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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Nov 2006

ADIPIC ACID|BUTYL LITHIUM|NITROGEN TRIFLUORIDE|HIGH PERFORMANCE THERMOPLASTIC
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY: EMERGING GLOBAL SHORTAGE FOR ADIPIC ACID
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICALS: BUTYL LITHIUM
NITROGEN TRIFLUORIDE- PRODUCT PROFILE
POLYETHERIMIDE: A HIGH PERFORMANCE THERMOPLASTIC
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

ACCIDENTS IN CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES

The recent serious accident in the refinery of Reliance Industries at Jamnagar in Gujarat has once again brought to focus the issues relating to accidents in chemical Industries.

  • Accidents continue to take place in chemical projects around the world, both in the developed and developing countries.
  • The lessons have to be learnt and a few case studies would help in working out the future strategies.
  • It can be seen that the accidents continue to take place due to human error and avoidable mistakes.
  • Technology developments and management practices have been proved to be unequal to the task.

The following case studies would prove the above facts

1. ACCIDENTS NOT UNCOMMON IN HIGHLY DEVELOPED COUNTRIES AND MODERN CHEMICAL UNITS

Explosion

Organisation

Formasa Plastic

Location

Texas , USA

Facility

Ethylene plant

Nature of Accident

An explosion and subsequent fire in Ethylene unit

Safety Concerns

Organisation

Stephans Chemical

Location

Fieldsboro , NJ , USA

Facility

Using toxic compounds

 

The fear of the community

 

A heightened environmental and security danger to surrounding community

2. MOST OF THE ACCIDENTS CAUSED DUE TO AVOIDABLE REASONS

Bad Odour causing illness

Organisation

Hemlock Semiconductor

Location

Midland , MI , USA  

Facility

Polysilicon plant

Nature of Accident

Strange odor emitted from bags containing polycrystalline silicon

Pipe Failure

Organisation

BP

Location

Texas , USA

Facility

Refinery

Nature of Accident

Explosion and fire blast in BP.s refinery plant

Explosion

Organisation

Carolina Polymers chemical

Location

Taylors , South Carolina , USA

Facility

Polymer unit

Nature of Accident

A contractor was welding or grinding metal on an empty chemical tank when the explosion occurred

3. THE CAUSE FOR THE ACCIDENTS ARE LARGELY DUE TO MANAGEMENT’S FAILURE TO ATTEND TO THE DETAILS WITH MICRO LEVEL CARE

Warning system failed

Organisation

BP

Location

Texas , USA

Facility

Refinery

Nature of Accident

Explosion due to overflow of hydrocarbon liquid to an adjacent unit

Petroleum storage tank collapse

Organisation

BR Petroleum

Location

Mumbai , India

Facility

Refinery

Nature of Accident

Colapse of one of the chemical storage tanks erected by the company in Willingdon Island .

 

The Cochin port had leased out land to the company to set up eight tanks for storage of petroleum products and edible oils. Al these tanks were in the construction stage and the tank, which collapsed was full of water . filed as part of test loading for the capacity.

4. CHINA IS BECOMING THE BIGGEST ACCIDENT ZONE FOR CHEMICAL PROJECTS DUE TO STEPPING UP CAPACITIES AND PRODUCTION WITHOUT ADEQUATE PREPAREDNESS

Coal Mine Blast

Organisation

Dongfeng coal mine run by the Longmei Mining Co. Ltd

Location

Heilongjiang , China

Facility

Coal mine

Nature of Accident

Blast at the coal mine

Blast

Organisation

Yingte Chemical

Location

Dianjiang , China

Facility

Pharmaceutical intermediates factory

Nature of Accident

Explosion

Explosion

Organisation

Jilin Petrochemical, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp. (CNCP)

 

The Jilin nitrobenzene plant is relatively new, having started operating only 15 months ago.

Location

Jilin , China

Facility

Petrochemical

Nature of Accident

Major polution damage in the Songhua River followed by explosion

5. IT IS FORTUOUS THAT THE ACCIDENTS IN INDIA ARE SO LESS INSPITE OF POOR CONDITIONS IN CROSS SECTION OF CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES

Paschim Chemicals

Organisation

Paschim Chemicals (An associate company of IPCA Laboratories Ltd)

Location

Waluj MIDC, Maharashtra

Facility

Pharma intermediate

Nature of Accident

Fire mishap

Hazards in chemical godowns

Location

Chemical godowns lining the Thane - Bhiwandi Road ,

Natural of Accident

Frequent blazes that break out along this stretch, have come under scrutiny. Authorities suspect that the fires are being deliberately set off.

 

Facility

Menthol production

Location

Rampur , Uttar Pradesh

Nature of Accident

Blast

6. STRINGENT PUNISHMENTS IMPOSED ON INDUSTRIES TO MINIMIZE ACCIDENTS

ConocoPhillips fined for UK refinery blast

Organisation

Conoco Philips

Location

South Kilingholme , UK

Facility

Refinery, The South Kilingholme plant is a major producer of benzene.

Nature of Accident

Explosion and fire

Punishment - Fined 895,000 pounds and ordered to pay 219,000 pounds in costs

 

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY: EMERGING GLOBAL SHORTAGE FOR ADIPIC ACID

Adipic acid finds important applications in the production of Nylon 6,6, Polyester polyol , Unsaturated yester resin and Plasticisers. The non nylon application for Adipic acid is expanding steadily.

In recent times, the global operating rates for Adipic acid have been climbing and is likely to touch 95% immediately, due to increasing demand for Adipic acid and inadequate capacity creation for the industry.

In view of the tight supply scenario, Adipic acid is often in short supply in the global market

Chemical names

1,6 Hexanedioic acid, 1,4-Butanedicarboxylic acid

CAS Registry No.

124-04-9

Molecular formula

HOOC (CH 2 ) 4 COOH

Appearance

White crystalline solid, having a pale yellow colour.

Chemical reactions

Adipic acid undergoes reactions typical of carboxylic acids, including salt formation, oxidation, reduction, esterification, amidation, dehydration to anhydrides, acid halide formation and decarboxylation. Adipic acid.s capability to form condensation polymers with other bifunctional compounds is exploited in many industrial applications.

Important Sectors of Application:

  • Polyamides (Nylon 6,6)
  • Polyurethanes
  • Unsaturated Polyester Resins
  • Plasticizers
  • Chemical Intermediate
  • Adiponitrile Synthesis
  • Cyclopentanone Synthesis
  • 1,6-Hexanediol Synthesis
  • Dimethyl Sebacate Synthesis
  • Other Applications
  • Tableting
  • Paper Additives
  • Food additives
  • Synthetic Lubricants
  • Solder Fluxes
  • Epoxy Curing Agents
  • Leather Tanning
  • Flue Gas desulfurization scrubbers cleaning applications

This article also contains the following details:

GLOBAL SCENARIO

  • Present Global Capacity
  • Important Global Manufacturers and their capacity
  • New Projects
  • Projected Global Installed Capacity
  • Demand driver for Adipic acid
  • Growth rate in demand for Adipic acid
  • Global Demand
  • Broad outline of Manufacturing Process
  • Technology Development

INDIAN SCENARIO

        Import Details

RECOMMENDATION

SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICALS : BUTYL LITHIUM

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

n-Butyl Lithium is the most important organolithium compound

Appearance

Colourless crystals unstable,usualy obtained as solution

Other names

NBL, BuLi, 1-lithiobutane

CAS Number

109-72-8

Molecular formula

CH 3 CH 2 CH 2 CH 2 Li

Density

0.68g /cm 3

Dilute solutions of n-Butyl Lithium in hydrocarbon solvents possess a negligible rate of decomposition at usual handling temperatures and under an inert atmosphere, eg. Argon or Nitrogen.

For example, for a 15 wt % solution in hexane, the decomposition rate is <0.01% active material per day at 25 deg.C . However, at elevated temperatures and high n-Butyl Lithium concentrations, the losses can be significant. For example, the same 15 wt% solution loses about 0.05% of its active material per day at 45 deg.C, whereas 85 wt% solution loses about 0.2 wt% per day at the same temperature

This article further discusses the following details:

  • Reactions
  • Safety
  • Application
  • Substitution Possibility in Pharma industry
  • Manufacturing process
  • Global producers
  • Indian manufacturers
  • Individual Import in India
NITROGEN TRIFLUORIDE- PRODUCT PROFILE

Other names

Trifluoramine, Trifluorammonia

Molecular formula

NF 3

Appearance

Colourless gas

CAS No

[7783-52-2]

Density and phase

3.003 kg/m 3 (1.013 bar and 15 °C) gas 1540 kg/m 3 (1.013 bar at boiling point) liquid

Solubility in water

0.021 vol/vol (20 deg.C and 1 bar)

Flash point

Non-flammable

Safety and Hazards

The gas is heavier than air and may accumulate inlowered spaces causing a deficiency of oxygen

The substance decomposes on heating producing toxic fumes including fluoride. The product is a strong oxidant and reacts with combustible and reducing materials. It reacts violently with ammonia, carbon monoxide, diborane, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, methane or tetrafluorohydrazine causing explosion hazard. The substance is decomposed by electric sparks.

Applications

The principal use for nitrogen trifluoride is as a fluorine source in the electronics industry. Nitrogen trifluoride offers significant advantages over traditional carbon-based etchants. These include high etch rates, high selectivities for nitride-over-oxide etching and single-crystal silicon over thermally grown oxide and the production of only volatile reaction products resulting in an etch with no polymer or fluoride residues

Nitrogen trifluoride is also used in in situ plasma or thermal cleaning of chemical vapour deposition (CVD) reactors. Nitrogen trifluoride plasma can remove these deposits as volatile fluorides in minutes. The cleaning is performed at the process temperature and eliminates the need to remove the internal CVD reactor components to be cleaned by acid tank immersion

Another use for Nitrogen trifluoride is as a fluorine source for hydrogen and deuterium fluoride (HF/DF) high-energy chemical lasers, where nitrogen trifluoride is preferred to fluorine because of its relative ease of storage and handling at ambient temperatures.

Nitrogen trifluoride is used as a fuel for hydrogen fluoride and deuterium fluoride , types of chemical lasers. It is used as a source of fluorine radicals for plasma etching for eg Polysilicon,silicon nitride , tungsten silicide, and tungsten, in which application it can replace perfluorocarbons (eg.hexafluoroethane) and sulphur hexafluoride, resulting in both ecological advantage and higher process efficiency.

It is a potent oxidizer, used to oxidize some high-energy fuels, preparation of tetrafluorohydrazine and to fluorinate fluorocarob olefins.

This article also contains the following details:

  • Demand Driver
  • Global Demand
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Technology Developments
  • United States Patent
  • Russian Patents
  • Global producers
  • Asian Producers
  • New Projects
POLYETHERIMIDE: A HIGH PERFORMANCE THERMOPLASTIC

Polyetherimide ( PEI ) is an amorphous, amber transparent, high performance thermoplastic with the characteristics common to PEEK.

Formula C37H24O6N2 
Glass transition temperature 216 deg C

Polyetherimide is a high-performance thermoplastic. This material is characterized by high strength and rigidity at elevated temperatures, long- term heat resistance, high dimensional stability, good electrical properties, broad chemical resistance and is injection moldable. Also, it exhibits an inherent flame resistance and a low smoke generation without the need for incorporating additives. Unmodified polyetherimide material is amber transparent in colour

Relative to PEEK, it is less temperature resistant, less expensive and lower in impact strength. It is prone to stress cracking in chlorinated solvents.

This article discusses the following details:

  • General Electric is the principle developer and manufacturer of the product.
  • Popular brand name
  • Application sector
  • Chemical Resistance
  • Hydolytic stability
  • Radiation Resistance
  • Electrical
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Project Plans of GE Plastics
  • Product development by GE Plastics
  • GE unveils lighter rail composites
OTHER STORIES

GLOBAL SCENARIO FOR LNG

The gas based power projects in India are suffering due to lack of availability of gas .

While a few LNG terminals have been set up in the country, there is still uncertainty with regard to the availability and the price of LNG for imports.

In this scenario, this article providing details of Global LNG Scenario would be read with interest.

Region

Capacity (Milion tones)

Asia Pacific

75

Middle East

20

Atlantic

56.5

Total

152.5

LNG Projects recently commissioned

Region

Promoter

Capacity (Milion tonnes per year)

Oman

Qalhat

3.3

Nigeria

 

4.1

Australia

Darwin

3.2

Qatar

RasGas

4.7

Nigeria

 

4

Trinidad and Tobago

Atlantic

5.2

At full capacity, the six trains increased the global liquefaction capacity by 24.5 milion tonnes per year .

This article further discusses the following details:

  • Countrywise LNG capacity in percentage
  • Indonesian LNG Statistics
  • Malaysia
  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • US
  • Russia
  • Middle East
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • The United Arab Emirates
  • Atlantic Basin
  • Africa
  • Trinidad and Tobago

WOOD PLASTICS . EMERGING TREND

Contributed by: Dr.S.S.Verma
Department of Physics, S.L.I.E.T.,
Longowal Distt.-Sangrur-148 106, Punjab
E-mail: ssverma.at.fastmail.fm

Wood-plastic composites are combinations of plastics with wood fiber. Recycled wood is used as reinforcing filer in thermoset plastics and thermoplastics. Dry wood waste particles or fibers are usually best suited for use in wood-plastic composites. This wood-plastic composite takes advantage of the strength of wood fiber and the heat and water resistive properties of the plastic. It may be produced by either extrusion or mat-forming technologies.

Wood-plastic composites are combinations of plastics with wood fiber. Recycled wood is used as reinforcing filer in thermoset plastics and thermoplastics. Dry wood waste particles or fibers are usually best suited for use in wood-plastic composites. This wood-plastic composite takes advantage of the strength of wood fiber and the heat and water resistive properties of the plastic. It may be produced by either extrusion or mat-forming technologies.

The production of Wood Plastic Composites (WPC) typically uses a fine wood waste (cellulose based fiber filers such as hardwood, softwood, plywood, peanut hulls, bamboo, straw, etc.) mixed with various plastics (PP, PE, PVC). The powder is extruded to a doughlike consistency and then extruded to the desired shape. Additives such as colorants, coupling agents, stabilizers, blowing agents, reinforcing agents, foaming agents, lubricants help tailor the end product to the target area of application.

With upto 70 percent cellulose content, wood-plastic composites behave like wood using conventional woodworking tools.

Plastic wood offers several advantages over natural wood. It is generally resistant to rot, mildew and insect infestation. 
This article further discusses the following details:

  • Use of wood flour
  • Use of Cellulosic nanocrystals

OPERATION OF DIESEL ENGINES USING JATROPHA OIL INSTEAD OF BIODIESEL

Contributed by: Sivasubramanian, General Manager, Wartsila Diesel India Ltd, India

Large medium speed diesel engines for power generation designed to operate on heavy fuel oil like FO/ LSHS can work on unrefined/unprocessed straight vegetable oils (SVO) such as Jatropha oil.

A vegetable oil based power plant of 24MWe capacity, with three 8 MW Wdrtsild engines have been on commercial operation in Italy from Aug 2004. These engines have clocked more than 14000 Hrs of operation with an impressive average plant availability of over 95%. A power plant of 100MW capacity to work on straight vegetable oil is also being implemented in Italy.

Power generation from Straight Jatropha oil is an option deserving equal attention to that of bio diesel. Crude vegetable oil can be used directly with out any esterification. Power generation poses fewer hassles in terms of technology and logistics and has a simpler and smaler value-chain.

The above aspects are quite significant to the Jatropha mission launched in the country.

This article further discusses the following details:

  • Problems in production/use of Biodiesel
  • Power production from renewables
  • Power generation from jatropha Vegetable oil
  • Distributed Power Generation

LIQUID BIOFUEL POWER PLANTS FROM WARTSILA

COURTESY:Company brochure Of Wartsila

Liquid biofuel has been known since the beginning of the industrial revolution. But it is only recently at environmental and commercial pressures have resulted in substantial research into maximizing efficiency for electrical power generation. The diesel engine, based on compression ignition technology, turns vegetable oil more or less straight from the crop into electric energy.

Wärtsilä liquid biofuel power plants use highly efficient reciprocating diesel engines to turn clarified crude vegetable oils into electricity and heat. Liquid biofuel can be produced from practically any oil-rich crop, from oil palm, soy, rapeseed and olive to sunflower seeds, grown in many regions al around the world.

It is in the fuel feed system where the major research on the larger medium-speed engines has taken place. Medium-speed engines can run on most qualities of heavy fuel oil (HFO). These engines have for years proven their worth as power generating sets for electricity under the most extreme conditions on the planet.

While optimizing standard engine design, Wartsila developed a fuel feed system which controls the temperature and viscosity throughout the power plant. This eliminates over-heating or cold points which can lead to changes in fuel characteristics.

Decades of experience and a system of filters, separators, preheaters and coolers have helped develop optimal solutions for maximum fuel efficiency and a minimum of emissions.

This article further discusses the following details:

  • Liquid Biofuel Development Milestones
  • Reduction of Greenhouse Emission
  • Type of Liquid Power Plants from Wartsila

STUDY ON PERFORMANCE OF CHEMICAL AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES IN TAMILNADU ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Nandini Institute of Chemical Industries, a Chennai based NGO and publisher of Nandini Chemical Journal, conducted a study on performance of chemical and allied industries in Tamil Nadu on environmental issues.

BACKGROUND DETAILS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

In recent times, a number of chemical projects in Tamil Nadu have faced difficult issues on environmental front, in spite of their sustained efforts to find solutions for the problems.

While chemical industries, no doubt, have been putting forth best efforts, the environmentalists have been severely critical of some of the chemical industries, , as a result of which a few of the units have been forced to close down, a number of projects have been delayed and the image of the chemical industries have been badly tarnished in the eyes of the common men

Under the circumstances, it has become necessary to investigate the environmental scenario in Tamil Nadu by an organization with good knowledge and understanding of technology and engineering practices.

Nandini Institute of Chemical Industries, the Chennai based NGO run by a team of chemical engineers and technologists has taken upon itself the task of setting the record straight and carrying out a detailed study on the subject, by discussing with the cross section of stake holders in Tamil Nadu

METHODOLOGY OF STUDY

A team of Chemical engineers and Technologists with social commitment and knowledge of industrial and technological practices contacted cross section of chemical and allied industries, social activists, environmentalists and government agencies al over Tamil Nadu to discuss the issues, ascertain the scenario and evolve recommendations.

A Questionnaire was sent to the chemical and allied industries in Tamil Nadu as well as the other stake holders, so that the relevant details can be obtained from various view points.
After the study of the filed up questionnaires from the cross section of the respondents, the team from Nandini Institute of Chemical Industries met selected stake holders to get the clarifications to the extent necessary.

This article further describes the following details:

  • Response
  • Findings of the Study
  • Sense of fear amongst chemical industries
  • Inadequate facilities
  • Technology issues
  • Vested interests have field day
  • Social activists and environmentalists-Their profile
  • Views of the environmentalists
  • Role of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board
  • Delay of projects
  • The suggestion for future
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Frequent Job Switch could be counter productive
  • Update on Carbon Trading
  • Safety and Accident Page
  • Anti Dumping Page
  • Update on Biofuel
  • News Round Up-International/India
  • China News
  • New Projects for Polyamide
  • Dimethyl Ether Project in Chile
  • Petrochemical page
  • ICIS Innovation Awards – 2006
  • Non-Phthalate Plasticisers developed by BASF
  • Research Efforts on Biocatalyst
  • Biodiesel Prices
  • Detecting Explosives with Carbon Dioxide Laser
  • Hydrogen Storage-Technology Development
  • Non-Silicon Technology for Fuel Cell Markets-Efforts of Konarka Technolgoies, USA
  • Technology Development-International/India
  • Patent Page-International
  • Technology Development Efforts of CLRI
  • Titanium Sponge
  • Natural Vanilla Industry at the Cross Roads
  • Agrochemical Page –International/India
  • Update on Biotechnology
  • Coal Exploitation in Orissa
  • Pesticide News
  • Pharma Page-International/India
  • Environmental Page-International/India
  • Energy Page-International/India
  • Price Details-International
  • New Projects-International
  • Directory of Chemical Industries in China-Manufacturers, Trading Houses and Promotional Organisations- Part XXXXIII
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code – Part LXVIII
  • Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port During the Month of July 2006
  • Chemicals Imported at Visakhapatnam Port During the Month of September 2006
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