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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Nov 2005

Gas to Liquid|Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene|Solanesol|Jatropha Oil
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
FOCUS ON GAS TO LIQUID PROJECTS-PART II
SOLANESOL – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
ETHYLENE TETRAFLUOROETHYLENE - PRODUCT PROFILE
OPPORTUNITIES IN GLOBAL PAPAYA MARKET
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

PRICE FIXING FOR JATROPHA OIL AND THE IMPENDING CONFUSION

The Government of India has moved a step forward in implementing its bio fuel plans, by asking the public sector oil companies to buy jatropha oil from the producers at the price of Rs.25/- per litre. While this is a significant decision, there has been no comment or observations from the Government with regard to several other aspects of bio fuel industry which call for urgent attention.

For mixing with diesel, the raw jatropha vegetable oil has to be transesterified. The process of transesterification involves the production of glycerine as co product , at the rate of 250 kgs of glycerine for every 1000 kg. of transesterified oil produced. The Indian demand for glycerine at present is only around 50,000 tonnes per annum and large production of transesterified oil would lead to substantial surplus production of glycerine in the country. There is no way to sell the surplus quantity of glycerine which is already produced in adequate quantity in the country.

In view of the huge capacity creation for bio diesel in Europe and North America in recent times, glycerine has already become a disposal problem in the world.

There is urgent need to put forth national efforts to develop new applications for glycerine. The government is silent on this issue and one hopes that it is aware of this problem. It is possible to develop applications for glycerine for production of certain products which are now made by petroleum based routes. But, unless appropriate technology development efforts would be urgently initiated, a solution cannot be found for this problem. A dynamic government initiative to work on glycerine based research is vitally necessary to take the biodiesel programme forward.

The government has also not explained the basis for fixing the price of Rs.25/- per litre. Jatropha oil is produced from jatropha seeds and the farmers need to get atleast Rs.4/- per kilogramme of jatropha seed to make the agriculture economics for cultivation of jatropha worthwhile. It would be possible to produce transesterified oil at cost below Rs.25/- per litre only if the price of the seed would be less than Rs.2/- per kilogramme. At this price, jatropha cultivation would be a losing proposition for the farmers.

The cake produced after extracting oil from jatropha seed cannot be used as cattle feed , as in other parts of the world where the vegetable oil for bio diesel production are produced from edible crops such as rape seed and soya. Jatropha is a non edible crop and the seeds are toxic. The sale realization for the cake is very important for optimizing the cost of production of jatropha oil. As of now, there is no plan for use of the jatropha seed cake arising after oil extraction. The one possible solution is to use the cake as biomass for production of power. But, no worthwhile pilot plant studies have so far been made to assess the process parameters and the economics of operations for the bio mass unit.

The economic and viable capacity for the trans esterification plant for producing trans esterified oil from jatropha vegetable oil is 30,000 tonnes per annum which would call for investment of several crores of rupees. The trans esterification project is a medium or large scale industry and is not a small scale operation.

While a number of trans esterification plants of large size of one million tonnes per annum is in operation abroad, none of them are based on jatropha oil but on other crops such as soya or rape seed etc. Therefore, it has to be seen that there is no commercial experience so far anywhere in the world in operating large scale trans esterification plants based on jatropha.

When the government has announced the price of oil, where is the source for supplying it to the government immediately, when large scale trans esterification plants are yet to be built in the country?.

The net result of this situation could be huge import of trans esterified oil from overseas countries to India in the coming years, which would leave the Indian jatropha industry helpless and stunned. .

Government has to ensure that the native industries are supported and protected and Indian farmers are benefited when it implements its bio diesel policy.

This may call for some special incentive schemes and subsidy programmes and so far there is no indication that the government has applied its mind towards such requirements.

FOCUS ON GAS TO LIQUID PROJECTS-PART II

TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES FOR NATURAL GAS TO LIQUID

New technology is being developed and applied to convert natural gas to liquids in gas to liquids technology (GTL). The projects are scalable, allowing design optimisation and application to smaller gas deposits. The key influences on their competitiveness are the cost of capital, operating costs of the plant, feedstock costs, scale and ability to achieve high utilisation rates in production.

As a generalisation however, GTL is not competitive against conventional oil production unless the gas has a low opportunity value and is not readily transported.

It is technically feasible to synthesise almost any hydrocarbon from any other; and in the past five decades, several processes have been developed to synthesise liquid hydrocarbons from natural gas.

This article further discusses the following details:

  • Production of Syngas
  • Conversion of Syngas to Liquid Hydrocarbon
  • Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), Coal to Liquids Fuel
  • UCG projects around the world
  • Technology Suppliers
SOLANESOL – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Solanesol, which is a tobacco leaves/tobacco waste extract with 99% purification is the starting material for many high value biochemical like vitamin-K analogues, vitamin-E and Coenzyme Q9.

Preparation of Solanesol as anti-hypertensive, anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-tumor agent has also been reported. The research shows that after introducing "solanesol" radical into the structure of some medicines, the effects are increased distinctly.

Japanese scientists have used a solanesol derivative, N-solanesyl-N, N1-bis (3,4-dimethoxy benzyl) ethylenediamine for potentiation of anti tumor drugs against multi-drug resistant and sensitive cells.

This article also discusses the following aspects in detailed manner:

  • Product details
  • Packaging and Labelling
  • Producer’s Specifications
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Process Flow for Extration of Solenesol from Tobacco Leaves
  • Production potential in India
  • Global Demand
  • Price
  • Projects in India
  • Import/Export details
  • Important global producers
ETHYLENE TETRAFLUOROETHYLENE - PRODUCT PROFILE

Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is essentially an alternating copolymer consisting of ethylene and tetrafluoroethylene segments.

This is a tough material with high impact strength even at low temperatures and with useful mechanical properties up to near 177 degree C. The improvements in stiffness is paid for by reduced chemical resistance and working temperature. ETFE is resistant to most chemicals except some strong oxidizing agents and hot amines.

ETFE was developed by DuPont as a tough Teflon® with similar hardness compared to nylon, unlike virgin PTFE and (Fluorinated Ethylene-Propylene) FEP.

This article further discusses the following details:

  • Properties
  • Grades
  • Applications
  • Demand Trends
  • Major producers
OPPORTUNITIES IN GLOBAL PAPAYA MARKET

Papaya imports to the European Union have increased 135% by volume and 130% by value since 2002.The papaya market is one of the faster growing and has great potential.

The reasons attributed to the growing consumer demand for papayas in the EU is observed as, increasing consumption of exotic fruit, convenience, resulting in more demand for processed and semi processed foods such as fruit juices, preserves, peeled/sliced papaya etc. and increasing shift towards health food.

Though the EU consumption market for papaya is steadily growing, still it is found to be low compared to other tropical fruit.

OTHER STORIES

APPLICATION OF VALUE ENGINEERING IN CHEMICAL PROCESSES

Concept of Value Engineering:

Value Engineering is a systematic effort to enhance the value of a product, project or system for optimizing the life cycle cost. It is a process that identifies opportunities to remove unnecessary costs while assuring that the quality; reliability, performance, 
and other critical factors meet the Project Proponent’s expectations. Typically, it is undertaken after the conceptual design stage, prior to detailed design and manufacture with the goal of increasing the net value. However, value engineering can be carried out at other stages of the product / project lifecycle also.

Value Engineering has two primary elements:

1. To deliver functions at a minimum cost

2. To use group brainstorming and consensus to broaden the solution space and avoid narrow thinking 

This article further describes the following details:

  • Value Engineering Techniques
  • Application of Value Engineering for Grease Manufacture
  • What are Lubricating Greases?
  • The Atmospheric Kettle Grease Manufacturing Process
  • Value Engineering is a tool in process selection
  • Step by step analysis as of the requirements of value engineering
  • Process functions and equipment specification
  • Cost of functions
  • Value engineering targets
  • Analysis of the alternative concepts
  • Test and verify the approved alternative
  • Conclusion

CHALLENGE FOR INDIAN HERBAL INDUSTRY

The recent decision of the government of Canada to keep Indian herbal drugs under watchlist and the move by the UK's Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to bring several Indian herbal medicines under suspect list is causing considerable concern amongst the Indian herbal industry.

The Indian herbal industry should meet the challenge on scientific lines in tune with the modern trend.

BIOPOLYMERS -SURGING AHEAD

Between 1999 and 2004, the worldwide production capacity for biopolymers grew significantly, to about 250 000 tonne per year.

Within Europe, recent figures indicate that consumption has increased from 20 000 tonne in 2001 to 50 000 tonne in 2004. By 2015, this consumption is expected to increase to about 1 million tonne. Moreover, the long-term substitution potential of biopolymers is estimated at up to 15 million tonne within the EU, a capacity that would meet about one-third of present plastic production.

CHLOROFORM AND ITS FUTURE

This article discusses the following aspects

  • General Details
  • Grades
  • Applications
  • Sectorwise Potential application
  • Environmental Issue
  • Global production level
  • Regionwise production
  • Global pattern of demand for chloroform
  • Future trends
  • Phase out schedule for HCFCs
  • Future Global regionwise demand
  • Major global producers
  • Indian scenario
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Reader’s Forum
  • Anti Dumping Page
  • Spotlight on Ethanol-Exports from Brazil
  • Update on Nano Technology
  • Nanofiltration: Properties and Uses
  • Update on Biofuel
  • Ethanol Plan set to gather pace
  • Process Flow – Olefins
  • Is the Printing Industry a Cancer Causing Agent?
  • Japan Plans annual environmental tax
  • ICIS Publications Innovation Awards – 2005
  • Update on Carbon Trading
  • Moser Developing Solar Technology
  • Polymer Foams Market-Consultant’s Report
  • Fly Ash Utilisation-Recent Development
  • Herbal Page
  • Ask for Chemical Facts Free
  • News Round Up – International/India
  • Sasol’s Alumina and Zeolite Business
  • Technology Development- International/India
  • Alkylates as alternative to MTBE
  • New Effluent Treatment Technology
  • Bio Technology page
  • Safety & Accident Page
  • Agro Chemical Page - International/India
  • Pharma Page - International/India
  • Environmental Page - International/India
  • Energy Page - International/India
  • Price Details - International/India
  • Business Opportunities
  • Tender
  • New Projects-International
  • Nandini Internet Index
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code – Part XXXVI
  • Directory of Chemical Industries in China-Manufacturers, Trading Houses and Promotional Organisations – Part XXXIII
  • Chemicals Exported at Chennai Port During the Month of August 2005
  • Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port During the Month of September 2005 
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