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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal,  August 2015

CAPROLACTAM|TAPI PROJECT|L-LYSINE
Highlights of Some of the Articles

MAKE IN INDIA STRATEGY FOR INDIAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES
CAPROLACTAM – GLOBAL SCENARIO
L-LYSINE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
RARE EARTHS – GLOBAL SCENARIO
TAPI PROJECT – WILL IT HAPPEN ?
A FAIR APPRAISAL OF ADANI GROUP SOLAR PROJECT IN TAMIL NADU
THE SOLAR-WIND HYBRID TECHNOLOGY
UPDATE ON INDIAN COAL BED METHANE SCENARIO
PLIGHT OF INDIAN MATCH BOX INDUSTRY
FLUCTUATING FORTUNES OF INDIA’S SUGAR INDUSTRY
PRODUCTION COST OF MICROALGAL BY ALTERNATE ROUTES
GRAPHENE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS OF THOMAS SWAN,UK
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

TALK OF THE MONTH
MAKE IN INDIA STRATEGY FOR INDIAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES

Prime Minister’s  clarion call for Make in India Campaign has created considerable interest in the country, particularly among the small and medium scale manufacturing sector.

While the Prime Minister’s stress on the need to make products in India can be achieved either by producing import substitute products or export oriented products, there is still uncertainty  about the methodology  and strategy that should be adopted to identify the appropriate products for manufacture and  implement the Make in India Campaign in time bound manner.

While   the government has made a few announcements and some suggestions have been made by experts in the field and several ideas are thought about by project promoters, it appears that  India still has a long way to go in achieving ultimate objectives of the  Make in India Campaign.

Need for clarity

The absence of ideas and lack of clarity and vision with regard to the campaign is  particularly conspicuous among the chemical industries in the country. Various associations involved in promotion of chemical industries and representing the interests of the enterprises involved in different  activities relating the chemical industries, do not appear to have discussed yet with any seriousness and depth about the possibilities and strategies .

Apart from identifying the import substitute or export oriented products, the issues with regard to development and use of appropriate, environmental friendly and competitive process and manufacturing technologies to make products also require careful consideration, based on the ground realities .

In recent times, it is seen that several  chemicals that are produced in small scale as well as  the speciality chemicals which are produced in small quantity, are of no more interest  to the project promoters in developed countries, due to issues relating to economies of scale etc.. Such scenario provides  investment opportunities for the innovative and  enterprising chemical project promoters in India.

Technology source

It is not uncommon to find the project promoters in India complaining that they find it difficult to identify the suitable technology suppliers for setting up manufacturing plants.

While several crores of rupees have been invested and continue to be spent by Government of India in starting and maintaining many research laboratories under the banner of  Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the fact is that the R&D institutions are not  generating much confidence about their process technologies amongst the Indian entrepreneurs. The R&D investment made by the private sector in India  in developing new products are insignificant .

Dependence on overseas technology

Under the circumstances, Indian chemical industries continue to rely heavily on overseas technology support even for chemical projects, where technology parameters are fairly well known. Even small size countries like Israel, Taiwan, Korea are repeatedly approached by Indian project promoters for buying the technology from one end to the other.

The question uppermost in one’s mind is as to how can Make in India Campaign be taken forward, in the absence of strong R&D base and development of discovery culture amongst the research institutions in India ?.

This appears to be formidable task and big challenge that may defeat the  government’s objective of promoting Make in India Campaign, if not tackled adequately and quickly.

Need for sustained efforts

Perhaps, Prime Minister is well aware that big and positive change in mind set is necessary, both amongst project promoters and research institutions in India for the Make in India Campaign to become successful.

Of course, the government has to create right climate of growth and there is evidence that Prime Minister is trying to do so. However, the government’s efforts would be successful, only if there would be active interest and sustained efforts amongst the stake holders, who are project promoters and research and development bodies as well as consultancy organisations who are supposed to be think tanks.

Obviously, Make in India Campaign can be highly significant exercise for chemical industries, particularly those  involved in small and medium scale sector, if they can raise upto the challenges.

There is urgent  need for industrial associations in India, representing the cross section of chemical industries, to form a task force immediately to identify the appropriate chemicals that can be advantageously made in India, as part of Make in India strategy. Such chemicals should be identified based on present level of import, global demand trend and change in consumer perspectives and preferences  around the world.

The selection of chemicals and allied products for focussed attention, should be followed by comprehensive technology development and promotional efforts both in the Indian and global market. Task is challenging but it is well within the capabilities of Indian chemical industries.

Given the enthusiasm and energy being shown by the Prime Minister towards Make in India Campaign, the ball is clearly in the court of Indian chemical industries.

CAPROLACTAM – GLOBAL SCENARIO

Appearance                                          White, hygroscopic and crystalline flakes
CAS number                                         105-60-2
Chemical formula                                  C6H11NO

Product

Form

Application

Caprolactam

Liquid form

Used in manufacturing of nylon-6 polymer copolymer

Caprolactam flakes

Solid flakes

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Application sector
  • Manufacturing process
  • Raw material requirement
  • Important global producers of caprolactam
  • Plant closure
  • Scenario in China
  • China’s supply and demand for caprolactam
  • Global capacity for caprolactam
  • Demand drivers
  • AAGR in demand for caprolactam
L-LYSINE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

L-Lysine

CAS NO.                                              56-87-1
Chemical family                                     Amino acid
Chemical formula                                  C6H14N2O2

Appearance                                          White or light yellow crystalline powder,

Bulk density                                          0.5 to 0.6 gm per cm3
pH (10% m/m aqueous solution)             5.0 to 6.0
Particle size                                          Max 2.5% smaller than 0.3 mm:
Max  2.5% larger than 1.2 mm

L-Lysine monohydrochloride (L-Lysine HCl)

CAS Number                                        657-27-2
Chemical formula                                  C6H14N2O2·HCl
Typical bulk density,                              0.56 to 0.61 gms per cubic cm
PH                                                        5.7
Stability                                                 Stable in premixes and in mixed rations.

Storage 

L-Lysine/L-Lysine HCl should be stored in cool, dry place in well-closed containers

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Product application
  • Import of L-Lysine and L-Lysine HCl
  • Growth in demand
  • Global production /demand
  • New projects
  • Global outlook
  • Manufacturing process
  • Prognosis
RARE EARTHS – GLOBAL SCENARIO

Rare earth elements (REEs) are moderately abundant in the earth’s crust, but minable concentrations are less common than for most other ores. The most common is cerium, which is more abundant than copper, nickel, or lead. All rare earth elements  except promethium are more abundant than silver, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Application areas
  • Supply from China
  • Search for substitute products
  • Global consumption
  • Industry prospects
  • Resources
  • Feasibility study in Australia
  • Price trend
  • Rare-earths miner Molycorp on verge of bankruptcy
TAPI PROJECT – WILL IT HAPPEN?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for early implementation of the $10-billion TAPI gas pipeline project during his  recent talks with Turkmenistan President.

Noting that the pipeline project could transform regional economic cooperation and bring prosperity along the route, Prime Minister underlined the need to implement the project in quick time .

Turkmenistan has  the world’s fourth largest proven gas reserves and the pipeline will allow the landlocked country to diversify its gas export market.

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Project scheme
  • Special purpose vehicle for the project
  • Price of gas
  • Challenges
A FAIR APPRAISAL OF ADANI GROUP SOLAR PROJECT IN TAMIL NADU

An important and necessary solar power project in Tamil Nadu proposed to be set up by Adani group has now become a matter of controversy.

Opposition political parties in Tamil Nadu are crying foul about the manner in which Adani solar power project has been sanctioned by government of Tamil Nadu.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Absence  of bidding process
  • Solar power tariff
  • Why not flexible power tariff?
  • Project schedule
THE SOLAR-WIND HYBRID TECHNOLOGY

At present, stand alone solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and hydropower systems are providing  power  to an extent, with seasonal limitations and varying costs.

If conversion efficiency, cost and continuous power supply are the three major bottlenecks confronting renewable energy sources, hybrid technology seems to be answering one of them (24/7 supply) convincingly for the moment.

One of the first hybrids that packs both solar and wind generation into a single unit has arrived in India—SolarMill, developed by US based WindStream Technologies. The installed capacity of a typical device is expected to be 2.5 kw (1.5 kw of solar and 1 kw of wind). The hybrids are available in multiple combinations, starting from 750 W (500 W wind, 250 W solar) to 3.25 KW.

The SolarMill will comprise of a solar photovoltaic panel on top. It will have three vertical axis wind turbines below and a small and efficient battery with storage. The system is guided by integrated electronics to give it the optimum energy density.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

UPDATE ON INDIAN COAL BED METHANE SCENARIO

Since coal bed methane (CBM) remains trapped under water in the coal seams and being a low pressure gas, production increases with time as more and more water is pumped out.

CBM fields are distinctly different from the traditional oil and gas assets. It takes longer time to reach peak production.  An average CBM well takes 3-6 months for de-watering.

There are a few major factors that affect the quick progress of CBM exploration in India, such as overlapping of CBM block area with coal mining area, requisite clearances and environmental issues.

The petroleum ministry is working towards bringing policy changes to boost gas production from CBM blocks to 10 mmscmd by 2017-18 from less than one  mmscmd now.

Following details are discussed in this article

Present status

  • Great Eastern Energy Corporation (GEECL)
  • CBM project in West Bengal
  • Proposed project in TN facing uncertainty
  • Essar Oil Ltd
  • Assets in Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh
  • Phase III Coal bed methane blocks auction
  • ONGC
  • Target for Coal India
  • Phase IV coal bed methane blocks auction
PLIGHT OF INDIAN MATCH BOX INDUSTRY

Future of the Rs 1,500 crore Indian matchbox industry appears to be uncertain.

Industry revenues have declined 25 per cent in a few years and about 8,000 units have shut down in a decade 1,500 to 2,000 units that remain — 90 percent of which are concentrated in a few districts of Tamil Nadu,  are facing crisis..

Annual production has dropped from 800 lakh bundles to 700 lakh bundles (one bundle equals 600 match boxes). Yet supply outstrips demand.

Widespread use of gas lighters at home and to an extent, increased awareness on the harmful effects of smoking and its ban in public spaces and rising cost of production have created problems for the once thriving industry.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Performance of units
  • Export prospects
  • Competition from Pakistan
  • Government policies
  • Raw material price and availability
  • Erratic supply of wax
FLUCTUATING FORTUNES OF INDIA’S SUGAR INDUSTRY

India will likely produce surplus sugar for a sixth straight year through 2015-16, despite a marginal drop in output expected for the next marketing year starting October due to erratic monsoon.

According to a preliminary forecast by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (Isma), sugar output in India,  which is the world’s second largest producer ,is expected to touch 28 million metric tonne in  2015-16, compared with an eight year high of 28.30 million metric tonne this year. Consumption is expected to go up to 25.2 million metric tonne in 2015-16, up from roughly 24.50 million metric  tonne this year.

Above subject is futher discussed in this article.

PRODUCTION COST OF MICROALGAL BY ALTERNATE ROUTES

Dr. D. M. Mohunta,
E-mail: dmm@ccdcindia.com

Three types of microalgal production systems were studied namely open ponds, tubular photo bioreactors and flat panel photo bioreactors (PBRs).

Open pond system

According to the model, the annual algal biomass production in an open pond measuring 1,000 m2 in Lelystad is 1,538 kg of dry mass. This represents 15 metric tonne of dry mass per hectare.

The biomass yield per surface area in a tubular PBR is twice as high as in an open pond and three times as high in a flat panel PBR

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

GRAPHENE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS OF THOMAS SWAN,UK

Graphene is an allotrope of carbon, along with diamond and graphite, discovered in 2004,  for which Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.

Graphene is a sheet of carbon that is a single-atom thick. The material possesses a number of remarkable properties, exceptionally light; 200 times stronger than steel; extremely flexible; and has outstanding thermal, optical, and electrical properties.

Graphene has an electron mobility 70 times that of silicon and a thermal conductivity ten times that of copper.

Potential applications include high-frequency electronics, sensors, nanocomposites, flexible electronics, and energy conversion and storage.

The European Commission implemented its Graphene Flagship in 2013, an initiative that will see €1 billion ($1.13 billion) spent on graphene research in ten years.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

OTHER FEATURES

PLANT CLOSURE

The articles discusses about the closure of following plants

  • Dow Chemical to quit chlorinated polyethylene
  • Omnova to close SB latex production in Georgia, Ohio
  • Teijin selling Jurong Island site following polycarbonate closure
  • Closure of dimethyl terephthalate unit
  • Albemarle to cease production of n-butyllithium at US facility

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

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

  • Aluminium
  • Aluminium foil
  • Phenol
  • Solar panel

NEWS ROUND UP - INTERNATIONAL

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Proposed carbon black plant in Mexico
  • New acrylic acid complex in Brazil
  • 2-ethylhexanoic acid plant
  • Photomasks plant in Japan
  • Biobased dodecanedioic acid
  • ExxonMobil  production facilities

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

Recent developments on the following products are discussed

  • Biobased chemicals from DuPont BioAmber used for artificial leather
  • UOP’s MTO Technology 

CHINA NEWS

The recent developments  in China are discussed in the following articles

  • New PTA plant  in China
  • Spandex Project
  • Propylene oxide
  • China is world’s   largest energy consumer

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

Recent developments in  agro fields are discussed in the following articles

  • Insects as alternative protein source
  • Marijuana can help treat fractures
  • Turmeric to fight diabetes

PHARMA PAGE

Recent developments  in the pharma  fields are  discussed in the following  articles

  • GM mosquitoes check dengue in Brazil
  • Malaria vaccine
  • New drug could slow Alzheimer's decline: Study
  • Tweaked mosquitoes to fight dengue
  • 39 More drugs brought under price control ambit by Government of India

ENERGY PAGE

  • Recent developments in  energy fields are discussed in the following articles
  • 46,000 MW projects in India face viability issues – Findings of the study
  • RIL, to relinquish two gas discoveries off East Coast
  • Notification on emission norms for thermal coal plants
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Price details

  • Guar gum price

  • Spot price of polymers in China – Period July, 2015

  • Tenders

  • Chemicals imported at Chennai port during the month of May 2015

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