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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Feb 2005

Petasite|Petroleum industry in china|Gelatin capsule|Surfactant industry
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
PETROLEUM INDUSTRY IN CHINA-TRENDS AND TARGETS
GELATIN CAPSULE - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
HERBAL PAGE: PETASITE
GLOBAL SURFACTANT INDUSTRY
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

NEED FOR FOCUS ON MANUFACTURING BASE

The pace of setting up manufacturing units in the chemical sector have substantially come down in the recent years. It is largely the result of the impact of the globalisation measures, that have made the chemical industries feel increasingly concerned about their capability to compete and survive in a competitive market, where the competition comes from international sources and developed countries.

Possibly due to the lack of confidence to operate globally in the competitive manufacturing sector,there has been excessive focus on services sector in India , giving an impression that India has competitive capability only in services sector.

However, considering the daunting level of unemployment in India and the need to sustain economic and industrial growth, service sector ,however big and competent, cannot be a substitute for the manufacturing activity.The creation of manufacturing base represents asset and resource/wealth creation and the services sector, though very important, can not be equated with manufacturing base in this respect.

Manufacturing base represent the real basic and fundamental strength of the industry. While it is true that there are severe constraints in setting up projects of economically large size and with globally competitive technology edge, it is necessary to reposition the manufacturing sector, so as to make it appropriate to the strength and capability of the nation. The solution cannot lie in running away from the issues but only in working out the appropriate strategy and facing the ground realities.

India seems to be presently lacking suitable strategy for strengthening its manufacturing sector. Unless this aspect would be urgently looked into from the policy framing view point, there can not be an early solution. Any delay in finding solution to this vexed issue could prove to be a costly lapse in the long run .Obviously, India has to go back to the strategy of setting up and encouraging small scale units, where India appears to have particular strength.

Traditionally and over the years, India has developed some sort of expertise in setting up and operating small scale industries in variety of sectors including chemical industries. While it is true that a large number of small scale manufacturing units have failed in India in the past, there are also stories of remarkable success and breakthrough.

Unfortunately, with the on going liberalisation programmes and due to lack of adequate ground work for such measures, the financial institutions and even the governments have developed some sort of negative attitude towards small scale enterprises, thinking that small level of operations would inevitably be inefficient. There is considerable confusion in this regard, where many seem to think that efficiency would be there by installing large machineries and setting up capital intensive projects.

On the other hand, it is necessary to realise that inefficiency is a matter of strategic forward planning and competent shopfloor management and need not have any relation to the size of the units.

With the negative view gradually developed towards small scale units, India is facing threat of losing the advantages that it built over a period of time in developing the special expertise for setting up and operating small scale projects particularly in the chemical sector

A careful study would indicate that the countries which have forged ahead globally are only those who have carefully identified their areas of strength and refrained from copying the pattern of growth of other countries.

In India, the tendency has been just to view a few countries as role models and then develop the strategies accordingly. In the process, a careful SWOT analysis of the county are not being made. It is high time that India changes the strategy and start looking inward for its growth and development.

PETROLEUM INDUSTRY IN CHINA-TRENDS AND TARGETS

China 's proven oil reserves are estimated at around 24 billion bbls, the sixth-largest in the world, with onshore fields accounting for about 90% of the reserves. The Daqing field in northeastern China provides about one-third of China 's 3.3 million b/d of total crude oil production.

Reserves in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China are estimated at about 10 billion bbls, or about 30% of China 's onshore total and the region is projected to soon become the country's second-largest oil production center, with production forecast to reach about 500,000 b/d by 2005.

Offshore, on the Bohai Sea area east of Tianjin and in the Pearl River area in southeastern China , are thought to hold reserves in excess of 1.5 billion bbls.

But China 's growing demand for oil (which increased at more than 5.5% per year during the 1990s) has greatly out-stripped its domestic production capabilities and in the early 1990s it became a net oil importer. By the year 2030,it is estimated that China may have to import more than 80% of the oil it annually consumes. China is already the third greatest oil consuming country (behind the United States and Japan ) and now accounts for about 6.5% of the world's total annual oil consumption. By the year 2030, China 's oil consumption may reach 10.5 million b/d, which would by then displace Japan as the second-largest consumer of oil.

This massive growth in oil consumption and import is clearly putting massive strain on the nation's refiners.

This article also discusses the following details:

  • Size, Scale of Refineries – A problem
  • Auto expansion to ramp up fuel demand, necessitate environmental controls for refiners, autos
  • Refinery expansions planned, integration with Petchem Manufacturing
  • Distribution sector
GELATIN CAPSULE - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

The following two types of capsules are popular

* Two-piece hard gelatin capsules that are used for powders.

* One-piece soft gelatin capsules that are used for liquids.

Soft capsules are used for medicines in oil or paste form and hard ones are used for other drugs.

These capsules need to be robust enough for high-speed filling machinery while also having elasticity for filling and softening characteristics, that allow the capsule to seal rapidly after filling.

Capsules are designed to dissolve rapidly and completely (within minutes in-vivo). In addition to allowing for accurate doses, capsules are economical to manufacture, and provide a convenient way for consumers to take strong-tasting vitamins and herb powders, while avoiding the various industrial binders and fillers used in the production of tablet alternatives.

This article also discusses the following aspects:

  • Herb Capsules
  • Vegetable capsules
  • Capsule from fish Gelatin
  • Plant derived capsules
  • Indian Gelatin Capsules Market
  • Import/Export Details
HERBAL PAGE: PETASITE

The third Petasites gathering took place in Romanshorn, Switzerland on March 29, 1996 and gave 16 European scientists the opportunity to transmit their latest considerable discoveries to interested researchers working in different scientific disciplines such as pharmacognosy, botany, chemistry, pharmacology, medicine or clinical pharmacy.

The newest findings on Petasites hybridus as a significant plant drug showed very promising aspects of therapeutic utility. Great progress has been made in chemical analytical methods and the determination of pharmacological activities.

Substantial advances have also occurred in the production of bioassay procedures and plant materials, particularly utilizing cell- and tissue-culture techniques.

In this article the following aspects are discussed

  • Application
  • Active constituents and Mechanism of Action
  • Adverse effects
  • Safety
  • Commercial Extracts
  • Petasites Dosage and Special caution
  • Research Update –Migraine treatment & Asthma treatment 
GLOBAL SURFACTANT INDUSTRY

Surfactants are organic chemicals whose structure is characterized by the presence of an oil-loving ("hydrophobic") and a water-loving ("hydrophilic") part. The hydrophobic portion, usually a long hydrocarbon chain, is the more important for the behaviour of surfactants.

Oil (which is all hydrophobic) and water do not mix. Surfactants are mostly hydrophobic and have only a limited solubility in water.

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, cement, paints, paper, textiles, wallboard and 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.

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

Following details are also discussed in this article:

  • Types of surfactant
  • Major building blocks for surfactants
  • Characteristics of surfactants
  • Feedstock demand pattern for surfactant
  • Factors influencing the growth in demand for Oleochemicals surfactant
  • Use pattern in Western Europe
  • Global Surfactant Market
  • Regionwise Pattern of Demand
  • Regionwise consumption of Major Surfactants Consumption
  • Application pattern of Demand for Surfactants
  • Industry consolidation
  • Substitution
  • Overall likely future pattern
OTHER STORIES

FOCUS ON FEEDSTOCK ISSUES: UNRESOLVED INDUSTRIAL FEEDSTOCK ISSUES

Even after tenth five year plan, India is still debating about the desirable feed stock for industries, unable to decide as to whether it should be coal, crude oil, natural gas or LNG and so on ; and frequently shifting the focus from one at another without much of clarity. A careful study of the past scenario would indicate that the lack of feedstock strategies and policies have considerably contributed to destabilizing the industries and causing problems for consumers on several occasions.

While the lack of consistent policies in the past can be attributed to a developing economy inevitably experimenting with various options, there cannot be any justification for such lack of clarity any more. .

It is high time that the Government of India, State Governments and industries, put their heads together and reach some sort of consensus decision with regard to the desirable feedstock for India , that would stand the test of time in future, particularly in tune with the global developments.

This article discusses the following aspects:

  • Natural Gas issues
  • LNG Issues
  • Coal Issues
  • Coal Bed Methane Issues
  • Advanced Technology Coalbed Methane Simulation Model Simed II

WATER TREATMENT PLANT - RECENT DEVELOPMENT

In several countries, water framework directives have been issued, as per which the waste water must be put through an extensive treatment process. And the majority of sewage treatment plants may ultimately need to be modified to break down substances such as hormones, medicines and detergents. This could involve industry making substantial capital outlays.

It is not just industrial water usage that governments worldwide are tackling. The implementation of the European Water Framework Directive is one of the drivers for preventing the contamination of drinking water sources in Europe.

Top priority is being given to the further development of water treatment technologies like membrane filtration, UV and advanced oxidation. This is being prompted by the increasingly strict standards imposed in respect of microbiological safety and the discussion concerning endocrine substance in the environment.

IMPROVE TECH COMPETENCE OF SMEs: UNIDO

A major problem before the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of India is that they are poor performers as far as productivity and competitiveness are concerned, according to a paper by George B Assaf regional director, Unido-South Asia.

The challenge lies in increasing the technological competence of the SME sector, especially with regard to its export basket, the paper states.

The SME sector needs not protection, but better facilities in terms of infrastructure, provision of raw materials and establishing linkages with machinery suppliers and credit facilities.

In order to become competitive, SMEs will need to link up with global value chains which, in turn, will require greater understanding of global structures, of relationships with various key actors in the value chain and greater flexibility to respond to external factors, says the paper.

The study also calls for development of entrepreneur friendly taxation policies by the government particularly with respect to excise duty, value added tax and the abolition of octroi tax.

MOVING BED TERTIARY BIOFILTERS FOR WASTE WATER TREATMENT

Many waste water treatment works (WwTW) are still coming to terms with how they will adapt under the weight of new legislation.

The Astrasand process developed by Dutch company Paques for waste water treatment is discussed.

ETHANOL OVERCAPACITY IN CENTRAL AMERICA

A trade agreement established in the 1980s to help the economies of several Central American countries by fostering ethanol exports to the US duty free is working well.

With a surge in the number of proposed plants in the region, production may be heading towards overcapacity, negating the agreement's benefits.

TUBELESS TYRES - PROFILE

Tubeless tyres, which have been around since the 1950s,were not adopted in India till the late 1990s, when car makers started rolling out their premium models fitted with tubeless tyres.

This article also discusses the following aspects:

  • Construction Details
  • Price
  • Indian Demand
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Certification Issues
  • Anti Dumping Page
  • Government Notification Issue
  • Patent Page
  • A Catalyst checkup Checklist for Refinery Operators
  • Interesterified Oil
  • Drinking Water guidelines issued by WHO
  • Progress of Clean Fuel Programme
  • Process Flow – Terephthalic Acid
  • Safety Data – Gibberellic acid
  • Highlights on Global Metal Scenario
  • Information on Chemical of Your Choice- Ask for Chemical Facts Free
  • Herbal Page
  • Pesticide Page
  • Biotechnology Page
  • Agro Chemical Page
  • News Round Up-India Technology Development- International
  • Tender Pharma page - India/International
  • Enviornmental Page – India
  • Energy page
  • Directory of Chemical Industries in China-Manufacturers, Trading Houses and Promotional Organisations – Part XXIV
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code – Part XXIX
  • Nandini Internet Index
  • List of Foreign Direct Investment/Collaboration Proposals Approved by Government of India During the Month of September 2004
  • Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port During the Month of October 2004 Book Review 
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