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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Oct 2006

Formic acid|Lithium Hexafluorophosphate|HFC-134A|Explosives trace
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
TECHNOLOGY FOR HFC-134A
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALTY CHEMICAL: LITHIUM HEXAFLUOROPHOSPHATE
FOCUS ON FORMIC ACID
PORTABLE EXPLOSIVE DETECTOR - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES REMAIN UNEXPLOITED IN INDIA

These days, it is common to see the project promoters running from pillar to post to identify projects for investment in the medium and large scale sector. While a number of opportunities do exist based on the country’s resources, the project promoters still keep searching as they are reluctant to invest in unexplored areas and in the fields that call for research and development efforts and innovative methods. In the process, they keep on looking for role models from advanced countries, both with regard to the product range and technology sources. While some do succeed by such an approach, many others keep searching for opportunities endlessly and lose valuable time in the process.

A careful study and look at the growth profile of Indian chemical projects during the last several years would indicate the fact that it is one of missed opportunities. A careful forward planning is the sure way to set up globally competitive projects that would propel the country into pivotal level in the global chemical scenario. A few number of obvious project opportunities are given below.

India possesses around 14% of the global reserves of ilmenite though India’s production of Titanium dioxide pigment is hardly 1% of the total world production of more than 4.5 million tonnes per annum.

India has large cultivation areas of maize and tapioca. Particularly with regard to tapioca cultivation, India can become a world leader. 80% of the Indian cultivation of tapioca is done in Tamil Nadu and the tapioca industry in the state and in the country is in distress situation. Tapioca based starch can be the raw material for the production of valuable derivative products such as Modified starch, Dextrose Monohydrate, Glucose, Sorbitol, Mannitol and others. Unfortunately, India is yet to emerge as a significant producer of these products in the global market. On the other hand, the entire Indian requirement of Mannitol is presently imported due to lack of indigenous capacity.

There are large deposits of Magnesite ore in several states in the country including Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Magnesite is a valuable ore from which the Dead Burnt Magnesite is produced for use in refractories. Instead of being an exporter of Dead Burnt Magnesite, India is now a large level importer of Dead Burnt Magnesite and the import is going up every year.The reason for this dismal situation is that the MgO content in the Indian Magnesite deposits are steadily going down due to relentless exploitation over the last several decades. What is urgently needed is the large scale setting up Magnesite beneficiation projects, which have not been done.

Sometime back, a large scale Sea Water Magnesia project was set up by Birla group in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of over Rs.3000 million based on sea water. Unfortunately, this project could not be satisfactorily commissioned and the Birla group ultimately scrapped the project, selling equipment piecemeal and losing million of rupees in the venture. The problem for the plant was uneconomic capacity and teething problems in commissioning which could have been overcome. This project is a case of lack of commitment and determination to overcome the difficulties, which amount to running away from the issues.

The agro chemicals is an area that provides enormous opportunities to produce value added chemicals which can be effective substitutes for petrochemicals and synthetic products. The herbal industry in India still remains immatured with inadequate focus and efforts but only tall talks and seminar discussions.

The jatropha based biodiesel project is a subject that have been extensively discussed and debated from the level of President of India to the common man,. But, still nothing big has happened, with Government of India unable to come to grips with regard to the problems.

Cane molasses is a valuable feedstock from which very important chemicals can be produced such as L-Lysine, Citric acid, Oxalic acid etc. Unfortunately, the entire Indian requirement of L Lysine is met by imports and Oxalic acid is produced from valuable sugar and Citric acid is produced from starch. The non exploitation of the resources of molasses for production of value added derivative products reflects badly on the Indian technology efforts and the approach of project promoters in India.

TECHNOLOGY FOR HFC-134A

EFFORTS OF INDIAN INSTITUTE OF CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY , HYDERABAD

Contributed by: Dr. S. Narayan Reddy, Head, Fluoroorganic Division, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are considered as wonder chemicals of 20th century because of their wide range of use in refrigeration, air conditioning, foam blowing and so on.

In late 70.s, research carried out in atmospheric sciences identified the role of CFCs on the destruction of ozone layer in the stratosphere region as they have long life times in atmosphere and high stability. Thus, when CFCs are exposed to UV light, they decompose into chlorine radicals and reacts with ozone to form oxygen by chain mechanism. It is estimated that, each chlorine radical destroys 105 molecules of ozone.

In response to Montreal Protocol to phase out CFCs, technology for the manufacture of HFC-134a was developed by few multinational companies of the developed countries. These companies have established manufacturing facilities mainly in USA, UK, France and Japan. According to Ozone Operation Resource Group, the transfer of this technology may cost US $ 20 to 25 million as technology fee. The terms were beyond the resource potential of Indian fluorocarbon industry who have accordingly been looking for a competent Indian agency for sourcing the technology.

This article further discusses the following details:

  • Work at Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
  • Laboratory/Bench scale studies
  • Studies on Pressure reactor
  • Separation and Purification of HFC-134a
  • II Pilot plant studies
  • Hazchem code-Application in India
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL: LITHIUM HEXAFLUOROPHOSPHATE

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

Lithium Hexafluorophosphate is a hygroscopic white powder.It decomposes easily with moisture.

Lithium Hexafluorophosphate is mainly used for Lithium-ion batteries electrolyte solution

CAS Number

21324-40-3

Formula

LiPF 6 Specification

Specification

Purity, %

99.90 min

HF, ppm

100 max

Moisture, ppm

10 max

Insolubles, ppm

300 max

Na, ppm

3 max

Fe, ppm

5 max

Ni, ppm

5 max

K, ppm

3 max

Cl, ppm

2 max

SO 4 , ppm

5 max

Handling

The product should be used only in dry atmosphere

Stability

The Lithium Hexafluorophosphate is stable but readily hydrolyzes upon exposure to water or moist air. It is incompatible with strong oxidizing agents and strong acids.

Toxicology

The product is harmful if swalowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. It is very destructive of mucous membranes.

MANUFACTURING PROCESS

Gaseous phosphorus pentafluoride or a gaseous mixture comprising phosphorus pentafluoride and hydrochloric acid and a solution of lithium fluoride in hydrofluoric acid is reacted to give Lithium Hexafluorophosphate. 

This article further discusses the following details:

  • Global Manufacturers
  • Prospects and Demand
  • Degussa’s Projects
FOCUS ON FORMIC ACID

Formic acid is both a carboxylic acid and an aldehyde. In some reactions Formic acid behaves like an aldehyde.

In recent times, several application areas have been developed for Formic Acid, particularly in silage and animal feed sector. This focus issue discusses about the Formic Acid scenario.

This article contains the following details:

  • General Details
  • Product application
  • Consumption Norm for Formic acid in selected application sector
  • Process Flow
  • Global scenario
  • Global Supply scenario
  • Major Global Producers
  • Demand drivers
  • Global Market Scenario
  • Regulations Impacting the Industry
  • Use of Formic acid in Agriculture sector/Silage
  • Use of Formic acid in Animal feed sector-Recent practices
  • Indian Scenario
  • Indian Manufacturers
  • Import details
  • Export details
  • CIF Price Trend for Imported Product
  • Demand drivers
  • Estimated Demand – Period 2006
  • Growth rate in demand
PORTABLE EXPLOSIVES DETECTOR - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

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

Portable explosives trace detectors with comprehensive explosive detection capabilities are being developed which traces both particulates and vapors, allowing for non-invasive searches of luggage, mail, vehicles, documents and containers etc. The detectors are highly sensitive, accurate and versatile non-contact screening systems.

Some latest advances towards the development of portable explosives detector are summarized in this article.

  • Vapour Trace System
  • Silver Nanowires
  • Micro Electro Mechanical Sensors
  • Future Possibilities
OTHER STORIES

DEVELOPMENTS IN WASTE WATER TREATMENT PROCESSES

Wastewater treatment plants requiring upgrade have a range of advanced technologies available to achieve improved effluent quality. Membrane filtration systems,protected by Self Cleaning Filter (SCF) screening systems, can dramatically improve solids and COD effluent quality when installed in-line with the existing plant, while new build MBR systems installed in parallel with existing plants can allow flexible capacity expansion.

Adsorptive media flow-through systems can be used to achieve a tertiary polishing of metals, COD and phosphate, while also improving effluent colour and odour.

Continuous gas monitoring can be a reliable way to confirm effective nitrification in biological treatment systems, mitigating ammonia discharge consent failure and combined sludge thickening and dewatering units save space.

Using all these new technologies, plants nowadays have a wide range of technologies at their disposal with which to reuse wastewater for potable and industrial consumption, instead of simply discharging it.

This article contains the following details:

  • Advance unit processes
  • New Technology to save space
  • GE’s ZeeWeed UF treatment system
  • SCF and Membrane technology in Singapore
OTHER ARTICLES
  1. Anti Dumping Page
  2. Global Trend Towards Nuclear Power
  3. Progress in Ethanol Front
  4. Fly ash utilization-Efforts of NTPC
  5. Update on Biofuel
  6. Safety and Accident Page
  7. Pilot plant for Polypropylene
  8. China News
  9. News Round up-India/International
  10. Precipitated Silica-Global Scenario
  11. Herbal page
  12. Petrochemical Page
  13. Pesticide Page
  14. Technology Development-International/India
  15. Update on Biotechnology
  16. Update on Nanotechnology
  17. Update on Carbon trading
  18. Update on Electronic chemical
  19. Agri Products Page-International/India
  20. Pharma Page-Internationa/India
  21. India losing out to China on pharma R & D Finds of the Study
  22. Environmental Page-International/India
  23. Energy Page-International/India
  24. International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code – Part LXVII
  25. New Projects-International
  26. Directory of Chemical Industries in China-Manufacturers, Trading Houses and Promotional Organisations- Part XXXXII
  27. Price Details-International/India
  28. Business Opportunities
  29. Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port During the Month of June 2006
  30. Chemicals Exported at Visakhapatnam Port During the Month of August 2006
  31. Chemicals Imported at Visakhapatnam Port During the Month of August 2006
  32. Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port During the Month of July 2006
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