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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, May 2003

Jatropha Biodiesel|Rice Bran Oil|Sodium Hydrosulphite|Fuel Cells
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
INTERACTIVE ONLINE WEB PORTAL TO MEET THE INFORMATION GAP IN INDIAN HERBAL SECTOR
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL - POLYBUTYLENE SUCCINATE
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY- DIMETHYL CARBONATE
FOCUS ON HERBAL PRODUCT: COLEUS FORSKOHLII
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH:

The growth and performance of any industry would be largely governed by the market development work and capability to penetrate the market. When the market develops, the demand picks up leading to a situation where the industry would be compelled to innovate, optimize and improve its performance in various directions.

The problem for industries in India is the fact that the national market is comparatively small, in spite of the fact that the size of the country is large and the population is huge. The low purchasing capacity of the country is the biggest hurdle facing the industries in capacity creation and in improving the volume of output.

Obviously, the industry cannot afford to wait for a situation until the market would expand and become larger, demanding more goods and services. On the other hand, the  market and the industry play a complimentary role, with one contributing to the other’s growth.

In the present Indian situation, the industry needs a market that is rapidly expanding, which can happen only by rapid economic growth and that of the per capita income, This economic growth can not happen unless the industry would grow,

Therefore, to sustain its growth and forge ahead, the Indian industries have to necessarily tap the export market in a very big way.

Tapping and penetrating the export market is a challenging task requiring considerable innovative ideas and forward planning. This cannot take place by adopting routine methods and carrying out performance at average level.

The fact is that Indian industries have not been able to penetrate the export market in a big way. On the other hand, they are losing the Indian market itself to the international players. In other words, the Indian industries find that they cannot compete with several overseas organisations even in the Indian market from the point of view of the quality and cost factors.

There is a need for a fundamental reorientation in the attitude and approach in the Indian industries to the future. While some sort of success has been achieved by the Indian software sector in the overseas market, this achievement cannot in any way conceal the lack of progress in the export market in the several other services sector such as consultancy, trading, design and detailed engineering activities, certification and testing sector and others. India still has a long way to go.

The realisatioin of the compulsive need to penetrate in the global market would invariably point to the fact that the Indian units can be successful in the global market only if they would operate in their area of strength. With the basic inputs for petrochemical sector such as crude oil and natural gas not being adequately available, Indian can no longer be competitive in such sectors.

Obviously, India has to focus on other appropriate sectors such as mineral based projects, bio technology, herbal sector, agro forestry and others. While considerable discussions have already been carried out on such lines, the unfortunate fact is that the ground work carried out to forge ahead in such areas are far from adequate.

Take for example-the herbal sector, which is a promising area of growth. In spite of extraordinary level of traditional knowledge, diversified climatic conditions and growing international demand for nature based products, India’s share in the international market for herbal based products is very low. Several countries such as China are making tremendous progress. If one would carefully look into the reasons for such shortfall, it would become immediately evident that Indian industries have failed in carrying out planning at micro level and in attending to the details

Forging in export market in such areas as herbal based products, mineral based sector are comparatively easy, if only Indian industries could concentrate and work out the strategies properly. Unfortunately, the traditional mindset of blindly copying the pattern of growth of developed countries is still continuing, which is now costing the country dearly.

INTERACTIVE ONLINE WEB PORTAL TO MEET THE INFORMATION GAP IN INDIAN HERBAL SECTOR:

State of Indian herbal industry

It is now well recognised that India has a great investment and business opportunity in the Herbal Sector, with the prospects of India emerging as a global leader in the field.

Inspite of India's vast strength and expertise in herbal sector, the country is still unable to take its rightful place in the global arena due to lack of development of Integrated Herbal Management expertise in the country.

Herbal industry involves cross section of functions involving several fields such as Chemistry, Botany, Agriculture, Engineering, Technology, Management, Toxicology Study, Testing, Pharmacology, Marketing etc.

To successfully conceive, design, implement and operate herbal projects, there is urgent need to create a strong Information Network and Platform to exchange data and information on the various aspects of the herbal sector.

This calls for the creation of an Interactive Herbal Portal that would given an Information Platform to various participants in the Indian Herbal Industry. India can be a strong player. There are several advantages for Indian in the herbal sector, apart from the traditional knowledge base.Such advantages could catapult India as forerunner in the International Herbal Industry.

Advantages:

India is particularly well placed to emerge as a global leader in the herbal industry in view of its bio diversity and number of plant species that are available.

India's bio-diversity

Number of agrochemical zones

16

Number of vegetative zones

10

Number of Biotic provinces

15

Number of plant species

45,000

Number of flowering plants

15,000 to 18,000

Number of fungi

23,000

Number of algae

25,000

Number of Lichens*

1600

Number of bryophytes**

1800

Number of micro organisms

30 millions

Number of habitats of specific species

426

 

Lichen is a compound plant consisting of a fungus and an algae living symbiotically, forming crusts and tufts on stones, trees and soil.Bryophyte is a member of the Bryophyta, one of the main groups of vegetable kingdom, mosses and liverworts.

Comparison

Inspite of such advantages, India is not penetrating the international market to the level of its potential.

Comparison on India with China and Global

 

Global

India

China

Annual growth rate

10 to 12%

7%

22%

Number of plant species

* Around 2,50,000

Around 45000

Well over 50,000

Number of species under use in the world: Around 20000

Number of species used at one time or the other: Around 70,000

Exports-India-China compared

 

India

China

Export of herbs

Rs.500 crores

Rs.22000 crores

Export of medicinal plants

36200 tonnes per annum

121000 tonnes per annum

Export of herbal medicines

Rs.285 crores

Rs.1600 crores

Global share in exports of herbal formulations

0.8%

3%

Need for online herbal portal

The obvious reasons for India's inability to progress in the herbal industry is the lack of organised data base and facility for Indian herbal players to interact with each other and identify the business and technological opportunities.

To meet such requirements, Nandini Consultancy Centre Pvt. Ltd. a firm of Chemical Engineers based at Chennai has launched an Interactive Online Web Portal on Herbal Sector.

Objectives of the portal

To facilitate and promote healthy exchange of ideas among organisations and individuals involved in the herbal sector and to present them with a nodal platform to exchange useful information and keep them upto date with developments.

Method of functioning

Interactive Web Portal would be maintained Online. Around 2000 individuals and organisations involved in the herbal sector are targeted to become participate in the Interactive Online Web Portal. Each participant has the opportunity to convey his views and interact with other participants for various purposes such as to seek supply of raw material or sale outlet for finished products and seek views about technological issues, investment opportunity etc. In this interactive portal, the participants will be facilitated to interact with each other online in open forum. In addition, an online fortnightly herbal journal would be launched for the benefit of the participants that would contain updated data and discussions on various opportunities along with specialised articles.

Expectations

It is expected that Participants of Interactive Online Web Portal would derive great benefits in optimising their performance and in achieving their targets in quick time due to several advantages and the benefits that this unique Web Portal provides.

The Interactive Online Web Portal is realistically expected to act as a great catalyst in the development of herbal sector in the country and contribute towards the growth and the economy of the country.

Benefits

  • Would keep the participants informed through online journal about the various developments in the herbal sector such as demand supply trends, technology scenario, new project, price behaviour and Government Policies etc., all over the world.
  • Would enable the participants to establish and maintain contacts with important herbal players all over the world.
  • Would provide the participants an opportunity to convey their views and get the opinion of others about various developments and any particular issue in the herbal sector.
  • Would enable the participants to identify and source raw materials or inputs.
  • Would enable the participants to identify buyers to sell their products and services.
  • Would enable the participants to seek solutions for problems relating to technology, market etc.
  • Would help the participants to chalk out diversification plans such as capacity expansion, entry into export market, providing technology services etc.

Long term plan

The interactive Online Web Portal would strive to become a strong forum, extending vital support to the participants from all over the world, by enlisting about 2000 organisations/individuals as Participants from all over the world.

Profile of participants

The participants would be either individuals or Institutions, who would be involved in any activity relating to the herbal sector either in manufacturing, teaching, research and development, trading, certification, standardisation etc.

For further details please contact:

E-mail: paramhams03@vsnl.net,

nssraman@hotmail.com,

SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL - POLYBUTYLENE SUCCINATE

Family: Environmentally degradable plastics

Appearance: PowderPolybutylene succinate (PBS)/ Poly Ethylene Succinate (PES) is biodegradable synthetic aliphatic polyester with similar properties to PET.

 PBS is generally blended with other compounds, such as starch (TPS) and adipate copolymers (to form PBS-A), to make its use economical.

Molecular formula:     

PBS: [-O(CH2)4O2C(CH2)2CO-]n

PES: [-O(CH2)2O2C(CH2)2CO-]n

Applications

PBS has excellent mechanical properties and can be applied to a range of end applications via conventional melt processing techniques. Applications include mulch film, packaging film, bags and `flushable' hygiene products.

Process

 PBS is currently produced using succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol (BDO), both of which are usually derived from maleic anhydride. PES is produced using Succinic acid and Ethylene glycol.

 Global suppliers

Showa Highpolymer, part of the Showa Denko group, Japan

SK Chemicals, Korea

Mitsubishi Chemical, Japan

PBS Polymers (Commercially available)

Trade Supplier Origin
Bionelle Ohowa Highpolymer Japan
SkyGreen BDP SK Polymers Korea

Showa Highpolymer, part of the Showa Denko group, Japan and SK Chemicals, Korea both have small plants producing aliphatic (polybutylene succinate) and aliphatic-aromatic (polybutyrate adipate terephthalate) polyesters. Both firms also offer their resins in the USA

Showa's Bionelle products are used in commodity bags, agricultural films, traffic cones, and industrial trays. Some Bionolle grades are modified with diisocyanate chain extenders to improve stiffness and thermal properties.

Petrochemical-based PBS was originally developed by Show Denko's Showa High Polymer division. The company is doubling capacity of its plant at Tatsuno, Japan to 6,000 tonnes per year by 2004. It cites strong growth in agricultural mulch film and foamed cushioning. Mitsubishi says PBS can also replace polyolefins and polystyrene in some applications.

Mitsubishi Chemical will produce 3000 tonnes per year of PBS , for use as garbage bags and agricultural films.

Mitsubishi says its bio-based PBS is likely to be much cheaper than Poly lactic acid and could replace it in several biodegradable applications.

Mitsubishi has also agreed with Ajinomoto to develop a bio-based process to make succinic acid from plant materials such as vegetable starch. Succinic acid can also be converted via MA to BDO. The companies are planning a bio-based succinic acid plant with initial capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year by 2006, likely to be located outside Japan in a region with a supply of suitable crops.

Mitsubishi is targeting the market being developed by Cargill Dow for its polylactic acid (PLA)-based biodegradable polymer.

A recent study by Eldib Engineering and Research (Berkeley Heights, NJ) estimates that about 0.2% of global plastics production, about 227,000 tonnes can be replaced by PLA and other biodegradable polymers.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY - DIMETHYL CARBONATE:
Physical State Colourless liquid at higher temperature
Molecular Formula C3H6O3
CAS No. 616-38-6

Specification

Description Value
Active ingredient content 99.5%
Water content 0.2%
Methyl alcohol content 0.1%
PRODUCT APPLICATIONS

Dimethyl Carbonate is an organic intermediate used as methylation, esterification, carbomethoxylation and carbonylation agent in chemical synthesis. DMC could take the place of Phosgene, Methyl chloride, Dimethyl sulphate, Chloro acetic acid. DMC can be used as a reactant in place of phosgene in the manufacture of polyurethanes. Additionally, its high oxygen content makes it a candidate to replace MTB as an oxygenated fuel additive.

 As a kind of efficient solvent with good property, it could take the place of Aromatic Hydrocarbon Solvent:

PROCESS EMPLOYED

 Carbonyl chloride process:

COCl2+2CH3OH ----> (CH3O)2CO + 2HClConventional routes start with the toxic precursors Phosgene or Carbon monoxide and produce salts that must be removed from the product. The only by-product after the reactions are Methanol and Carbon dioxide. They are easily separated and are free from equipment corrosion and waste water problem.

 Methanol/CO oxidation process (liquid phase process)

 CO+ 2CH3OH + ½O2-------> (CH3O)2CO + 2H2O

 Ester exchange process

 DMC is manufactured from CO, Methanol and Oxygen

 (CH2O)2CO + 2CH3OH ----> (CH3O)2CO + (CH2OH)2

CO + 2CH3ONO  ----> (CH3O)2CO + 2 NO (1)

 2NO + 2CH3OH + ½O2----> 2CH3ONO + H2O (2)

 CO + 2CH3OH + = O2 ---> (CH3O)2CO + H2O (3)

 The ester exchange process has two restrictions; It is difficult to increase the reaction rate and the process simultaneously produces ethylene glycol.

 The liquid phase methanol/CO oxidation process has the drawback of also producing large amounts of by products from side reactions.

 Equation: (1) has DO and MN reacting the produce DMC. The MN is recovered from the NO produced in reaction (1) and methanol and oxygen, as shown in equation (2).

 A new Phosgene free route

Dimethyl carbonate is made from Acetal and Supercritical Carbon dioxide in a new process, developed by the National Institute of Materials & Chemical Research (NIMCR; Tsukuba, Japan).

The new route does not generate salts and does not require the corrosion resistant materials of construction needed in the Phosgene based process.

The reaction of Acetal and CO2 occurs in a Methanol solvent, using catalyst, such as Dibutyl dimethoxide, to give Dimethyl carbonate and Acetone.

An 88% yield with nearly 100% selectivity is achieved after 24 hours at 80 deg.C under 200 MPa reports researcher Takeshy Sako. Acetone is reconverted to Acetal by dehydration with Methanol in a supercritical state of about 300 deg.C and 150 bar pressure.

NIMCR is researching for a better catalyst, to speed up the reaction, before the laboratory work can be scaled up.

New process

UBE Industries, Ltd. has developed a process whereby CO and Mehtyl nitrite are made to react in the gas phase, under relatively mild condition (from 100 deg.C to 130 deg.C and 2 to 5 barg), in the presence of Pt catalysts.

Indian manufacturer

Dimethyl Carbonate is not produced in India at present.

The Indian requirements are entirely met by imports.

Present Indian import level:              4630 tonnes per annum

FOCUS ON HERBAL PRODUCT: COLEUS FORSKOHLII:

General description:

  • Botanical name:             Coleus Forskohlii-Labiatate
  • Alternate name:             Pashanbad

Coleus plant a naturally occuring tuber crop, are durable and easy to grow. They are best known for their bright colours, and variety of foliage forms. Although they are technically a "tender perennial" (even the slightest frost will cause them to die), they are most often considered to be an annual plant by growers and seed producers.

Cultivation region in India

A member of the mint family, Coleus forskohlii grows wild on the mountain slopes of Nepal, India, and Thailand

Mostly Cultivated in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka. It is now grown particularly in and around Erode and Attor towns in Tamil Nadu.

Application

In traditional Asian systems of medicine, Coleus is used for a variety of purposes, including treating skin rashes, asthma,bronchitis, insomnia, epilepsy and angina.

Coleus Forskohlii Extract is an ayurvedic herb. It has been identified as the primary chemical of interest in the plant. Forskolin activates an enzyme cells known as adenylate cyclase. This enzyme increases the level of cyclic AMP which is the most important cell regulating compound in the body.

An increased level of cyclic AMP improves circulation, decreases histamine releases and allergic compounds, improves the contraction of heat muscle, relaxes arteries which promotes normal blood pressure, increases insulin secretion which in turn supports normal sugar levels in the blood, promotes relaxation of bronchial muscles promoting normal breathing and lastly supports improved fat breakdown.

Forskolin has been found to stabilize the cells that release histamine and other inflammatory compounds. Studies have also found that forskolin relaxes smooth muscle tissue. For this reason, Coleus forskohlii has been suggested as a treatment for asthma, menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea, angina, irritable bowel syndrome (spastic colon), crampy bladder pain (as in bladder infections), and hypertension (high blood pressure).

Coleus forskohlii has also been proposed as a treatment for psoriasis, because that disease appears to be at least partly related to low levels of cyclic AMP in skin cells.

The roots are also used in treatment of worms. The root parts is claimed to allay burning in festering boils. When mixed with mustard oil, the root is applied to eczema and skin infections. The plant is also used for veterinary purposes.

Indian players

  • Alchem International, New Delhi
  • Natural Remedies, Bangalore
  • Indo World Trading Corporation,New Delhi
  • D.M.R. International/Deluxe International,Sriperumbudur
  • Indfrag Biosciences Ltd./Indfrag Ltd.,Bangalore
  • Siri Agritech, Andhra Pradesh
  • Sami Chemicals and Extracts (P) Ltd./ Sami Labs. Ltd, Bangalore
OTHER STORIES

SUPER CRITICAL FLUID EXTRACTION  

A supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is an extraction carried out using a supercritical fluid.

A simple definition of a supercritical fluid is a compound that is above a characteristic temperature (i.e. its critical temperature) for that compound, where, regardless of the pressure applied, it cannot be forced to exist in two phases, i.e. as both as liquid and gas.

Challenges and Opportunities :

There is a need to overcome the resistance to using high pressure in industries unaccustomed to high pressures as well as the reluctance towards innovation from conservative industries that adhere to established methods.

More importantly, however, is the development of affordable, high-capacity, continuous-feed supercritical extractors in conjunction with research demonstrating its effectiveness and advantages over conventional techniques. This will extend SFE to its full potential and increase demand for this technology.

The current success of the use of analytical-scale Super critical Carbon dioxide extractions for fat analysis has been a result of diverse groups, including commercial manufacturers, and academic and government researchers, working towards the same goal. Dedicated individuals within these organizations have also kept the technology alive and growing by designing, testing and improving equipment, developing and verifying methods and promoting the technology.

OTHER ARTICLES
  •       TAMIL NADU INDUSTRIAL SCENARIO
  •       BIOTECH FOODS FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
  •       ANTI DUMPING PAGE-INDIA
  •       CERTIFICATION ISSUES
  •       UPDATE ON e-CHEMICAL BUSINESS
  •       INDUSTRY SLOWER TO MOVE ONLINE TRANSATIONS
  •       UPDATE ON NANOTECHNOLOGY
  •       MENACE OF SPURIOUS DRUGS MARKET
  •       SPOTLIGHT ON ELECTRONIC CHEMICAL-GERMANE
  •       CHEMISTRY OF ULTRA LOW SULPHUR DIESEL
  •       `SUN PROOFING’ SOLAR CELLS
  •       SAFETY DATA-ACETALDEHYDE
  •       PROCESS FLOW-OXALIC ACID
  •       SUPER ABSORBING POLYMER
  •       NEWS ROUND UP – INTERNATIONAL & INDIA
  •       TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT – INTERNATIONAL & INDIA
  •       RECENT ISSUES IN PESTICIDES
  •       AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE-INTERNATIONAL & INDIA
  •       PHARMA PAGE - INTERNATIONAL & INDIA
  •       ENERGY PAGE-
  •       ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE - INTERNATIONAL & INDIA
  •       SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE
  •       DIRECTORY OF CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES IN CHINA – MANUFACTURERS, TRADING HOUSES AND PROMOTIONAL ORGANISATIONS – PART IV
  •       DIRECTORY OF CHEMICAL AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES IN TUTICORIN
  •       PATENT PAGE
  •       PRICE TRENDS-INTERNATIONAL
  •       INTERNATIONAL MARITIME DANGEROUS GOODS CODE-PART VII
  •       NANDINI INTERNET INDEX-INTERNATIONAL
  •       LIST OF FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT/COLLABORATION PROPOSALS APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER 2002
  •       IMPORT OF CHEMICALS FROM 1.11.2002 TO 31.11.2002 AT CHENNAI PORT
  •       EXPORT OF CHEMICALS FROM 1.2.2003 TO 28.2.2003 FROM CHENNAI PORT
  •       BOOK REVIEW
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