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                     HIGHLIGHTS OF ARTICLES FROM  AUGUST 2016 ISSUE OF 

                                            NANDINI CHEMICAL JOURNAL

HIGHLIGHTS OF SOME OF THE ARTICLES

WHAT MINDSET AMONGST ENGINEERING STUDENTS? FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

METHIONINE  - RECENT GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

ADIPIC ACID- INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

POLY CRYSTALLINE SILICON – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

RUBBERISED BITUMEN – PRODUCT PROFILE

BITUMEN -  PRODUCT PROFILE

WILL LNG TERMINAL AT CHENNAI GO THE SAME WAY AS KOCHI LNG TERMINAL ?

PLANT CLOSURES

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

NEWS ROUND UP – INTERNATIONAL

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

CHINA NEWS

NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

PHARMA PAGE

UPDATE ON SOLAR POWER PROJECTS

ENERGY PAGE

OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH: WHAT MINDSET AMONGST ENGINEERING STUDENTS ? FINDINGS OF A STUDY

Nandini Consultancy Centre (www.nandinichemical.com) , a chemical engineering and chemical business consultancy organization based in Chennai and Singapore, conducted a study on the mindset amongst the engineering students, with regard to their career prospects and future plans.

The study was conducted during the period April to June,2016 , when informal discussions were held with cross section of students, presently studying in engineering colleges, those aspiring to get into engineering colleges and those awaiting results after completing the course.

Objective of the study

With around 550 engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu alone ,more than one lakh seats remain unfilled in the state. With so many seats now available, a situation prevails today where anyone with minimum marks and who can raise the resources can join engineering college, irrespective of the person’s merit and competence level.

Unemployment level amongst fresh engineers have reached alarmingly high level ,with many of them forced to take up under employment or jobs in areas totally unrelated to engineering education.

In such circumstances, with large number of diploma holders in engineering subjects are also passing

out every year apart from degree holders , it is necessary to ascertain the mindset of the engineering degree level students on what they aspire and hope to achieve .

Highlights of the findings of the study are given below :

Vague view on prospects for engineering education

More than 90% of the students join engineering course not because they have understood the prospects of the particular branch of their study very well but only due to their thinking that engineering education may provide them better career prospects compared to the graduate level science subjects. This is a vague view without any substantial evidence before the students as well as their parents.

The students and the parents are disadvantaged in making their choice, since no reliable assessment have been made for their benefits by the government or any private organizations about the employment potentials for the various fields of engineering study.

With herd mentality, several students and their parents are veering to the view that traditional subjects such as civil and mechanical may now offer better prospects.

In most cases, the choice of course for study seem to be more decided by the parents and the elders in the family rather than by the students themselves.

Many students understand about the nature of the course only after joining and some students think that they have not made the best of decision after studying for two years. But, they find it too late to change the subject and have to reconcile themselves for life long association with the subject , which may not be to their liking.

Choice of course

A few years back, many students thought that course in computer education would inevitably land them in plump jobs. However, the recent vague reports in the media that several information technology companies have slowed down their recruitment process or have failed to honour the commitments made in the campus recruitment, have created an impression that all is not well with the computer education as far as the job prospects are concerned.

Students bank on reputation of college

Many students think that reputation of college is the primary requisite for the students to land on good jobs. Therefore, there appear to be a view that more than the choice of the course, the choice of the college is important factor.

Anxiety about job prospects

There are small percentage of students who are clear in their mind about the future option such as going for higher studies in India or abroad or enter into business activities/self employment avenue. However, more than 95% of the students only look for job avenues.

Many students seem to think that post graduate level of education will not really improve the job prospects for them in the present circumstances.

Only a few colleges are visited by companies for campus interview and such companies offer jobs only for some selected students. The others wonder as to what job opportunities are available for them.

Unfortunately, no systematic counselling programme for the benefit of the students on choice of jobs and job avenues are organized by the engineering colleges. Even a few colleges which have this practice do not do this in a well planned way.

Many colleges do not organize interaction and lectures by experts in the field for the benefit of the students and one or two programmes that are organized in a year by a few colleges are often found to be inadequate and many times lack focus. This seems to be one of the major regrets of the students.

In desperation, in several colleges, the final year students organize themselves and write to various industries inviting them to visit the colleges for campus interview. Students from a few colleges said that they have never even received an acknowledgement for their efforts from the industry.

Prospects in core industry

Many students seem to believe that irrespective of their course of study, they should get into IT field, since the jobs in this field are the most prospective, primarily due to the attractive salary offers and comfort level in the job.

Many of them are aware that by joining the IT field, they will burn their bridge with core subjects like chemical or mechanical engineering and will settle for unrelated jobs.

But, they think that they have no option, as the prospective jobs in the core field like chemical industry or mechanical industry are not many to absorb all of them, with good salary level

Where is the job available ?

Students point out that very few advertisements appear in the media seeking fresh engineering candidates for jobs. Therefore, not knowing where the jobs are available, students send large number of applications by email or letters to various companies. Rarely acknowledgements are received.

In such circumstances, students conclude that “contacts” have become necessary to get jobs.

What prospects for women students ?

Compared to the men students, there appear to be even more anxiety amongst the women students about the employment prospects.

Most of the women engineers think that they should get into IT field or research functions. While this is possible for bright students, others with lesser academic performance have found attractive job offers not forthcoming. This issue has been pointed out by women students who said that many women students in the past have taken up entirely unrelated jobs or they are not in the job market at all.

Under employment

With a scenario where anyone with minimum marks can get admission into engineering college, there are large number of students who have arrears or who get low marks.

In such conditions, it appears that students who do not get high marks and who do not have “contacts” end up in jobs, for which even plus two level of qualification is adequate.

What students want ?

Students are aware that there are jobs available for meritorious students who consistently show high academic performance, which may consist of around 30% of the students . Nevertheless, the students point out that all passed out students are also engineers and high prospects for 30% of the students do not provide a glow.

The students in the final year who are in the threshold of entering job market find fault with the All India Council of Technical Education and the state government for permitting so many engineering colleges without relating them to the job avenues available and also not ensuring the requisite standards of education in many colleges.

After completing the course and facing the grim employment prospects, considerable section of engineering students, particularly those not with good academic performance , appear to think that they might have erred in their choice of engineering course of study.

METHIONINE - RECENT GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

Methionine is an essential amino acid for poultry and used as a feed additive for pigs and in aquaculture,.

Methionine has a number of other benefits: It helps raise livestock productivity by increasing animal growth rates, it reduces farmers’ feed costs by enabling the animals to more efficiently use what they eat and it increases sustainability by reducing the nitrogen content of excrement and the nitrate load of the soil.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Global demand

  • Important producers

  • Global export trade of methionine

  • Indian import / export

ADIPIC ACID- INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

CAS No                                      124-04-9

Molecular formula                        HOOC (CH2)4COOH

Synonyms                                  Adipic acid,1,6 Hexanedioic acid, 1,4-Butanedicarboxylic acid

Appearance                               White crystalline solid, having a pale yellow colour

Specific gravity solid 1.344 at 18 deg C

Specific gravity liquid 1.07 at 170 deg C

Toxicity, hazards and safety

The principal hazard in the handling of adipic acid is the danger of dust explosions.
Minimum explosive concentration is 0.010 to 0.015 g per litre.

In high dust areas, exposure may cause irritation to the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes and throat

Storage

The containers should be kept tightly closed in a dry, cool and well ventilated place.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Product specification

  • Product application

  • Indian import

  • Pattern of countrywise import

  • Indian production

  • Demand driver

  • Demand growth

  • Indian demand

  • Outline of process and raw material used

  • Raw material

  • Technology development for bio based adipic acid

  • Global production

  • Global import/export of adipic acid

  • Global producers

  • Scenario in China

  • Major producers in China

  • New adipic capacities in China

  • Consumption pattern of China

  • Plant closure

  • Demand driver and growth in demand

  • Prognosis

POLY CRYSTALLINE SILICON – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Silicon metal grade has to be purified to obtain polycrystalline silicon in various steps .

Polycrystalline silicon production is at the beginning of the PV solar industry value chain and is then converted into ingots, wafers, cells, modules and then finally solar energy and solar products.

Solar manufacturing comprises four stages - production of polysilicon, slicing polysilicon into silicon wafers, making solar cells using the wafers and making solar modules using the cells.

Polycrystalline silicon is classified into two grades by silicon content, one is solar grade silicon (SG) which is mainly used for the production and manufacturing of the solar battery chip; the other is electronic grade silicon (EG) which is used for the manufacturing of semiconductor chips.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Applications

  • Process outline

  • Production of chlorosilanes

  • Production of polycrystalline silicon

  • Demand drivers

  • Global demand scenario

  • Global application sectorwise demand pattern

  • Important global producers

  • Anti dumping duty on solar grade polysilicon in China

  • Indian Scenario

  • Prognosis

RUBBERISED BITUMEN – PRODUCT PROFILE

Basically rubberised bitumen comprises of a bituminous compound, into which rubber in a suitable form and proportion is incorporated using an appropriate technique.

Following the incorporation and uniform distribution of rubber, bitumen undergoes radical changes in its properties depending to a large extent on the type and grade of rubber used, ratio of bitumen to rubber and the method of incorporation of rubber into bitumen.

Rubberised bitumen is then used in pavings using conventional road building techniques.

Incorporation of 2 to 4 percent natural rubber into bitumen improves the properties of the later substantially and rubberised bitumen is found to be an excellent binder for rubble and sand.

Advantages of the use of rubberised bitumen in road construction

   * Increase in useful service life                                 * Improved skid resistance

   * Improved resistance to cracking at low temperature  * Increased fuel economy

   * Better resistance to fatting up or   * Better grip and cornering bleeding of bitumen under hot condition

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Use of natural rubber

  • Process outline

  • Production by Kochi Refineries Ltd

  • Specification of rubberised bitumen

  • Cost factors

  • Prognosis

BITUMEN - PRODUCT PROFILE

Global demand: 120000 kilo metric tonne per annum

Global growth rate in demand: 3% per annum

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Demand pattern

  • Bio based bitumen

  • Regional market

  • Global players

WILL LNG TERMINAL AT CHENNAI GO THE SAME WAY AS KOCHI LNG TERMINAL?

Union Minister of State for Petroleum, during his recent visit to Chennai, said that Indian Oil Corporation Ltd’s (IOC) Rs .5151 crore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import terminal at Chennai with capacity of 5 million metric tonne per annum is expected to be completed by March 2018.

It is reported that around 23 % of the construction work has been completed so far and order has been placed for major equipment, which are in different stages of procurement. LNG terminal at Chennai will have among other things, a marine jetty for receiving LNG tankers and unloading arms to carry gas in a liquid state to storage tanks.

This LNG terminal at Chennai has already been much delayed. Since only 23 % of work has been completed so far, it is extremely doubtful as to whether the project can be completed by March 2018, as stated by the minister. Obviously, the minister’s expectations are very optimistic.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Cause for concern

  • LPG pipeline issue in Tamil Nadu remain unresolved

  • Another LNG terminal near Chennai

  • Is it calculated risk ?

  • Need for Tamil Nadu Government’s urgent intervention

PLANT CLOSURES

Following articles discusses about the closure of following plants

  • Carbon black unit in France

  • 17 cotton and man made fibre mills close in 11 months in India

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

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

  • PTA

  • R-134a

  • Plain MDF board

NEWS ROUND UP – INTERNATIONAL

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Solenis acquires Nuplex pulp and paper chemical business

  • Resin coated proppants

  • Glycidyl methacrylate

  • Hydroprocessing catalysts

  • Specialty polyesters

  • Portfolio review by Chemour

  • Sodium bicarbonate plant in Singapore

  • MDI facility at Brunsbüttel, Germany

  • Ethylene XXI complex in Mexico

  • Polyvinyl butyral film plant in South Korea

  • Polyester polyol facility in Poland

  • Silicone elastomer facility of Wacker in South Korea

  • Ethyl acetate project in the UK

  • Probiotics

  • Integrated crude oil to chemical projects in Saudi Arabia

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS

Recent developments on the following products are discussed

  • Cockroach milk could be a food supplement

  • Oil-degrading bacteria to undergo field trials

CHINA NEWS

The recent developments in China are discussed in the following articles

  • Styrene extraction unit

NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA

The recent developments in India are discussed in the following articles

  • Mitsubishi Chemical considering exit from India PTA joint venture

  • Sumitomo acquires stake in Excel Crop Care

  • Phosphoric acid, hydrazine hydrate plants in Gujarat

  • Facility of Deccan Fine Chemicals in Visakhapatnam

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

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

  • Application potential of coir wood

  • Ramagundam Fertilizers project

  • Coconut based walls

  • Monsanto, Remington Holding form sorghum jv

PHARMA PAGE

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

  • Silver diamine fluoride or SDF – A tooth sensitiser

  • Nano particles may help prevent tooth decay

  • Recent developments in solar power fields are discussed in the following article

UPDATE ON SOLAR POWER PROJECTS
  • Solar PVs could provide 13% of electricity demand by 2030

  • Solar module efficiency

  • Floating solar power plant in Chandigarh

  • A cheaper way to make solar cells - Perovskite

  • Solar plane

ENERGY PAGE

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

  • Modernisation of coal plants

  • India’s coal import

  • Coal bed methane fields of ONGC

  • India's strategic oil reserves

  • LNG projects

OTHER ARTICLES
  • SPOT PRICE OF POLYMERS IN CHINA – PERIOD JULY, 2016

  • TENDERS

  • CHEMICALS IMPORTED AT THE CHENNAI PORT DURING THE MONTH OF MAY 2016

  • ABOUT NANDINI CONSULTANCY