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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Âpril 2013

1 HEXENE|BUTADIENE|CYMENE|BIO BASED 1,4-BUTANEDIOLUEL
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH : LAND ACQUISITION ISSUES FOR INDUSTRIAL PROJECTS
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY:NATURAL RUBBER FROM GUAYULE
PRODUCT PROFILE - 1 HEXENE
BUTADIENE- INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
BIO BASED 1,4-BUTANEDIOL
REACH AND IT’S IMPACT ON INDIA
SHALE GAS EXPLORATION PLANS IN INDIA
FOCUS ON INDIAN OIL EXPLORATION EFFORTS
INDIAN REFINERY SCENARIO
PROPOSED COAL TO LIQUID PROJECT IN ODISHA
FOCUS ON METHANE HYDRATE
GLOBAL ALUMINIUM  SCENARIO
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH - LAND ACQUISITION ISSUES FOR INDUSTRIAL PROJECTS

A number of power, mining and industrial projects have been delayed or even given up in recent years due to land acquisition issues. What contribute to such scenario.?

One of the recent instances was the objection to the acquisition  of 2000 acres of  agricultural  land sought by Tata group for setting up titanium dioxide project in Tamil Nadu. The project was ultimately given up. The prolonged agitation now happening against the POSCO project in Odisha is another instance.  GAIL India’s natural gas pipeline (LNG) project from Kochi-Bangalore –Mangalore  is facing  hard resistance from agricultural farmers in Tamil Nadu at present .

In several cases , the promoters of the industrial projects have shown lack of understanding about the intricate  and human issues involved in acquisition of land and appear to think that they can browbeat  the  local people and “drive them away from the scene” , with money power and muscle power. .The project promoters and the government have resorted to wishful thinking that by paying hefty compensation amount to the farmers  and land owners, the land can be acquired without any issue. This approach has been proved to be wrong.

Inadequate palliative measures

When  the agricultural land would be acquired for industrial projects, the livelihood and future security of thousands of poor agricultural families are affected.  In today’s inflationary conditions, a few lakhs of rupees of compensation are not viewed as substitute by the farmers for the stable income that they would get by cultivation of land.  Further, the farming community  lack any other expertise except agricultural operations and naturally they fear that they would be left nowhere in the absence of the agricultural land in which they have been cultivating traditionally and to which they are emotionally attached.

While the Government of India has been trying to evolve certain policies and guidelines for acquisition of land for industrial projects that would avoid confrontation , the  policy  so far framed is largely  oriented towards the size of the compensation amount and extending some schemes such as jobs for one or two persons in the affected families.  The farmers and displaced persons are justifiably not impressed by such palliative measures of the government.

Gail’s short sighted approach

GAIL is presently implementing Kochi-Bangalore-Mangalore pipeline project.

The pipelines are sought to be laid in Tamil Nadu through thousands of acres of  agricultural land,  that  would directly affect the livelihood of farmers , whose lifeline is based on cultivation in such agricultural land.

GAIL says  that it would pay compensation for the land that would be six to seven times more than the value of the land. The farmers are not impressed by such “value addition”.  GAIL  further says that it would not be  permanent land acquisition but the land would be returned to the farmers after laying the underground  pipeline, which would be one to two metres below the ground level. The farmers fear that the quality of the soil may be affected  due to the laying of the pipeline underground  and in some case,  the roots of the plantations may  go below one metre.  Further, in the case of any maintenance requirement in the pipeline later on, the authorities may have to re dig the land and take out the pipelines for re laying.  These are all justifiable apprehensions of the experienced  and genuine farmers.

In this particular case of GAIL’s pipeline project, it certainly would be possible to avoid laying the underground pipelines through agricultural farm lands  and  they can be routed on the highways.   Why  has GAIL not thought about this option before  ?  Why has GAIL  not anticipated the likely apprehensions and resistance from the farming community  ?   Lack of forward planning on the part of the GAIL authorities is clearly evident.

Obviously, GAIL have taken such issues for granted. Now, GAIL says that it would take more time and more cost to reroute the pipeline, which appears to be the inevitable alternative. GAIL should be made accountable for this lapse of not working out pragmatic and appropriate  strategy by way of forward planning,  instead of blaming the farmers.

Need for cost benefit analysis

Time has come for the country to realistically choose between agricultural operations and industrial projects , whenever such acquisition issues occur.

It is also seen that in most cases of land acquisition for industrial projects , the area of land sought is much larger than the actual requirement.  A careful study of the land need , based on  optimum design of the plant lay out is very much needed and this aspect has to be carefully audited from the point of view of technology requirements.  There is suspicion when the companies ask for more land than that is really needed ,  which may be with an eye on the appreciation of the futuristic land value and speculation.

It is high time that we   should realise that the sacrifice of agricultural land for the sake of industrial projects may become counter productive in the long run in some cases.  It is necessary to understand that the long term social and economic stability  of the country that the agricultural operations  provide can be  much more than the industrial projects.   Many well meaning people think that in a country where large segment of population find it hard to get one square meal a day, it is ridiculous to give up the land used for cultivation of wheat, rice , cereals  etc. and use it for producing two wheelers and four wheelers.

While industrial projects are necessary ,  the question is whether it should be promoted at any cost and particularly at the cost of agricultural production and the employment generation that the agricultural operations provide , that would result in displacement of thousands of  poor and vulnerable families.

Wasted industrial land

It should also be kept in view that thousands of acres of industrial land presently remain unused  all over the country , due to excess acquisition of land for the industrial projects and sick industrial  projects  remaining closed for length of time.           

A careful identification of such land and redeployment of such “wasted land”  for industrial projects is an urgent need  and they can be put to re use for new projects

The ball is clearly in the court of the Government of India whose efforts to evolve an appropriate land acquisition policy for industrial projects  has proved to be inadequate and not based on ground realities.  It can even be said that the government’s land acquisition policy is insensitive to some extent.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY:NATURAL RUBBER FROM GUAYULE

Guayule rubber has been emerging as an attractive and sustainable alternative to both natural rubber and synthetic rubber.

Guayule is a desert plant indigenous to the southwest United States and northern Mexico. Guayule thrives in hot, dry ecosystems .Guayule needs low input of water, nutrients and pesticides — less than many other crops and can be grown under arid and semi-arid climatic conditions, which dominate a majority of the earth’s climate.

Guayule plant is receiving importance due to its hypoallergenic properties.  It is an alternate source of latex that is also hypo allergenic.

Guayule is a natural source of elastomeric materials which are free of antigenic proteins. Amoung the 16 species of the genus Parthenium, guayule is the only species known to produce rubber and it can be used as a commercial source of natural rubber. The plant contains up to 20% rubber which is deposited in parenchymatous cells, primarily in the vascular rays of stems and roots.

The applications of the biorubber in both solid and emulsion forms have increased in scope and ctions have been forged amongst number of industry players to develop consumer and industrial products that would be launched in future.

Applications of Guayule

Natural rubber made from guayule  does not contain proteins that cause latex allergies while, Hevea-derived rubber contains proteins that causes severe allergic reactions to people.

Guayule plant produces terpene resins, which are natural pesticides as  it is resistant to many pests and diseases.

Guayule can be an economical and  environmentally friendly source of bio fuel.

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Cultivation
  • Process for natural rubber from Guayule
  • Advantages of biorubber for guayule
  • Bioprocessing technology for rubber
  • Biofuel
  • Products produced by Yulex corporation.
  • Research grant
  • Efforts of CIRAD
  • Joint venture between Yulex and Versalis
  • Process for ethanol from guayule developed by Albany
  • Approval for rubber gloves from guayule
  • R & D plans of Bridgestone
  • India’s efforts to cultivate Guayule
  • Prognosis
PRODUCT PROFILE - 1 HEXENE
Appearance Colourless liquid
CAS No. 592-41-6
Chemical formula CH3(CH2)3CH=CH2
Synonyms Alpha-Hexylene,Butyl Ethylene, Hexene, 1-Hexene, n-Hexene

Solubility

The product is soluble in methanol and diethyl ether and insoluble in water.

Handling  and storage

The product is stable under normal conditions. It is flammable.It is non-corrosive in presence of glass.

The container should be kept in cool, well ventilated place and should be closed tightly.

Specifications

Parameter

Value

n-alpha olefins

99.0% min

C6

99.5% min

 

0.05% max

>C6

0.1% max

Paraffins

0.5%max

Moisture

30 ppm max

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Product application
  • Process for 1-hexane
  • 1-Hexene production by Axens AlphaHexol™ Process
  • On-purpose technologies to produce 1-butene,1- hexane and 1-octene.
  • Ethylene tetramerization technology for 1-octene production
  • Ethylene dimerization for 1-butene production
  • Ethylene trimerization for 1-hexene production
  • Homogeneous  catalyst technology
  • Process adopted by Lummus Technology
  • Important global producers
  • Import in India
BUTADIENE- INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Butadiene is largely produced as co product of naphtha based ethylene production.

Butadiene is increasingly in short supply in the global market because of the recent trend to set up ethane crackers based on natural gas, which do not co produce butadiene.

Decreasing supplies and  lack of dedicated butadiene production facilities have resulted in significant long term pressure on the price of butadiene, which is extensively used in the production of synthetic rubber.

Concerns regarding the scarcity in the butadiene market are compounded by growth forecasts within the BRIC countries, where demand for automotive products made from butadiene such as tires are expected to increase.

Appearance:               Colourless gas with mild aromatic odour                          

CAS No.                     106-99-0

Chemical formula        H2C=CHCH=CH2

Specification

Parameter

Value

1,3 Butadiene

99.5% min

1,2 Butadiene

20 ppm max

Total acetylene

20 ppm max

Carbonyls

10 ppm max

Sulfur

5 ppm max

Peroxide

5 ppm max

Butadiene Dimer

150 ppm max

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Product application
  • Process Routes For   Butadiene
  • Global Producers
  • Activities Of Selected Producers
  • Global Capacity
  • Global Demand
  • Indian Scenario
  • Prognosis
BIO BASED 1,4-BUTANEDIOL

Biochemical firm Genomatica (San Diego) has produced 5 million lbs (2,000 metric tonne.) of renewable 1,4-butanediol (BDO) in five weeks, validating the commercial viability of its BDO production process, at DuPont’s Loudon facility.

The milestone was achieved in partnership with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products (DTL)—a joint venture between DuPont and Tate & Lyle whose biobased 1,3 propanediol (PDO) plant at Loudon, TN is one of the first large-scale applications of industrial biotechnology—and is also the first time BDO has been produced biologically on this scale and at this rate.

The fermentation was undertaken at DTL’s Loudon, TN facility.

Genomatica plans to license the technology and commercialize the process through partnerships, rather than build BDO plants themselves.

The results at Loudon should boost confidence by potential licensees that Genomatica’s process is capable of continuous, high-yield production over a significant period of time.

 Genomatica has previously announced agreements with Mitshubishi Chemical and Novamont for proposed BDO production units. Genomatica also has a partnership with Versalis and Novamont for the development of a biobased butadiene production process.

REACH AND IT’S IMPACT ON INDIA

The European Commission in a report published says that the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation has helped to make the use of chemicals considerably safer in Europe.

“More readily available information about chemical substances on the market and better targeted risk-management measures mean that risks from substances registered under REACH have significantly decreased,” the commission says in a review of the achievements of REACH in the five years

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Second & third phase
  • Issues facing SME
  • View of  European Chemical Industry Council
  • View of Chemical Industries Association
  • Impact of REACH on India
SHALE GAS EXPLORATION PLANS IN INDIA

India is set to join a select group of countries having a specialised agency mapping its shale gas potential. A proposal to this effect has already been worked out by the oil ministry.

The proposed agency will fall under the central government. It will have the mandate to map the presence of shale gas across  various states in the Gangetic plain, Assam, Rajasthan and many coastal areas.

The agency will conduct studies on the basis of geological, geophysical and geochemical aspects of shale gas exploration, micro-seismic imaging, drilling completion and production technologies and environmental hazards in shale gas exploration.

New Delhi based National Geophysical Research Institute and the Geological Survey of India have been carrying out studies to identify new sources of shale gas.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

FOCUS ON INDIAN OIL EXPLORATION EFFORTS

With output from the India’s largest gas fields in the KG D6 block falling to     16 mmscmd after hitting a peak of 60 mmscmd at 2009-end and with no prospects of immediate discoveries going on stream, the dependence on imported gas has been increasing.

Against the consumption of 136.44 mmscmd during April 2012-January 2013, the availability of domestic gas was only about 96 mmscmd. The rest was imported.

However, India presents significant unexplored opportunities for the exploration and production (E&P).

So far, only 73 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas could be established through exploration, out of 205 billion barrels of prognosticated hydrocarbon resources. Thus, about 133 billion barrels of prognosticated resources remain to be discovered through exploration efforts.

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Cairn’s Oil Fields In Rajasthan
  • Raageshwari Gas Field
  • Aishwariya Field
  • The Crude Quality
  • Sale Of Gas
  • Future Plans
  • Exploration Efforts Of ONGC
  • ONGC Investment In Western Offshore Facilities
  • Revamping Of  Aging Platforms
  • Falling Gas Output By Reliance Industries
  • Penalty Paid By Different Organizations For Not Meeting Commitments
  • Marginal Oil Fields Of ONGC
INDIAN REFINERY SCENARIO

India is the fourth largest crude oil consumer in the world after the US, China and Russia and close to 80 per cent of its requirement is met through imports.

On the refining front, the Indian industry has done well. India is emerging as a global refinery hub, with capacity exceeding the demand. India became a net exporter of petroleum products in 2001.

During 2011-12, the country has exported 60.84 million tonne of petroleum products worth Rs. 2,66,486 crore. According to a Platts assessment, India is the largest exporter of petroleum products in Asia since August 2009.

The total refining capacity in the country, at present, is 215.07 million tonne and is projected to increase to 239.57 million tonne in 2013-14 with capacity augmentation of existing refineries and commissioning of the 15 million tonne Paradip refinery.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

PROPOSED COAL TO LIQUID PROJECT IN ODISHA

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) is in advanced talks with overseas firm for it’s $10 billion coal o liquid project (CTL).

Few year backs, Government allocated Ramchandi coal blocks in Odisha to JSPL to implement coal to liquid project in the country.

In the coal to liquid project, liquids fuels such as methanol, petrol and diesel are produced from coal. Currently, the technology is commercially used in South Africa, China and the US.

Currently, JSPL is seeking regulatory clearances to explore Ramchandi coal block. The coal to liquid plant may be located within 7-10 k.m. from the mine

JSPL has entered into a technology tie up with Germany-based Lurgi. But the company is looking for another technology tie-up for methanol and olefins, which would also come out as products if  coal to liquid  project would be  implemented.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

FOCUS ON METHANE HYDRATE : WHAT IS METHANE HYDRATE?

Methane hydrate is a crystalline solid that consists of a methane molecule, surrounded by a cage of interlocking water molecules.

Methane hydrate is an "ice" that only occurs naturally in sub surface deposits, where low temperature and high pressure conditions are favourable for its formation.

Most methane hydrate deposits also contain small amount of other hydrocarbon hydrates. These include propane hydrate and ethane hydrate.

Methane hydrates, stable under low temperature and high pressure, can disintegrate when removed from those conditions. If it is removed from low  temperature/ high pressure environment, it becomes unstable..

Methane hydrate can not be drilled for study like other subsurface materials because as they are brought to the surface, the pressure is reduced and the temperature rises. This causes the ice to melt and the methane to escape.

Methane hydrate can be used to produce methane gas that can be substitute for natural gas.

Scouting for usable methane hydrate deposits is still a work in progress. For now, the process mimics similar work in finding oil or gas.

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Deposits Of Methane Hydrate
  • Production Of Methane From Gas Hydrate
  • Present Production Status
  • Technology Issues
  • Environmental Issues Relating To Methane Hydrate
  • Research Reports Of DOE, USA
  • Japanese Efforts To Produce Methane Hydrate From Ocean Deposits
  • Indian Efforts For Methane Hydrate Exploratioin
  • Prognosis
GLOBAL ALUMINIUM  SCENARIO

Demand supply trend

Demand for aluminium is expected to increase to 49.4 million tonnes in 2013, a 7 per cent growth in comparison with the previous year, according to a projection made by aluminium company  Alcoa. Most of the demand will come from China, the world’s biggest consumer, which is expected to witness 11 per cent growth in consumption to 23 million tonnes.

But, China is well on its way to becoming self-sufficient in aluminium, with the country limiting itself to strategic import of aluminium, thanks to massive capacities built at home, even though it still relies on overseas suppliers for its bauxite requirement. This makes it imperative for global producers to explore and develop new markets for their produce.

‘The following details are discussed in this article

  • Region wise pattern of global demand
  • Demand pattern

GRAPHENE  - PRODUCT PROFILE

Graphene is a form of carbon with a single layer of atoms networked like a honeycomb. It was discovered in 2004 by two professors at the University of Manchester, UK, for which they won the Nobel Prize in 2010

Graphene can conduct heat and electricity effortlessly. It is the thinnest known material and yet 300 times stronger than steel.It is transparent and yet responds to light in unusual ways.

This material is now on the verge of commercial applications that can revolutionise industrial technologies in the near future.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE

Accidents occurred in  the plants of USA and India are discussed

  • Methane gas build up kills 37 in Mexico
  • Blast at Air Liquide plant in Texas,USA
  • Fire at Avra Labs’s warehouse in Visakhapatnam
  • Fatal explosion at Aarti Drugs’ Tarapur plant

 PLANT CLOSURES

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

  • Ube to close caprolactam facility in Japan
  • Sumitomo Chemical to close ethylene plant in Japan
  • Exaggerated Fears Lead To Closure Of Sterlite Industries

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

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

  • MPDA
  • Ethanol
  • TDI
  • Toluidine

NEWS ROUND UP - INTERNATIONAL

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

  • Acquisition of industrial enzyme business by Novozyme
  • Propylene plant at Korea
  • Shale gas boom in North America boosts polymer industry
  • Liquid carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Potash
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Ammonia-urea manufacturing complex in Russia
  • CO plant at Rotterdam
  • Fertilizer complex in Indonesia

NEWS ROUND UP - INDIA

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

  • Natural gas allocation
  • R&D efforts of Reliance Industries

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS

NEWER WAY TO DETECT AMMONIA

Scientists at the Smart Materials Section at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) have developed a simple technique to detect the presence of ammonia using optical sensors. The IGCAR team, led by Dr. John Philip, has devised more portable method to detect ammonia: using ferrimagnetic nanofluids as sensors that reflect bluer light when exposed to more of the colourless gas.The results of their work were published on March 12 in the Applied Physics Letters.

Existing detectors for ammonia include infrared gas analysers, ion-selective electrodes, detectors based on semiconductor films or sensors that depend on ammonia’s reaction with an acidity-sensitive dye.

The sensor developed for ammonia is discussed in this article.

  • The recent developments on the following product is discussed
  • Acrylate from carbon di oxide

CHINA NEWS

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Ethanolamine Industry In China
  • Quaternized monomer
  • Chinese solar producer Suntech goes bankrupt
  • China’s oil demand in 2013 expected to exceed 500 mn metric tonnes
  • 2-ethylhexanol
  • Vitamin Premix
  • Iron oxide pigment
  • Polypropylene
  • Methanol to olefin unit

 AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

The recent developments on the following products are updated

Proposed ban on neonicotinoid insecticides in Europe

  • Amvac biopesticide

PHARMA PAGE

 Following pharmaceutical products are discussed in this article

  •  A trial drug to eradicate malaria
  • Technology to detect Alzheimer’s
  • A drug to treat leukaemia

ENERGY PAGE

 RENEWABLE ENERGY'S HIDDEN COSTS?

It is often claimed that introducing variable renewable energy resources such as solar and wind into the electricity network comes with some extra cost factors due to “system effects”. These system effects include intermittent electricity access, network congestion, instability and security of supply.

Now, a new report  from the OECD titled System Effects of Low-Carbon Electricity Systems gives some hard dollar values for these additional imposts. The OECD work focuses on nuclear power, coal, gas, and renewables such as wind and solar

The report defines grid-level system costs as the total costs (on top of plant-level costs) to supply electricity at a given load and given level of security of supply. These additional costs include the extra investment to extend and reinforce the grid, plus the costs for increased short-term balancing and for maintaining the long-term adequacy of electricity supply in the face of intermittent variable renewable.

More details on the  subject is discussed in this article

  • The recent development in energy sector are discussed in the following article.
  • Solar power capacity in Abu Dhabi
  • Energy storage system
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Price Details
  • Pricing regimes for natural gas in India
  • European ABS prices
  • Ex-factory prices of chemicals in China Chemical Market on March 2013
  • Tenders
  • Chemicals imported at the Chennai port during the month of January 2013
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