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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, December 2015

GM CROP|MALTODEXTRIN|IRON OXIDE
Highlights of Some of the Articles

BILL GATES’ SKEPTICISM ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY AND PM’s TARGET OF 175 GW BY 2022
IRON OXIDE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
PHTHALIC ANHYDRIDE – PRODUCT PROFILE
MALTODEXTRIN – PRODUCT PROFILE
NEED FOR APPROPRIATE POLICY WITH REGARD TO ACCIDENTS IN FACTORIES
INDIA'S CRUDE OIL OUTPUT SCENARIO - FINDINGS OF A STUDY
DELAYED PETROCHEMICAL PROJECT OF NAGARJUNA OIL CORPORATION IN TAMIL NADU
WHAT STRATEGIES FOR CHINESE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL SLOW DOWN ?
FOCUS ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROP (GM CROP) WHAT SHOULD BE GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH TO GM CROPS ?
UPDATE ON CHLOR-ALKALI INDUSTRY IN EUROPE SWITCH OVER FROM MERCURY TO MEMBRANE CELL TECHNOLOGY
UPDATE ON COAL BED METHANE PROJECT IN INDIA
UPDATE ON GLOBAL TITANIUM DIOXIDE INDUSTRY
STANDARDS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF PARA XYLENE PLANTS IN CHINA
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

BILL GATES’ SKEPTICISM ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY AND PM’s TARGET OF 175 GW BY 2022

Even the pledged admirers of Bill Gates, widely acclaimed as the greatest innovator and philanthropist of present time, would be surprised to know about the skepticism of Bill Gates on the potential benefits of renewable energy for saving countries like India from an impending energy crisis and to provide the ecological gains to mankind by ensuring reduction in use of fossil fuel (coal, oil, natural gas) that cause global warming.

On a careful reading of the speech of Bill Gates, his admirers may give him the benefit of the doubt and state that he was just thinking aloud and even before crystallising his thoughts, he blurted out his views in a premature manner. There is no doubt that the negative views of Bill Gates on renewable energy are ill advised and certainly is not in tune with the reputation that he commands.

At the same time, it is gratifying to note that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fixed renewable energy target of 175 GW for the year 2022, during his recent speech in the Paris Climate Conference.

Given the past experience in India of fixing the target and not achieving them even half way on several occasions, many people may suspect that the Prime Minister may be unreasonably ambitious. Perhaps, those who admire Narendra Modi for his capability to think big and his habit of announcing tall targets in dramatic manner, may say that the Prime Minister has fixed target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, with the objective of enthusing the countrymen to work towards such big target and work hard to achieve it. Probably, he has thrown the target as the challenge for the Indian administrators, scientists and technologists.

However, a careful analysis of renewable energy potential in India would make it evident that such target of 175 GW is reasonable, much needed and well within the achievable capability of India.

Present scenario and the huge target

The present scenario is that India has around 38, O96 MW of renewable power, consisting of wind power of 24,677 MW, solar power of 4579 MW, the small hydropower of 4161MW, biopower of 455O MW and waste to the power of 127 MW.

Given the target of 175 GW by 2022 and the present capacity of around 38 GW, India needs to build renewable energy capacity of around 19 GW every year between 2016 and 2022. Is it possible? It is possible if Modi government would be able to pursue the task with great determination, focused attention, innovative approach and creation of appropriate public opinion in favour of such target. 
By fixing the target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, Narendra Modi has placed himself and his governance capability on trial.

India has the onshore wind power potential of around 103 GW.With around 7600 km of coastal line, India has the potential of around 350GW of offshore wind power.

India has the advantage in terms of higher solar radiation compared to countries such as Germany, USA, Japan, Australia, Italy, which have made significant progress in solar power segment in the recent years. Potential of solar power in India is as high as 5000 million kilowatt-hours per year. Small hydropower potential in India is around 20 GW.

Obviously, Modi government has to largely rely on the capacity build up of wind power and solar power to achieve the target of 175 GW by 2022. It has fixed target of 100 GW of solar power by 2022.

Challenges ahead

There are challenges ahead and obviously Narendra Modi must be aware of this daunting task when he fixed the target of 175 GW by 2022.

One MW of solar power capacity needs the land area of around 5 to 7.5 acres. Similar extent of land area would be required for onshore wind power also.This means that more than one lakh acre of land has to be made available for building up around 19000 MW(19 GW) of renewable power capacity every year. Such land has to be acquired without disturbing agriculture farm holdings.

Of course, there are lakhs of acres of unused and wasted land available in the country and such land has to be identified and put to use for building up the renewable power projects. The suitability of the land for the purpose also need to be ascertained.

Another big challenge is the building up of grid capacity in tune with the capacity build up for renewable power so that the generated power can be handled.

Building up of the capacity of 19 GW per year and creating the required additional grid capacity will call for an investment of around Rs.1,50,000 crores per year. As the year 2016 will commence in the next few days, we see a scenario where no provision has been made to have the necessary investment to build the envisaged renewable energy capacity every year.

There are other issues such as an absence of any production capacity in the country for polycrystalline silicon, which is one of the essential input material for solar cell. One MW of solar power capacity would need 20 tonne of polycrystalline silicon.

Though some initial steps have been taken to build offshore wind power project in the coastal region of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, it is still in very preliminary stage.

Let the nation strive to achieve the target

While one can say that Narendra Modi’s target is technically achievable and the doomsayers would very much doubt that the target can be achieved, the nation would be well advised to believe that target would be possible and it should strive towards achieving the target to the best of its ability, notwithstanding whatever may be the views of Bill Gates

IRON OXIDE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Chemical formula:                     Fe2O3

Appearance:                             Powder of size around 40 micron

Colour/shades

CAS Number

Colour/shade

Composition

Chemical formula

Refractory index

Specific gravity

51274-00-1

Yellow

Hydrated ferric oxide

Fe2O3.- H2O

2.3. to 2.4

4.06

1309-37-1

Red

Ferric oxide

Fe2O3

3.01 to 3.22

5.18

1317-61-9

Brown

Mixture of red, yellow and black

Fe2O3+ Fe2O3-Y

3.0 to 3.11

4.77

Black

Black oxide of iron (ferro ferric oxide)

Fe3O4 or
X Fe2O3-Y. FeO

2.42 to 2.48

4.95

Black iron oxide has the highest tint strength, generally achieving saturation at 6 percent dosage. Brown has a slightly lower tint strength, leveling -off at approximately 7 percent dosage, followed by 8 percent for red and 9 percent for yellow

The difference in colour/shade between one pigment and another is due to the surface structure of the particle.

Pigments of the same family, such as reds for example, could have different undertone. Upon dilution with a white extender, reds may appear purple or pink. The reason for this is that a red pigment particle, depending on its structure, may reflect the red component of light plus a certain amount of blue (purple undertone) or some yellow (pink undertone).

The appearance of the undertone effect depends on the reflected amount of these secondary components relative to the mass tone.

The undertone characteristics of a colour also determine if the mass tone, such as red, would have a yellow (terra cotta) or blue (deep red) appearance.

Yellow oxides have, in general, green or red undertones. Black oxides may have red or blue undertone.

Forms

Liquid form

Liquid form is made by mixing powdered or semi-dried iron oxide with 30 to 40 percent water, surfactants and stabilizers to form a “suspension.”

Granule form

Granules are made by mixing a binder and dispersant with the liquid and spray drying the mixture.

Powder form

Both liquid and granule forms offer improved housekeeping versus powdered iron oxide, but powder holds the edge in economy of use.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Application
  • Annual Indian import/export of synthetic iron oxide pigment (all colours)
  • Indian installed capacity and production
  • New projects
  • Plant closure
  • Demand drivers
  • Domestic demand
  • Manufacturing process
  • Global scenario
  • Global installed capacity
  • Global demand
  • Application sector wise demand
  • Scenario in China
  • Output of the iron oxide products in China
  • Consumption of  iron oxide pigment in various application sector in China
PHTHALIC ANHYDRIDE – PRODUCT PROFILE

CAS No:                       85-44-9

Synonyms                     2-Benzenedicarboxylic anhydride; PAN; Phthalic acid anhydride; 1,3-Isobenzofuranidone

Chemical formula          C8H4O3

Appearance and form

Phthalic anhydride (PAN) is a white crystalline solid
PAN in liquid or molten form has the appearance and viscosity of water.
Melting point                 130.5 deg C
Boiling point                  248.5 deg C

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Product specification
  • Applications
  • Process outline
  • Indian installed capacity and production level
  • Indian producers
  • Plant closures
  • Import/ export in India
  • Anti dumping measures
  • Indian demand
  • Pattern of demand
  • Global scenario
  • Global production
  • Global region wise pattern of production
  • Global producers
  • Global import / export trade
  • Prognosis
MALTODEXTRIN – PRODUCT PROFILE

Appearance                  White powder

Taste                            Extremely bland in taste

Solubility                       Soluble in water, milk, fruit juice, etc.

Viscosity                       Syrups prepared with maltodextrin have higher viscosity than those with glucose at the same concentration and temperature                            

Energy rating                 Four calories per gram of solid.

Specifications

Description

Value

Appearance

White coloured fine powder

Dextrose equivalent

22.47%

Clarity

Clear

pH

6.25

Loss on drying

3.91%

Bulk density

0.32 gm/ml

Starch test

Negative

Enzymatic activity

Nil

Following details are dicussed in this article.

  • Product application
  • Indian import / export
  • Indian demand  and supply
  • Global scenario
  • Important global producers
  • Increase in demand for non-GMO maltodextrin
  • Technology
  • Prognosis
NEED FOR APPROPRIATE POLICY WITH REGARD TO ACCIDENTS IN FACTORIES

Recently, a grave accident has taken place in the factory belonging to Shasun Pharmaceuticals Limited at Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu. One person was charred to death and three others were injured in a fire that broke out  in the shop floor.

It is reported that the employees were working in the production block located in the 3rd floor of the factory, when fire broke out after hexane spilled  over from a tank. The employee who tried to remove the chemical with the help of a bucket was charred to death in the fire.

 A day after the accident, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB)  served the closure order on Shasun Pharmaceuticals Limited’s Cuddalore plant for non compliance of conditions.

Immediately after the accident, local politicians agitated against the unit. An NGO said that closure of the unit was  a welcome move and it insisted that the government should also prosecute the people responsible for the accident.

Governments do not seem to have any specific policy, as to how the industrial acts should be viewed and tackled.

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Practices  abroad
  • Lack of consistent policy in India
  • Knee jerk reaction
  • Conduct quick enquiry
  • Need for appropriate policy towards industrial accidents
INDIA'S CRUDE OIL OUTPUT SCENARIO - FINDINGS OF A STUDY

India's crude oil production will continue to fall in the next quarter century despite the government's ambitious targets, declining to less than half the current output as new reserves fail to compensate for the decay in existing fields, the International Energy Agency has said.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Target
  • Import
  • Production
  • Mismatch between resources and needs
  • Dismal overseas investment
  • Policy measures
  • Natural gas scenario
WHAT STRATEGIES FOR CHINESE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL SLOW DOWN?

Swaminathan Venkataraman,Director,Nandini Consultancy (S) Pte Ltd, Singapore
swaminathan.v@nandinichemical.com

The recent slow down in the world economy is real, which is largely attributed to the slow down in the Chinese economy. This view, obviously, implies that China is the main driver for the global economy today and the happenings in China will decisively influence the global developments and prospects.  The world has realized this and industries in China and particularly chemical industry, can be justifiably proud of such recognition of China’s importance in the global arena.

Though the challenges facing Chinese chemical industry today  due to global slow down are formidable, they are well manageable.

Capacity  utilization of Chinese chemical industry   has to be significantly increased. Obviously, China has to penetrate the export market even in a bigger way to sustain its growth and improve capacity utilization level. Appropriate strategies for  export market penetration have to be carefully worked out and implemented.

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • China is dominant consumer in the global market
  • Challenges in environmental front
  • Capacity creation efforts and the issues
  • Chinese chemical industries doing comparatively better
  • Dependence of other countries on China to sustain their growth
  • Dependence of multinational companies on China
  • Multinational companies will continue to bet on China
  • Capacity build up in China continues
  • China will continue to be a dynamic market
  • What Chinese chemical industry should do now ?
FOCUS ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROP (GM CROP). WHAT SHOULD BE GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH TO GM CROPS?

Following details are discussed in this article.

GM SCENARIO IN INDIA

  • GM cotton
  • Pest attack on GM cotton
  • Proposal to consider GM maize
  • Approval for trial
  • Punjab not to conduct field trials of GM mustard
  • Telangana set for GM trials
  • Caught between Monsanto and States, cottonseed industry seeks Government of India’s help

GM POLICY IN EUROPE

  • Commercial growing of GM crop in Europe
  • Field trials in Europe
  • Scenario in Britain
  • Scenario in Germany
  • Restriction in Scotland
  • Restriction in Latvia and Greece

SCENARIO IN USA

  • FDA okays GM salmon for human consumption
UPDATE ON CHLOR-ALKALI INDUSTRY IN EUROPE SWITCH OVER FROM MERCURY TO MEMBRANE CELL TECHNOLOGY

EU Directive

According to the chlor-alkali Best Available Techniques reference document, adopted under the European Union’s Industrial Emissions Directive, mercury is not the best available technology (BAT) and local operating permits will have to be updated by December 2017 at the latest. This means that mercury-cell chlor-alkali plants will need to switch to BAT or face closure by that date.

Many plants are converting to membrane-cell technology, including one owned by AkzoNobel at Ibbenbüren, Germany

Mercury-cell plants accounted for 22.6% of Europe’s 12.17-million  metric tonne per year chlorine capacity in 2014. Many of them are small scale and their owners are often short of money and therefore some are likely to close.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

UPDATE ON COAL BED METHANE PROJECT IN INDIA

Auction of CBM block - Present status

Government of India has auctioned nearly 30 CBM blocks under four rounds and gave another three blocks prior to auctions.

However, currently only one block held by GEECL that operates the Raniganj (South) block is under commercial production. Another block held by Essar Oil in West Bengal has started producing small volumes of gas but is not declared commercial yet.

According to DGH, output from CBM blocks was expected to go up to 7.4 mmscmd by 2013-14, but it was not achieved. The total sedimentary area for CBM exploration in India is of the order of 26,000 sqkm. Of this, exploration has been initiated in only 52% of the area.

In other words, a large area remains to be explored, says DGH website.
GEECL, the first company in India to commercially produce CBM, sells around 0.30 to 0.35 mmscmd to customers in West Bengal.  The block has 2.44 tcf of estimated gas in place.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Government of India’s directive to Coal India
UPDATE ON GLOBAL TITANIUM DIOXIDE INDUSTRY

Recent financial and restructuring announcements by titanium dioxide (TiO2) producers Huntsman and Chemours show that conditions in the titanium dioxide market have not improved. Pricing continues to decline, they say, and operating rates remain low. On the bright side, analysts say that inventories are falling back to normal, and with demand growth expected to outpace new capacity in the years ahead, recovery may not be far off.

TiO2 producers have experienced steady profitability improvements through the course of the last two years, [and] all of the major companies experienced TiO2 volume gains through the course of 2013 and 2014 .

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

STANDARDS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF PARA XYLENE PLANTS IN CHINA

“Conditions for Standardizing the Construction of PX (p-xylene) Projects” was issued in China by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in collaboration with the Ministry of Environmental Protection on September 23, 2015, to tighten the standards for construction of new PX capacity.  The new rules took effect  from October 1, 2015.

Highlights of the standards are provided in this article.

  • Project location
  • Technical index
  • Raw material sources
  • Energy consumption
  • Environmental issue
OTHER FEATURES

PLANT CLOSURE

The articles discusses about the closure of following plants

  • Axiall to shut down phenol plant
  • Invista to shut down adipic acid plant in Orange, TX,
  • Production ends at Total’s Carling cracker
  • Ammonium nitrate plant closure in Malaysia
  • Saint Gobain shuts down Maharashtra plant
  • AstraZeneca shuts Bengaluru unit

SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE

The articles discuss about the accidents that occurred in the following plants 

  • Leak at DuPont’s La Porte site in USA
  • 4 die in  boiler explosion in Tamil Nadu

NEWS ROUND UP – INTERNATIONAL

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Proposed propanol / 2-ethylhexanol project
  • Li-ion battery separators
  • Seeds for bioplastics project of  Biofase
  • Potash project

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

Recent developments on the following products are discussed

  • Glass as strong as steel developed
  • DRDO to develop technology to help submarines remain under water for long
  • Worm that ‘eats up’ plastic
  • Porous liquid to filter carbon emissions developed
  • Low cost solar powered light source
  • Storing solar power in salt water
  • Scientists refrigerate liquid using infrared laser
  • Regenerating bones through nanoparticles
  • Scientists develop Graphene mic, which is 32 times more sensitive
  • Pre-sulfided Sour Gas ShiftMax Catalysts developed by Clariant

CHINA NEWS

The recent developments  in China are discussed in the following articles

  • Polybutylene project
  • New polyamide 6,6.6 plant  set up by BASF in China
  • Production of mononitrobenzene in Chongqing by BASF
  • PC plant set up by Ningbo Zhetie Daphoon
  • Isononanol plant
  • China’s shale gas project
  • PEEK
  • New fluorelastomer plant in Changshu
  • Vanillin

NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Bio medical research facility
  • Pilot plant for activated carbon production
  • Ethanol supply scenario
  • Government mandate for use of plastic waste in road construction
  • ACC ‘s cement brick units

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

Recent developments  in the agro  fields are  discussed in the following  article

  • Approval for use of natural sweetener in India

 

PHARMA PAGE

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

  • Govt. to ease testing norms for drugs approved abroad
  • Ban on ketoprofane
  • Injectable polio vaccine
  • New blood cancer drug clears first clinical trial
  • New Alzheimers drug
  • Mutant mosquitoes to battle malaria

ENERGY PAGE

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

  • Algae could be  green power source
  • Proposed  new LNG project in Gujarat
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Spot price of polymers in China - November, 2015
  • Tenders
  • Chemicals imported at Chennai port during September, 2015
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