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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, August 2011

BIO BASED SUCCINIC ACID|POLYAMIDE CASTOR|ABS RESIN|MIK|DIPHENYL OXIDE
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH : OPPORTUNITIES IN SPECIALITY CHEMICALS
GLOBAL OIL PRICE - WILL IT FALL BACK TO 2008 LEVEL OF 30 US $ PER BARREL ?
BIO BASED SUCCINIC ACID - GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS
POLYAMIDE (NYLON) FROM CASTOR - GLOBAL INITIATIVES
ALGAE AS FUTURE ENERGY SOURCE - TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT OFFER FROM US COMPANY
ABS RESIN – PRODUCT PROFILE
DIPHENYL OXIDE - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
METHYL ISOBUTYL KETONE (MIBK ) - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
INSPECTION OF CLINICAL TRIAL FACILITIES IN MAHARASHTRA, INDIA
CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION CONCERNED ABOUT STAGNATION OF CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES IN TAMIL NADU
LNG PROJECT IN TAMIL NADU- WILL IT HAPPEN?
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

OPPORTUNITIES IN SPECIALITY CHEMICALS

It is now clearly known, though not admitted by many quarters, that most of the promoters of chemical projects in India are no more confident about setting up of large size chemical projects, that will have to necessarily keep the world market in view. It appears that the Indian project promoters are overwhelmed by the so called adverse factors such as feedstock constraints, impending energy crisis ,increase in price of crude oil, environmental compulsions, technology gaps etc.

It is possible to convert such so called adverse factors into creative opportunities, if only there would be appropriate imaginative approach to initiate original and dynamic action plans. Unfortunately, there is no indication that such refreshing approach is forth coming in adequate measure.

What is particularly sad is the fact that the Government of India and state governments who should act as facilitators of growth and promote proper climate for development of chemical projects are not playing their role adequately .

While this is an unfortunate situation, one can not but realize the fact that there are many exciting possibilities in the speciality chemical front, where there are huge opportunities for growth and international market penetration.

As the term implies, speciality chemicals refer to chemicals that are not investment intensive and with comparatively small demand base but high technology input needs and higher profit potential. With the considerable research and development facilities that have been built up at various levels in India over the years and the huge technical manpower that are being created year after year in India, the conditions in India are certainly ripe for working with focused investment objectives in the speciality chemical field.

Speciality chemicals provide advantages in that most of them can be made in multi product facility and can be tailor made depending to the need of the market from time to time.

With the several new scope for demand arising due to evolving ecological standards, discerning consumers and emerging areas of applications, speciality chemicals provide great opportunities not only for production but also for research and development.

The question is as to what extent the project promoters and research and development establishments in India appreciate the potentials in the field of speciality chemicals and to what extent they would be willing to putforth their efforts and application of mind to exploit the opportunities ahead.

The sustained focus on speciality chemicals can certainly provide a strong thrust and sense of direction for the Indian chemical industries.

GLOBAL OIL PRICE - WILL IT FALL BACK TO 2008 LEVEL OF 30 US $ PER BARREL?

Just when we thought that 2008 credit crisis was behind us and that we could see a period of moderate global growth, the European banking crisis has hit markets around the world with full force.

In addition, over the past few weeks , the economic data shows slowing growth all over the world with almost no exceptions , with even high growth emerging economies like India, China showing clear signs of slowdown in manufacturing and services sector. The developed world economies of US, Europe and Japan appear to have come to a virtual halt with bleak prospects for consumer and investment spending in the second half of the year 2011.

In summary, banking and housing issues that triggered the crisis in 2008 in western economies remain unresolved and the gigantic stimulus programs initiated by US and some other economies to create demand have petered out with very little to show for it. Lack of job creation, for which the causes are plenty, has created a situation in which there seem to be very few triggers for organic demand growth in developed economies in the coming quarters. This has thrown the growth story for the entire world into question, as developing economies are still strongly linked to developed economies for end demand.

In 2008 , oil prices fell as far as USD 30 after touching a high around USD140. As a consequence of stimulus and low interest rates from US, China, Japan and others, crude had risen to USD100 and above again in 2010/2011. If the economic growth is approaching stall speed for the second half of the year, the key question would be as to whether the global oil prices would head similar lower levels as well.

Just a few months ago, many well known investment banks and analysts were predicting the oil prices to exceed USD200 when the Libyan and Arab crisis started brewing. Instead , we have seen crude oil prices sliding after stabilizing around USD120, and have lost more than USD 30 rapidly, and now less than USD100. The key question for India is will the trend continue, in which case India will benefit immensely through lower oil prices or will the rise in prices resume again.

What appears to be happening is the confluence of a few forces together such as the following ;

1. The drivers of oil demand have been the developing economies like India and China for the past few years. The likely growth slowdown in India and China would lead to lowering of the demand growth estimates

2. The persistence of high inflation, high oil prices and high interest rates in developing countries are starting to pinch the growth in oil consumption and it is evident in slowing sales of automobiles in 2011 compared to 2010

3. Supply factors have stabilized , since the Libyan crisis erupted with Saudi Arabia stating their desire to increase supplies to bring down the prices to around USD 90

4. The dollar which has been in continuous decline for the last two years is showing some gains at the expense of Euro and the need to hedge against dollar losses could decline atleast for the immediate future

5. Speculative froth in oil markets from financial players such as hedge funds are getting liquidated , as growth slowdown and even a potential recession in the second half gets more probable.

As a consequence, there appears to be a building up of momentum in declining commodity prices, not just that of oil. It is a welcome development for a net importer of crude oil like India , as it could cool down the persistent inflation that has built up in the economy.

The key question is how would the western economies react to the coming slowdown.

If substantial additional quantitative easing measures were to be introduced in US and Europe, we could see all the declines erased and oil prices would head for much higher levels as the investment community flees the dollar into commodities like oil.

BIO BASED SUCCINIC ACID - GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

Succinic acid is a versatile building block that can be used in the production of 1,4 butanediol (BDO), polyurethane and biodegradeable polymers. However, the high cost of traditional routes have kept the market at a modest 25,000 to 35,000 metric tonnes per year. U.K.’s National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels, and Materials (Heslington), however, pegs the addressable market at 270,000 metric tonnes per year.

Bio based succinic acid is addressing a larger market than fossil feedstock-based succinic acid because of price competitiveness and the product’s renewable nature.

This article discusses initiatives taken by the following organizations

  • Myriant project
  • DSM
  • BioAmber
  • DSM and Roquette
POLYAMIDE (NYLON) FROM CASTOR - GLOBAL INITIATIVES

Polyamides (Nylon) are one of the major engineering and high performance plastics because of their good balance of properties. Polyamides find application in several sectors including automotive, consumer goods, electrical/electronics, industrial applications, engineering parts, housings, building &construction, packaging, sporting goods, etc.

Bio-based nylons have theoretically 100% substitution potential for their petrochemical equivalents.

Initiatives of a few organizations in developing polyamide from castor are discussed.

  • BASF
  • Arkema
  • DuPont
  • DSM Engineering Plastics
  • Rhodia
  • Evonik Industries
  • Solvay
  • Solvay and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical
  • Suzhou HiPro Polymers
  • Vertellus
  • Dow and Royal Castor Products (India)
ALGAE AS FUTURE ENERGY SOURCE - TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT OFFER FROM US COMPANY

There are several companies in the world who have done substantial research in algae production and utilisation technologies and are ready to offer technology and equipment for setting up algae production and utilisation.

Algae Production Systems, Inc.(APS), based in Texas, USA, is engaged in the manufacture and sale of technology and equipment to create algae farms.

This article discusses the following details :

  • Comparative oil production per acre from different feedstocks
  • Production process
  • Growing the algae
  • Typical algae process flow diagram
  • Project module
ABS RESIN – PRODUCT PROFILE

In general, ABS resin has high impact strength and rigidity, stands up well to chemicals and weather and may easily be processed with good moulded surfaces.

The styrene base provides rigidity and ease of processability and acrylonitrile offers chemical resistance and heat stability. The butadiene portion of ABS provides toughness and impact strength.

The composition of ABS resins can vary, allowing the production of many different grades, which can thus be tailored for different end use applications.

This article discusses the following details :

  • Sectorwise applications
  • Gradewise application
  • Indian manufacturers and their installed capacity
  • New projects
  • Indian imports including countrywise imports
  • Indian exports
  • Indian demand
  • Demand drivers
  • Growth rate in demand
  • Global scenario
    • Installed capacity
    • Regionwise capacity
    • Major producers
    • Major producers in China (Period 2010)
    • New projects in China
    • Global demand
    • Growth rate in demand
    • Pattern of gradewise consumption
  • Process outline for ABS
  • Prognosis
DIPHENYL OXIDE - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
CAS Number 101-84-8
Molecular Formula C12H10O
Synonyms Dephenyl Oxide, Diphenyl Ether, Phenoxybenzene, Phenyl Ether

Appearance

At temperature of 27 deg, C and above, diphenyl oxide (DPO) is a colourless liquid with a floral odour.

DPO is a white, crystalline solid at temperature below 27 deg. C.

DPO has low volatility, low solubility in water and is stable at high temperature.

Boiling Point 259 deg C
Density 1.073 g/mL at 25 deg C

Toxicity and safety

DPO is not readily biodegradable. There is no evidence that harmful products are formed as a result of biodegradation.

DPO is moderately toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms.

It is irritating to eyes, respiratory system and skin .

This article discusses the following details:

  • Application
  • Perfumery products
  • Thrust area for demand
  • Indian countrywise imports
  • Indian countrywise exports
  • Sample of individual imports
  • Sample of individual exports
  • Indian manufacturer
  • Manufacturing process
    • Process flow diagram
  • Global scenario
    • Present production
    • Global producers
METHYL ISOBUTYL KETONE (MIBK ) - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
CAS No. 108-10-1
Alternate names Isopropylacetone, 4-Methyl-2-pentanone
Appearance Colourless liquid

Toxicity

Acute toxicity, Oral rat LD502737 mg/kg

Uses and application

 
Application Uses
As solvent primarily for surface coatings (cellulose-based and resin-based coatings)
As an anti-ozonant in tyres Prevents or slows down degradation of tyres due to ozone
As process solvent Pharmaceuticals, adhesives and chemical intermediates
Other uses Purification of pharmaceuticals, mineral oils, tall oil, stearic acid and butanol

Rare metal extraction

This article discusses the following details :

Indian scenairo

  • o Indian producer
  • o Indian Import level
  • o CIF Price of imported MIBK

Global scenario

  • o Global capacity
  • o Global operating level
  • o Global players and their installed capacity
  • o Demand drivers and growth rate
  • o Global demand
  • o Pattern of regionwise demand'

Scenario in China

Process description

Prognosis

INSPECTION OF CLINICAL TRIAL FACILITIES IN MAHARASHTRA, INDIA

According to estimates, till 2010,there were as many as 250 global trials of medicines going on in India and around 200 local trials. However, there has been a slow down of the approval process since then.

There would be around 30 large clinical research organisations or CROs, but not all of them conduct BA/BE studies. Many of the large pharmaceutical companies have facilities that conduct their own BA/BE studies.

Although steps have been initiated by the DCGI for proper audit of CROs and imposition of strict guidelines for ethical committees, issues continue to dodge the industry owing to poor implementation.

This article discusses the above subject in detailed manner.

CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION CONCERNED ABOUT STAGNATION OFCHEMICAL INDUSTRIES IN TAMIL NADU

Representatives from number of chemical industries operating in Tamil Nadu including Malladi Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd., Shasun Pharmaceuticals Ltd. , Futura Polyesters Ltd., DCW Ltd., Ramnath & Co., Nandini Consultancy Centre, Protech Consultants and several others participated in the meeting.

The discussions were initiated by Mr.P.K.N.Panicker,President, Chemical Industries Association. Mr. N.S.Venkataraman, Secretary, Chemical Industries Association conducted the proceedings.

The proceedings of the meeting are provided.

LNG PROJECT IN TAMIL NADU- WILL IT HAPPEN?

Dr. D. M Mohunta

dmm@ccdcindia.com

LNG (liquefied natural gas ) is mainly methane just as in case of natural gas. It may contain very small percentage of butane or propane.

The impurity that is tolerated in LNG is usually carbon dioxide.The other impurities in ppm level are sulphur, mercury etc.

This article discusses the following details:

  • Heating value of LNG
  • Price parity of natural gas with oil
  • LNG Supply chain
  • Cost of supply chain
  • Liquefaction of LNG
  • Natural Gas compared with LNG
  • Global availability of LNG
  • Operating LNG terminals in India
  • Imports at these terminals
  • Kochi LNG terminal
  • LNG terminal, Chennai
  • August 2010-MOU with TIDCO
  • Proposed natural gas pipeline in South India
  • Interim stay order in court
  • NG sourcing for pipeline transportation in South India
  • Prognosis
OTHER FEATURES

RARE EARTH DEPOSITS FOUND IN PACIFIC OCEAN

Vast deposits of rare earth minerals, crucial in making high-tech electronics products, have been found on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and can be readily extracted, Japanese scientists said.

Details of the discovery were published in the online version of British journal Nature Geoscience

This article further discusses the above subject in detailed manner.

ESTIMATES OF RESERVES OF URANIUM IN ANDHRA PRADESH

This article discusses the above subject in detailed manner.

NUCLEAR POWER PROJECTS UNDER IMPLEMENTATION

This article discusses the above subject in detailed manner.

EMERGING PROSPECTS FOR AMINES

Technical innovations in emerging markets will drive growth for amines over the next several years, as amines are used as alternatives in markets including wind energy and shale gas extraction.

Amines are replacing potassium chloride in the shale control market.

This article contains the following details :

  • Polyetheramines
  • Ethanolamines
  • Specialty amines
  • Capacity expansion

PLANT CLOSURES

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

  • BorsodChem considers plans to idle TDI plant
  • Australia shuts down coal gasification project
  • Taiwan cancels Kuokuang Petchems project
  • ENI to close ethylene complex
  • Closure of melamine facilities

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

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

  • Chloroprene rubber
  • Sodium formaldehyde sulphoxylate
  • Hydrofluoric acid
  • STPP
  • Epichlorohydrin
  • Hydrazine hydrate
  • PVC paste resin
  • “MBTS” - Dibenzothiazole disulphide
  • Gypsum boards
  • Polytetraflouroethylene (PTFE)

NEWS ROUND UP

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

INTERNATIONAL

  • U.S. Biofuel grants
  • Biobased thermoplastics
  • Natural carotenoids
  • Long fiber reinforced thermoplastic (LFRT)
  • polyether ketone ketone (PEKK)
  • Air Liquide to build gases plant in Chile
  • Shell and Cosan launch Brazilian ethanol JV
  • Petronas in North American shale gas market
  • Approval for Styrolution joint venture
  • Polyacetal
  • Fluid catalytic cracking catalysts
  • Rare earth processing plant in Africa
  • Amorphous polyalpha-olefins (APAO)
  • Biobased isobutanol
  • Ethane based ethylene
  • Propane to ethane feedstock
  • Bio-based complex of ENI

INDIA

  • Orchid unit gets pollution control board closure notice
  • Polyolefin project of ONGC Petro Addition (OPAL)
  • Undersea survey soon for mineral wealth

CHINA NEWS

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

  • Vinyl Acetate Ethylene
  • Gas to methanol project in Qinghai
  • Sinopec, Exxon to explore shale gas

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS

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

  • Para-xylene from plant based sugars
  • Plastic solar cells
  • Wood based fibre reinforced plastics
  • CO2 scrubbing for carbon capture
  • Mini centrifuge has double capacity
  • UOP process for propane dehydro plant

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

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

  • Organic farming may touch Rs 100,000 million by 2015
  • Indian potash dilemma
  • Indian import of potash
  • Indian requirement
  • Consumption of nutrition in India for 2010-11
  • Important global suppliers of potash
  • Price scenario

PHARMA PAGE

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

  • Notices to Indian pharma units by FDA
  • Dr.Reddy's Mexico Unit
  • Cadila Sanand Plant
  • Ranbaxy Laboratories
  • Sun Pharma

ENERGY PAGE

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

  • Biomass based power plants in TamilNadu, India in distress
  • Wind power projects in TamilNadu, India at the cross roads

ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE

The recent developments on the following events is discussed:

  • Prop 65 listing for cocamide
  • EU proposes to slash sulphur emissions from ships
  • U.S. adds formaldehyde and styrene to carcinogens list
  • Notice to Nagarjuna Oil Corporation
  • New Method to treat effluent by Tirupur Dyeing Units, Tamil Nadu, India

PRICE DETAILS

Global price trends on the following products are provided :

  • Butadiene
  • Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)
  • Metal alkyl products
  • Unsaturated polyester resins
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Development of CO2 based products
  • Tenders
  • Import In Tuticorin Port (VOC Port) – 2010
  • Export In Tuticorin Port (VOC Port) – 2010
  • Chemicals Imported At The Chennai Port During The Month Of May 2011
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