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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, April 2005

Polyethylene naphthalate|Mushroom|Indian chemical industry
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
GLOBAL SURFACTANT INDUSTRY-TRENDS AND PROSPECTS
HERBAL PAGE
PEN/2,6 NDC - A PROFILE
MUSHROOM SCENARIO
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

ROAD MAP FOR INDIAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Even with the pressures applied by the environmentalists, threat of import dumping from international organisations and constraints in investment capability, the Indian chemical industries have acquitted themselves reasonably well in recent times. After initial uncertainties about the impending international regulations and policies of the Government of India, one gets the feeling that the Indian chemical industries are now settling down, with the goal and path for the future clearly in view.

The earlier tendency of everyone seeking to invest in every industry, whether related or unrelated, has now been firmly halted. Both the investors and the government promoted financing institutions have now realised the need for extreme care and caution while making investments and the need for certain level of specialisation for the project promoter in the chosen areas of activities.The industrial financing institutions, which represent check points, have shown greater clarity and understanding in extending financial assistance for the projects,firmly discouraging the uncertain projects and inadequate entrepreneurs.

The net effect of such scenario is the resultant qualitative improvement in the investment pattern in the country.Unlike earlier days, more meaningful discussions are taking place in the forums and conferences hosted by the industries. There is better interactions between the government and the industrial units, which enable the country to project a strong front in the global market.

While the signs and the indications are positive, nevertheless the fact remains that several loose ends have to be quickly tied.

The obvious fact is that there is lack of cooperation between the different industries involved in similar functions, in long term functions relating to R&D and export markets where they could cooperate for mutual benefits without affecting each other's interests. Joint research and development efforts by the industries doing similar activities is possible, if there would be pragmatic approach and clear cut global targets. Such cooperative research efforts could lead to greater investment capability in research and perhaps even quicker results.

The other big area of concern is the lack of understanding and coordinated approach between technological oriented educational institutions and the industries.There is still a big gulf between these two pillars of growth. There is no regular and systematic exchange programme between the educational institutions and the industries, where the senior executives from industries and teaching faculty members from the educational institutions can exchange positions for short time, to get better understanding about each other's requirement and identify areas of cooperations and initiate actions accordingly.

Most of the research in India is really carried out in the government owned or government supported institutions like CSIR. Other institutions which can play a big role in industrial R&D such as educational institutions and industries really do not contribute to the R&D efforts substantially. Whereas the teachers confine themselves largely to teaching and guiding the students in research programmes which often lack commercial objective, the R&D divisions of most of the industries only function like trouble shooting centres. The industries should utilise the talent and knowledge of highly qualified members of the teaching faculty and the teachers should understand the requirement of industries better.

One can see that such requirements only need better management of resources available in the country.

GLOBAL SURFACTANT INDUSTRY-TRENDS AND PROSPECTS

Surfactants are organic chemicals and have only a limited solubility in water.

Tropical oil-derived and synthetic surfactants have traded market dominance over the years based on factors such as consumer preference, capacity availability, and raw material prices. The late 1990s were the synthetics' golden age. Today, it's palm-kernel- and coconut-oil-based products that have the upper hand.

Palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and palm oil are the principal sources of oleochemical surfactants, but virtually any oil-bearing crop could potentially provide the detergent-range carbon chain

The emulsifying, wetting and dispersing properties of surfactants as additives are critical in the production processes of some major sectors, including detergent, agricultural chemicals, asphalt, paints, paper, textiles, plastics and elastomers.

Surfactants are effective at extremely low concentrations - in the range of 100 ppm or so - and hence find application in almost all industrial processes in addition to their use in cleaning products.

This article also discusses the following aspects:

  • Types of surfactants
  • Major building blocks for surfactants
  • Characteristics of Petrochemical/oleochemical surfactants
  • Comparison of surfactants
  • Application sector
  • Global surfactant market
  • Application pattern of demand for surfactants
  • Use patter in Western Europe
  • Growth rate in demand
  • Industry consolidation
  • Government regulations
  • Substitution
  • Oleochemical surfactant
HERBAL PAGE

HOODIA - AN ANTI OBESITY HERB

Alternative name: Hoodia gordonii, (commonly known has Hoodia)

Family: A genus of succulent plants in the family Apocynaceae

Regions grown : It has been used for thousands of years by southern Africa 's San Tribe to dampen their appetites during long treks through the harsh Kalahari Desert .

Hoodia grows naturally in the Cape , a province of South Africa , where it is registered as a protected species. This wonder succulent herb also grows in arid areas of Botswana and Namibia .

This article discusses the following details:

  • Applications
  • Botanical traits
  • Protected species
  • Development work
  • Cultivation of Hoodia
  • Medicinal uses

Mechanism of working

ACEROLA - NATURAL SOURCE OF VITAMIN C

Common Names: Barbados Cherry, West Indian Cherry, Cereza, Cerisier, Semeruco

Origin: The acerola is believed to originate from the Yucatan (linguistic evidence) and is distributed from South Texas , through Mexico (especially on the West Coast from Sonora to Guerrero) and Central America to northern South America ( Venezuela , Surinam , Columbia ) and throughout the Caribbean ( Bahamas to Trinidad ).

Acerola has now been successfully introduced in sub-tropical areas throughout the world ( Southeast Asia , India , South America ), and some of the largest plantings are in Brazil .

This article discusses the following details:

  • Botanical traits
  • Constituent
  • Current practical uses
  • Worldwide uses
  • Clinical research
  • Cultivation practices
PEN/2,6 NDC - A PROFILE

PEN (PolyEthylene Naphthalate) is a polyester resin that has an excellent physical and chemical properties.

Although PEN was first synthesized in 1945, it has been available commercially only since 1990. Until recently, interest in this polymer outside of specialized applications has been limited due to the expense and availability of a key component: 2,6-napbthalene dicarboxylic acid (2,6 NDC).

This article also discusses the following aspects:

  • Applications
  • Characteristics
  • Chemical resistance
  • Mechanical properties
  • Type
  • Manufacturing process
  • PEN producers
  • Approval
  • Producers of NDC
  • Demand potential for PEN
MUSHROOM SCENARIO

Mushrooms are rich in certain rare minerals and vitamins essential for good health and longevity of life.

Mushrooms belong to class fungi and do not produce their food from sunlight and thus, lack chlorophyll and are not green in colour.

The mushroom industry in India is largely an export oriented one, as the domestic demand for mushrooms is small. A major part of the produce is exported.

This article also discusses the following aspects:

  • Driving factors for demand
  • Indian demand
  • US Scenario
  • Scenario in China
  • Anti dumping measures
  • Indian scenario
OTHER STORIES

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE THREE DAY CONFERENCE (CHEMVISION 2005) ON ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES ORGANISED BY CHEMICAL INDUSTRES ASSOCIATION AT CHENNAI , INDIA FROM 24th March, 2005 to 26th March, 2005

Chemical Industries Association , an all India body representing the cross section of chemical industries all over the country organized Chem Vision 2005 , a three day conference on environmental challenges and opportunities facing chemical and allied industries from 24 th March to 26 th March,2005 at Hotel Savera, Chennai.

The conference was inaugurated by Dr. G. Thiagarajan, Chairman, Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on environment. The inaugural session was also addressed by the following persons.

Dr. K.V.Raghavan, Chairman, Defence Research& Development Organisation, Government of India

Dr. R. Natarajan, Former Chairman AICTE & Former Director, IIT, Madras

Mr. Bhoomananda Manay, Chairman, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board

During the conference, the following leading chemical industries from all over India presented papers as to how they have tackled the environmental issues in their units and their future action plans.

  • Chennai Petroleum corporation Ltd.
  • Madras Fertilisers Ltd
  • Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • Clariant Colour chem. Ltd.
  • Ballarpur Industries Ltd.
  • EID Parry India Ltd.
  • Chemplast Sanmar Ltd.
  • Shasun Chemicals & Drugs Ltd
  • Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd.
  • Ion Exchange India Ltd.
  • Asian Paints Ltd.

The conference was also addressed by the following leading scientists and technologists

  1. Dr. M.D.Nair, former Executive Director, SPIC Pharma
  2. Mr. Ravi Raghavan, Chief Editor, Chemical Weekly
  3. Prof. Nagarajan, IIT Madras
  4. Prof. D.V.S. Murthy, IIT, Madras
  5. Mr. P.K.N.Panicker, President, Chemical Industries Association
  6. Mr. N.S.Venkataraman, Director, Nandini Consultancy Centre Pvt.Ltd., Chennai
  7. Mr. R. Swaminathan, UNIDO consultant on environment
  8. Dr D.M.Mohunta, Commercial & Development Co., Chennai
  9. Dr. P.V.R. Iyer, Sri Venkateshwara College of Engineering
  10. Dr. N. Padmanabhan, Dr. MGR Deemed University
  11. Mr. R.Sethuraman Iyer, former Director, Indian Petrochemical Industries Ltd.

At the end of the conference, a panel discussion was organized when scientists , engineers and NGOs actively participated.

The highlights of the discussions during the three day conference are provided below.

The conference recognized that the environmental activists and judiciary initiatives have been largely responsible for promoting environmental consciousness in the country, that have made the chemical and allied industries become more responsible and pro active.

In the early stages of such environmental campaign, several chemical industries in medium and small scale sector have been forced to suspend operations due to their inability to adhere to the environmental standards in view of their technological and investment constraints. While the country has lost production capacity and economic opportunity to some extent due to such closures , it appears that the country, by and large has not regretted about the closure of such units.

The chemical industries have now realized and have made environmental issues as an essential part of activity in project design and they provide as much importance to environmental factors as they do to marketing and financial aspects. It is necessary that the social activists should recognize this positive mindset amongst the chemical industries and refrain from launching negative and hate campaign. It was particularly pointed out that the campaign against plastics by the state pollution control board and some environmental activists was ill informed and industries were not consulted or provided an opportunity to explain in a proper forum.

The absence of proper consultative procedures between pollution control boards and industries and inadequate redressal mechanism was stressed.

The inadequate facilities for land filling of adequately treated solid discharge in Tamil Nadu was pointed out as a matter of grave concern and the government was requested to actively examine this issue.

The conference also applauded the efforts of several industries in water conservation by setting up sewage treatment plants and desalination plants. It was suggested that desalination plants of larger size could be more economical and several industrial units can join together to set up such large desalination plants.

The conference recognized that the environmental issues have now contributed to improved performance and greater responsible care amongst the chemical industries all over India . In future, several of the existing chemical process could become obsolete and unacceptable and several products could also be driven out of the market. due to eco consciousness around the world. At the same time, this scenario would provide exciting opportunities for research and development for new eco friendly process and product development and introduction of innovative practices.

Indian chemical industries have now have a great opportunity in the field of research and development, in view of its large manpower of reasonably good talent and R&D facilities already created and operating. With the WTO regime in force , Indian industries should be able to protect their newly developed technologies and emerge competitive in the global market.

The conference ended in a confident note and the large number of experts felt comfortable about meeting the challenges in the days ahead.

The conference which was attended by some of the leading scientists and industries in the country was conspicuous by the absence of any representative from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board or concerned government departments.

CERTIFICATION ISSUES: IRRADIATION TECHNOLOGY

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimate, about 25 to 30% of world food production is lost due to pests, insects, bacteria, fungi and enzymes, which eat, degrade or destroy crops.

India has been losing grains, cereals and pulses worth of Rs.100000 million every year.

According to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) estimate. India also suffers huge (20 to 30%) post harvest losses of fruits and vegetables due to lack of processing and optimal storage facilities. Considering a food loss of this magnitude and stringent food safety standards in international trade, Irradiation Technology promises considerable improvement not only in preservation of food products but also in reducing the incidence of some food borne diseases.

USE OF ETHANOL IN GASOLINE - TRENDS IN USA

The Clean Air Act revisions of 1990 and the reformulated gasoline (RFG) regulations in USA called for oxygenates in reformulated gasoline.

Following details are discussed in this article:

  • MTBE
  • Ethanol
  • Quality issues in Ethanol
  • Ethanol production in USA
  • Dry corn milling process
  • Wet corn million process
  • Ethanol plant quality assurance
  • California Denaturated Ethanol Standards
  • California Denaturated Standards
  • Standards set by RFA
  • Use of Corrosion exhibitor
  • Terminal Ethanol product
  • Ethanol, Mandate in Canada
  • Ethanol Doping in Petrol in India

COOLANT IN NUCLEAR REACTORS

The coolant which passes through the nuclear reactors is used to transport the reactor heat either to a boiler where steam is raised to run a conventional turbine or it is used as a thermodynamic heat engine fluid and passes directly into the turbine and back to the reactor.

This article also discusses the following details:

  • Important coolants in test/commercial applications
  • Liquid metal as coolant
  • Sample of power plants that have used non water coolants
  • Wide acceptance for sodium coolant
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Reader's Forum
  • Anti Dumping Page
  • Certification Issues
  • Update on e-Chemical Business
  • Update on Nano Technology
  • Patent Page-India
  • Plant based Patents
  • New Programme to raise lac production
  • Process Flow – Ethylene Oxide
  • Safety Data – Picric acid
  • Herbal Page-India/International
  • Pesticide Page
  • Agri Export Zones-An Updates
  • Biotechnology – India
  • Agro Chemical Page
  • New Round Up – India/International
  • Technology Development-International
  • Pharma Page-India/International
  • Price Trends – India/International
  • Tender
  • Environmental pages – India/International
  • Energy Page
  • Directory of Chemical Industries in China-Manufacturers, Trading Houses and Promotional Organisations – Part XXVI
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code – Part XXXI
  • Nandini Internet Index
  • List of Joint Ventures Abroad During the Month of October 2004
  • Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port During the Month of November 2004
  • Chemicals Exported at Chennai Port During the Month of January 2005
  • Book Review
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