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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Aug 2014

BIO-PROPANOL | CAUSTIC POTASH | MARINE MICROALGAE| BETA GLUCAN
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH : STOP UNRELATED DIVERSIFICATION PROJECTS OF ONGC & COAL INDIA
BIO PROPANOL –TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL DIKETOPYRROLO PYRROLE PIGMENT
CAUSTIC POTASH – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
MARINE MICROALGAE - PROMOTIONAL PROJECTS IN USA
BETA GLUCAN FROM ALGAE
INDIAN OIL CORPORATION CANCELS ACETIC ACID PROJECT UNWISE AND PANICKY MOVE
NEED FOR ALGAE BIOFUEL & OFF SHORE WIND POWER PROJECTS TO AVOID IMPENDING ENERGY CRISIS
TAMIL NADU CM’s ANNOUNCEMENTS ON INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
EXPANSION PLANS OF INDIAN REFINERY PROJECTS
REACH UPDATE
PROBLEMS OF INDIA’S API MANUFACTURERS WITH FDI
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

STOP UNRELATED DIVERSIFICATION PROJECTS OF

ONGC & COAL INDIA

ONGC and Coal India, which have several unfulfilled tasks on hand ,should not diversify into unrelated projects ( ONGC taking up solar and wind power projects and Coal India taking up coal chemicals projects).

Prime Minister should stop such diversification activities of ONGC and Coal India, so that they would focus only on their core areas of activities, particularly since they still have a long way to go to fulfil the national needs and expectations.

Unrelated diversification projects of ONGC

It is reported that ONGC is looking for joint venture partners to set up 6000 MW of solar and wind energy projects It is said that the joint venture would invest Rs.3750 crores and would target to set up atleast 2000 MW of capacity by 2020. In this, 1500 MW would be wind power while 500 MW would be solar power capacity.

Unmet targets of ONGC

ONGC, a Government of India undertaking, has the task of working on gas exploration projects and increase the domestic production of natural gas. ONGC has huge task before it, as India is highly deficient in natural gas production. Present import of natural gas in the country is around 16 billion cubic metre per annum , which is likely to go up substantially, if adequate gas exploration efforts would not be stepped up to increase the production of natural gas in India.

ONGC has still a long way to go to achieve its objectives and meet the needs and expectations of the country. It’s gas exploration efforts have to be increased to a very great extent.

A June 2013 report by Barclays Equity Research notes that ONGC has missed production targets for the last five years due to endemic project delays with its 40 large projects costing $14 billion running 22 months late on an average. The report adds that. further delays are expected; for example, the 13 projects that ONGC expects to come on stream by end FY14.

Will ONGC bite more than what it can chew ?

Under such circumstances, it is not clear as to why ONGC wants to diversify in setting up solar and wind power projects. While, no doubt, solar and wind power projects are of vital national importance, the question is whether ONGC should get into such areas, in which it has no particular specialization, particularly when its main task of stepping up natural gas production itself remains considerably incomplete.

While there is no logic for indulging in such unrelated activities, ONGC will bite more than what it can chew by taking up such projects and divert its management time and attention.

Coal India’s unrelated ambition

A few weeks back, we heard about Coal India , which is involved in mining of coal, planning to enter into business of fertilizers and chemicals using coal gas. Similar to ONGC, Coal India is also planning for unrelated diversification, while its objectives of stepping up production of coal in the country remains considerably unfulfilled causing huge import of coal, in spite of the availability of large reserves of coal in the country.

India imported over 80 million metric tonne of coal last fiscal. Nearly 50 million metric tonne of the imports went to meet shortfall in supplies from state run monopoly Coal India, which produced less than the target.

Need for focus on core areas of activities

Diversification of activities by large public sector companies involved in vital fields should be stopped forthwith and they should be told firmly by Government of India to focus on core areas of activities for which they have been set up.

Government of India should immediately ask ONGC and Coal India not to venture into new and uncharted areas, which would make them pay divided attention to the much needed efforts in the core areas of their functions.

BIO PROPANOL –TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS

General details

Appearance Clear colourless liquid
CAS number 71-23-8
Molecular formula C3H8O

Applications

Propanol is used as a solvent in the pharmaceutical industry and for resins and cellulose esters.

Conventional process

Propanol is manufactured by catalytic hydrogenation of propionaldehyde.

Various development of bio based route for bio propanol is discussed in this article.

SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL - DIKETOPYRROLO PYRROLE PIGMENT

General details

Diketopyrrolo pyrrole (DPP) pigments were invented in the early 1980's and are considered as important group of synthetic pigments.

DPP have different colours depending on the nature of the R group. The differences in colours in different kinds of DPP pigments are due to the differences in the atom hanging symmetrically on the both hands of the molecules.

The large range of colours are possible by the simple selection of different constituents on the phenyl rings.

The types of DPP pigments include the following

  • Shade orange category
  • Scarlet category
  • Red category
  • Carmine category

Hybrid pigment is also a type of DPP pigment. This pigment is produced by crystallizing pyrroles with quinacridones.

Properties of DPP pigments

Colour Index : Pigment Red 254,255,264,270,272 & Pigment Orange 71,73

Opacity : Good

Heat stability : Excellent

Solvent resistance : Excellent

Weatherability : Excellent

Resistance properties

The DPP pigments show high resistance against heat and light. They have also resistant power against weather. They are heat stable and have high colour strength and saturation.

Insolubility

DPP pigments are totally insoluble. Therefore, they do not provide migration problems.

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Application of DPP pigments
  • Process
  • Producers
  • Scenario in India
  • Anti dumping probe in India
  • Prognosis
CAUSTIC POTASH – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
Chemical formula KOH
CAS No. 1310-58-3
Appearance White, deliquescent solid Liquid
Purity Not less than 85% calculated as KOH; Not more than 4% K2CO3
Forms

Liquid caustic potash. KOH is produced as a clear liquid solution in either 45% or 50% solution.

Solid caustic potash. Dry KOH is produced by evaporating the water from liquid KOH. It is produced in flake and briquette forms.

Briquette KOH is made by compacting flake product into briquettes.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Product application
  • Indian import/ export
  • Pattern of countrywise import
  • Pattern of countrywise export
  • Indian manufacturers
  • Indian demand
  • Outline of process
  • Global scenario
  • Important global producers
  • Global installed capacity / production / demand
  • Pattern of region wise capacity
  • Global import / export
  • Global demand – Period 2014
  • Prognosis
MARINE MICROALGAE - PROMOTIONAL PROJECTS IN USA

In the US, the Department of Energy (US-DOE) is supporting four algae based projects, with one of the aims being an improvement in the harvest yield to about 2,500 gallons per acre by 2018.

The Algae Programme is implementing a structured ten year strategy to investigate opportunities to accelerate algal biofuel commercial readiness through an integrated science based approach. The programme’s goals and milestone targets are aggressive, involving work at multiple scales and time horizons to address broad challenges and make a significant impact in the bio economy of the future.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Projects of Alegenol
  • Projects of Solazyme
  • Projects of Bio Process Algae (Omaha, Nevada, USA)
  • Projects of Sapphire Energy (Columbus, Ohio, USA)
  • Projects of Cellana LLC (San Diego, California, USA)
BETA GLUCAN FROM ALGAE

1,3 beta glucan is a polysaccharide that strengthens immune response. It is used as an additive in animal feed and as nutritional supplement as well as in pharmaceutical formulations.

Algal Scientific Corporation(ASC) has developed a new technology for 1,3 beta glucan and is in the process of starting up the first commercial production plant in Michigan,USA.

ASC’s new biotechnological process needs fewer production steps while generating significantly higher yields.

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Application of beta glucan
  • Beta glucan from grains
  • Specification of Algamune AM
  • Process for beta glucan
  • Collaborating efforts between ASC and Evonik
INDIAN OIL CORPORATION CANCELS ACETIC ACID PROJECT - UNWISE AND PANICKY MOVE

In the last few years, India has emerged as one of the large importers of acetic acid in the world. Indian import of acetic acid has nearly doubled during the last five years.In 2014 to 2015 import of acetic acid is likely to be in the region of 0.7 million metric tonne.

Import of acetic acid

Year (From April to March)

Quantity in tonne
2009 to 2010 389650
2010 to 2011 466096
2011 to 2012 570040
2012 to 2013 646737
2013 to 2014 664796

All ethyl alcohol based acetic acid plants were closed in the last few years due to non availability of ethyl alcohol, which is largely diverted for human drinking purpose. The price of ethyl alcohol has also gone up, making it uneconomical for ethyl alcohol based acetic acid plants.

At present, GNFC is the only unit producing acetic acid in the country by methanol route. GNFC is operating the plant at high capacity utilization level.

Obviously, the above situation calls for immediate step to build acetic acid project based on methanol route.

The above subject is further discussed in this article.

NEED FOR ALGAE BIOFUEL & OFF SHORE WIND POWER PROJECTS TO AVOID IMPENDING ENERGY CRISIS

Integrated algae biofuel projects and off shore wind power projects would be the most appropriate and ideal solution to overcome impending energy crisis in the coming years.

Indian demand for natural gas and crude oil are steadily increasing at 7 to 8 percent per annum, while the domestic production of crude oil is nearly stagnant and production increase of natural gas is less than 3 percent per annum.

Presently, large segment of Indian export earnings are being utilized to pay for the import of crude oil and natural gas.

The above subject is further discussed in this article.

TAMIL NADU C M’s ANNOUNCEMENTS ON INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s announcement on 23rd July, 2014 regarding the proposals to set up number of industrial infrastructure projects and new industries, would go a long way in strengthening the industrial and economic base of Tamil Nadu.

At the same time, immediate measures to resolve some existing issues are necessary, even as new measures are initiated.

  • Ethanol plants
  • Solar photovoltaic power plant
  • Capacity utilization of thermal power projects
  • Land acquisition policies
  • Existing projects facing difficult issues
  • Need for consultative mechanism
EXPANSION PLANS OF INDIAN REFINERY PROJECTS

Public sector refining companies currently own 19 refineries with total capacity of 135.066 million metric tonne. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is the market leader with 54.2 million metric tonne capacity at its seven refineries.

Public sector oil refiners IOC, BPCL and HPCL will jack up their refining capacity by 37 per cent to 185.3 million metric tonne by 2016 to 2017 by expanding existing units and commissioning a new plant at Paradip in Odisha.

The above subject is further discussed in this article.

REACH UPDATE

Hexabromocyclododecane(HBCD)

BASF says that it opposes authorizing the prolonged use of hexabromocyclododecane(HBCD) under the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals Act.

Four substances added to list

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA; Helsinki) has added four substances to the candidate list of substances of very high concern (SVHC), which now contains 155 substances.

SVHCs require authorization under the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation.

The newly added substances are cadmium chloride; branched and linear dihexyl esters of 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid; sodium peroxometaborate; and sodium perborate.

The identification of a substance as an SVHC and its inclusion in the candidate list creates certain legal obligations for importers, producers, and suppliers of an article that contains the substance.

Legal obligations that companies may have resulting from the inclusion of substances in the candidate list apply to the listed substances on their own, in mixtures, or in articles.

Producers and importers of articles containing any of the four substances have six months to notify ECHA if the substance is present in those articles in a quantity higher than one metric tonne . per producer or importer per year and if the substance is present in those articles above a concentration of 0.1%, weight by weight.

A substance is exempted from the notification obligation if it is already registered for use or when exposure can be excluded, according to ECHA.

Cadmium chloride is a carcinogenic, mutagenic, reproductively toxic substance and is identified as being of an equivalent concern based on probable serious effects to human health, specifically because of the effects on kidney and bone. The three other substances are also identified as being toxic for reproduction.

PROBLEMS OF INDIA’S API MANUFACTURERS WITH FDI

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues warning letter when an agency inspection of a facility identifies significant deviations from cGMP and the company that owns the facility fails to take sufficiently correct the issues. Until all corrections are completed, FDA may withhold approving any new drugs that list that firm as an API manufacturer or refuse to admit APIs manufactured at that facility into the United States.

The FDA has now set up a strong base in India with a group of inspectors permanently based in the country. The FDA is now inspecting plants at short notice, contrary to the past, when inspections were announced several weeks or even months in advance, allowing companies to prepare.

FDA has, since 2013, issued warning letters to several active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facilities in India.

FDA inspections are actually part of the process of approving drug applications for generic or innovator drugs as well.

Even if a company has received a warning letter, [it] might be allowed to continue to supply under the framework of consent decree, where [it has] to pay a large fine and operate under the supervision of an expert or a group of experts nominated by the FDA.

The above subject is further discussed in this article.

OTHER FEATURES

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

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

  • Activated carbon
  • Solar modules
  • Purified terephthalic acid
  • Polysilicon export issue with China
  • Potassium carbonate, vitamin C and phosphoric acid
  • Rubber chemicals

PLANT CLOSURE

The following articles discuss about the closure of plants

  • Ammonia closure by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical
  • Mahanadi Coalfields may shut mining in Angul district, Odisha
  • Ten govt owned fertiliser plants closed in India, 7 under losses

SAFETY & ACCIDENT PAGE

The following articles discussing about the accidents occurred at various places

  • Blast at Shell plant
  • Gas pipe leaks trigger blasts in Taiwan city
  • China blames safety violations as plant blast toll rises to 75

NEWS ROUND UP - INTERNATIONAL

PROSPECTS FOR BIOBASED CHEMICALS

Bio based chemicals will be beneficiary as sugars, glycerin, and other plant derived feedstocks emerge as economically competitive starting materials for a range of commodity chemicals including propylene, isobutylene, butadiene, and isoprene in part because of tight supplies of conventional feedstocks, according to a new report from IHS Chemical

Because of the shale boom, North American ethylene producers have switched from naphtha to lighter, natural gas–based feedstocks, reducing the output of valuable C3, C4, C5 and pyrolysis gas coproducts.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Encapsulated lubricant
  • Polypropylene project in Russia
  • PE manufacturing JV in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere
  • Methanol to propylene plant of BASF in USA
  • PVB
  • Methanol project in USA by Chinese company
  • Coating resins facility
  • Chlor vinyls JV
  • Ethylene, polyethylene facility in Baytown,USA
  • PE plants at Old Ocean, TX,USA
  • Butadiene

CHINA NEWS

CHINA’S SELF DISCIPLINE STANDARD FOR GREEN TYRE INDUSTRY

China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA) has issued the Green Tyre Technology Specification.

It became effective March 1, 2014.

The Spec (XXZB/LT-102-2014) is China’s first self discipline standard for the green tyre industry.

Compared with traditional tyres, green tyre have many advantages such as environment-friendliness, energy conservation, safety, new production processes and new materials.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

The recent developments on the following products are discussed

  • Isophorone
  • Catalyst facility
  • Neopentylglycol plant at Nanjing

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS

ION EXCHANGE RESINS FOR NUTRITION APPLICATIONS - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Dow Chemical is pushing to expand ion exchange resins traditionally used to treat and purify water into food, nutrition and pharmaceutical applications.

Ion exchange resins can be used to stabilize vitamin B12 and in a variety of taste masking applications in food; pharmaceuticals; and nutraceuticals or foods with pharmaceutical properties. The B12 stabilization application for ion exchange resins is not new. It was patented in the late [19]50s, and FDA has codified that it can be used for that purpose.

However, there is not a great deal of awareness about the ion exchange technology for lots of applications in pharmaceuticals or food.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

The recent technology developments on the following products are discussed

  • Catalyst for isobutylene project
  • On purpose butadiene process
  • Eco friendly cement
  • Novel chlorine production
  • UOP’s methanol to olefins technology
  • On purpose butadiene technology licensing
  • CO2 based polyols
  • Silk to energy

NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA

The recent developments on the following fields are discussed

  • Reliance gas pipeline contract
  • Unrest in Coal Mines in West Bengal
  • Oil ministry may change policy

GM CROPS IN INDIA AT THE CROSS ROADS

Genetically modified crops have been a subject of controversy around the world. India is no exception to this global trend and perspective.

While genetically modified crops in the case of cotton have been under cultivation in India, efforts to extend genetic modification to other crops and vegetables have met with stiff resistance.

About 90% of cotton produced in India is genetically modified.

In recent times, there have been considerable controversies with regard to genetically modified crops in Europe also.

Internationally, land under cultivation with GM crops has risen from around 20 million hectares in mid 1990s to 170 million hectares now .

Over 80% of total global cropping of soya is genetically modified.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Journey of GM crops so far in India
  • Regulation on GMOs in European Union
  • .Status in India
  • Share of countries in global GM cropping area
  • Proportion of GM crop as percentage of total area under crop

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

Recent development in the agro chemical field is discussed

  • Using agri waste – Initiative of Ford fusion
  • Machinery to arrest leaf fall disease in rubber plantation

PHARMA PAGE

The recent developments on the pharmaceuticals are discussed

  • Cheaper generic versions of anti AIDS drugs
  • Fluoroquionolones

ENERGY PAGE

HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECTS - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Jindal Power Ltd

Jindal Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), has equity interests in three hydroelectric projects, including the Kamala project in Arunachal Pradesh through Jindal Power. The other two are the 3,097 MW Etalin project and the 680 MW Attunli project.

These three ventures, with a combined projected capacity of 6,100 MW, were to be developed by Jindal Power through three separate 74:26 joint ventures with Hydro Power Development Corporation of Arunachal Pradesh Ltd (HPDCAPL).

Earlier, the Arunachal Pradesh Government had decided to scrap a deal that gave JSPL a 49 per cent stake in HPDCAPL.

With respect to the 1,800 MW Kamala project, JSPL have submitted expression of interest to Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL). JSPL is looking to sell its entire stake in the 1,800 MW Kamala hydro electric power project in Arunachal Pradesh.

JSPL had won the Kamala hydro power project in 2009. However, the detailed project report was cleared by the Central Electricity Authority only in December 2013.

Project implementation was further delayed, as HPDCAPL could not come up with its share of funding. In all, JSPL had earmarked Rs.50,000 crore for the three hydro projects in the State.

Jaypee group hydro projects

Reliance Power Ltd, an Anil Ambani Group firm, has acquired the entire hydro power portfolio of Jaiprakash Power Ventures for an estimated Rs.15,000 crore.

The announcement comes on the heels of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) backing out of the Rs.10,500 crore deal to buy two hydro plants of debt laden Jaiprakash Power.

The above subject is further discussed in this article.

The recent developments on the following energy fields are discussed

  • 10 MW of solar plant in TN
  • Solar power in India
  • Solar power projects of Sun Edison’
  • Indo US nuclear deal led to 1520 mw power generation
  • Acquisition of Mozambique coal mine by ICVL
  • Draft policy on underground coal gasification
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Price details
  • Spot LNG price - recent trends
  • Ex factory price of chemicals in China in June 2014
  • Tenders
  • Chemicals imported at Chennai port during month of May 2014
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