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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, September 2011

ETHANOL BASED ACETIC ACID|SUPER ABSORBENT POLYMERS|FLUORINATED ALCOHOLS
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH : GOVT.’S REVIVAL PROPOSAL FOR CLOSED FERTILISER UNITS REVIVE THEM BASED ON COAL FEED STOCK
ARE ETHANOL BASED ACETIC ACID UNITS IN INDIA BEING WIPED OUT?
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALTY CHEMICAL - HYDROXYPROPYL CARBAMATE ACRYLATE (HPCA)
SUPER ABSORBENT POLYMERS - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
PROFILE ON FLUORINATED ALCOHOLS
WATER SOLUBLE FERTILISER (WSF)- INDIAN SCENARIO
FERTILISER FROM URBAN WASTE - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

GOVT.’S REVIVAL PROPOSAL FOR CLOSED FERTILISER UNITS

REVIVE THEM BASED ON COAL FEED STOCK

India is the world's biggest importer of urea and di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and the second biggest importer of muriate of potash (MoP).

India annually imports close to 6 million metric tonnes of urea, 8 million metric tonnes of DAP and 6 million metric tonnes of MoP .

The following figures indicate the increasing import trend

Urea production vs.import

(Lakh metric tonnes)
Year Production Import
2000-01 196.24 0.00
2001-02 190.03 2.20
2002-03 186.21 1.19
2003-04 190.38 1.43
2004-05 202.39 6.41
2005-06 200.85 20.57
2006-07 202.71 47.19
2007-08 198.39 69.28
2008-09 199.23 56.67
2009-10* 211.17 52.09

The Department of Fertiliser of Govt. of India in the past few years, has been pursuing a case-by-case approach towards revival of the closed units of Hindustan Fertiliser and National Fertiliser – particularly the closed facilities at Barauni, Sindhri, Ramagundam, Talcher, Gorakhpur and Durgapur.

Even as Government of India is now taking steps to revive the closed units, it is seen that even some of the presently operating naphtha based fertilizer units such as SPIC Ltd., and Madras Fertilisers are becoming sick. These units also have to be revived.

The Government of India has now accorded an in principle go ahead to revive three of the eight closed plants. These three units are located at Sindhri in Jharkhand, Talchar in Orissa and Ramagundum in Andhra Pradesh. The remaining five units will be revived by private participation, through a process of bidding.

However, Government of India still seems to lack clarity about the feedstock issues for the fertilizer industry. With no likelihood of natural gas supply scenario significantly improving in the immediate future and the present supply scenario of natural gas already being very tight, what is the point in making revival plans for the fertilizer units based on natural gas as the feedstock?

Ideally, all the closed and sick fertilizer units should be revived only based on coal feedstock.

With recent development in coal gasification technologies, the competitiveness of the coal based fertilizer projects have improved substantially.

Talchar plant revival

Coal India Ltd (CIL), Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) and GAIL India plan to jointly set up a coal gasification unit at Talcher, Orissa, to produce urea and ammonium nitrate. The proposed project is to be located at the closed facility of Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI).

The urea plant will adopt coal based gasification technology. Coal India Ltd has committed supply of 3.7 million metric tonnes per annum of washed coal of 30 per cent ash content for the project.

The Talchar plant will be set up on Build Own and Operate (BOO) basis for which global tenders will be issued. It would also include a 850 tpd (metric tonnes per day) nitric acid plant and 1000 metric tonnes per day ammonium nitrate plant. The estimated cost of setting up the plants (ammonia urea complex, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate plants), will be around Rs.6000 crore, taking the total investment to approximately Rs.8,500 crore.

Sindhri plant revival

For the Sindhri unit, the Department of Fertilisers has reached an in principle agreement with Steel Authority of India Ltd., (SAIL) to set up an integrated steel and power plant along with urea manufacturing facility. This will have production capacity of 1.1 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) of urea. The unit will be set up by a joint venture with National Fertilisers Ltd.

SAIL proposes to set up of a 5.6-mtpa greenfield steel making plant and a 1.1 mtpa fertilizer plant with investment of around Rs.26,000 crore and Rs.4,450 crore respectively. It also envisages establishment of a power plant with an outlay of around Rs.4000 crore.

The proposed gas based urea plant would be set up after dismantling and disposing the existing urea plant at the site.

The government of India has already given its in principle consent to allocate natural gas for the project.

The total land available with Fertliser Company of India at Sindhri is 6652.6 acres, out of which about 5481.6 acres of land would be available for the proposed project.

Ramagundum unit revival

The Ramagundum unit will be revived jointly by NFL and Engineers India Ltd.

Natural gas needs of fertiliser companies

Two thirds of the India's urea capacity presently use natural gas as feedstock, while the rest are run on naphtha or fuel oil as feedstock.The Government of India has directed fertiliser companies to convert fuel oil- and LSHS (low sulphur heavy stock)-based ammonia plants to natural gas-based ones.

While moving to gas-based units will result in a saving of about Rs 2,000 for every metric tonne of urea produced compared to naphtha based urea project, the non availability of natural gas to the required level is a grim issue that has to be faced.

Six fertiliser companies IFFCO, KRIBHCO, Rastriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, Indo Gulf Fertilizers Ltd, Chambal fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd and Tata Chemicals Ltd have told the government of India that they would expand their units by setting up 1.15 mtpa urea plants at existing units with an investment of Rs 240,000 million. These fertiliser companies are seeking an additional 25 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of natural gas supply from Reliance Industries Ltd's (RIL) Krishna-Godavari fields to cater to the feedstock needs of their existing as well as proposed new urea capacities.

But, the forecast of gas supply from KG Basin seem to be not realistic and are exaggerated. As a result, it is not clear from where the gas supply would be made for the above expansion plans of fertilizer companies.

Coal feedstock is the only option

China, which has one of the largest reserves of coal in the world, continues to establish many coal based fertilizer projects that have proven to be economically and technologically viable. India has to learn right lessons from China and build its fertilizer projects based on coal feedstock.

Coal gasification technology (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle- IGCC) are now well established and are widely adopted with excellent results.

In this context, it has to be noted that during 1950’s, the fertilizer plant at Sindhri was coal based and was operating reasonably well. Lignite based plants for ammonia/urea plant were also in operation in India. Unfortunately, all these coal based fertilizer projects were closed down due to the “craze” for natural gas / naphtha based fertilizer units and counter productive campaign by the environmentalists against the coal based chemical projects.Those coal based fertilizer units should have been sustained.

While the natural gas supply scenario is likely to remain tight and naphtha based project is uneconomical, . Government of India has to take firm decision to revive the existing closed and sick units by using coal as feed stock.

While India’s import of coal is steadily increasing due to surging demand for coal in India, it is certainly easier and less expensive to import coal compared to natural gas, if found necessary for the coal based fertilizer project.

ARE ETHANOL BASED ACETIC ACID UNITS IN INDIA BEING WIPED OUT?

Acetic acid (CH3COOH) is a colourless water like liquid, with piercingly sharp vinegar like odour.

Major derivatives of acetic acid and application

 
Derivatives Uses
Acetic anhydride Drugs, Dyes, Cellulose acetate,

Aspirin,

Paracetamol, Various

Organic intermediates

Diketene Acetoacetic esters,

Aceto acetanilides,

Aceto acetamide

Esters Solvents in paints,

varnishes and chemical synthesis.

Vinyl Acetate Poly vinyl Acetate, EVA Polymer, Polyvinyl Alcohol
Monochloroacetic acid Drugs, Dyes etc., CMC, Cyanoacetic acid and its derivatives, Glycine
Purified Terephthalic Acid Polyester Staple Fibre (PSF), Polyester Filament Yarn (PSY)

Other applications

* In the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and in perfumes.

* As acidulant and preservatives in foods.

* As solvent for gums, resins, volatile oils and many other substances.

* In the manufacture of plastics and rubber, in tanning, as laundry sour, printing calico and dyeing silk apart from textiles.

This article discusses the following details :

• Indian annual import details

• Indian producer, capacity and production level

• Indian units that have suspended production

• Indian production level during the past six years

• Indian demand

• Pattern of application sectorwise demand

• Projected demand supply scenario by 2017

• Global scenario

o Global annual capacity

o Global annual production

o capacity utilisation

o Global demand

o Application sectorwise demand

• Prognosis

SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALTY CHEMICAL - HYDROXYPROPYL CARBAMATE ACRYLATE (HPCA)

HPCA is a new specialty monomer that is generated by the biotech process. It has several advantages for its use in the manufacture of carbamate based polymers, when compared with conventionally produced material.

HPCA shortens the processing time for the manufacture of carbamate based polymers. Compared with currently existing processes, HPCA enables crosslinkable carbamate units to be incorporated into the polymer in just one step. The usual two-step procedure is no longer necessary. In addition to the shorter manufacturing process, HPCA also offers positive features for applications.

Due to its special chemical structure with the free carbamate group, HPCA offers additional potential for a broad range of applications in the future.

This article discusses the following details

• Use in clearcoat systems

• Potential area of applications

• Process

SUPER ABSORBENT POLYMERS - INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Super absorbent polymers (SAP) are white crystalline powders with peak distribution size of 800-1000 micrometers, which gel in contact with water.

SAP is hydrophilicpolymeric compound with a loose lattice structure and low cross linking degree. It does not dissolve in water and also does not easily dissolve in organic solvents. It can quickly absorb and retain water several hundred times and even a thousand times its own mass.

SAP are water swellable, but not water soluble.

As SAP has many unique features such as high water absorption rate, strong water retention ability, high water absorption speed, strong swelling force, strong thickening ability, strong anchoring ability and elasticity, they have developed extensive applications in the personal sanitary article sector.

Moreover, SAP is also used in agriculture, industry, construction and medical care/hygiene.

This article further discusses the following details:

• Types

• Health and safety

• Specification

• Applications

• Global scenario

o Global installed capacity

o Projected global installed capacity by 2015

o Major global players

o Major players in China

o Profile of major producers

o New projects under planning/implementation

o Demand drivers and global growth in demand

o Pattern of demand

o Scenario in China

• Demand potential in India

• Indian sanitary napkins players

• SASP Supply scenario

• Indian import of SAP

• Manufacturing method for diapers

• Raw material requirement approximately for regular sanitary napkin

• Process for SAP

• Prognosis

PROFILE ON FLUORINATED ALCOHOLS

Fluorinated alcohols are formed by using fluorine atoms to replace hydrogen atoms on the carbon chains of alcohols. Because of their excellent solubility, they are widely used as solvent in recordable CDs, electronics, polymer and other industries.

Fluorinated alcohols are also used in the synthesis of fluorine containing pesticides, pharmaceuticals and dyes.

Important fluorinated alcohols

* 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFEA),

* 2,2,3,3-tetrafluoropropanol (TFP),

* 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-isopropanol (HFIP),

* 2,2,3,4,4,4-hexafluorobutanol (HFB)

* 2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5-octafluoro-1-pentanol (OFP).

This article discusses the details on the above products.

WATER SOLUBLE FERTILISER (WSF)- INDIAN SCENARIO

Water soluble fertiser (WSF )are nutrients administered to plants in liquid form, unlike urea, DAP or MOP that are applied as solid granules, prills or crystals.

Although the latter can also be made into solutions, they are not 100 per cent water-soluble and leave behind sediments that do not get utilised by the plant.

This article discusses the above subject in detailed manner.

FERTILISER FROM URBAN WASTE- INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

India’s production potential

It is estimated that India's total Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)-based compost production is now at 2,50,000 metric tonnes per annum .

The potential is much larger, given the roughly 50 million metric tonnes of MSW generated annually by the cities and towns. That works out to 140,000 metric tonnes a day (tpd), with Delhi and Mumbai alone contributing 9,000 tpd each, Chennai and Kolkata 5,000 to 6,000 tpd, and Bangalore and Hyderabad 4,000-5,000 tpd.

From every 100 metric tonnes of MSW, 15 to 20 metric tonnes of compost can be made. So, from the entire 50 million metric tonnes per annum of MSW, 7.5 million metric tonnes per annum of compost can be produced .

Apart from municipal garbage, press-mud from sugar mills and spent-wash from distilleries have also emerged as major sources of organic manure for fertiliser companies

This article discusses the following details :

• Characteristics of garbage

• Production process or MSW

• Production process from press mud

• Indian players

• Business model

• Case for setting up units

OTHER FEATURES

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

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

• PVC Flex films

• Opa glassware

• Sulfamethoxazole

• Potash

NEWS ROUND UP

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

INTERNATIONAL

  • HFO-1234ze plant in Louisiana
  • Mitsui Shale Deal
  • Bio-based ethanol plant in Iowa,USA
  • Chlor Alkali plant
  • Styrenic copolymer jv
  • Lonza to Acquire Arch Chemicals
  • Electrolyte solvents
  • Isobutylene
  • Biobased chemical complex in Italy
  • Biopolymers venture in Brazil
  • Fuel cell stack production in Denmark
  • Hydroxyl functionalized polybutadiene
  • Carbon fibre project in Korea

INDIA

 

• Ethanol blending plan facing uncertainty

• ONGC likely to start production from KG basin

• Vanillin

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

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

• Methanol to olefins technology developed by UOP / INEOS

• Technology to curb greenhouse gas emissions at soda ash site

• Innovative technology for TDI

• Break through in hydrogen fuel cells

• A hybrid composite car body for Korean tilting train

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

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

• Bio-nematicides

• Potash

• Fertilizer shortage

CHINA NEWS

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

  • Chasing rare earths in China
  • Protests over safety concerns in paraxylene unit in China
  • China’s curbs on raw material exports - Ruling by WTO
  • Polysilicon project in Shaanxi
  • Polysilicon plant in Xinjiang
  • Propane dehydrogenation to make propylene
  • Fluorine chemical project in Inner Mongolia
  • Fluoropolymers
  • Titanium dioxide in China
  • Vinyl acetate plant
  • Polypropylene project
  • Propylene project
  • Chlroide process titanium dioxide project

PHARMA PAGE

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

• Countervailing duty on antibiotics relief for Indian pharma units

• Sweetener molecule to tap diabetes market

• Molecule to control viral infections

ENERGY PAGE

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

•  Indian Solar mission – The hiccups

•  30% subsidy for installation of solar applications

•  Bids for large solar PV projects

ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE

The recent developments on the following events is discussed:

• "Carb Fix" experiment to lock CO2

• BCCL mine closure notice

OTHER ARTICLES
  • Reliance D6 Gas Output Will Continue To Fall
  • India’s Coal Reserves Assessment
  • Natural Gas Allocation Issues
  • Need For Price Forecast For Solar Power In India
  • Tenders
  • Chemicals Imported At Chennai Port During The Month Of June 2011 
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