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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Nov 2010

Indian energy scenario|Hydrogen sulphide|Guar gum|Imidacloprid
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH : INDIAN ENERGY SCENARIO CAUSES CONCERN
INDIAN ENERGY MISMANAGEMENT - FUNDAMENTALS OF INDUSTRY NOW THREATENED
TECHNOLOGY FOR REMOVING HYDROGEN SULPHIDE FROM WATER
GUAR GUM – PRODUCT PROFILE
IMIDACLOPRID – PRODUCT PROFILE
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN FLUORINE CHEMICALS - POLY TETRA FLUORO ETHYLENE (PTFE)
CHLORINATED POLYETHYLENE - PRODUCT PROFILE
DIETHYL PHENYL ACETAMIDE (DEPA)- A MULTI INSECT REPELLENT
SEAWEED INGREDIENT IN PROCESSED FOOD INDUSTRY
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL - ISOSORBIDE
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

INDIAN ENERGY SCENARIO CAUSES CONCERN

With the booming economy and steady growth in different sectors, the energy consumption in India is now going up by leaps and bounds.

To sustain the growth of the economy and over all industrial growth at the present tempo, availability of adequate energy resources such as fuel and power are vitally important. Any inability of the country to improve the availability of energy resources would derail the entire structure of the Indian economy. Therefore, it is highly necessary that thoughtful forward planning measures at adequate level have to be developed and implemented in strict time bound schedule to avoid the impending energy crisis.

Coal

The big anxiety facing the country is of course on the coal scenario, where production of coal is not being stepped up in tune with the demand. India is increasingly becoming dependent on import of coal to sustain it’s industrial operations and it is expected that the Indian import of coal would go up several fold in the coming years.

It is an indication of the serious state of affairs that the Coal India Ltd., which is the largest producer and supplier of coal in India, is itself turning to be an importer to sustain it’s supply level of coal in the country. Several industrial units that have large coal requirement are losing faith in the indigenous capability to step up the production of coal and are now taking steps to acquire strategic control in the coal mining industry abroad by acquisition and equity participation.

While Coal India is now taking desperate steps such as underground mining and reclaiming of abandoned mines, these steps are unlikely to meet the shortage of indigenous coal in the coming years. In other words, India’s dependence on international sources for supply of coal in future would be as serious on issue as that of the import dependence for natural gas and crude oil.

Crude oil

The scenario with regard to crude oil is also desperate, as there is no likelihood of indigeneous crude oil supply being stepped up in tune with the growth in the demand.

As a matter of fact, considering the new crude oil resources being discovered and developed and the depleting production in some of the existing oil wells, it may be difficult even to sustain the production of crude oil at the present level in the coming years.

Natural gas

While there have been big euphoria about natural gas discovery in the Krishna-Godavari Basin, it is now said that the production would not be stepped up beyond 60 mmscd until 2012 and the long term life of the well for the production of natural gas is yet to be precisely estimated.

India is now feverishly setting up LNG terminals at huge investment cost , that imply that the import of natural gas has to take place in increasing quantities for all time to come .

Increasing import dependence

Looking at the above scenario, there is an element of anxiety as to whether Indian industrial and production sector are being built without relating to the stable supply and availability of energy resources in the country.

With the demand for the energy resources steadily climbing up and indigenous production not being stepped up in proportionate manner, the import dependence may reach unacceptable level for energy resources like coal, natural gas and fuel in the immediate future.

Increasing dependence on import of energy would mean that the Indian industries and economy would become extremely vulnerable to the international price movements, price pressure and supply scenario,, creating an element of instability in the country’s industrial structure and national economy in the future.

Such high level of dependence on import can create crisis situation due to variety of reasons such as price hike and global supply shortage and it appears that such crisis period may not be far away from now for India.

Obviously, this unenviable situation calls for urgent identification of alternative energy options in the country, in tune with its strength and ground realities.

Nuclear power

The Government of India has pitched on to nuclear power option by developing plans for setting up number of nuclear power projects. But the government’s plans to set up such nuclear power projects may well contribute only to around 5% of the national projected requirement of power.

Even these nuclear power projects are shrouded in uncertainty. At this stage, one is not sure as to what would be the cost of nuclear power projects. The spare parts and fuel, whose cost are not known in precise terms at present, have to be imported. Ultimately, the cost of nuclear power generated may be so high, that it may end up like the situation of jumping from the frying pan to the fire.

Solar power

Government of India has set a target for generating 22000 MW solar power by 2020. While such plan has created widespread interest in the solar power project amongst investors, such solar power projects will only meet small part of country’s power requirement.

Raw material for generation of solar power namely polycrystalline silicon is not being produced in India at present and there is no polycrystalline silicon project in the advanced stage of planning or implementation in the country at present. Therefore, the requirement of polycrystalline silicon have to be entirely met by the imports by solar power projects and it’s price may go up , further boosting the cost of solar power.

What are the options now?

Given the fact that many of the energy sources as discussed above may not really be adequate and viable options, it is necessary to indulge in “out of the box” thinking to find solutions for the impending Indian energy crisis.

There are four options upon which the government should immediately apply it’s mind.

Hydroelectric projects

While hydroelectric project potentials in the country have been largely exploited, still there are considerable scope for setting up new hydroelectric projects, particularly in the north eastern states. A task force has to be constituted to clearly identify the hydroelectric project opportunities and workout the time schedule and take steps for implementation.

Jatropha biofuel

Jatropha biofuel projects have been given step motherly treatment , though it was talked about as possible solution for India’s fuel crisis a few years back.

The appropriate tropical climate in the country , large tract of land which suffer from lack of water availability and the potential for employment prospects point to the justification for exploiting Jatropha oil project opportunities to the fullest measure in the coming years.

This is something that could be achieved in the next five years, if there would be adequate will and commitment to the task on the part of the government.

Fuel from algae

India has to necessarily spend considerable time and investment in Research & Development work to develop technology for the production of fuel from algae.

Algae biofuel offers tremendous advantageous opportunities in view of the feasibility of growing algae in large quantity in India.

While sustained research efforts have been put forth in developing algae biofuel by multi national companies abroad like BASF keeping the futuristic opportunities in view, Indian efforts is at negligible level. The country appears to be losing time and opportunities in this field.

Shale gas

Shale gas is an important source for the production of natural gas that is being recognized all over the world. USA particularly has made enormous stride in this field. It has been shown that there are huge potential for the production of shale gas in India and some initial moves have been made.

Lethargic attitude could prove costly in future

The highly vulnerable scenario facing Indian energy front has to be recognized immediately by the government and the industries. Enormous efforts have to be put forth in research and development and setting up capacity particularly with regard to algae biofuel and shale gas.

If the country would be lethargic in its approach towards this grave problem of impending energy crisis,it could prove costly in the future, which the country can not afford.

INDIAN ENERGY MISMANAGEMENT - FUNDAMENTALS OF INDUSTRY NOW THREATENED

A cursory look at the Indian energy scenario would readily reveal the fact that India is now steadily moving towards a stressful period of energy crisis. What is even more alarming is the fact that adequate and innovative forward planning measures are yet to be implemented to face the impending energy crisis with the urgency that it deserves. It is unfortunate that many of the energy generation schemes of the Government of India are still in the formative and discussion stage and quite a number of schemes discussed in the past have not moved forward adequately.

While India is the fifth largest country in terms of power generating capacity in the world, with around 1,50,000 MW per annum, there is shortage of 10% power almost throughout the year in the country. The transmission and distribution loss of power is around 25% This means that one fourth of the power generated in the country goes away as loss. Obviously, the task of curbing the transmission and distribution loss is extremely important.

Unfortunately , with the present measures being implemented , it appears that the transmission loss will remain almost at the present level in the foreseeable future. Government’s lack of sense of urgency and strategy to tackle this problem causes concern.

If India were to maintain the GDP growth of 8% per annum in future,the power generating capacity has to be stepped up atleast by 12 to 13% per annum. In other words, the country has to build power generating capacity of 18,000 to 20,000 MW per annum every year . Considering the slippages in the implementation of the planned power projects during the IX, X and XI Five Year Plan period, building up such power capacity every year appears to be a tall task.

The government is announcing various schemes such as boosting solar power capacity by 20000 MW by 2022 which , considering the present progress looks like an utopian target. While the government is targeting such huge solar power capacity, India has no production capacity for poly crystalline silicon which is the starting material for the solar power production. For every MW of solar power capacity, 10 tonnes of poly crystalline silicon is required. Planning for solar power projects without creating capacity for poly crystalline silicon is similar to the act of putting the cart before the horse. The Indian dependence on import of poly crystalline silicon will be total.

The Government of India is targeting to set up number of nuclear power projects which call for import of technology and fuel. As on today, there is no clear indication as to what would be the cost of the nuclear power projects with the imported technology and reactors and what would be the cost of nuclear power generated.

It is expected that the cost of nuclear power can well be over Rs.17/- per unit. In the same way, the cost of solar power would also be more than Rs. 16/- per unit. Obviously, the consuming industries cannot afford to buy power at such price and will the government extend subsidy and to what extent ? The government of India has not explained its stand and strategies to the people.

India is now importing more than 60 million tonnes per annum of coking and non coking coal. With the Government of India setting a target of generating one lakh MW of additional power by 2020 and most of which are planned to be by coal based ultra mega thermal power projects, it is predicted that Indian import of coal will exceed 230 million tonnes in another ten years with the indigenous production of coal likely to go up only marginally. The price of coal are already going up in the global market and India will become extremely vulnerable to the international price and availability scenario for coal. Government of India has not revealed any strategy as to how it would tackle the situation , except companies like Coal India and some private units trying to acquire some mines abroad.

The crude oil production is virtually stagnant for the last several years and 90% of the Indian crude oil requirement by Indian petroleum refineries is now being met by imports.

The scenario is equally grim in the natural gas front with the country planning to import 20 million tonnes of LNG (liquefied natural gas ) by 2020, which itself would be inadequate.

The above figures at a glance only show the grim reality that the Indian economy and its fundamentals would be at the mercy of international energy supply scenario and the energy suppliers. Under the circumstances, India would cease to be a self reliant economy. With the fundamentals of Indian industry and economy being threatened by such huge import dependence on which the country would have no control, India is bound to suffer from an energy crisis that can potentially upset the stability of the economy and industries at any time in future.

While the situation is as grim as this, one wonders as to what the Government of India and the Planning Commission have in mind. They are announcing policies and programmes as if announcements are solutions. The ground reality is that the things are moving at inadequate pace and we seem to be approaching towards the impending energy crisis with sort of helplessness.

It is not that India does not have other self reliant options and the Government and the Planning commission are aware of the options, which include shale gas , algae biofuel, jatropha bio fuel , geo thermal energy, off shore wind energy project, gas hydrate , hydro electric project in the north eastern region , power from garbage etc.

With regard to all these options, the government is still in the planning and discussion stage and it does not seem to realize that seminars and conferences are no substitutes for actions on the ground.

Nandini Consultancy Centre has now released a publication “ INDIANENERGY MISMANAGEMENT - FUNDAMENTALS OF INDUSTRY NOW THREATENED” which discusses the challenges, opportunities and options in the energy front with facts and figues and explanatory note.

This timely publication consisting of around 100 pages will help in creating awareness amongst the country men about the severe energy crisis that is waiting to happen and the consequences from which people of India cannot escape.

TECHNOLOGY FOR REMOVING HYDROGEN SULPHIDE FROM WATER

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the taste and odour threshold for H2S in water should be as low as 0.05 mg/litre. Although oral toxicity data are lacking, it is unlikely that a person could consume a harmful dose of H2S in drinking water. As a consequence, WHO has not set a health-based guideline value of H2S in drinking water. UK regulations do not require hydrogen sulphide monitoring; however WHO makes it clear that H2S should not be detectable in drinking water by either taste or odour.

This article discusses the following details :

  • Measurement of H2S
  • Dissolved sulphide monitor
GUAR GUM – PRODUCT PROFILE

Guar gum is an edible thickening agent extracted from the guar bean. There is a food grade guar gum powder, which is authorized as food additive and used as a thickening, emulsifying, binding and gelling additive in a very wide range of foodstuffs. There exists also an industrial grade of guar gum powder for non-food uses.

Guar or cluster beans is a legume crop that grows in the semi-arid regions of India during kharif season. India is the major producer of guar seed and gum, making up 80 to 85 per cent of the total global supply.

Guar is primarily grown in Rajasthan, besides Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Guar gum is used as a thickening agent and additive in food products such as instant soups, sauces, processed meat products, baked goods, milk and cheese products, yoghurt and ice-creams. It finds use in industrial applications such as paper and textile sectors, ore flotation, explosives manufacture and fracturing of oil and gas formations.

While guar is seen as a vegetable in the South India , in North India , it is primarily used as raw material to produce guar gum.

This article discusses the following details :

  • Export demand
  • Price
  • Guidelines on exports of guar gum to EU from India
  • Certifying agency in India
  • Use for gene found in guar as food additive
IMIDACLOPRID – PRODUCT PROFILE

Appearance

White crystalline powder

Chemical name

1-(6-chloro-3-pyridylmethyl)-N-nitroimidazolidin-

2-ylideneamine

Classification

Neonicotinoid

Molecular formula

C9H10N5O2Cl

Odour

With slight odour

Solubility

Soluble in water. Miscible in n-hexane, dichloromethane, 2- propanol, toluene

This article discusses the following details :

  • Product specification
  • Application sector
  • Annual import
  • Annual export
  • Indian manufacturers
  • Process
  • Prognosis
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN FLUORINE CHEMICALS - POLY TETRA FLUORO ETHYLENE (PTFE)

Fluoroplastics are a class of parafinic polymers that have some or all of the hydrogen replaced by fluorine. These are all thermoplastic materials.

Important fluoro polymers are

  • Polytetra fluoroethylene (PTFE)
  • Perfluoroalkoxy resin (PFA)
  • TFE-perfluoro methyl vinyl ether co-polymer (MFA)
  • Ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene copolymer (ECTFE)
  • Fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer (FEP)
  • Polychlorotetrafluoroethylene (PCTFE)
  • Ethylene tetrafluorethylene copolymer (ETFE)
  • Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)
  • Polyvinylfluoride

PTFE (Poly tetra fluoro ethylene)

Chemical formula (-CF2—CF2)n

Salient properties

  • Excellent chemical and thermal resistance
  • Exceptionally high melt viscosity, which precludes processing by conventional melt extrusion or moulding techniques
  • Very low coefficient of friction
  • High electrical insulation
  • High continuous use temperature
  • Difficult to weld or fuse joint

This article discusses the following details :

  • Grades of PTFE
  • Application
  • Application sector
  • Indian imports
  • Anti dumping duty
  • Indian producers
  • Indian production
  • Indian demand
  • Pattern of application sectorwise demand
  • Process outline
  • Global scenario
    • Global installed capacity
    • Important manufacturers
    • Brand names of major players
    • Global demand
    • Scenario in China
  • Major producers
  • Installed capacity in China
  • Demand in China
  • Pattern of consumption
  • Prognosis
CHLORINATED POLYETHYLENE- PRODUCT PROFILE

Chlorinated polyethylene (CPE) is a macromolecular elastomer material falling in between rubber and plastics.

By chlorine content, residual crystallinity and other technical features, it can be divided into plastic-modified CPE and rubber-modified CPE.

Because it has polar and non-polar parts in its molecular chain, CPE has good compatibility with a variety of polymer materials, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin and various rubber, and is a good blend modifier.

It can help to improve the impact strength, low-temperature toughness, flame resistance, chemical resistance and high-temperature aging resistance of other products.

CPE products are performance polymers used globally in many thermoplastic and elastomer applications.

This article discusses the following details

  • Applications
  • Process
  • Demand drivers
  • Global capacity
  • China’s major CPE producers
  • Global demand
  • World consumption pattern of CPE – by application
  • World consumption pattern of CPE – by region
  • Indian scenario
    • Annual imports
    • Product development by DOW
DIETHYL PHENYL ACETAMIDE (DEPA) - A MULTI INSECT REPELLENT

Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) based in Gwalior, have invented a compound they call ‘DEPA’, (short for Diethyl phenyl acetamide). It does not kill or repel mosquitoes, but ‘confuses’ and ‘disorients’ them and prevents them from biting and sucking blood. They would be unable to sense human flesh.

CAS No.

2431-96-1

Appearance

A clear colourless to pale yellow liquid

Empirical Formula

C12H17NO

Structural Formula

C6H5-CH2-CON(C2H5)2

Solubility in water

Insoluble

This article discusses the following details

  • Specification
  • Toxicity
  • Comparison with other repellent
  • Process
SEAWEED INGREDIENT IN PROCESSED FOOD INDUSTRY

Seaweed is a vital binding ingredient in processed foods and consumer products.

The Tamil Nadu government has now sanctioned Rs 3 crore to the fisheries department for training fisherfolk in seaweed cultivation and for providing necessary materials at a subsidized rate.

Cultivation of seaweed is rapidly developing as a source of alternate income for fisherfolk.

This article discusses the following details :

  • Application
  • Process
  • Environmental issues
  • Economics of cultivation
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL - ISOSORBIDE

Isosorbide is a bio based intermediate for new polymers and plasticizers. Isosorbide is a diol obtained by dehydration of sorbitol, (a derivative of glucose).

Isosorbide is used for the manufacture of specialty polymers in the polyester, polycarbonate and polyurethane families. Thanks to its rigid structure, isosorbide is the only bio based diol that improves resistance to heat, UV rays and chemicals and offers excellent optical and mechanical properties on the materials produced.

Biobased derivatives have the potential to replace “suspect molecules” such as bisphenol A and phthalates.

CAS NO. 652-67-5
Molecular Formula C6H10O4
Color Off-white Beige
Form Solid

This article discusses the following details:

  • Applications
  • Global producers
  • Demand driver
  • Demand
  • Process
OTHER FEATURES

PENTA ERYTHRITOL TRINITRATE (PETN) - POPULAR WITH TERRORISTS!

Pentaerythritol trinitrate (PETN) is an explosive chemical . The white powder is popular with terrorists because it is very difficult to detect at airport checkpoints.

Many countries have tight restrictions on the purchase of PETN, which can be bought in powder form or in thin plastic sheets, but it can also be made from chemicals available over the counter.

PETN is used legally by the military and in industries such as mining, where it is used in detonation fuses. PETN is mixed with other chemicals to make Semtex.

This article discusses the following :

  • Detonation
  • Why is it hard to detect?
  • How can PETN be detected?
  • No chemicals

OIL STRIKES OF ONGC

ONGC has notified oil and gas discoveries in its pre-NELP blocks. The company has reported oil find in its pre-NELP on land block in Cauvery Basin and gas discovery in its shallow offshore block in Krishna Godavari Basin.

ONGC said that the two discoveries have been notified to Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) after the previous board meeting held on September 22, 2010.

This article discusses the following details :

Oil strikes in Thanjavur

  • Oil strikes in KG Basin

FUNDS FOR CARBON CAPTURE PROJECTS

Projects by Air Products and Praxair are among 22 carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of an industrial carbon capture initiative. The 22 projects will receive a total of $575 million in U.S. government funding.

The funds were awarded to a variety of companies, universities and research groups.

This is a major step forward in the fight to reduce carbon emissions from industrial plants. These new technologies will not only help fight climate change, they will create jobs now and help position the United States to lead the world in clean coal technologies, which will only increase in demand in the years ahead.

Meanwhile, DOE has also announced $40 million in stimulus funds for research into CCS simulation. The money will go towards universities and research organizations to develop advanced simulation and computer modeling tools to predict the efficacy of various CCS technologies, including those utilized by industrial facilities.

This article discusses the following

  • Air Products
  • Paraxir
  • Research Triangle Institute
  • Air Liquide

ADVANTAGES OF ALCOHOL FUELS

Ethanol blended fuel reduces carbon monoxide and other emissions and reduces green house gases. For constant engine size, equal rate of fuel consumption to that of a petrol, power is available from an engine designed for alcohol

This article discusses the following details

  • Pollution aspects
  • Exhaust temperature
  • Carbon build up
  • Odour:
  • Evaporation loss
  • Fire hazard

PLANT CLOSURES

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

  • Arch closes R&D sites
  • Solvay shuts SRP Site for polyphenylene
  • SNPE to close nitrocellulose plant in France

SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE

Following safety and accident details are discussed:

  • Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico - BP contractor skipped critical cement test
  • Methyl isocyanate study
  • Oil leakage in Panna-Mukta fields
  • Accident kills one person in Arizona Chemical, Finland plant
  • Accident due to asphyxiation
  • Fire at GAIL Petchem site kills one

NEWS ROUND UP

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

INTERNATIONAL

  • Electroactive fluorinated polymers
  • Ethoxylate

INDIA

  • Precipitated calcium carbonate
  • Coal bed methane pipeline project

CHINA NEWS

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

  • Hydrogen fluoride plant
  • Aluminum Fluoride JV
  • Coal-to-Aromatics project
  • China-Russia JV Refinery
  • Nitrile rubber
  • Hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer
  • Aniline project
  • Fumed silica project
  • Cyclohexanone project
  • Carbon fiber project

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS

The recent developments on the following technology efforts are highlighted

  • Bacteria turned into `silver bullets’ to fight flu, cold
  • ATBS
  • BDO from Waste Gas
  • Carbon Capture Technology
  • Chemical additives remove hydrogen sulphide exposure
  • Potash from seawater

AGROCHEMICAL PAGE

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

  • Godrej agrovet empowers farmers through technology
  • Broccoli `can ward off cancer’
  • Monsanto and AgraQuest sign Seed Treatment Deal

PHARMA PAGE

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

  • Cell culture swine-flu vaccine
  • Salmonella may cure cancer
  • New drug offers better relief for osteoarthritis - Lubricin
  • Rosiglitazone- Diabetes drug – Off market shelves
  • Perforin – a protein to kill rogue cells

ENERGY PAGE

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Nuclear energy to produce hydrogen
  • `World’s biggest’ solar power plant planned
  • Underground coal gasification project in Rajasthan
  • Shale gas projects in India
  • U.S. Shale gas deal by Reliance
  • Update on Indian Solar Energy Scenario
    • Phase I of National Solar Mission
    • Solar mission hits finance wall
    • Haryana to set up three solar energy plants
    • Solar product developed by Wipro

PRICE TRENDS

Global price trends on the following products are provided

  • Caustic soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Natural gas
  • Ammonium products
  • Expandable polystyrene
  • Soda ash
  • Zinc, lead
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Nitenpyram – Emerging Pesticide
  • Pyroxasulfone-Herbicide
  • Off Shore Turbine For Wind Power Generation– Global R&D Efforts
  • New Projects – International
  • Tender
  • Chemicals Imported At The Chennai Port During The Month Of September 2010
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