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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, December 2011


Highlights of Some of the Articles
The IEA report essentially noted that should present trends continue, the world’s governments through a lack of progressive initiative in embracing alternative energy sources would continue to rely on ‘tried and true” fossil fuels, resulting in increased pollution, more fossil-fuel dependency and increasingly upward energy prices. It further said that governments should reconsider their reluctance to embrace nuclear power, as it does not generate greenhouse gases The fact is that no single renewable energy resource, from wind power to solar energy through biofuels, has remotely become competitive with kilowatt hours of electrical energy generated by coal or oil-fired power plants. The debate pits those opposed to a transition to greener technologies to those considering the bottom line, despite greenhouse gas emissions. The IEA report advocates that as a short-term solution, governments ought to reconsider nuclear power, as it produces zero CO2 emissions. Projecting into the future the report notes, “A low-nuclear future would also boost demand for fossil fuels: the increase in global coal demand is equal to twice the level of Australia’s current steam coal exports and the rise in gas demand is equivalent to two-thirds of Russia’s current natural gas exports. The net result would be to put additional upward pressure on energy prices, raise additional concerns about energy security and make it harder and more expensive to combat climate change. “The consequences would be particularly severe for those countries with limited indigenous energy resources, which have been planning to rely relatively heavily on nuclear power” But while sketching out a bleak scenario should governments remain largely disengaged to the larger issues involved in energy production, the IEA report nevertheless ends on a cautiously optimistic note, with its authors concluding, “International concern about the issue of energy access is growing”. The United Nations has declared 2012 to be the ‘International Year of Sustainable Energy for All’ and the Rio+20 Summit represents an important opportunity for action. More finance, from many sources and in many forms, is needed to provide modern energy for all, with solutions matched to the particular challenges, risks and returns of each category of project. Private sector investment needs to grow the most, but this will not happen unless national governments adopt strong governance and regulatory frameworks and invest in capacity building. The public sector, including donors, needs to use its tools to leverage greater private sector investment , where the commercial case would otherwise be marginal. Universal access by 2030 would increase global demand for fossil fuels and related CO2 emissions by less than 1%, a trivial amount in relation to the contribution made to human development and welfare.” Notable points in IEA Report
Accordingly, what is most notable about the IEA report is two points.
First, energy options beyond dependence on traditional fossil fuels such as coal and oil not only exist, but are available in significant amounts to make a serious contribution.

Secondly, as Germany’s experience in weaning itself off nuclear energy is showing, the alternatives are more expensive than current power production modes.
Two major issues
According to the IEA’s scenarios then, the issue of global power production over the next two-three decades devolves upon two major issues.
The first is cost, which will undoubtedly be an uphill struggle for many governments seeking to meet the population’s rising energy demands, who will be loathe to endure increasing energy bills. 
The second consideration is the contentious issue of global warming and the impact of traditional fossil fuel-fired power plants belching vast amounts of CO2  into the atmosphere.
“While even the most diehard proponents of traditional power plant electrical generation do not deny that their facilities emit significant amount of carbon dioxide, they denigrate the concerns of environmentalists as ‘fuzzy science.” So, at the end of the day, the two fundamental issues facing the world’s nations seeking to satiate their population’s demand for reliable and inexpensive power devolve down to cost and scientific projections. 
Background details The Koodankulam site was evaluated by the Department of Atomic Energy Site Selection Committee and approved after due process then prevalent in 1988. Detailed studies comprising geotechnical examination, seismo-tectonic data, safe grade level, meteorological, hydrological and other studies were carried out by the expert agencies in India. Based on these studies, a detailed Site Evaluation Report (SER) was submitted to Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) who accorded the site clearance vide approval No.CH/AERB/KK/8486/89 dated 10.11.1989. The Environment Clearance was obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Forest vide letter No.4011/1/88-1A dated 9th May, 1989, as per the Environment Protection Act 1986 with stipulations and the same was revalidated by MoEF vide their letter dated 06.09.2001, in which it was indicated that public hearing is not required. The stipulations are being complied with. NEERI carried out a comprehensive EIA for KK-1&2 in the year 2003. Further, a comprehensive EIA by NEERI and Public Hearing including the response to stake holders were carried out as per the EIA notification of 2006, when clearance for additional nuclear reactors was sought. In 1989, MoEF while granting environmental clearance, permitted for construction of plant structure within 500m of high tide line. As per CRZ notification introduced for the first time in 1991 and subsequently revised in 2011 “Projects of Department of Atomic Energy are permitted activities in CRZ areas and require to obtain environmental clearance from MoEF”. Fukushima accident The expert group reviewed the design safety aspects of KKNPP and have concluded that an accident similar to that occurred at Fukushima is not conceivable at KKNPP. The root cause of the accident at Fukushima was complete loss of power supply at units 1 to 4 on account of flooding at the site caused by the tsunami. While units 1, 2 &3 got shut down automatically (unit-4 was already in shut down state with its fuel unloaded in the spent fuel pool), the cooling of their cores could not be maintained in the absence of power supply, which caused the accident. The expert group carefully examined the design of the KKNPP in this respect and found that all safety related structures, systems and components of KKNPP are located well above the maximum flooding that can cover the site from all possible causes including tsunami. A total loss of power supply at KKNPP, unlike in the case of Fukushima, is therefore not possible. In addition, KKNPP has been provided with certain engineered safety features (ESF) like the Passive Heat Removal System. With these ESFs, the reactor core can be effectively cooled even under the condition of total loss of electric power. The expert group also noted that a very detailed and in-depth review of KKNPP that includes its siting, design and operational safety and QA aspects has been conducted by AERB over the last few years, following its established multi-tier review process before issuing clearances for various stages of the Project. Review of KKNPP by AERB This review by AERB has been done through a thorough study of the design documents that run in several thousands of pages and intense discussion in a large number of meetings of its Advisory Committee on Project Safety Review of KKNPP and its specialists working groups. This extensive review by AERB provides assurance of the robustness of the safety design and construction of KKNPP. The commissioning program is also progressively reviewed by AERB. Global scenario Globally, as on date, 433 Nuclear reactors are operating in 30 countries and producing 366590 MW(e) and 65 reactors are under construction to produce 62592 MW(e). Further, the following Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are connected to respective grids after Fukushima accident on March-2011:- Name of the facility Date of commissioning Chashapp Unit-2 (300 MWe, PWR, Pakistan)         14th March 2011 Lingao 4 (1000 MW, PWR, China) 3rd May 2011 CEFR- China experimental Fast Reactor(20 MWe, FBR, China) 21st July 2011 Bushehr 1- (915 MWe, PWR, VVER, Iran)     3rd September 2011 Project scenario in different countries The trend appears to be on increased use of Nuclear Power in the global energy scenario. Russia 9 reactors are under construction. 14 reactors are further planned. USA There are proposals for over 20 new reactors. France Building a 1600 MWe unit at Flamanville for operation in 2012 and second to follow at Penly. UK Four 1600 MWe units are planned for operation in 2019. Germany It had 17 reactors and it has not granted sanction for further life extension to 8 reactors among them that had completed design life. The design life of the remaining 9 will be completed by 2022. Germany announced that they will not consider further extension of life of these plants. There had been a debate in Germany about the need for nuclear power plants, even before Fukushima accident, based on sufficient availability of electrical energy from other sources and energy availability from neighboring nations. Switzerland It has 5 reactors in operation. It has decided to phase out Nuclear power by 2034 on completion of their design life.

It has 54 Nuclear reactors. 11 reactors continued to be in operation even  during earth quake and tsunami in Japan and are still in operation. The remaining 43 reactors were on shutdown/maintenance. Decisions were taken to start them after safety review and the first of these 43 reactors, has been restarted in August 2011. Bangladesh Bangladesh has recently signed intergovernmental agreement with Russia to start construction of a new VVER plant in Bangladesh in November 2011. Vietnam Vietnam has signed an agreement recently with Russia for the establishment of their first nuclear power plant (VVER) and with a consortium from Japan to construct a second nuclear plant.

UAE continues work related to setting up of its first nuclear plant through a consortium in South Korea. Turkey Turkey has initiated action for setting up its first nuclear power plant (VVER) Indian experience on nuclear plants. India has 20 reactors in operation in 6 different places all over India. The first one started about 40 years back. India has an excellent record of performance with no incidents of radiation exposure to the public exceeding the allowable limit. India has demonstrated capability in establishing, maintaining and operating Nuclear Power plants for power generation. Radiation in the environment around nuclear plants in India. The DAE establishes Environmental Survey Laboratories at all the power plant sites well before a nuclear power plant goes in operation and regularly monitors the radiological conditions in the environment. In places like Manavalakuruchi, Kanyakumari, Karunagappalli, Chavara etc. where radioactive mineral deposits exist, the natural background levels are far in excess of those measured near the NPP sites. People live for generations in these places without any major health hazards. Safety Features in KKNPP. The reactor being built at KKNPP is advanced model of Russian VVER-1000 MW Pressurised water reactor, which is a leading type of reactor worldwide. The design has been evolved from serial design of VVER plant and fall in the category of Advanced Light Water Reactor. 

The salient features are:
  •         Passive heat removal system to provide cooling for the removal of decay heat
  •         Higher redundancy for safety system
  •         Double containment
  •         Additional shut down system like quick boron and emergency boron injection systems
  •         Incorporation of core catcher to provide safety in the event of fuel melt down
  •         Passive hydrogen management system
The safety features of KKNPP were comprehensively reviewed by a task force of NPCIL in the context of recent Fukushima accident. The report of the task force is available in the website of NPCIL and DAE. Statements on Safety of KKNPP Performance of VVER reactors worldwide has been very good. There are about 55 VVER type reactors. Four new VVER-1000 plants have been connected to grid (three in Russia in 2010, and one in Iran) in 2011. There are nine VVER-1000 units in operation in Russia and eleven VVER-1000 units in Ukraine. Seventeen VVER-1000 units built in the 1980s in erstwhile USSR have cumulative load factor of 72%. Three VVER-1000 units which started commercial operation (a) in 1996 (Zaporozhe-6, Ukraine), (b) in 2002 (Rostov-1, Russia) and (c) in 2004 (Kalinin ‐3, Russia) have lifetime cumulative load factor of 83%. Outside Russian Federation, the reactors at Loviisa 1 & 2 of VVER‐440 (Finland) which went into commercial operation in 1977 and 1980 respectively, have around 88% cumulative load factor and they are considered amongst the best performing PWRs in the world. The Site Evaluation Report and the Safety Analysis Report are documents that have been made available to AERB which is the statutory body authorized to accept and review these documents. KKNPP VVER 1000 adopts the basic Russian design by model marked V320 with Enhanced Safety Features to make it in line with IAEA GEN III reactors. Further, certain additional safety features were incorporated like Passive Heat Removal System taking it to GEN III+ category. Russian Federation has marked KKNPP reactor as V412. Fresh water supply Desalination plant, based on Mechanical Vapour Compression technology, at KKNPP site has been designed to meet the process requirements of Unit # 1&2 and the potable water requirements. The plant water requirement is 5664 cubiv meter per day and the potable water requirement is 1272 cubic meter per day. Against this, the installed desalination plant capacity is 7680 cubic meter per day. This is met by three units, each of capacity 2560 cubic meter per day, with one additional unit of 2560 cubic meter per day unit, as a standby. The output water from the desalination plant is further purified by demineralizing and used for industrial purpose. The product water is treated further for making it potable water. The provision of water storage and inventory available in various tanks are adequate for cooling requirements of Reactor Plant for at least ten days, in case of power failure from the Grid (even though the regulatory requirement is only 7 days). Other Water Sources The desalination plants have been designed for sufficient capacity and have been erected and commissioned. Hence, the question of water utilization from other sources such as Pechiparai dam and Tamirabharani river does not arise. Radio activity Any radioactivity, in the exhaust air system from the reactor buildings, though insignificant is invariably treated through a series of off‐gas clean up system, before release through tall stacks. Waste generation Due to the total containment of all radioactivity in the fuel tube, the type of wastes that result from various systems in this reactor are essentially low level wastes, with a small quantity of intermediate level wastes. There are no high level wastes associated with the operation of the reactors at Koodankulam. Spent fuel First and foremost, it should be remembered that Spent Fuel is not a waste in the Indian Nuclear Programme. A closed fuel cycle is followed, where the valuable fissile materials like Uranium and Plutonium which are present in the Spent Fuel are recovered for reuse. Spent fuel is therefore, an asset that needs to be preserved. At Koodankulam, Spent Fuel from the Reactors will be carefully stored in Storage Pools, which are always filled with pure, demineralized, borated water which is constantly recirculated. These pools are high integrity concrete pools which are additionally lined with stainless steel sheets, to ensure effective containment for extended periods of time. The Department of Atomic Energy has long experience and expertise of a high order in the safe management of Spent Fuel There is no plan to do the reprocessing of the Spent Fuel at Koodankulam site. As such, the storage of Spent Fuel at Koodankulam is to be considered only as an interim measure till they are transported to a Reprocessing Facility. Adequate Technology and years of experience are available with Department of Atomic Energy for transporting Spent Fuel from one site to another through both Railways and by roadways, in a safe manner without any public hazard. This is done as per stipulations of AERB, regarding Transport Regulations that govern safety. Routine emissions After going through the documents of KKNPP, it is seen that *        No radioactivity release through the sea water cooling is possible since this loop is physically separated by three levels from the coolant loop which enters the reactor. *        However, some low and medium level waste would be generated in the station which is treated inside the plant. Very low level effluents from these would be generated and there are norms and limits for their releases. *        Gaseous routine emissions are basically exhaust air from building ventilation systems. It is filtered in High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters and Activated Charcoal filters before discharge to the Stack. Emergency Preparedness at KKNPP: It may be noted that in Koodankulam reactor design, many advanced safety features are deployed. These include the passive heat removal system, which ensures cooling of the fuel even if power is not available (as was the case in Fukushima) and other safety provisions like the double containment and core catcher that strengthen the plant safety, such that any intervention in the public domain outside the plant exclusion zone will not be required even in case of an accident. However, as a matter of abundant caution following the defense–in‐depth safety philosophy, emergency plan for actions to be taken in public domain during any off-site emergency were prepared and provided to District Authorities. These procedures are accordingly included in the “Emergency Preparedness Plans” Vol-1 and Vol-2 duly approved for Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project. Volume– 1 covers Plant Emergency and Site Emergency conditions which have been prepared by the KKNPP Site, reviewed and approved by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The document no. is I01.KK.0.0.TM.MN.WD001. Volume - 2 is for the Off‐site Emergency Preparedness which has been prepared by NPCIL in consultation with the State authorities, concurred by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and approved by the District Collector, Tirunelveli District. Prognosis A matter of abundant caution and abiding concern for safety of environment and members of Public, a number of state‐of‐the art technologies are employed in the Safe Management of Radioactive Wastes. The track record of Department of Atomic Energy  in this regard has been exemplary over the past four decades, and compares favourably with the best in the world. In this context, it may be noted that some of the Indian Nuclear Power Plants have undergone significant renovation and modernization activities. These included replacement of components like pressure tubes end fittings, feeder pipes etc. This experience has demonstrated that technology for such dismantlement activities that are similar to decommissioning, is available in India.
World demand for water desalination products and services is projected to increase 9.3% annually and reach $13.4 billion in 2015. Gains will be strong in nearly every significant desalination market but particularly in the Asia/Pacific region. These and other trends are presented in “World Water Desalination,” a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. This article contains the following details :
  • Largest desalination region
  • Scenario in USA
  • Scenario in Asia / Pacific region
  • Scenario in Europe
  • World demand for desalination products and services (US$ million)
Lithium ion batteries feature high voltage, high energy density, small self discharge rate, good stability and environmental friendliness. Lithium ion batteries are becoming more popular for use in a variety of applications because they are lighter and smaller than other batteries, hold their charge well and can handle the numerous charge and discharge cycles required by modern electronics and vehicles. There are many types of electrolytes for lithium ion batteries. Among them, lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) has the best performance and the largest consumption. It accounts for 50% to 70% of the total production cost of the Li-ion battery electrolyte. Appearance White Powder (no alien substance mixed) Odour Odourless CAS Number 21324-40-3 Formula LiPF6 Molecular Weight 151.91 Product  Specification Parameter Value Purity, % 99.9 min Free Acid (as HF), ppm 50 max Moisture, ppm 10 max Na, ppm 1 max Fe, ppm 1 max This article contains the following details:
  • Stability
  • Toxicology
  • Product application
  • Process outline
  • Solution method
  • Global production
  • Global leading producers of LiPF6
  • Major LiPF6producers in China
  • Global demand
  • R&D grant to Honeywell
  • Joint venture project in Korea
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable and environmentally benign polymer. It’s salient properties are the following
  •         Fully combustible in composting facilities
  •         Can be converted back to monomer
  •         Can be completely broken down to H2O, CO2 and organics
  •         Degradation time - ---Weeks to months
Product characteristics Alternate name PLA, Polylactic acid, Polylactide, Poly(2-hydroxypropionic acid) Chemical formula (C3H4O2)n Appearance Powder or pellet CAS No. 31587-11-8 Compatibility                             Environmentally compatible because they degrade back to natural, harmless products Description Polymers and copolymers Conditions of degradation Primarily by hydrolysis, after exposure to moisture. Sun light is not required for degradation Incineration                              The polymers burn with a clean blue flame rather than give off poisonous or corrosive gases Shelf life Good Advantages
  • High strength
  • Thermoplasticity
  • Fabricability
  • Biodegradability
  • Bioenvironmental compatibility
  • Availability from renewable resources
This article discusses the following details :
  • Important application sector and nature of application
  • Application development efforts / emerging applications
  • Comparison of PLA with other polymers
  • Indian Demand supply scenario
  • Global demand supply scenario
  • Present global installed capacity
  • Capacity of selected global manufacturers
  • Profile of major producers
  • New projects under planning/implementation
  • Global demand
  • Pattern of sectorwise demand for PLA
  • Process outline
  • Technology development efforts
  • Prognosis
Tert-Butylamine is one of the four isomeric amines of butane, the others being n-butylamine, sec-butylamine and iso butylamine. Alternate names 2-amino-2-methylpropane, Trimethylaminomethane, Dimethylethylamine, 2-Aminoisobutane, 2-Methyl-2-aminopropane, 2-Methyl-2-propylamine, t-Butylamine Appearance                              Colourless liquid Molecular formula C4H11N  CAS No 75-64-9  Odour                                       Ammonia odour Boiling point                             44 deg.C Solubility Miscible in water Stability Stable. Incompatible with strong acids, strong oxidizing agents. Highly flammable Toxicology Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Destructive of mucous membranes. Storage tert.-Butylamine has a shelf life of 24 months and should be kept at a temperature below 35 deg.C. It must be protected from fire, explosions, sources of ignition and electrostatic charges. This article contains the following details :
  • Specification
  • Process
  • Application sectors and nature of applicatIon
  • Consumption norm of Tert Butyl amine for selected products
  • Indian scenario:
  • Indian import
  • Pattern of Indian import
  • Sample of imports
  • Global scenario
  • Global installed capacity
  • Global Production
  • Important global players :
  • New projects
DSM is adding adipic acid, a precursor to nylon, urethanes and plasticizers, to its growing stable of biobased chemicals and materials. Adipic acid has a market valued at $5 billion and growing 3% per year or more. A cost-advantaged and more sustainable route to bio based adipic acid is expected to offer significant value for the company’s performance materials business. DSM says that commercialization is “feasible” in about five-plus years. The first plant would likely have the capacity to produce 100,000 metric tonnes to 150,000 metric tonnes per year, although it is too soon to speculate on when demonstration-scale projects may be finalized. This article contains the following details :
  • Patent for bio based adipic acid
  • Biobased succinic acid
  • Expanding Biotech Base of DSM
  • Efforts of other companies
This article discusses the above subject in a detailed manner
This article discusses the above subject in a detailed manner.
Reliance Industries Ltd., (RIL)discovery of gas in the D6 block was the largest find in the world in 2002.The company began production from 2009,producing between 40 to 65 million units till late 2010. RIL  had projected gas production to increase to 80 million metric standard cubic metres (mmscmd) over two years. This article further discusses the above subject in detailed manner.
A high throughput side stream membrane system is now processing 1000 cubic metres per day of wastewater from the island of Sant’Erasmo, known as the Garden of Venice in the Venetian lagoon Engineered by CP Srl, the sidestream bioreactor configuration employed is one of around 100 in the Venice area alone, employing advanced filtering technology from PCI Membranes, a business unit of ITT Flow Control. This article contains the following details:
  • Principles of pressure driven membrane filtration
  • Sidestream membrane systems
  • System installed in island of Sant’ Erasmo
Private sector developers accounted for much of the power capacity addition that has taken place in recent times. This is despite most of these projects not having firm power purchase agreements, difficulties in getting site clearances, problems in open access, lower preference in allocation of fuel linkages and impediments such as the need to furnish bank guarantees for getting transmission corridors built. This article discusses the above subject in detailed manner.
ANTI DUMPING PAGE The antidumping measures introduced in  the various countries in the last few weeks on the following products are discussed:
  • Caprolactam
  • Trichloro ethylene
  • Hydrazine hydrate
  • Chloroprene rubber
NEWS ROUND UP The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed: INTERNATIONAL
  • Urea project in Malaysia
  • Bioethanol joint ventures in USA
  • Cellulosic ethanol plant in Brazil
  • Nitrile rubber joint venture in Russia / China
  • Form acetate tow joint venture in Japan
  • PET  project in UK
  • EPDM plant in Netherlands
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Phosphine
  • EPDM
  • NGL Fractionator at Mont Belvieu, TX,USA
  • n-Butanol Biorefineries in Latin America
  • Polyoxymethylene
  • ChemChina  acquires stake in Israeli Makhteshim Agan
  • Oklahoma methanol plant
  • Graphenes
  • Biobased n-Butanol
  • EVOH
  • Polyaluminum Chloride
  • Relocating Chile methanol plant to U.S.
  • Potash
  • Indian Oil, BP in pact to set up one million tonne acetic acid plant
  • ONGC reports two discoveries
CHINA NEWS The recent developments on the following products/events are updated :
  • Losses  in solar industry in China
  • Isophorone and isophorone diamine complex in China
  • Propylene and  isobutene
  • Coal & Chemical integrated complex
  • NBR plant
  • Polysilicon train
  • Co2 plant
  • MEK
  • Ethoxylation plant in Guangdong
  • Jet biofuel trial in China
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • 3 new elements added to periodic table
  • Reheatable  plastic
  • Brine pilot plant
  • Hydrogen to be blended with gas
  • Renewable Plasticizers
PHARMA PAGE The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • API plant in  USA
  • Recombinant human erythropoietin technology
  • US pharmacopeia publishes standards for drugs
  • Drugs going off patent in next two years
AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE The recent development on the fungicide traces in basmati rice is discussed ENERGY PAGE The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • Heavy duty piston pumps with solar option
  • Energy Agency cuts oil demand forecast for 2012
  • 'Irradiance assessment key to success of solar power unit'
  • Solar-powered filtration systems
  • Coal imports 51% higher in India
  • Gas based power projects in AP  facing shortage
  • REC scheme  for solar industry
ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE Details on carbon dioxide volume at record high is discussed. PRICE TRENDS The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:
  • Ethylene
  • Propylene
  • Butadiene
  • Fuel price in China
  • Silicon Industry  - Proceedings of the conference in China
  • Total Energy Requirement in India
  • Case for promoting large titanium dioxide project
  • Pricing of  coal using gross calorific value
  • Import / Export price in China
  • Tender
  • Chemicals imported at the Chennai port during the month of September 2011
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