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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Aug 2009

MTBE|Polyphenylene sulphide|MOC Etomidate|Emamectin Benzoate
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS ON MTBE
POLYPHENYLENE SULPHIDE – PRODUCT PROFILE
MOC ETOMIDATE – AN ANAESTHETIC DRUG
NEW GENERATION PESTICIDE : EMAMECTIN BENZOATE - PRODUCT PROFILE
NUTRIENT-BASED FERTILISER SUBSIDY SCHEME
FERTILISER COMPANIES FLOATING ON SUBSIDIES
INDIAN TECHNICAL TEXTILE INDUSTRY AT THE CROSS ROADS
REGULAR FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

NEED FOR SPECIALISED PROGRAMME 
IN CHEMICAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

With the rapid development in the technology front, global chemical industries have forged ahead in the recent years, though they have also been checkmated due to the issues relating to environmental and ecological aspects.

With the need to optimize the cost of production to ensure that the sale price of chemical products would remain within the reach of the consumers, many subtle changes in the process parameters of the chemicals are continuing to be developed and introduced. With the development of many chemicals for variety of applications, substitution possibilities have become vital factor in chemical industries.

Successful research and development efforts have become a necessary condition for the chemical industry to stay in the competitive market and improve their standards.

It is seen that most of the forward looking steps in chemical industries have been initiated in the developed countries and in China in recent years.

The developing countries around the world have been largely remaining as recipients of technology and chemical products, without being in a position to set up projects of competitive size at requisite quality and cost standards.

In such circumstances, cross border of chemical trade is now playing very important role in the management of the global chemical industries.

All such conditions clearly indicate the need for introduction of dynamic management practices in chemical industries, whether they are located in the developed or developing countries. Such management practices have to be necessarily fine tuned for each individual sector of chemical industry, such as petrochemicals, fertilizers etc. depending on the combination of factors and situations prevailing in the particular region. Obviously, the type of management practices in chemical industries adopted in developed country can not be simply repeated in a developing country,which have much less per capita income and also different kind of consumer expectations and technology standards.

In view of the technology issues involved and several interdependent factors confronting the chemical industries, chemical business management has become highly specialized subject in the recent years. Chemical business manager has to be a versatile person with several attributes and expertise in different areas such as technology, process management, marketing, public relation, environmental issues, regulations, etc.

In recent times, it is common to hear the chemical industries in India complaining about the unemployability amongst those seeking jobs in chemical industries. This is particularly so, in the case of fresh candidates whether in science or engineering subjects, who lack over all understanding of the problems confronting the chemical industries, issues and challenges faced and the prospects ahead of them.

A few decades back, chemical industries had the practice of routinely taking management trainees and putting them on job training for a period of one or two years before providing them full time responsibility in the job functions. While a few industries continue to adopt such practices of recruiting trainees and providing them management orientation programme, many industries do not do so anymore. This may be due to cost factors involved and special facilities that need to be created for providing such training.

Though number of management institutes have now cropped all over India, none of them have any exclusive training programme for those who operate in the chemical industries. The management institutes largely provide training in general management practices and do not cover specific requirements of particular industrial sector such as chemical industries, metallurgical industries, biotechnology industries etc.

The management institutes have the peculiar condition of having no uniformity in the qualification of the people seeking admission for the courses or uniformity amongst passed out candidates in taking up job positions and in the career choices.

There is great need for providing integrated chemical management programme to those seeking jobs in chemical industries at managerial level.

Such courses have to be offered by highly specialized agencies who have good understanding of chemical plant operations around the world as well as in India.

The chemical industry management programme should cover various aspects including profile of the various sectors of industries such as fertilizers, sugar, paper, petrochemicals etc. It should also focus on market research, methodology of identification of project opportunities, technology appraisals.

There are many issues like environmental aspects, regulations in different countries with regard to trade and certification procedures etc. which have to be clearly understood by the students of the chemical industry management programme. There are also other aspects like research and development status, infrastructure issues, WTO and antidumping regulations, which are vital matter that should be known to a chemical business manager. Finally, project management skills, communication skills, inter personal behaviour skills and report writing have to be taught.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS ON MTBE

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is one of the group of chemicals commonly known as oxygenates, which are used to raise the oxygen content of gasoline and it is used as a fuel component in motor gasoline.

MTBE is an ideal octane booster and became important due to the introduction of unleaded grades of gasoline and awareness of the possible harm caused by aromatic high octane components.

This articles discusses the following details:

  • Application
  • Demand drivers
  • Global use pattern of MTBE
  • Environmental issues
  • US Scenario
  • Scenario in Asia/China
  • Scenario in China
  • Indian scenario
  • Scenario in Europe
  • Netherlands
  • Technology development
  • Polyisobutylene is an alternative to MTBE
  • Alkylates as alternative to MTBE
  • Global outlook
POLYPHENYLENE SULPHIDE – PRODUCT PROFILE

Polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) is an engineering plastic. It offers excellent chemical and thermal resistance, high hardness, rigidity and dimensional stability and low creep and moisture absorption. It is often used instead of metals and thermosets.

In the electrical and electronic sector , PPS exhibits favorable electrical properties and resistance to heat and chemicals. PPS is used to make electrical connectors and sockets, switch parts, micro-fuse bases and brush holders in motors. It also has good insulating properties.

Applications

PPS is mainly used in anticorrosive coatings and injection moulded plastics.

PPS also finds significant use in a variety of industrial applications, including oil well drilling and petroleum and chemical processing.It is used in automobiles, electrical equipment and aircraft

PPS fiber felt is suitable for dedusting in thermal power plants, metallurgical units and garbage incineration units.

PPS is certified for medical, pharmaceutical and food use

This article discusses the following:

  • Regular PPS
  • Cured PPS
  • HMW linear PPS
  • HMW branched PPS
  • Profile of major producers
  • Global production
  • Global growth rate in demand
  • Process
MOC ETOMIDATE – AN ANAESTHETIC DRUG

A novel general anaesthetic developed by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) physicians may be safer for critically ill patients, says a report.

Almost all general anaesthetic agents reduce blood pressure immediately after they are administered.Though not a problem for young and healthy patients, it can have serious consequences for those who are elderly, critically ill or suffering from blood loss.

 Published in the journal Anesthesiology, the article describes the drug called MOCetomidate as a chemically altered version of an exiting anaesthetic that does not cause the sudden drop in blood pressure seen with most anaesthetics or prolonged suppression of adrenal gland activity, a problem with the original version of the drug.

It has been shown that making a version of etomidate that is broken down very quickly in the body reduces the duration of adrenal suppression while retaining etomidate’s benefit of keeping blood pressure much more stable than other anaesthetics do,” says lead researcher Dr. Douglas Raines, of the MGH Department
of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine.

Etomidate is often used to induce anaesthesia in such patients, but since adrenal suppression sets in quickly and can last for several hours to days, other agents are used to maintain anaesthesia during a procedure, requiring very careful monitoring to avoid dangerous blood pressure drops.

In their search for a safer version of etomidate, the researchers mimicked the chemical structure of other “soft analogue” drugs - derivatives of parent drugs designed to be rapidly metabolized - by adding a molecule that causes the drug to broken down by natural enzymes soon after producing its effects.

When the scientists conducted experiments on tadpoles and rats, they found that the new agent quickly produced anaesthesia from which the animals recovered rapidly after administration ceased. The rat study verified that MOC-etomidate had little effect on blood pressure levels and no effect on adrenal activity, even when administered at twice the dosage required to produce anaesthesia.

The researchers note that, since the study only examined the effect of a single dose of MOC-etomidate, their next step will be to study continuous infusion of the drug.

Despite the fact that general anesthetics are administered approximately 30 milliontimes per year and are some of the most beneficial drugs used in medicine, they  remain potentially dangerous because nearly all of them can have negative effects on critical functions such as breathing and blood pressure.

NEW GENERATION PESTICIDE : EMAMECTIN BENZOATE - PRODUCT PROFILE

As a biological insecticide with high effect, low toxicity, no hazards, no residue and environmental protection, emamectin benzoate is comparably effective in the control of many pests in crops. It has high effectiveness on larva of Lepidoptera and has special control effect especially on beet army worms and diamond back moths. It also has relatively high efficacy for ests like homoptera, thysanoptera coleopteran and mites.

Although emamectin benzoate has low biological toxicity and strong selectivity, the resistance develops quicker than similar pesticide spinosad. This is also a critical defect with biological pesticides.

This article contains the following details:

  • General details
  • Scenario in China
  • Indian scenario
  • Other new generation pesticides
NUTRIENT-BASED FERTILISER SUBSIDY SCHEME

The Government of India is set to kick-start the transition to a ‘nutrient based’ fertiliser subsidy regime along with a mechanism of direct transfers to farmers, as proposed in the Budget.

This article further discusses the subsidy scheme of nutrient based fertilizers.

FERTILISER COMPANIES FLOATING ON SUBSIDIES

For every Rs 100 of sales that domestic fertiliser companies clocked in 2008-09, no less than Rs 60 came from taxpayers’ money by way of subsidy.

Take, for instance, the Indian Farmers’ Fertiliser Cooperative (Iffco). For the year ended March 31, 2009, its revenues from sale of fertilisers totalled Rs.32,933.30 crore. Of this, subsidy payments made up Rs 25,545.60 crore (78 per cent), with only the balance Rs 7,387.70 crore being sales in the conventional sense.

This article further provides company-wise data on fertiliser sales.

INDIAN TECHNICAL TEXTILE INDUSTRY AT THE CROSS ROADS

Technical textile is a textile product manufactured for non-aesthetic purposes, where function is the primary criterion.

Technical textile is a value-added textile material used to enhance the life style of people such as hygiene products, textiles for automotive applications, medical textiles, geotextiles (reinforcement of embankments), agrotextiles (textiles for crop protection and protective clothing (eg, heat and radiation protection for fire fighter clothing, molten metal protection for welders, stab protection and bullet proof vests and spacesuits).

This article further discusses the following details

  • General details
  • Indian scenario
  • World market trends
  • Need for on action plan
REGULAR FEATURES

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

The antidumping measures introduced in  the various countries in the last few weeks on the following products are discussed

  • Polyethers
  • Methanol
  • Polyamide 6,6
  • Adipic acid
  • Citric acid
  • Glycine
  • Barium carbonate
  • Potassium carbonate
  • Vitamin C
  • Carbon black
  • Diethyl chlorothiophosphate
  • Glyphosate
  • Viscose fibres
  • Polyester stabled fibre
  • Phthalic anhydride
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Carnbon black

PLANT CLOSURES

The article discusses the plans for closure of selected units by the following players

  • Akzo may close peroxides facility in Germany
  • BASF to close polystyrene plant
  • Arkema closes MMA Plant
  • BASF to cut 3,700 jobs by 2013
  • Sunoco to close Marcus Hook Ethylene Unit
  • Air Products confirms U.K. plant closure
  • Lukoil closes ethanolamines plant
  • Dow and Croda to close capacities for EO/EG
  • Celanese to close acetic acid, VAM site in France
  • Bayer closes Baytown hydrochloric acid unit
  • Dow Chemical to shut more US plants

RUSSIAN FIRM SIBUR CONFIRMS PROJECT DELAYS

Sibur is Russia’s biggest producer of petrochemicals. The company has delayed or shelved all of its expansion projects due to the economic and financial issues. The company’s following projects are discussed

  • Polypropylene
  • PVC
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Gas cracker
  • Polyethylene

SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE

Following safety and accident details are discussed

  • Three killed as boiler breaks up in India
  • Ethyl acetate release at Dow plant causes stink
  • Explosion in Total, France
  • Ammonia plant fire
  • Blasts in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, India
  • Blast At China's Henan Luoran Company

UPDATE ON BIOFUEL

The following recent developments on biofuel industry are discussed

  • Budget measures for bio diesel in India
  • BP exits jatropha biofuel project
  • Anti dumping duty on biodiesel

NEWS ROUND UP

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:

INTERNATIONAL

  • Methionine
  • German companies from JV to build Carbondioxide liquefaction unit
  • Dow Chemical faces ethyl acrylate lawsuit
  • Technip wins contractsBio-ETBE
  • Oil shale project in China

INDIA

  • Potash cartel
  • India emerges 3rd largest consumer of natural rubber
  • R & D push for solar energy

CHINA NEWS

The recent developments on the following products/events are updated

  • Phosphoric acid facility
  • Synthetic ammonia project
  • Sodium chlorate project
  • Methionine project
  • Polysilicon project in inner Mongolia
  • Sodium silicate project
  • Trichlorosilane project
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide project
  • China blacklists eight cities, five power plants
  • China's output of main products in 2006 to 2008
  • Demand for main fine chemicals in China during 2011 to 2015

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

The recent developments on the following technology efforts are highlighted

  • Methanol could power artificial limbs of robots
  • Trees made in lab to capture CO2
  • Innovations for high performance wind power
  • Nanotechnology makes tyres last longer
  • Lanxess develops new rubber technology
  • Carbon dioxide utilization

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Salt tolerant crops
  • Genetically modified rice 'crucial in drought battle'

PRICE DETAILS – INTERNATIONAL

Global price trends on the following products are provided

  • Propylene oxide
  • Epichlorohydrin
  • Toluene di-isocyanate
  • Purified terephthalic acid
  • Phenol
  • Ethanol
  • Caustic soda
  • Styrene
  • Bulk chemical prices
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Privatisation Move Of Sugar Mills In UP
  • Progress Of Desalination Project In Chennai
  • Progress Of Solar PV Projects In India
  • ONGC Starts Crude Production Its Deep-Sea Project In Brazil
  • Pilot Plant For Carbon Dioxide-To-Ethanol
  • Methyl Halides From Landfill Bacteria
  • Sun’s Energy From The Sahara May Light Up Europe's Homes
  • Synthetic Latex Polymers In India Findings Of The Study
  • PVC Project Of Chemplast Sanmar
  • GAIL Plans To Invest Rs 8,000 Crore
  • Tender
  • New Projects – International
  • Chemicals Imported At The Chennai Port
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