • Anti Depressant Drug - Seroxat
  • Cancer Drug  - Salimanjurian
  • Suspension Orders Of Vaccine PSUs Revoked
ENERGY PAGE The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • Fuel Cell From Silicon
  • Solar Power Projects In Haryana
PRICE DETAILS - INTERNATIONAL Global price trends on the following products are provided :
  • Monoethylene glycol
  • Benzene
  • Paraxylene
  • Styrene
  • Methanol
  • Phenol
  • Methyl methacrylate acetone
  • Propylene
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyalcohols
  • Bulk chemical prices
  • Ethanol-Blending Programme In Cross Roads
  • Herbal Medicines Can Be Deadly Findings  Of The Study
  • New Projects - International
  • Tender
  • Chemicals Imported At The Chennai Port During The Month Of  January 2010
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