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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Dec 2014


Highlights of Some of the Articles
CRUDE PRICE FALL- WILL THE EUPHORIA FOR CONSUMING COUNTRIES BE SHORT LIVED? Around a year back, nobody really expected that the price of crude oil would fall below 70 USD per  barrel.  Now many explanations are being advanced for such crude price fall and also guesses  are being made as to what extent the price fall would take place and how long it would persist. The question being debated is whether the global crude oil price would stabilise at around  60 USD per barrel. Some agencies say that the so called recession in Japan and Europe and fall in demand in China could have resulted in crude price fall.  However, the credible explanation appears to be that  the price fall have been caused due to  steady increase in the production of crude in USA in recent months , as a result of   the spectacular increase in the investment in shale gas fields, which has resulted in the global supply scenario of crude moving to surplus . U S remains as one of the largest consumers of crude oil in the world. Until recently, US has been substantially importing its crude oil requirement , not wanting to exploit its own resources.  With the production of crude in USA significantly going up, the import level of crude  by USA is likely to come down steadily in the coming months. Further, the export of crude from USA is now banned but there are demand by US oil companies that US government should remove this ban. In such case, not only import of crude oil by US will decrease but the export also will take place that would nearly flood the global oil market. The fact today is that the actual global production of crude  is more than the global demand.  In the past , whenever such situation has developed ,  the oil producing countries used to reduce the production to ensure that the supply situation  would remain tight. This is not happening now , as several oil producing regions such as Venezuela, Russia, Iraq, Iran are largely dependent on income from export  of crude and cannot afford to reduce the crude production , whatever  may be the compulsions. Saudi Arabia also does not want to reduce the crude production when others would not do so, as it would result in loss of market share for Saudi Arabia. In recent years, it has been seen that the price of the crude in the world market is significantly influenced by the speculators , who  are not consumers but traders.  They buy  and sell crude anticipating the price  behaviour and profit potential. The current situation is that the speculators have understood that the global market is likely to have substantial oversupply  in the coming months, that would  result  in price pressure and therefore , the speculators do not want to burn their fingers by buying oil anticipating any windfall in profit. As the speculators become hesitant and tend to withdraw to some extent, the demand for oil really come down in the speculative market.  This inevitably lead to price fall. The situation is grim for shale oil producers in north America, as they would break even only at price of 80  dollars per barrel and above, as they have invested huge amount in drilling and the cost of operations are going up.  Any price less than $ 80 per barrel  would hurt them severely. At the same time, Saudi Arabia, another large oil producer appears to think that it would be comfortable with the price of 60  USD per barrel. Perhaps, by not reducing the oil production and reconciling for the price of $ 60 per barrel, Saudi Arabia wants to make it difficult for the crude producers in North America and drive them out of the market to some extent,  if possible.
The likely  future scenario would be that the oil producers in North America would try to come to sort of agreement with the other oil producing countries to hike the price of crude in the global market. Certainly, the governments in USA and West Europe would try to make this possible.
China , a large consumer of oil is trying to make the best out of the situation by importing more crude  when the price is low and building the stock. However, this can have only a limited impact in the global market, as there are limits for storage capacity. The biggest beneficiaries of crude price fall are the large  importing countries like India and China and other non oil producing countries like Sri Lanka. However, as of now ,  it appears  that the consuming countries   have no particular strategy to convert the present crude price fall into their  advantage. While  they are having an euphoria now due to the crude price fall, such euphoria may be short lived, as sooner or later, perhaps sooner than later , the crude price would rise to USD 80 per barrel and more due to the manoeuvre of the oil producing countries.  However,  the speculators who operate from the gallery will have the last laugh as they scheme and skillfully plan , without the type of botheration and risk that oil producing countries have. An investigative  and well researched analysis of the global crude price  trend has now been released by Nandini Consultancy , Singapore.
Appearance                                                     Clear and free from suspended matter Chemical formula:                                           C3H3N CAS No.                                                          107-13-1 Application Acrylonitrile is used as feedstock for the production of products such as acrylamide, acrylic fibers, adiponitrile, ABS and SAN resins, nitrile rubber Following details are discussed in this article.
  • Indian scenario
  • Global scenario
  • Global import
  • Global export
  • Process
  • Issues and lawsuit in China
  • Scenario in China
  • Major acrylonitrile producers in China, 2013
  • China’s new/planned acrylonitrile projects
  • China’s supply and demand for acrylonitrile during 2008-2013
  • Acrylonitrile project in Middle East region
  • Substitute for fumed silica
  • Precipitated silica in combination with silanes
  • Outline of process
  • Global producers
  • Global demand                                   
  • Scenario in China
  • Demand drivers and growth
  • Indian import and export precipitated silica
Polycarbonate is an amorphous engineering thermoplastic, which combines superior mechanical, optical, thermal and electrical properties offered separately by metals, glass and other plastics. Polycarbonate is available in different grades and can be extruded, blow and injection moulded.   Polycarbonate is also used in compounds or blended with other polymers. CAS No.   25037-45-0 Following details are discussed  in this article
  • Properties and its significance
  • Commercial Grades
  • Application
  • Indian import
  • Global import / export
  • Global supply scenario
  • Global consumption by end use sector
  • Major PC producers in China in 2013 (kilo metric tonne per annum)
  • PC projects newly constructed or planned in China (kilo metric tonne per annum)
  • Process outline
  • Prognosis
Chemical name:                       4-ethoxy-1,1,1-trifluoro-3-butene-2-one
Common name:                       ETFBO
CAS  number:                         59938-06-6
Molecular formula:                   C6H7F3O2
Boiling point:                           150 deg.C
Relative density:                      1.2155 g/ml
Purity:                                     Min 98%
Appearance:    ETFBO is a flammable, yellow liquid with an etherical odour Stability:                                  ETFBO is unstable in water, where it rapidly reacts to give 
aldehydes and hydrogen fluorides
It has a boiling temperature of 159 deg.C and low volatility Toxicity ETFBO is very toxic after short term exposure by inhalation and harmful after oral exposure. After repeated exposure via inhalation, adverse effects in the respiratory tract were observed at very low concentrations. ETFBO is irritating to the eyes and the skin. It may cause allergic skin reactions. ETFBO does not cause genetic effects. Following details are discussed  in this article Uses ETFBO plant in Germany, installed by Solvay
Synonyms : CG; carbon dichloride oxide; carbon oxychloride; Chloroformyl chloride; dichloroformaldehyde; dichloromethanon CAS No.:                     75-44-5 Molecular Formula:     COCl2 Appearance:                Colourless gas Solubility:                     Decomposes in water Soluble in benzene,  toluene, acetic acid, decomposes in alcohol and acid Toxicity Phosgene is highly toxic and symptoms of its inhalation are noticed mainly leads to respiratory disorders such as suffocation, which is a major restraint for the growth of the phosgene industry. If this compound is handled with extensive care and all necessary precautions are taken to avoid inhalation, the problem can be overcome. Following details are discussed  in this article Uses and application
Restrictions under OPCW
Global consuming region
Global producers
Because of safety issues concerning phosgene use, several companies  have commercialized processes that use non-phosgene routes. With the increasing demand for safer and cleaner chemical processes, the hazardous phosgene route has to be improved or essentially being replaced by  eco friendly technologies with CO2 as the alternative C1 starting material. Already, several of the newer polycarbonate plants employ the non phosgene processes. Long-term non-phosgene for polycarbonate seems the way to go, not only for safety concerns, but because significantly less capital is employed. Non phosgene routes to remove the phosgene adopted by a few companies are discussed in this article.
Government data shows that there are 61 sick central public sector enterprises that had 1.53 lakh employees as on March 31, 2013. The government has been paying the salaries of all these employees largely through the budget. It is reported that Government of India has begun the process of shutting some of the sick public sector undertakings. The list of six firms for closure under the department of heavy industry includes Hindustan Photo Films, HMT Bearings, HMT Chinar Watches, Tungbhadra Steel, Hindustan Cable and the iconic HMT Watches. In the second round, 15 more loss-making firms will be under consideration, including British India Corporation, IDPL and their subsidiaries. The Cabinet note seeking closure of the six companies proposes to offer a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) option at the 2007 pay scale for around 3,600 employees in these firms, along with additional benefits.This could amount to a total package of `Rs.1,000 crore. While Government of India has proposed to close down some sick and unviable public sector units, there are quiet a number of other units such as fertilizer plants that remain closed for  long time. Continued closure of these units help no one. Above subject is further discussed in this article.
Government of India amended the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act in July 2007 to include coal to liquid (CTL) industry as an end user for allocation of captive coal blocks, so that low rank, high ash coal, which are abundantly found in India, can be converted into liquid fuels. Inspite of such government initiatives, the CTL projects in the country have been moving at snail’s pace. Jindal Steel and Power is now reported to have scrapped plans to set up a USD 10 billion CTL project at Angul in Odisha, following the Supreme Court’s cancellation of Ramchandi coal mine allotted to it. The CTL project was linked with the coal block. JSPL was allotted Ramchandi Promotional Coal Block with an estimated reserve of  1,500 million metric tonne on February 27, 2009 for the project. Jindal’s CTL project was supposed to produce 80,000 barrels per day of crude from coal using German firm Lurgi's technology. The project cost also include setting up of a 1,350 MW power plant and mine development expenses. Scrapping of the CTL project by Jindal Steel and Power is a big setback  for plans for the development  of CTL projects in India. Above subject is further discussed in this article.
P.N.Devarajan, E-mail: Mr.P.N.Devarajan,  renowned chemical engineer and former Chairman of Hindustan Organic Chemical, delivered  lecture on “Cold Cracking technology to process heavy crude oil” at Chennai  on 8th November,2014, in an award function organised by Chemical Industries Association. Mr.P.N.Devarajan spoke on importance of developing technology for heavy crude oil in the light of depleting availability of lighter grade of crude oil. Mr.P.N.Devarajan was conferred special award on the occasion. Highlights of the speech delivered by Mr.P.N.Devarajan is provided   in this article *           The lighter grades of crude oil produce the best yields of end products. However, lighter grades of crude are fast depleting. *           Depletion of light oil reserves are shifting the focus of the oil industry towards heavy  crude oil *           Oil refineries are increasingly having to process heavy and ultra heavy crude. *           Heavier crude oil have too much carbon and not enough hydrogen. Processing of heavy crude oil requires high capital cost, operating cost and results in harmful emission. Existing processing technologies do not effectively address the issue. *           Oil industry has been eagerly awaiting emergence of new innovative and cost effective technologies for processing heavier crude oil. Following details are discussed  in this article
  • Heavy crude oil – current scenario
  • Total world oil reserves
  • Global heavy oil scenario
  • Technology development – Pristec Inc
  • Solution by cold cracking technology
  • Objectives and impact of the cold cracking technology
  • Three types of crackers
  • Cold cracking technology’s role
  • Refinery GRM – Gross Refiner Margin ($/Bbl) goes up with incremental investment sustainability – rapid pay back of investment – environmentally friendly
  • Financial simulation
  • Summary
Chemical Industries Association, an apex body  representing cross section of chemical and allied industries and based in Chennai organised a seminar at Chennai on 22nd November,2014 on “How to make Clean India campaign successful?” Seminar was well attended by  engineers, IT professionals, social activists and  teaching community. Highlights of the  observations and recommendations made in the seminar are discussed  in this article.
Composition of MSW Municipal solid waste consist of biodegradable waste, recyclable waste (such as glass, metal and packaging), inerts (such as bricks) and hazardous waste (such as hospital waste).
(in percentage)
Paper Rubber, leather and synthetics Glass Metals Total Compostable matter Inerts 1 to 5.6 0.7 to 0.8 0.5 to 0.6 0.3 to 4 43 to 45 42 to 44 3 to 8.8 0.7 to 0.8 0.3 to 0.4 0.3 to 4 38 to 41 43 to 45 4 to 13.2 0.7 to 0.8 0.4 to 0.5 0.4 to 0.5 26 to 39 45 to 46 17 to 18 0.4 to 0.5 0.4 to 0.5 0.5 to 0.6 55 to 57 48 to 50 6 to 12.9 0.2 to 0.3 0.9 to 1 0.7 to 0.80 27 to 31 53 to 54 Following details are discussed  in this article
  • Generation and growth of waste
  • Pattern of utilisation of municipal waste
  • Number of Urban Local Bodies having treatment/ processing facilities
  • Indian energy generation potential from MSW
  • Case study -Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd., Mumbai
  • Power from MSW
  • List of municipal & urban waste based power projects taken up by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Resources (MNRE)
  • Chemicals from municipal waste
  • Synthesis gas from MSW
  • Methanol from MSW/Synthesis gas
  • Power from synthesis gas
The bio digester technology has been developed by Gwalior based Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE) and Tezpur based Defence Research Laboratory (DRL), with an objective for resolving the problems of   un decomposed human waste. The innovation degrades and converts the human waste into usable water and gas in an eco friendly manner. The generated gas can be utilised for energy/cooking and water for irrigation purposes. The process involves the bacteria which feed upon the faecal matter inside the tank, through anaerobic process, which finally degrades the matter and releases methane gas that can be used for cooking, along with the treated water. Above subject is further discussed in this article.
SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE The following articles discussing about the accidents occurred at various places
  • Cracker factory blast in Tamil Nadu
  • Coal mine fire kills 26 in China
  • Fire at Dabur India skin care product factory at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh
  • Accident at DuPont Chemical plant in Texas,USA
  • Sivakasi factory blast
PLANT CLOSURES The following articles discuss about the closure of plants
  • Mitsubishi Gas Chemical to quit PTA business
  • Styrolution to shut down polystyrene plant in Sweden
ANTI DUMPING PAGE The antidumping measures introduced in  the last few weeks on the following products are discussed
  • Final duties on Chinese refrigerants
  • Import of met coke from China
CARBON FIBER - UPDATES Following details are discussed in this article
  • Carbon fiber precursor plant in France
  • Carbon fiber plant in France
UPDATE ON GAS / OIL EXPLORATION Following details on Gas/ oil exploration are discussed  in this article
  • Delay in ONGC drilling of HTHP fields
  • Polymer injection in Mangala field to enhance oil recovery
  • Sale price of KG basin gas by GSPC
NEWS ROUND UP – INTERNATIONAL The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed
  • Ammonia plant in USA
  • Phosphine plant in USA
  • Activated carbon capacity expansion
  • New methionine complex in Singapore
  • Evonik’s German plant for polybutadienes
  • Polylactic acid plant in Thailand
  • Chemtura to expand ADPA antioxidant capacity
  • Invista’s nylon plant at Americana, Brazil
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT The recent technology developments on the following products are discussed
  • Silica from rice husk
  • BASF invest in developing highly repellent slippery surfaces
  • New method  found to turn sawdust into petrol
  • Canadian research body, to test fibre tech at Aditya Birla group unit
  • New material for cooling surfaces
  • Biodiesel technology
CHINA NEWS The recent developments on the following products are discussed
  • Coal based energy project
  • Indirect Coal to Liquids Project
  • Acrylic acid JV in China
NEWS ROUND UP - INDIA The recent developments on the following fields are discussed
  • No licence needed for explosive used by mining sector
  • Cold storage warehouses at LNG terminals
  • Finnish firm to build biorefinery in India
  • Cold storage facility in India – Status report
AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE GLOBAL PALM OIL SCENARIO Recent developments in the global vegetable oils market have provided a likely direction for palm oil prices in the first quarter of 2015. A rebound in global oilseeds and vegetable oil production for two years in a row — 2013 and 2014 — has resulted in a market surplus. As a result, the global inventory of four major oils — palm, soya, rapeseed and sunseed — stands expanded. Palm oil has shown the highest level of inventory increase. Malaysian stocks have risen above the psychological level of two million metric tonne. Following details are discussed in this article
  • Global output
  • The soyabean factor
PHARMA PAGE CANNABIS CHEMICALS SLOW DOWN CANCER The cannabis plant is known for its medicinal properties and has been used to relieve symptoms associated with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, anxiety, depression, and numerous other illnesses and conditions. Cannabis is a controlled substance in the UK and is most commonly known as a recreational drug. Chemicals found in Cannabis extracts have been found to dramatically slow down the growth of notoriously difficult brain cancer tumours. Two active chemical components found in cannabis plants, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) were tested as part of research into the treatment of brain cancer tumours by British scientists. Above subject is further discussed in this article. ENERGY PAGE PROSPECTS FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY In spite of the challenges it currently faces, nuclear power has specific characteristics that underpin the commitment of many countries to maintain it as a future option.  Nuclear plants can contribute to the reliability of the power system.  For countries that import energy, it can reduce their dependence on foreign supplies and limit their exposure to fuel price movements in international markets. Nuclear power is one of the few options available at scale to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, while providing or displacing other forms of base load generation.  It has avoided the release of an estimated 58 giga tonnes of CO2 since 1971, or almost two years of total global emissions at current rates. It is estimated that global nuclear power generation will increase by 60% from 392 GW in 2013 to more than 620 GW by 2040 to meet a 37% increase in power demand, according to the latest `World Energy Outlook’ released by Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). Above subject is further discussed in this article. INSTALLED ROOFTOP SOLAR CAPACITY POTENTIAL IN INDIA India’s rooftop solar market potential is at a staggering 100,000 MW, but puts installed capacity at just 285 MW, a minuscule number compared to the potential. The India focused report comes from the German-headquartered solar consultancy, Bridge-to-India.  The consultancy’s Founder and Director, Tobias Engelmeier, estimates that India will have 1,500 MW of rooftop solar power by 2018, though many experts doubt this. Solar rooftop units should be positioned such that no shadow falls on the panels, not just while being erected, but also in the future.  Commercial and residential establishments generally do not have the space or prefer not to freeze the space available for solar plants. Above subject is further discussed in this article. PROPOSED SOLAR PARK IN INDIA The Union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has identified locations for 12 of the 25 solar parks ,which the government plans to set up to increase solar power generation in the country A solar park is a concentrated zone where in the government will provide land and basic infrastructure for setting up the plant as well as evacuation of power. Above subject is further discussed in this article ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO  MONTREAL PROTOCOL ON HFC Montreal Protocol is a UN treaty signed in 1987 to ban ozone-depleting substances like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochloroflurocarbons (HFCFs) which were used in refrigerators and air conditioners. HFCs were brought into replace the ozone-depleting substances but it was proved later that the ozone friendly gas has a potent warming effect. During the past six conferences, it was India which had led the Gulf States to block the use of the Montreal Protocol to phase out HFCs. The change in Indian stand comes in the wake of a joint Indo-US statement on HFCs this year under which both the nations had agreed to discuss the harmful greenhouse gas under the Montreal Protocol.  The Gulf countries argued that there were no alternatives to HFCs. Above subject is further discussed in this article Following environmental details are discussed in this article
  • Norms for online effluents monitoring
  • e-waste recycling efforts in India

The world must cut CO2 emissions to zero by 2070 at the latest to keep global warming below dangerous levels and prevent a global catastrophe, the U.N. warns.
By 2100, all greenhouse gas emissions — including methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, as well as CO2 — must fall to zero, the United Nationals Environment Programme (UNEP) report says  or the world will face what Inter governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists have described as “severe, widespread and irreversible” effects from climate change. Above subject is further discussed in this article.
  • Tenders
  • Price details
  • LNG price in Asia
  • Ex factory prices  in China during the month of Qctober 2014
  • Chemicals imported at the Chennai port during the month of September 2014
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