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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Oct 2008

Starch industry|Dimethyl ether|Nonyl phenol|Dodecyl phenol|biofuels
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
GLOBAL STARCH INDUSTRY TRENDS
DIMETHYL ETHER - UNEXPLOITED OPPORTUNITY IN INDIA
NONYL PHENOL / DODECYL PHENOL - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
NATIONAL POLICY ON BIOFUELS GOING IN CIRCLES
OTHER ARTICLES

Talk of the Month

HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF CHEMICAL NEWS?

Chemical industries around the world are moving at great pace. Several technology development efforts, innovative shop floor practices, optimization of design and process parameters, introduction of new equipments etc. are all being made around the world .

It is often found these days that two companies compete with one another in one region and the same two companies collaborate in another region at the same time. Chemical industries are becoming global in character and they can not any more function in water tight compartments.

With the chemical Industries becoming global in character and outlook, it is not desirable for any chemical company in any part of the world to remain isolated, without keeping track of such developments in chemical industries elsewhere and in other parts of the world.

Apart from technological and other related developments in chemical industries, mergers and acquisitions are also taking place very frequently. The price fixing strategies are decided these days by individual companies based on various inner related global factors.

To survive and prosper in such global context, it is imperative that every chemical industry and the professionals serving in the chemical industries, whether technical or managerial, have to keep themselves informed with chemical news on day to day basis.

The chemical professionals, who are busy with the day to day responsibilities often find that they do not have time to study the details of development in depth and are hard pressed to keep themselves adequately informed. They really face the risk of missing details on vital developments, which may be of great significance to them in their area of work.

In such circumstances, it is necessary that the chemical industries and the chemical professionals should evolve a strategy to keep track of such fast pace developments in the chemical industrial sector around the world. The question is as to how to achieve this objective in the present times, when information and data on developments are pouring in from all corners of the globe.

For the chemical industries and chemical professionals, the only way to keep track of such developments is to subscribe related technical journals and study them carefully, apart from attending seminars and symposiums whenever such events take place.

Further, a well organized and continuously updated data base to quickly retrieve the information that would be required from time to time is necessary.

In this context, every chemical industry has to necessarily have an exclusive functionary in the organization, for keeping track of information and maintain them for the benefit of everyone in the company.

Librarian is perhaps the most appropriate functionary to carry out the task to meet such requirement. Obviously, it implies that the librarian should have some level of understanding of the technology, market and other details relating to chemical industries internationally. Such data base management job cannot any more be a job for a generalist. The data base maintenance has to be recognized 
as one of the important functions in every organization and dedicated team has to be trained and developed and maintained for this purpose.

With great advancement in information technology, the job of maintaining the data base is fairly manageable, in spite of huge availability of data and information from everywhere.

Unfortunately, it is evident that most of the chemical industries in India do not attach adequate importance for this vital task. It is often seen that the industries are running from pillar to post to get information and they spend substantial time, energy and investment in sourcing such information.On many occasions, they find that the data and information are not available to them when they need them most.

By managing a constantly updated and well maintained data base, the job of identifying and sourcing data and information would become easier and also cost effective.

GLOBAL STARCH INDUSTRY TRENDS

Starch is a complex carbohydrate (polysaccharide, a chain of many glucose molecules) and is derived from plant sources.

Starch can be hydrolysed into simpler carbohydrates by acids, enzymes or a combination of both. The extent of conversion is typically quantified by dextrose equivalent. (DE).

Starches are modified for various reasons including the following
* To increase stability against excessive heat, acid and freezing
* To change the texture
* To lengthen or shorten gelatinisation time.

Some of the modified starches and their characteristics are given below :

Modified starch

Characteristics

Alkaline modified starch

Stabilizer and thickening agent

Bleached starch

Stabilizer and thickening agent

Oxidized starch

Emulsifier and thickening agent

Acetylated oxidised starch

Emulsifier and thickening agent

Monostarch phosphate

Stabilizer and thickening agent

Distarch phosphate

Stabilizer and thickening agent

Phosphated distarch

Stabilizer and thickening phosphate agent

Acetylated distarch

Emulsifier and phosphate thickening agent

Distarch glycerine

Stabilizer and thickening agent

Hydroxy propyl starch

Emulsifier and thickening agent

Starch is used in its native form, modified form and in its derivatives form.

Starches for the paper industry, for textiles, pharmaceutical use and other chemical uses may be acid or alkali treated and they may also be modified with oxidising agents, salts and different alcohols.

Modified starch is used as a thickening agent, stabiliser or an emulsifier.

Apart from food products, modified starch is also used in pharmaceuticals.

Various elements of the starch molecule may be substituted with a range of other chemicals to produce chemically modified starches classified generally as starch esters and ethers. These are used in both food and non-food applications’ for example in the form of cationic starch in the paper industry and in the form of acetylated starch in the food industry.

This article further discusses the following details :

  • Sectorwise application
  • Starch industry structure
  • Cost factors
  • Speciality starch
  • Factors relating to storage and transportation
  • Demand for modified starch
  • Demand drivers
  • Growth rate
  • Future growth rate
  • Likely growth rate 2011
DIMETHYL ETHER - UNEXPLOITED OPPORTUNITY IN INDIA

Dimethyl ether (DME) is a colorless gas under normal pressure. Its physical properties are similar to LPG and it has excellent combustion behavior.

DME as fuel has comprehensive advantages over LPG, natural gas, methanol and ethanol.

There is considerable market space for DME to replace petroleum products such as LPG and diesel in India.

Substitute for LPG as domestic fuel

LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is now largely used as domestic fuel in India

DME is similar to LPG in property and liquefied DME has many advantages as a domestic fuel.

As DME contains oxygen, it burns completely with no residual liquid and the tail gas conforms to the environmental standard. As the pressure of liquefied DME can meet the requirements of LPG at normal temperature, it can be stored in LPG cylinders and is safer than LPG in storage, transportation and use.

This article further discusses the following details :

  • Blend with coal gas
  • Substitute for alcohol based fuel
  • Fuel for diesel engine
  • Process for DME from coal
  • Process for DME from biomass
  • Project in Japan
  • Project in Egypt
  • Toyo Engineering - Licensor of technology
  • Incentive programmes in China
  • Consumption pattern of DME in China
  • Transportation of DME by pipeline in China
  • Price factors
  • Important producers in China
  • Projects under planning/implementation
NONYL PHENOL / DODECYL PHENOL - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

NONYL PHENOL

Appearance  

  Pale Yellow liquid

Molecular formula

     C15H24O

CAS No.  

84852-15-3

Odour   

Slight characteristic phenolic odour

Viscosity

Comparatively high viscosity than phenol

Solubility   

Soluble in benzene, chlorinated solvents, aniline, heptane, aliphatic alcohols, ethylene glycol

Product applications - Nonyl phenol

The major application of Nonyl phenol is for the production of Nonyl Phenol – Ethylene oxide

Condensates for application as non ionic surfactants which on subsequent sulphonation yield anionic surfactants.

DODECYL PHENOL

Appearance

The technical is amber- coloured whereas distilled dodecyl phenol is colourless.

Molecular formula

C18H30O

CAS No.

27193-86-8

Vapour pressure

Low

Water solubility

Very low

Product Specification

Colour, ASTM- D 1500, (max.)

3.0

Para Dodecyl Phenol, plus lower alkyl phenols, percent by mass, (min)

98.00

Dialkyl Phenols,percent by mass, (max.)

1.8

Phenol, percent by mass, (max.)

0.05

Water content, percent by mass, (max.)

0.05

Specific Gravity, 27deg.C/27 deg.C

0.935 ± 0.005

Hydroxyl Percent

6.15 to 6.57

This article contains the following details

  • Product application
  • Consumption norm in selected application sectors
  • Import/Export details
  • Antidumping duty on Nonyl phenol
  • Indian manufacturer
  • Major consuming sector and growth
  • Environmental issues
  • EU legislation on Nonylphenols
  • Substitution possibility for alkyl phenol ethoxylate
  • Demand for Nonyl phenol
  • Demand for Dodecyl phenol
  • Global scenario
  • Prognosis
NATIONAL POLICY ON BIOFUELS GOING AROUND IN CIRCLES

The national policy on biofuels, which was approved by the Union cabinet, would encourage bio-diesel plantations on wastelands and biodiesel plantations on fertile irrigated lands would be discouraged. The biodiesel production will be sourced oily from non-edible oilseeds in waste or degraded marginal lands.

An indicative target of 20% by year 2017 for blending of biofuels namely bio-ethanol and bio-diesel has been proposed. The draft of the policy, prepared by the ministry of new and renewable energy, was considered by a group of ministers chaired by Union agriculture minister along with the Planning Commission and other members, before being recommended to the Cabinet.

Focus would be on indigenous production of biodiesel feedstock. The import of free fatty acid based oils and palms would not be permitted. Oil marketing companies will have to purchase bio-ethanol at a minimum purchase price (MPP), based on actual cost of production and import price of bio-ethanol. In case of bio-diesel, MPP should be linked to prevailing retail diesel price. The policy also envisages that biodiesel and bioethanol would be brought under the ambit of declared goods by the government to ensure unrestricted movement of biofuels all over the country.

This article further described as follows

  • Coordination Committee
  • Ethanol-blended petrol plan likely to be deferred
  • Proposal for pilot project
  • Spurt in alcohol prices
  • Shortage in alcohol availability
  • Railways reconsider plan for jatropha plantation
  • Initiatives of private sector
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Update on Biofuel industry
  • Efforts to Boost Uranium Mining
  • Anti Dumping Page
  • News Round Up – International & India
  • Technology Developments – International & India
  • Wind Power – R&D Efforts of Vestas
  • Agro Chemical Industry Page – International & India
  • Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port during the month of June 2008
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