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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, November 2015

CSIR LABS|OPIUM|ETHANE CRACKER
Highlights of Some of the Articles

MODI GOVERNMENT’S PRAISEWORTHY INITIATIVES ON ENERGY FRONT
NEODYMIUM BUTADIENE RUBBER - PRODUCT PROFILE
BROMINE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL TETRA ACETYL ETHYLENE DIAMINE (TAED)
GOVERNMENT’S DIRECTIVE TO CSIR LABS TO SELF FINANCE RESEARCH PROJECTS - A BOLD AND PRAGMATIC MOVE
CONVERTING AGRI LAND FOR DEVELOPING CITY IN ANDHRA PRADESH - A QUESTIONABLE DECISION
OPIUM PRODUCTION IN INDIA
BOOK REVIEW “GROWTH STRATEGIES FOR INDIAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL SLOWDOWN, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO CHINA”
AUTOMOTIVE CATALYST – GLOBAL TREND
ETHANE CRACKER PROJECTS IN USA
BATTERYGRADE LITHIUM CAPACITY OF ALBEMARLE
LI-ION BATTERY SEPARATORS FACILITY IN JAPAN
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

MODI GOVERNMENT’S PRAISEWORTHY INITIATIVES ON ENERGY FRONT

It is gratifying to note that  the Government of India has taken initiatives in the energy front to promote offshore wind power projects and battery driven vehicles for transportation, which are extremely significant strategies.

Impending energy crisis

India is presently importing  around 190 million metric tonne of crude oil, around 15 million metric tonne of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and around 180 million metric tonne of coal per annum, to meet the energy and feedstock requirements.

Since there is no feasibility  of domestic production of crude oil and natural gas being increased in any significant quantity in the near future and one has to keep the fingers crossed about the extent to which  the domestic coal production can be increased, finding  substitute energy source for crude oil, natural gas and coal as energy fuel is a matter of vital importance.

In the absence of finding alternate energy source, India’s import of natural gas, crude oil and coal will have to increase atleast by 50% by 2020 to achieve GDP growth of 6 to 7% per annum.

This level of import  would put very severe strain on Indian foreign exchange reserves and if the crude price would climb back to 70 USD per barrel by 2020 as predicted by many agencies, India may even run out of money to import crude, natural gas and coal to the level of requirement in the coming years.

Such impending energy crisis has to be avoided by government of India with forward planning and efficient governance.

Offshore wind power project

Though India has more than 24,000 MW of onshore wind power capacity, overall capacity utilisation on annual basis is less than 40% , as there is  good wind speed only for three to four months in a year.

In such circumstances, offshore wind power project is of great significance ,since India has around  7000 kilometres of coastline.The distinct advantage of off shore wind power project is the availability of wind throughout the year, with wind speed being much higher than  onshore. While the cost of offshore wind power project is around Rs.25 crores per MW as against  Rs. 7 crores per MW of onshore wind power project, the economics of offshore wind power project would be comparatively better than that of the onshore wind power project, due to the higher capacity utilisation and operating possibility throughout the year with high wind speed.

While several coastal states in the country can have the benefit of offshore wind power project, to start with, Government of India has now chosen Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for promoting the off shore wind power projects.

In Europe, in a short period, around 6000 MW of offshore wind power projects have been built. It is reported that European Union is contemplating to have the target of  achieving 1,00,000 MW of offshore wind power capacity in future

The technology parameters for the installation mechanism of off shore wind power project on the sea and operation of the project have been well developed in Europe. It is reported China is also planning for offshore wind power projects in a big way,  in view of it’s obvious advantages.

Very recently, government of India has announced offshore wind power policy and there may be scope for further fine tuning it, after consultative process with the stake holders.

Just like the laudable initiatives of Modi government with regard to solar power projects and several state governments taking follow up steps for building massive solar power projects, national priority should be given for the offshore wind power project, which has huge  relevance and potentials  in India.

Battery operated vehicles for transportation

Another significant initiative of the Modi  government  is it’s decision to promote battery operated vehicles  for transportation.

While battery operated cars have already been introduced in India in a small way, the sector needs great push from the government in tune with the global trend and in the light of India’s need to find alternate energy source for transportation.

Great strides have been made in developed countries to develop lithium ion batteries, which provide the power source  for running the battery operated automobiles.

With   the introduction of the all electric Nissan Leaf in December,2010, over 1,80,000 units are reported to have been sold worldwide by early June 2015. The Tesla model ranks second , with expected global sales of about 90,000 units by October,2015.

Government of India is reported to have asked Indian Space Research Organisation to develop technology for indigenously producing lithium ion batteries and government is reported to be targeting to atleast run a few battery driven  buses shortly.

Like Germany and several other countries, government of India should encourage setting up of a few large battery driven car manufacturers in India as  well as for the production of lithium ion batteries.
This  move would considerably help  in reducing fuel usage for transportation on national scale, as well as providing environmental benefits.

Algae biofuel

Algae biofuel is another great energy source opportunity  for India. 

The cultivation of algae crop  requires only waste water ,carbon dioxide and  sunlight as input. From the algae, biofuel can be produced apart from several derivative chemicals such as ethanol etc. Unfortunately, in spite of submitting detailed proposal by Nandini Consultancy Centre, Chennai  (www.nandinichemical.com) to government of India and government of Tamil Nadu, nothing worthwhile has been done so far in the country.

On the other hand, millions of dollars have been pumped in for development of  technology for algae based biofuel projects and algae based chemicals  by USA and several other developed countries.  Commercial production has already been started abroad.

In view of the Indian tropical conditions, availability of  large quantity of waste water (sewage water) and carbon dioxide in huge quantity emitted by cement and power plants (which cause global warming), India’s opportunity for promoting  algae based projects are extremely attractive and the country should not ignore this.

Need to support the initiative of Modi government

Certainly, Modi government has taken significant efforts on the energy front and it needs  to forge ahead with determined efforts and pragmatic forward planning

The support of the media to promote appreciation of such appropriate alternate energy options  will considerably help in creating the  right climate for promoting the   alternate energy sources and pave way for smooth implementation. Such projects would certainly help in protecting the country from  the impending energy crisis.

NEODYMIUM BUTADIENE RUBBER - PRODUCT PROFILE

Neodymium Butadiene Rubber (Nd-BR)  is the most advanced butadiene rubber.

 Nd-BR serves a vital function in tyre walls and treads, increasing fuel efficiency. It also reduces tyre abrasion, which means that it can be used to make cars safer as well as more economical.

The use of Nd-BR makes it possible to produce tyres that offer low rolling resistance and  high level of durability and safety.

In addition to its use in the manufacture of high performance tyres, Nd-BR also plays a part in improving the performance of golf balls, running shoes and conveyor belts.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Green tyres
  • Producer’s specification
  • Manufacturing process
  • Global producers
BROMINE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Bromine is an indispensable raw material for inorganic  chemical intermediates, photosensitive materials, dyes and pharmaceuticals.

Bromine is also the base ingredient used in the manufacturing of hydrobromic acid (HBr), which is further utilized as  raw material for organic intermediates including lithium bromide and terephthalic acid.

Molecular Formula:                    Br2
CAS No.                                    7726-95-6
Physical State:                           Liquid 
Appearance:                               Dark red brown 
Odour:                         Pungent odour. 
Solubility:                                  Partially soluble. 
Stability                                     Chemically stable

Storage
Bromine is usually stored in glass bottles or in barrels coated with lead or monel metal.

Conditions to avoid
Incompatible materials, ignition sources, dust generation, contact with water, combustible materials, organic materials, reducing agents.
Specification of liquid bromine  technical)

Description

Value

Bromine, percent by mass, Min

98.5

Chlorine (as Cl)  by mass, Max

0.5

Non volatile matter, percent by mass, Max

0.05

Iodine (as I), percent by mass, Max

0.05

Sulphates (as SO4), percent by mass, Max

0.015

Following details are given in this article.

  • Application sector
  • Manufacturing process outline
  • Indian scenario
  • Indian Import / export
  • Indian producers
  • Global scenario
  • Production of bromine in selected regions
  • Scenario in China
  • China’s import and export of bromine
  • Prospects for bromine in reducing mercury emission
  • Global use pattern of bromine
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL TETRA ACETYL ETHYLENE DIAMINE (TAED)

CAS No:                                   10543-57-4

Molecular formula:                    C10H16O4N2

Synonyms:                                 N,N’-ethylenebis diacetamide, N,N,N’,N’-tetraacetyl-1,2-diaminoethane

Packaging:                                 25 kg kraft paper bags, 600 kg jumbo bags

Toxicity

Not classified as hazardous, as it can be produced without the formation of by products and is easily biodegradable.

Storage

The product should be stored in cool, ventilated area, in tightly closed containers away from direct sunlight and heat.

Following details are given in this article.

  • Applications
  • Specification
  • Manufacturing process
  • Demand drivers for TAED
  • Global demand for TAED
  • Global producers
  • Pattern of country wise import in India:
  • Sample of imports
GOVERNMENT’S DIRECTIVE TO CSIR LABS TO SELF FINANCE RESEARCH PROJECTS - A BOLD AND PRAGMATIC MOVE

Government of India has directed the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories to generate half of its funds for research on its own.

CSIR laboratories have also been asked to send report cards to the Govt. of India on how each of the laboratory is utilising its resources to develop specific lines of inventions, which would contribute to the social and economic objectives of the government to ultimately benefit the poor and the common man.

The above directive was on the basis of the deliberations during two day ‘Chintan Shivir’ held at Dehradun in June 2015, that concluded with all CSIR labs resolving to turn research projects into ‘for profit’ ventures over the next two years.  The Dehradun Declaration is a vision document with a clear focus on deliverables that should be on fast track, having relevance to the common man.

Under the Dehradun Declaration, research institutions have been asked to raise part of their money for research through external funded projects and grants.

As part of the ‘Dehradun Declaration,’ all CSIR laboratories have agreed to develop a revenue model in 8 business like manner with  clear cost benefit analysis

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Investment in CSIR labs and lack of commensurate benefits
  • Dr. CNR Rao’s view on Indian R & D efforts
  • R&D culture in developed countries
  • Scientists need motivation
  • Scientists should accept the challenge
CONVERTING AGRI LAND FOR DEVELOPING CITY IN ANDHRA PRADESH - A QUESTIONABLE DECISION

It is shocking that 30,000 acres of fertile agricultural land have been put to use for developing Amaravati as capital city of Andhra Pradesh.

Obviously, this implies that Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh thinks that developing  a city is more important than cultivating rice or pulses. Converting agricultural land for building houses  or constructing factories  are being repeatedly carried out during the last several years all over the country

While industrial growth should be complimentary to agricultural growth , there is absolutely no justification to think that the industrial activity or construction of a city should be pursued at the cost of agricultural operations. This is a counter productive approach. 

The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has grievously erred and has done great disservice by  using 30,000 acres of agricultural land to build a capital city.  

Inadequate agricultural growth

Average growth of agriculture during the first four years of 12th Five Year Plan is likely to be only around 1.5%  against the target of 4%.  This inadequate growth is bound to have huge adverse impact on the economy of rural India and in the poverty alleviation programme.  

More than 50% of Indian population is employed in the agricultural sector and their economic status is unsatisfactory.  The government of India has argued in the recent past that so many people are not really needed to be employed in agricultural operations and considerable segment of the agricultural work force should be drawn to industrial and other activities to improve their social and economic conditions. There may be an element of logic in  such view point.

However, the distinction must be made between weaning  away agricultural workers to other areas of employment and taking away the agricultural land and putting it into use for non agricultural purposes.

Agri sector as vital as industrial sector

It is high time that the government of India should recognise that the contribution of agricultural sector for India’s growth is as significant as industrial and services sector and perhaps, may be more significant.

India has around 160 million hectare of arable  land , which is second largest in the world after USA. Gross irrigated area in India is around 83 million hectare, which is the largest in the world.  Agriculture operations has contributed around 75 billion US dollar net income  to the national exchequer by way of exports in the last five years. India ranks fifth largest exporter of agricultural products after US, Brazil. China and Canada. Further, the import component in agricultural operations is insignificant compared to the Import component in the services and industrial sector.

All said and done , Indian economy is agriculture oriented and it will continue to remain so for all time to come.  India should be proud of this ground reality. As a matter of fact, the agricultural sector represents the basic strength of Indian economy and highest importance have to be given for protecting the farming community as well as the agricultural economy at any cost.

Agriculture can do as good for India as industries and services sector. Certainly, there is no conflict of interest between agriculture and non agriculture sector. At the same time, taking away fertile agricultural land for constructing city, housing colony or factories is undesirable in principle and as economic growth strategy.

Put the unused land to use

Today, there are thousands of acres of industrial land which are remaining unused. There are more than two million hectares of waste land, marshy and  rocky land in the country, which cannot be used for agricultural operations but can certainly be put to use for non agricultural purposes.

Modi’s government  should listen to the voice of rural India and the saner voice in the country, which is of the firm view that agriculture needs strong government support to improve yield and productivity  and there should be no attempt to cut the area of agricultural land in the country.

Government of India would do well to announce a policy decision that all agricultural land in India would remain intact and it will be used only for agricultural purposes.

Converting agricultural land to other activities is similar to cutting  off the nose to spite the face.

OPIUM PRODUCTION IN INDIA

India is one of the few countries that legally grow opium poppy and the only country which legally produces opium gum.

Opium poppy plant is the source of opium gum, which contains several indispensable alkaloids such as morphine, codeine and thebaine.

Codeine is commonly used in the manufacture of cough syrups.

Government of India is looking to increase the country’s opium production in the cultivation year 2015-16

Government of India has notified the general conditions for grant of license for cultivation of opium poppy on account of the Central Government during the opium crop year commencing on the October 1, 2015 and ending with September 30, 2016.

Under the proposed policy, the average yield of opium cultivators has been fixed at 56 kg per hectare in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and not less than 52 kg per hectare in Uttar Pradesh. These are the only three states allowed to grow opium in the country.

While these limits are the same as last year, the government is looking to expand the area under cultivation by rewarding cultivators, who did well the previous year. Under this year’s notification, all eligible cultivators will be issued a licence for 10 acres.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

BOOK REVIEW - “GROWTH STRATEGIES FOR INDIAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL SLOWDOWN, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO CHINA”

Author: Mr. Swaminathan Venkataraman, Director, Nandini Consultancy (S) Pte Ltd, Singapore 
www.nandinichemical.com

A well researched book on appropriate strategies to forge ahead for Indian chemical industry,  discusses about the weakness and strength of Indian chemical industry, with particular reference to the competitive global market, where China has emerged as dominating  player. Ways and means have been suggested for the Indian chemical industry to derive benefits from  the present situation.

The recent slowdown trend in the global economy are analyzed with facts, figures and case studies, which has been largely caused  due to the problems faced by Chinese economy  as a result of over capacity creation in China, leading to under utilization of capacity and consequent debt burden for industries and investors.

Following details are discussed in this book

  • Chinese scenario
  • Approach of multinational companies
  • Indian scenario
  • Indian import trend
  • Inadequate technology development efforts
  • Need to avoid impending energy crisis
  • Need for strong trading houses
  • Other needs
  • Missed opportunities
AUTOMOTIVE CATALYST – GLOBAL TREND

The long term prospects for automotive catalyst sales is positive, given the implementation of the stricter  Euro 4 regulations, based on European emissions standards.

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Demand drivers
  • Demand growth
  • Technology aspects
  • Important producers
ETHANE CRACKER PROJECTS IN USA

Six ethane crackers are already under construction in the United States and many others are in various stages of development.

Following details are given in this article.

  • US cracker projects
  • Proposal of Formosa petrochemical
BATTERYGRADE LITHIUM CAPACITY OF ALBEMARLE

Albemarle has announced plans to increase its mineral conversion capacity by up to  50,000 metric tonne per to add capacity for battery grade lithium, including lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.

The move responds to growing demand for energy storage in the transportation industry and the energy infrastructure industry.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

LI-ION BATTERY SEPARATORS FACILITY IN JAPAN

Ube Industries will expand its production capacity for lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery separators by rebuilding existing facilities at its production complex at Ube, Japan, and establishing new manufacturing facilities at its production complex at Sakai, Japan.

The move responds to growing demand for separators for automotive-use Li-ion batteries. Demand for Li-ion batteries used in automotive applications is projected to increase greatly, especially for hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and electric vehicles. Advances in the development of Li-ion batteries for electricity storage and industrial applications are also expected.

Ube began manufacturing separators at its Ube site in 1994. The company gradually increased production capacity at that site in line with the expanding market for Li-ion batteries. 

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

  • Fibre boards
  • PET resin
  • Narrow woven fabric

PLANT CLOSURES

The articles discusses about the closure of following plants

  • Closure of NBR plant in the UK
  • Sabic closes cyclohexane unit in UK
  • Trinseo to close SB latex plant at Gales Ferry
  • BP to close idled para xylene plant at Texas City

NEWS ROUND UP - INTERNATIONAL

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • LDPE plant in Slovenia
  • Epoxy thermal curatives
  • Evonik buys Netherlands H2O2 producer
  • Ammonia complex in Russia
  • Soda ash capacity expansion in Pakistan
  • Nitrates, iodine production facility in Chile
  • Polyols plant from renewable raw material at Cincinnati
  • Biogum facility 

 

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

Recent developments on the following products are discussed

  • Fragrance molecule production by Amyris
  • Biomass derived polyisoprene rubber
  • Tannery waste paves way for environment friendly roads
  • Biodegradable implant to help heal broken bones
  • Bacteria neutralises carbon dioxide gas
  • Cleaning rivers using a nano composite

CHINA NEWS

The recent developments  in China are discussed in the following articles

  • Capacity expansion for tertiary Butylamine in Nanjing
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Phthalic anhydride project

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

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

  • Whitefly attack due to excessive use of urea

PHARMA PAGE

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

  • Indian patent for cilastatin drug
  • Eli Lilly ends work on heart drug- Evacetrapib
  • New compound to fight Ebola
  • Potential malaria vaccine
  • Drug from banana to  fight AIDS
  • CSIR launches herbal drug to fight type-II diabetes
  • FDA approves first of its kind product for the treatment of melanoma

ENERGY PAGE

Recent developments in  energy fields are discussed in the following articles

  • Proposed 17,418 MW solar power in parks
  • TAPTI gas field expected to cease production by year end
  • Prospects for hydrocarbon basin in Kutch offshore
  • Shale gas exploration
  • Solar power tariff trend in India

ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE

Recent developments in  environmental  fields are discussed in the following articles

  • Four key climate pollutants banned by WHO
  • Validity for  environmental clearance extended
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Spot price of polymers in China - October, 2015
  • Tenders
  • Chemicals imported at Chennai port during the month of August, 2015
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