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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Jan 2008

Photovoltaic|Propylene|VAM|Synthetic vanillin|Herbal tea|Stevia
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
GLOBAL PHOTOVOLTAIC INDUSTRY – PROFILE
FOCUS ON GLOBAL SCENARIO FOR BUILDING BLOCKS PROPYLENE
VINYL ACETATE MONOMER PRODUCT PROFILE
SYNTHETIC VANILLIN - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
HERBAL TEA WITH STEVIA
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

IS THERE A DECLINE IN INDIAN CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING SECTOR?

Considering the level of technology developed and adopted in the developed countries and the need to be globally competitive in the present era of liberalization and globalisation, Indian manufacturing sector, on the whole, appears to be feeling somewhat nervous and diffident. In short, there appears to be a crisis of confidence among the manufacturing sector in India particularly in the fast changing chemical industry.

The other two units in South India namely Madras Fertilisers Ltd. in Chennai and FACT in Kerala are in doldrums and face the threat of closure before long if appropriate revival and rehabilitation programmes for these units were not to be worked out by the Government of India immediately.

Further, as there is tremendous enthusiasm amongst the job seekers and investors to involve themselves in service oriented functions which appear to be having less risk and generally perceived to provide quicker results compared to the manufacturing sector, the progress and development of manufacturing sector are being considerably affected. In the long run, such trend would not do good to India, as it would result in wiping out the excellent benefits and knowledge gained over several decades in developing and stabilising the manufacturing industry. Lesser importance to the manufacturing sector as an investment activity and providing greater stress on service oriented investment activity would lead to weakening the basic structure and strength of the industries and the over all national economy itself in the long run . More than the services sector, manufacturing activity would only provide core strength to the task of building up a strong industry based economy.

The present conditions call for urgent measures and proactive policies to strengthen the manufacturing sector in chemical industries in all possible ways.

Perhaps, possibly one reason for the falling fortunes of chemical manufacturing sector in India is the reluctance of Indian industries to invest in technology, which is one of the pre conditions for the growth and optimisation of performance and progress of chemical industries. Continued focus in research and development activities with long term plans and carefully identified goals and targets are necessary.

There is always an element of risk involved in research and development functions and this is part of the challenges and opportunities facing the chemical industries. The reluctance to invest and labour hard in the research and development activities would be sure way of retarding the progress of chemical industries.

For a long period, India has been remaining by and large as mere buyer and recipient of technologies. There are not many claims in India for the development of basic technologies, though there have been some isolated instances of excellent and credit worthy achievements in the field. A large number of research and development bodies set up by the government and huge facilities created in several universities have not provided benefits commensurate with the investment made. As a matter of fact, the progress of chemical industry in the past have been only to the extent of technologies made available to the country by the multi national companies, that are based in developed countries .

With the globalisation of economy and not much restriction for transportation of products and goods from one country to the other, acquisition of technology in the specialised areas have become very difficult. The competitive technologies are not any more available for ready sale.

With technologies being not available and indigenous efforts proving to be unequal to the demand and requirement, the net result is that manufacturing sector in the country is getting neglected.

The technology crisis in India can be well realized, if one would know that India is unable to set up facilities for several chemical products which have demand in India and great prospects internationally, due to want of indigenous technology and difficulty in securing technology from abroad. There are many such products which include synthetic vanillin, coumarin, poly vinyl alcohol, titania slag etc. etc.

The Indian industries and the government should discuss this subject with great concern immediately and work out some long term strategies. A well coordinated approach between industries, government owned CSIR labs and universities are urgently called for.

Strengthening the manufacturing sector in the chemical industries in a meaningful way is possible only by encouraging strong indigenous technology development capability.

GLOBAL PHOTOVOLTAIC INDUSTRY – PROFILE

Worldwide, annual installations by the photovoltaic (PV) industry grew from 4,000MW in 2002 to 1.7GW in 2006, an average annual growth rate of over 42%.

According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, installations of new solar capacity in the US totalled 141MW in 2006, while the cumulative installed capacity of solar modules worldwide reached just below 7GW.

Currently, over 90% of global PV production is silicon wafer-based. Solar cell semiconductors can be made from other materials such as cadmium telluride and copper indium diselenide, but the easy transferability of silicon technology from the electronics industry and the long history of silicon based semiconductors make silicon by far the most popular material for solar cells.

Strong 40%+ PV industry growth began in 2003 and is yet to stop. The demand for silicon for PV cells has led to industry wide material shortages and increasing silicon feedstock prices.

This article further discusses the following details:

  • Installed capacity of selected players
  • Profile of Wacker Chemie & Hemlock
  • Cost of photovoltaic system
  • Industry trend
FOCUS ON GLOBAL SCENARIO FOR BUILDING BLOCKS PROPYLENE

Propylene is a colourless, flammable gas that forms explosive mixtures with air.

Propylene consumption is dominated by polypropylene (PP), which accounts for about 60% of global demand and has been the fastest growing of all the major propylene derivatives. Other important derivatives are acrylonitrile, oxo alcohols, propylene oxide, cumene and acrylic acid. Smaller uses are in oligomers, isopropanol and fine chemicals.

Propylene is a byproduct of the production process of ethylene through steam cracking of oil or natural gas.

It is a coproduct of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) at petroleum refineries. At present, propylene is produced mainly by two sources namely heavy feed crackers and fluidised catalytic crackers (FCCs) in refineries.

Supply scenario of propylene is likely to remain tight in the global market.

This article discusses the following details

  • Technology
  • Superflex process
  • Technology development by ExxonMobil
  • Methanol to propylene technology (MTP)
  • Propylur technology
  • New FCC catalyst additive improves propylene yield
  • OCT technology
  • Propylene from butane fractions
  • Catalytic cracking route to propylene
  • Propylene from synthesis gas
  • Ineo’s Innovene technology
  • Technology for higher propylene yield
  • Source of propylene supply
  • Likely global propylene sources by 2010
  • Scenario in USA
  • Scenario in Europe
  • Scenario in Asia
  • Scenario in Middle east
  • Global propylene capacity additions
  • Global demand
  • Growth CAGR – Period 2004 to 2009
  • Global demand scenario for propylene Period 2000-2009
  • Demand  by region
  • Prognosis
VINYL ACETATE MONOMER PRODUCT PROFILE

Alternate name                                VAM
Chemical formula                             C6H6O2
Appearance                                     Colourless, flammable liquid
Odour                                              Initially pleasant odour that quickly becomes sharp and irritating
Specific gravity at 20 Deg.C              0.9338
Viscosity at 20 deg.CmPa.s(=cP) 0.42

Specification

Name of the producer : Celanese Corporation

Description

Specification

Appearance

Colorless liquid with a pungent odor.

Water solubility, grams/liter

23

Density, grams per milliliter

0.934

Boiling point

72.7 deg.C

Application

VAM is used in manufacture of polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl butyral, polyvinyl formal and acrylic fibres and several copolymers.

VAM is an important ingredient in emulsion polymers, resins and intermediates which are used in textiles, paints, paper, adhesives, special wood adhesives, lamination adhesives, Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) tape adhesives, pressure sensitive adhesives etc.

Application sector (End product)

Nature of application of end product

 

Adhesives

Used in adhesives, either as homopolymer or as copolymer with other monomers.

Polyvinyl acetate

Emulsions & Pigment binders.

Used in paints, paper, textiles etc. used in chewing gum base

Polyvinyl alcohol

Adhesives,Textile finishes, Films and fibres

Polyvinyl butyral

Surface Coatings Adhesives

Copolymers

Phonograph records
Copolymers Tiles lacquers
Safety glasses

This article also contains the following details:

Global scenario

  • Global production capacity
  • Pattern of regionwise capacity
  • Important global producers and their installed capacity
  • New projects under planning/implementation
  • Capacity utilization
  • Global demand supply scenario
    • Historical global demand
    • Present demand
  • Pattern of demand
  • Regionwise demand
  • Projected demand supply scenario

Indian scenario

  • Indian producers and their installed capacity
  • Demand/supply
  • Annual imports & countrywise imports
  • Technology
SYNTHETIC VANILLIN - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Vanillin is in the form of white crystalline powder with pleasant aromatic vanilla odour and taste. It is non hygroscopic in nature.

Vanillin is an important perfumery additive and food flavouring agent, giving off a rich perfume and keeping a sweet smell locked in as well. It is widely used in industries such as foodstuffs, cosmetics, tobacco, pharmaceuticals and feed additives.

Product specification
Appearance                   White to slightly yellow crystals
Chemical formula           C5H4O3
Chemical name              ( 4 - h y d r o x y - 3 m e t h o x y benzaldehyde)
Assay                            Min. 99.5%
Loss on drying               Max.0.5%
Residue on ignition         Max. 0.05%
Arsenic (as As)              Max.3 ppm
Heavy metals                Max.10 ppm

Product application

 Vanillin is used for providing aroma for

  • Chocolate, ice-cream, confectionery, cocoa drinks, soft drinks, bakery goods and other food products
  • Perfume and fragrance formulations for personal care, detergence and others
  • Food flavour formulations for the food industry
  • Vanillin is also used as a pharmaceutical intermediate

In addition to its use as a constituent of perfumes, vanillin has become important as deodorant to mask the unpleasant odour of many manufactured goods like wearing apparel, rubber goods, paper products and plastics etc.

In carefully controlled dosages, it is a useful sweetening agent, fixative, modifier and blender.

This article further discusses the following details :

  • Substitution possibilities
  • Indian manufacturer
  • Indian imports
  • Indian demand
  • Pattern of demand
  • Price behaviour
  • Technology
  • Technology developments
  • Outline of alternate process
  • Global scenario
    • Global demand
    • Growth rate in demand
    • New Projects
    • Demand in China
  • Prognosis
HERBAL TEA WITH STEVIA

Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is a herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the Asteraceae family.  It is native to the oriental region of Paraguay.

The leaves of Stevia plant are 20-30 times sweeter than the regular sugar we use. Apart from being natural unlike other sweeteners, it is also found to be zero calorie.

The crop was first established in Japan in 1968. By mid-1970s, standardized extract and pure stevioside was utilized commercially in Japan for sweetening and flavouring foods and beverage as a substitute for several synthetic sweeteners.

The crop has been introduced in several countries, including Brazil, Korea, Mexico, USA, Indonesia, Tanzania, India and Canada.

This article further discusses the following details :

  • Benefits of Stevia
  • Herbal tea with stevia
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Unemployability Amongst Engineers - Who Is Responsible?
  • Deepwater Kg-D6 Gas Field - A Challenging Project
  • Indian Fertiliser Industry Appeals To Government For Support
  • Government’s Policy Initiative On Single Super Phosphate
  • Cost Of Urea
  • India’s Bioresources For Metabolites
  • Safety Aspects Of Biotech Products
  • Safety And Accident Page
  • Anti Dumping Page
  • Update On Carbon Trading
  • Us “B99” - Proceeds Of The European Bio Diesel Board
  • Update On Biofuel
  • Update On Nanotechnology
  • Wind Energy From Off Shore
  • Myanmar Gas - India’s Lost Opportunity
  • LNG Supply Scenario
  • Sourcing LNG From Middle East
  • An Alternative To Corn Ethanol In USA
  • Ethanol Offtake For Blending Falls Well Short Of The Target
  • Prospects For Technical Textiles In India
  • Architectural Textiles - Exciting Possibilities
  • Technology Development Efforts
  • Strategic Crude Oil Reserves In India
  • Pipes Supply Crunch Faced By Oil & Gas Sector
  • World Bank Debars Two Indian Pharma Firms For Corruption
  • Boiler Inspector Raj Ended
  • China News
  • News Round Up - International
  • News Round Up - India
  • Technology Development
  • Pharma Page
  • Agro Chemical Page
  • Environmental Page
  • Energy Page
  • Business Opportunities
  • Tender
  • Ask For The Chemical Facts Free
  • New Projects - International
  • Price Details - International
  • Directory Of Chemical Industries In China
  • Chemicals Imported At Chennai Port During The Month Of September 2007
  • Chemicals Imported At Chennai Port During The Month Of October 2007
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