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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, April 2016

ACETONITRILE|TRYPTOPHAN|NUCLEAR WASTE
Highlights of Some of the Articles

IS INDIAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY LOSING IT’S STEAM ?
NATURAL GAS PIPELINE PROJECT IN TAMIL NADU WHAT GAIL SAYS ?
ACETONITRILE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
NYLON 12 – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
TRYPTOPHAN – PRODUCT PROFILE
HOW NUCLEAR WASTE IS DISPOSED OF IN INDIA ?
PROPOSED FEE HIKE IN IITs – A RETROGRADE STEP
INDIA LAGS IN INNOVATION EFFORTS FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
WHY MAKE IN INDIA / START UP INDIA CAMPAIGN NOT TAKING OFF ?
WHAT QUALIFICATION FOR CHAIRMAN/MEMBER SECRETARY OF POLLUTION CONTROL BOARDS ?
GOVERNMENT’S WELCOME POLICY THRUST FOR OIL / GAS EXPLORATION SECTOR
UPDATE ON FRACKING TECHNOLOGY FOR SHALE GAS PRODUCTION IN USA
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

IS INDIAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY LOSING IT’S STEAM ?

Inspite of Prime Minister’s repeated call for promotion of investment in India and recent much publicized Make in India & Start up  India campaign, there appear to be little impact on the Indian chemical industry.

While regular conference and seminars are organized by industry associations, praising the growth and performance of Indian chemical industry and exhibiting high hopes and confidence, those directly involved in managing or dealing with Indian chemical industry can not but realize that Indian chemical industry now lack sense of direction and  lack confidence to go ahead with new  investment in appropriate projects with innovative ideas

Import growth

Import of several chemicals are now steadily going up,  as new capacities are not being adequately built , thus making India net importer of several chemicals and allied products.

What is even more matter of concern is that several organizations which  have been producing chemicals have now suspended the production and have instead started importing the same product for trading in India, choosing the easy path to make profit.

Heavy dependence on overseas technology

One fact that can not be ignored is that Indian  chemical  industry continue to rely heavily on technology providers from abroad for setting up chemical projects, even in the medium scale sector.

Repeated  technology import take place for  setting up manufacturing facility for products, which are already produced in the country. India has been recipient  of several technologies from abroad even from tiny countries and this negative trend is continuing  unabated .

It appears that Indian chemical industry can progress only to the extent that overseas organizations would provide technical know how and technology support.

Need to step up R&D efforts

Real breakthrough in the investment and progress of chemical industry in India will  take place, only if the research and development efforts would be  initiated in a bigger way, to achieve greater success in the process and product development efforts than what has been hitherto possible.

Development of appropriate technology to meet the Indian needs and that would be appropriate to Indian conditions can go a long way in producing the products that may  become globally competitive. However, the  initiative in research and development  efforts are still far below  the level of need.

Lack of confidence is now obvious

With rapid advancement in process technology  around the world and environmental pressures mounting up, the Indian project promoters are increasingly seen to be hesitant to invest in chemical industry even in medium and small scale sector. This is a matter of grave concern.

Obviously, there is need for positive and visible change in the mindset of the Indian chemical project promoters to develop  pride and enthusiasm,that are necessary to implement   chemical projects that would lead to greater prospects for the investors as well as the country.

Government initiative needed

Government of India  has to step up the investment in chemical projects on its own, if the private sector would be  unable to  or unwilling to take necessary investment decisions and  continue to remain  extremely cautious, which reflect on lack of dynamism in approach amongst the project promoter in India.

NATURAL GAS PIPELINE PROJECT IN TAMIL NADU ; WHAT GAIL SAYS?

A letter was submitted to Hon'ble Prime Minister by Mr. N.S.Venkataraman, expressing  concern about the delayed natural gas pipeline project in Tamil Nadu and partly criticising Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL )for the manner in which it has handled the situation. Prime Minister's office immediately forwarded the letter to GAIL, directing it to respond with it's view.

Accordingly , GAIL  has sent a detailed response. The text of the communication from GAIL is provided in this article.

The following two important points have been made out by GAIL in it's response.

Compensation amount to farmers :  -  What GAIL says ?

GAIL has said that the compensation amount to the farmers were fixed by the Government of Tamil Nadu and not by GAIL.Obviously, GAIL implies  that  the compensation amount has been paid as fixed by Government of Tamil Nadu and  more  compensation amount can be paid if it would be so decided by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Following is the statement of GAIL .

"Compensation for acquisition of Right of Use (ROU) for laying of gas pipeline is governed by P&MP Act’1962 and is determined by Competent Authority, who is a State Government Revenue Officer on deputation to GAIL."  

"Govt. of Tamil Nadu vide Order dated 22.08.2012 had issued the ROU compensation formulae, calculated at 10% of the reserve price of the land i.e. (10% of [revised guideline value + 30% compensation]). Further, it was stated that the term ‘compensation’ can be used in lieu of ‘solatium’, when actual payment is made. Based on the above order of Govt of Tamil Nadu, the Competent Authority (CA) in the rank of Dy. Collector deputed by the State Govt, had distributed the ROU compensation for GAIL’s Pipeline in some districts of Tamil Nadu."

" It can be seen that GAIL has no direct role in determination of the amount of compensation against ROU".

Cooperation from Government of Tamil Nadu - What GAIL says ?

GAIL has said that it's  requests to Government of Tamil Nadu to nominate officials to coordinate with GAIL to smoothly implement  the project has received no response from Government of Tamil Nadu. Obviously, GAIL implies that it has not  received adequate cooperation from Government of Tamil Nadu.  Following is the statement of GAIL.

"Subsequent to Judgment from Hon’ble Supreme Court, GAIL vide letter dated 16.02.2016 has requested Govt of Tamil Nadu for their support for proceeding ahead with the project construction activities and also requested for nomination of a team of senior functionaries from State Govt with whom a dedicated team of GAIL can interact for working out a joint action plan in paving the way for resuming pipeline construction activities at the earliest in the interest of energy security and associated socio-economic development that accrue to the State in particular and rest of India in general.  Response from Govt of Tamil Nadu is awaited".

Reply to Public Grievance of Shri. N S Venkatatraman, Registration No. PMOPG/D/2016/0030245  dated 06.02.2016, received through MOPNG vide letter dated 17.02.2016 is discussed in the article.

ACETONITRILE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
Chemical name      Acetonitrile
Chemical formula    CH3CN
CAS Register number  75-05-8
Appearance   Colourless liquid
Odour  Aromatic; Ether-like (Strong)
Solubility  Soluble in water
Boiling Point   82.2 degree C
Specific gravity at 20 deg.C 0.787

Grades

Acetonitrile is commercially available in the following grades.

  • Chemical grade
  • Reagent grade
  • High purity grade

Product specification

Name of the producer : INEOS Nitriles

Product - High purity acetonitrile (chemical grade)

Description

Value

Appearance

Clear and free of 
suspended matter

Acetonitrile % per wt. min

99.9

Acidity % per wt. max.

0.05

Free Ammonia, ppm max.

6.0

Titrable acid, µeq per gm max.

8.0

Titirable base, µeq per gm max.

0.35

Copper, ppm max.

0.5

Iron, ppm max.

0.5

Water, % per wt. max.

0.05

UV Cut-off

205 NM max.

Acrylonitrile, ppm max.

3

Propionitrile, ppm max.

300

Non Volatiles mater, ppm max.

10

Colour (APHA Pt - Co)

< 5

Specific gravity 20/20 deg. C

0.780 - 0.785

Distillation Range 
Initial, deg. C
Dry point, deg. C

 

min 80.5
max 82.5

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Major application sector
  • Process outline
  • Global production
  • Global producers
  • China’s main acetonitrile producers
  • New & expanded acetonitrile capacity in China
  • Scenario in China
  • Use pattern of acetonitrile in China
  • Demand driver
  • Global demand
  • World consumption pattern of acetonitrile
  • Global sectorwise  consumption pattern
  • Indian import
  • Country wise import
  • Case for capacity creation in India
NYLON 12 – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Nylon is the generic name for thermo plastic polyamide resins.

Nylon  resins are available as filaments and yarns, moulding compounds and casting materials.. One of the major advantages of nylon resins is that they retain useful mechanical properties over a range of temperatures from -51 to +204 deg.C. Nylons also have good impact, tensile and flexural strengths, excellent low friction properties and good electrical resistivities.

Nylon-12 is a cyclododecatriene (CDT)-derived product that is crucial to the automotive supply chain.

Evonik and Arkema are major producers of nylon-12 in the world.

India now produces nylon 6 only. Other grades of nylon such as nylon 12 also provide excellent investment opportunities.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Comparative physical properties of various grades of nylon
  • Applications of Nylon 12
  • Global producers
  • Substitution possibility
  • Demand driver
  • Synthesis
  • Indian import of nylon 12
TRYPTOPHAN – PRODUCT PROFILE

Common feed grade amino acids include lysine, methionine and tryptophan.

Tryptophan is the third major feed-grade amino acid, after methionine and lysine.

Tryptophan occurs in isomeric forms.

Molecular formula  C11H12N2O2   
CAS No.     73-22-3
Appearance   White or yellow slightly crystalline powder

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Applications
  • Conditions & treatments related to L-tryptophan
  • Specification
  • Process outline
  • Global capacity
  • Global demand
  • Important global producers
  • Chinese producers
  • Demand trend
  • World consumption pattern of tryptophan
  • Indian imports
HOW NUCLEAR WASTE IS DISPOSED OF IN INDIA?

In India, nuclear power plants and spent fuel reprocessing facilities primarily generate nuclear waste in gaseous, liquid and solid form during their operation and maintenance activities.

The plant management uses adsorption on activated charcoal and filtration by high efficiency particulate air filter to treat gaseous waste at the source of generation.They dilute the treated gases with exhaust air and discharge them through tall stack with monitoring.

The liquid waste streams are treated by filtration, adsorption, chemical treatment, evaporation, ion exchange; reverse osmosis etc. as applicable depending upon the nature, volume and radioactivity content. They immobilize the concentrate generated in inert materials such as cement.

The low and intermediate level radioactive wastes generated by the plants are segregated and their volume reduced by compaction and incineration. The waste is then packed in suitable containers and disposed of in specially constructed structures such as stone lined trenches, reinforced concrete trenches and tile holes in the plant premises.

During reprocessing, only about two to three percent of the spent fuel becomes waste and the rest is recycled. Scientists convert this high level waste(HLW) into glass through a process, called vitrification. India now produces about 4 tonnes of such waste per GW-year (1000 MW produced for one year). India has been operating vitrification plants at Trombay, Tarapur and Kalpakkam for more than two decades. Present arrangement is to store the vitrified waste in a solid storage surveillance facility for 30 to 40 years with natural cooling prior to its eventual emplacement in a geological disposal facility.

PROPOSED FEE HIKE IN IITs – A RETROGRADE STEP

It is reported that decks have been cleared for a three fold hike in the IIT fee from Rs.90,000 per annum to Rs.3 lakh per annum starting this academic session, with the Standing Committee  of the IIT Council (SCIC) recommending the  increase. The final decision on the fee hike will however, be taken by the Chairperson of the IIT Council.

The last fee hike at IITs was effected in 2013, taking it up from Rs.50,000 to   Rs.90,000  per annum.

With about 80,000 students, the total cost estimate of salary heads and maintenance works  in IITs is said to  be around Rs.2500 crore per annum.

The fee hike has been recommended by the IIT SCIC on the basis of the report of a Committee of  IIT Directors that was set up by the IIT Council in October 2015. The committee that was set up to draw up a Roadmap to Financial Autonomy of IITs suggested that the IITs be allowed to effect a fee hike such as to cover the entire cost including  IIT’s salary costs and maintenance expenditure.

To help the students, the fee hike  is sought to be offset through a comprehensive student loan system that is proposed to come into effect almost the instant a student is granted admission.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Retrograde step
  • IITs need reform but not on financial front
INDIA LAGS IN INNOVATION EFFORTS FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

India is still far behind its Asian counterparts in terms of innovation, according to data released by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

India saw a drop in international patent applications to 1,423 under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 2015, while Japan (44,235), China (29,846) and Korea (14,626) figured in the top-10 list, registering a rise of 20%, 14% and 7%, respectively, from last year

India fared no better in terms of global trademark filings under the Madrid System; it ranked 36th with only 150 trademarks filed in 2015, down from 153 in 2014 when it had seen a more than 70% increase in trademark registrations.

Data from the WIPO report, Breakthrough Innovation and Economic Growth, highlights that IITs are among the top-20 international institutes for research in nanotechnology, with over 5,000 scientific papers and 14 patents since 1970. The list had the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the top with 29,591 publications and 705 patent filings.

WHY MAKE IN INDIA / START UP INDIA CAMPAIGN NOT TAKING OFF?

Prime Minister Modi’s clariant call to the country men to invest in appropriate projects and  contribute to national growth  by participating in the make in  India / start up India programme  have not yet resulted in any spectacular change in the situation  for the better.

Certainly , Prime Minister has taken several proactive and appropriate measures to promote the  make in India / start up India campaign.  It appears that the problem is  with the mindset of the country men , particularly those belonging to younger generation, who have been targeted by the Prime Minister to rope in for the schemes.

Whatever projects  that have been announced under make in India/start up India largely involve financial or services  or trading sector and are not so much concerned with  manufacturing sector and technology development initiatives. The manufacturing sector and technology development efforts  in the country are  certainly falling way behind in growth and advancement , not only in the large scale sector but also in the medium / small scale sector. 

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

WHAT QUALIFICATION FOR CHAIRMAN/MEMBER SECRETARY OF POLLUTION CONTROL BOARDS?

National Green Tribunal is reported to have restrained state governments from making appointments to the post of chairman and member secretary in their respective pollution control boards.

National Green Tribunal is reported to have expressed  surprise over the “arbitrary” manner in which the chairman / member secretary of  state pollution control boards  are  appointed, without following  uniform criteria. It  has further criticized  state governments for making appointment of chairman / member secretary without taking into account the special knowledge and practical experience  required for dealing with matters concerning issues relating to environment

National Green Tribunal observed “There has to be some fundamental qualification  at the outset  You can not go on like this”.

The above critical observations of the National Green Tribunal has not come a day too soon. These observations and caution to the state governments on appointing  chairman  and member secretary of state pollution control boards are long over due

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

GOVERNMENT’S WELCOME POLICY THRUST FOR OIL / GAS EXPLORATION SECTOR

Government of India has  come out with Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) , replacing NELP (New Exploration Licensing Policy).

Giving a much needed fillip to the oil sector, the Government of India announced a slew of proposal including differential gas pricing, a new hydrocarbon policy and extending contracts for small and marginal fields.

HELP will allow all kinds of hydrocarbons exploration and development from an area and will also have open acreage policy that allows contractors to choose the areas of exploration from the data centre and then bid. It will be administered by revenue sharing model and it will provide marketing and pricing freedom for the crude oil and natural gas produced.

HELP  will provide a uniform licence for exploration and production of all hydrocarbon forms.

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Background details
  • Salient features of HELP
  • Shift to revenue sharing model from the profit sharing model
  • Single licence for exploration
  • Loyalty rates
  • Reduced royalty rates for off shore blocks
  • Import duty
  • Differential pricing mechanism for natural gas
  • Likely new gas price ceiling based on data of different period
  • Projects that would benefit from higher gas price
  • Gas pricing freedom for Reliance
  • Extension of production sharing contract
  • Impact on subsidy burden
  • The expected benefits
  • How the exploration policies differ between NELP & HELP?
UPDATE ON FRACKING TECHNOLOGY FOR SHALE GAS PRODUCTION IN USA

Top U.S. shale producers are pushing fracking technology to get more oil out of their wells.

The hunt for the next big technology to transform the process of fracking is still on, with companies looking at methods such as using carbon dioxide to get more oil out of wells that have already been hydraulically fractured.

A frack stage is a portion of the horizontal section of the well. Typically, the larger the number of stages used, the better initial production is expected to be.

The decision to increase stage counts by about 40 percent to 50, delivered a more than  20 percent average increase in initial production rates for basically the same cost.

For many producers, the efforts to boost production while keeping costs in check are already paying off.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

OTHER FEATURES

PLANT CLOSURES

The articles discusses about the closure of following plants

  • Dow to shut down 20% of Deer Park acrylates capacity
  • Liaoning Chengda shuts down oil shale project in China

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

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

  • Barium carbonate
  • Polyol
  • Styrene butadiene rubber
  • Polypropylene
  • Solar cells

NEWS ROUND UP – INTERNATIONAL

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  •  Fertilizer complex of OCP in Morocco
  • Albemarle’s lithium brine plant in Chile
  • Proposed HFO plant at Ingleside, TX,USA by Chemours
  • Syndiotactic PS capacity of Idemitsu Kosan in Japan
  • Polycarbonate films capacity  of Covestro in Germany
  • LSB’s new El Dorado ammonia plant in USA
  • Joint venture for cysteine facility in Japan
  • BioTfueL project in France
  • Project for bio based chemicals in France

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

Recent developments on the following products are discussed

  • Biorubber from biobutadiene
  • Process for plastic from CO2 & agricultural waste
  • A bacterium that degrades polluting plastics identified
  • Plastic degrading bacteria
  • Low global warming fluorocarbon refrigerant, HCFO-1224yd
  • Turning metal waste into resource
  • Process to convert methane to lactic acid
  • Clean clothes with sunlight

 

CHINA NEWS

The recent developments  in China are discussed in the following articles

  •  Single-train dehydrogenation unit
  • New MBDO plant in Xinjiang
  • New Rohacell® plant in Shanghai
  • Fuel ethanol projects in China

NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Biaxially oriented PET plant by SRF  at Indore
  • Ethanol production estimate

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

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

  • Urea demand dips due to its neem coating
  • Electricity from tomato waste
  • Naturally coloured cotton from soil
  • Capacity utilisation norms for SSP units scrapped

PHARMA PAGE

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

  • Curcumin in turmeric kills colon cancer cells
  • Govt to make pharma marketing code mandatory
  • Meldonium
  • Biodegradable polymer grafts to help repair spinal column
  • New implantable capsule to help fight Alzheimer's
  • New treatment for leukaemia - Ibrutinib and Idelalisib
  • Rotavirus vaccine

ENERGY PAGE

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

  •  Blocks for CBM extraction
  • Coal bed methane project of Reliance Industries

ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE

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

  • Stringent environmental standards for gensets
  • New regulations on e-waste
  • New norms for plastic waste disposal
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Price details
    • Price for gas for non urea use
    • New ceiling price for gas finds from April 1
  • Spot price of polymers in China - Period March 2016
  • Tenders
  • Chemicals imported at Chennai port during January 2016
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