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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Jul 2005

Adblue|Methyl Cellulose|Vegetable Capsules|Biofuels
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
CARBON TRADING OPPORTUNITIES-PROGRESS OF INDIAN COMPANIES
VEGETABLE CAPSULES
AdBlue™ : - A BIG OPPORTUNITY FOR CHEMCIAL INDUSTRIES
METHYL CELLULOSE - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

BIOFUELS – IF ONLY THE GOVERNMENT AND THE COUNTRY CAN MOVE FORWARD

The present spiral in international crude oil prices to a very high level of $60 per barrel has upset the economics and calculations of the Government and the industries to a considerable extent. With the demand for petroleum products increasing steeply around the world and the prospects of increase in the production of crude to match the demand not being bright, it appears that the price of crude oil would remain at this high level for long time to come. There is a crisis in the energy front confronting the world and sooner the Government of India and the country would realize the full impact of this crisis, it would be better for the long term interests of the country. The crude oil crisis is not a simple matter of raising the price of diesel and petrol by a few rupees per litre once in a while, but it is a much more basic and serious issue.

This situation certainly increases the need for finding substitutes for petroleum products and also reducing the consumption to the level possible in a very urgent manner.

USA and several European countries are already working towards substituting petroleum fuel and Europe is targeting to reduce the consumption of petroleum fuel atleast by around 5%, by substituting with biofuel by the year 2010. Towards this end, massive biofuel projects are being planned and set up and the Governments in Europe and USA are extending substantial tax concession and other incentives to increase the production and use of biofuel.

While India’s urgency to substitute the use of petroleum products by biofuel such as Jatropha based fuel is as high as USA and Europe, if not more, the biofuel project in India is still largely in the discussion stage. It should be possible for the Government and the country to move ahead in the biofuel field, if only the concepts and the strategies can be clearly defined, understood and worked out. The subject has to move rapidly from the bureaucrats’ tables to farms and fields and shopfloors.

While the advantages of the Jatropha biofuel in India such as the massive employment opportunities in the agricultural field and substitution of imported crude by using Jatropha is well understood and appreciated, the problem is the lack of long term strategies and clear directives on the part of the Government of India, keeping in consideration some basic problems of the biofuel industry.

The Government has to make up its mind and make clear policy announcements as soon as possible with regard to a few of the critical factors that presently appear to be the stumbling blocks in the progress of the biofuel industry in India. Such clear cut policy announcements are vitally necessary at this stage to give confidence to the multitude of agriculturists and industrial entrepreneurs in the country to proceed with the projects with enthusiasm and forward planning.

The problems and the appropriate strategies can be described as below.

Problems:

The Jatropha vegetable oil has to be subjected to a chemical process known as transesterification to enable blending of the transesterified oil with petroleum diesel for running the automobiles. In the process of transesterification of Jatropha oil, large quantity of glycerine would be produced as by-product. The demand for glycerine is presently not so high and therefore large production of glycerine could create disposal problems.

In the production of vegetable oil from Jatropha, cake would be produced, which cannot be used as cattle feed and therefore, does not have significant value addition.

In the cultivation of Jatropha, agricultural farmers have to get atleast Rs. 4 per kg of seed to make it economically worthwhile for them. Based on the present parameters of operations, if the farmers were to be paid Rs. 4 per kg of seed, the cost of production of Jatropha biofuel would be well over Rs. 50 per litre, which would be an unacceptable level.

Suggestions for strategies :

The need is to supply Jatropha biofuel at a price acceptable to consumers, which could be well below the present prevailing price of diesel. To do so, there are two requirements.

a. Reduce the cost of production of Jatropha biofuel

b. The Government of India should reconcile itself to provide subsidy in the sale price of Jatropha biofuel, which is the practice around the world now.

There is immense scope for reducing the cost of production of Jatropha biofuel and very urgent technology studies are required and steps have to be initiated to revise and optimize the operating parameters as further discussed.

a. Important raw material for transesterification of Jatropha is Methanol. Due to huge global capacity creation for methanol now, based on natural gas, particularly in middle east countries, there is definite possibility of fall in international prices of methanol substantially in coming years. This would immensely help the Jatropha biofuel project. Government of India should take immediate steps to acquire stake or set up methanol based projects in middle east countries, where there is immense availability of natural gas, for the purpose of meeting the Indian requirement of methanol for the biofuel project in future at favourable price.

b. The cake generated during the production of Jatropha vegetable oil cannot be used as animal feed, but can be used as biomass for power generation. The techno-economic feasibility for such power project based on Jatropha cake has to be quickly established by conducting necessary studies. The production of transesterified vegetable oil requires fuel for energy generation and the cake based biomass project can meet the requirement, thus reducing the cost of production.

c. Glycerine has a limited market now and the feasibility of producing bulk feedstock chemical from glycerine has to be examined urgently. It may be technically feasible to produce petrochemicals like propylene from glycerine, which if achieved, can create huge demand for glycerine and also meet the Indian petrochemical feedstock requirement to a considerable extent.

d. While the production of transesterified Jatropha for the purpose of blending with diesel requires high investment and lead to high cost of production, Jatropha vegetable oil as such can be used for running tractors and low speed oil engines in rural areas and for lighting purposes. This would considerably reduce the consumption level of petroleum fuel immediately. The Government has to introduce some thoughtful schemes in this regard.

Recommendation :

Without loss of time, the Government should ask the private sector to set up research and development centers for biofuel and extend attractive incentive schemes and rewards for achieving quick results. The Government should create a national euphoria for biofuel, so that organized and total attention can go to this sector, which appears to be the only way toward off the impending crisis on the crude oil front.

CARBON TRADING OPPORTUNITIES-PROGRESS OF INDIAN COMPANIES

Many Indian Companies are looking for earnings upto several billion dollars by 2012 by adopting projects that reduce the emissino of greenhouse gases (GHGs).

This article further discusses the following aspects:

  • Clearance for projects by Government of India
  • The major companies involved
  • Value of CER
  • Clearance for projects on UNFCCC
VEGETABLE CAPSULES

Today’s life style is to live with nature. People want not only the medicines but the capsules also should be from natural resources.

The gelatin capsules, which are made from animal bone, are considered as non-vegetarian. Vegetable capsules have come in place. Many neutraceuticals, herbal products and health supplements are being packed in vegetable capsules, to make the whole some product as vegetarian and natural. All the drugs and pharmaceuticals are also cleared for packing in veg. Capsules.

This article also discusses the following aspects:

  • Product characteristics
  • Raw material
  • Price
  • Market
  • Patents
  • Industry Trends
  • Players
  • Product development
  • Product specification
AdBlue™ : - A BIG OPPORTUNITY FOR CHEMCIAL INDUSTRIES

AdBlue™ is the international name given to a newly created additive for selective catalytic reduction. The name was created by joint agreement by the mineral oil industry, the chemical industry and the automobile industry and their suppliers.

AdBlue™ chemically defined is a watered-down 32.5 to 35% urea based aqueous solution of high quality.

AdBlue™ is neither poisonous nor hazardous and has been classified by authorities in the lowest classification for soluble solutions.

AdBlue™ is a non-toxic, clear, synthetically manufactured solution used in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems on diesel engined heavy commercial vehicles. In combination with the SCR system, AdBlue will reduce the level of emissions from these engines, specifically the harmful Nitrous Oxides (NOx).

This article also discusses the following aspects

  • Euro Standards of Emission
  • Selective Cataltyst Reduction Technology (SCR)
  • Advantages of SCR Technology
  • Disadvantages of SCR Technology
  • Characteristics of AdBlue
  • Logistic Issues of AdBlue
  • The present dispensing system
  • AdBlue Players in Europe
  • AdBlue Product specification 
METHYL CELLULOSE - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Cellulose derivatives are water soluble polymers whose principle raw material is pulp. Applications of methyl cellulose are found in building construction materials and pharmaceuticals as well as in toiletries and civil engineering.

This article also discusses the following aspects in detailed manne:

  • Product characteristics
  • Product application
  • Imports
  • Major Global players
  • Global developments
  • Global capacity
  • Global demand
  • Global consumption pattern
  • Global demand trends
  • Production process and raw material requirements
  • Outlook and Recommendation
OTHER STORIES

SPECIALITY CHEMICAL - POLYISOCYANATE

This article discusses the application aspects and process technology as well as Indian import/export trends for Polyisocyanate.

PETROCHEM PLANS IN THAILAND - PROCEEDINGS OF CONFERENCE IN BANGKOK

The Government of Thaiand unveiled a $10 billion investment plan for thecountry’s petrochemical industry, at CW’s 10th Annual Asia/Pacific Chemical Industry meeting (APCIM), held in Bangkok. Leading Thai Petchem producers also announced details of investment projects that will form part of the plan.

Thailand’s energy ministry has completed a “master plan for the third wave of petrochemical development” that will run until 2018. The next step will be to establish a government agency affiliated t Thailand’s industry ministry that will oversee the plan. Most of the country’s planned production capacity will be based on natural gas feedstock from fields in the Gulf of Thailand.

The government intends to add value to natural gas.

WEALTH FROM WASTE- FLY ASH APPLICATIONS AND RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

In India, 100 million tonnes of fly ash is produced of which 15% only is utilised and the remaining 85% is used as land fill in other words a potential pollution hazard.

In 2010, it is estimated that the volume of fly ash will go up to 170 million tonnes per annum, with a proposed addition of 70,000 mw power. Globally about 350 million tonne of fly ash is produced as byproduct of coal combustion.

JAPAN’S PHARMACEUTICAL AFFAIRS LAW ON OUTSOURCING - CAN INDIAN UNITS EXPLOIT THE OPPORTUNITY?

The Japanese Government is introducing a legislation – the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (PAL) – that for the first time will allow pharmaceutical companies based in Japan to outsource every manufacturing step for drug production. A spurt in the growth in outsourcing of active pharma ingredients (API) is inevitable.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF MARICHEM CONFERENCE IN QATAR

In May, The MariChem Conference was held in Doha, Qatar. This year’s MariChem Conference was predominantly focussed on the supply chain impact of the Gulf’s soaring petrochemical output. Highlights of the proceedings of the conference are provided in the article.

OTHER ARTICLES
  • Update on Nano Technology
  • Applications of Nano Technology
  • Fabric from Biofuel (Corn)
  • Safety and Accident Page
  • Global TiO2 Projects
  • Process Flow-1,4-Butanediol
  • Recycling-Vehicle Tyres & Plastics
  • Anti Dumping Page-India/International
  • Technology Developments-International
  • News Round Up-India/International
  • Pharma Page- India/International
  • Biotechnology- India/International
  • Herbal/Agro Chemical Page
  • Environmental Page-International
  • Price Trends- India/International
  • Energy Page
  • Tender
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code-Part XXXIII
  • Nandini Internet Index
  • Directory of Chemical Industries in China-Manufacturers, Trading Houses and Promotional Organisations – Part XXIX
  • Chemicals Exported at Chennai Port During the Month of March 2005
  • Chemicals Exported at Chennai Port During the Month of April 2005
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