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Sunday, 22 October 2017

It's a Paper world !!!


By Debarati Das
Paper is an indispensable part of our daily life. Be it a tissue paper in your backpack, stickons on your refrigerators for reminders, a piece of paper for making your grocery list, a travel ticket, a movie bill, a calendar on your work table, or a dictionary- at any point of time, you always have a paper on you. 
But the use of paper is consistently witnessing a shift. On one hand, the rising use of electronic devices is steadily encouraging the trend of going “paperless” to avoid wastage of paper. Like many others, over the years, I too have shifted to various mobile apps for making reminder lists, reading books and news, finding words on online dictionaries, referring to calendar, using e-tickets instead of printouts, and doing my small part towards a greener planet by reducing wastage of paper when it can be genuinely avoided.  
However, on the other hand, paper is also rising as the only ecological alternative to plastic which is doing more damage to the planet. So, there is a significant rise in the use of paper bags, paper packaging, etc. Despite several environmental concerns, the requirement for paper will always remain. The need of the hour, however, is to evolve with changing times without compromising the green cover of the planet.
Here are some of the trends which are globally governing the transition of the paper industry.

Waste Gases of steel factories to be used by Chemical Industry to make plastics


The use of carbon dioxide and other waste gases as a new source of raw materials is increasingly a topic of interest at the European level. A new consortium of 14 partners from seven countries, led by materials manufacturer Covestro, is now planning to investigate how flue gas from the steel industry can be used to produce plastics in a particularly efficient and sustainable way. This will save crude oil, the raw material used in conventional methods. The cross-sector project called Carbon4PUR receives funding from the European Union.
“Together, we are on the path to a crucial innovation: waste gas mixtures from the steel industry can provide carbon for a chemical processes and ultimately be used to produce insulation materials and coatings,” explained Dr. Markus Steilemann, the Covestro Board Member responsible for Innovation, Marketing and Sales. “This helps us to broaden our resource base and to reduce the climate footprint for the entire value chain. At the same time, we are joining our forces by partnering with industrial and academic partners throughout Europe.”
Cooperation across borders
The new project introduces an unprecedented cooperation extending from the waste gas source to the plastics manufacturer. The European Union is supporting Carbon4PUR under the auspices of SPIRE, the European Public-Private Partnership, dedicated to innovation in resource and energy efficiency enabled by the process industries. About eight million euros are provided for the time of three years. The industrial partners will leverage this contribution by further investments.
Specifically, the project aims to use mixtures of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which are generated during steel production, to produce polyols – key components of polyurethane-based insulating materials and coatings that are otherwise obtained from crude oil. 

Carbonic Acid: Occurrence, Preparation, Properties and Uses


Carbonic acid:
Carbonic acid is a chemical compound with the chemical formula as H2COand molecular formula as CH2O3. It is an inorganic weak acid, which exists only as a solution. Carbonic acid is also known as acid of air, aerial acid or dihydrogen carbonate. It forms two kinds of salts: carbonates and bicarbonates. Ph of carbonic acid is 4.68 in 1mM.
Carbonic acid is specifically diprotic acid, which means that it has two protons which can disassociate from the parent molecule. Thus, have two disassociation constants, first for bicarbonate ion disassociation and second for disassociation of the bicarbonate ion into the carbonate ion.
Occurrence:
Carbonic acid is present in blood in the human body. It is formed in human body when water gets dissolved with carbon dioxide. It is also present in rain water, calcite, fermentation, coal, ground water, meteors, volcanoes, amino acids, proteins, oceans, plants, erythrocytes, sulphur deposits, salts, and caves.

Two months after Harvey hit the Gulf Coast Exxon Mobil fires up huge new Texas plant


Exxon Mobil on Tuesday began production at a new petrochemical facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas, just two months after Hurricane Harvey pummeled the U.S. Gulf Coast and hobbled the U.S. refining and specialty chemicals hub.
The new first of two lines turning out polyethylene — the most common plastic used in manufacturing — will increase the plant's output by 650,000 tons per year. The next line at Mont Belvieu will match that addition and bring total production at the plant to 2.5 million tons per year, making it one of the biggest polyethylene plants in the world.
The facility positions Exxon Mobil to take advantage of the growing market at home and abroad for plastics as emerging markets buy more packaged food and consumer products. Demand for ethylene, the base chemical, is poised to grow by 5.5 million to 6 million tons a year, assuming 2.5 to 3 percent GDP growth, according to IHS Markit.
Exxon will ship a "significant portion" of its polyethylene production from the Mont Belvieu plant from the port of Houston.
"The expansion of our Mont Belvieu facility further enhances our ability to meet growing global demand for high-performance polyethylene products around the world," Neil Chapman, president of Exxon Mobil Chemical Co., said in a statement.
Earnings in Chevron's chemicals business grew by nearly $200 million in 2016 to reach $4.6 billion. Chemical earnings ticked down in the first half of 2017.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Diwali: festival of light, not pollution…


Diwali (Deepavali) is an Indian festival celebrated by lighting lamps, distributing sweets and bursting crackers. By tradition, homes are lit with clay lamps, candles, fairy lights, and firecrackers light the sky as people rejoice in the festival. Over the years, the bursting of fire crackers have reached high noise levels and air pollution during Diwali. Let us have a look at the various toxic chemicals, increasing levels of pollution and the methods to celebrate eco-friendly Diwali.
Chemicals in fireworks
Heavy smog hangs low in the air on Diwali night and a few days after that. The levels of sulphur nitrates, magnesium, nitrogen dioxide increase, and these chemicals are injurious to our respiratory passages. Diwali can be potentially fatal to asthamatics.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Jayakumar Krishnaswamy, Managing Director, AkzoNobel India


Bringing a digital revolution in shipping
In an interview, Jayakumar Krishnaswamy with Chemical Today Magazine discusses ways in which the shipping industry is experiencing tectonic shifts of change and how the company is working towards revolutionizing this global industry.
By Shivani Mody
Future of things to come in the marine industry.
Our team of chemical engineers, material scientists, biologists, hydrodynamic experts, physicists and – nowadays – digital innovation specialists have been developing innovative technologies for decades to transform the shipping industry. Working on projects like biomimicry, drone technology, intelligent sensors and big data applications, we now have the ability to care for vessels at agreed performance levels with our advanced coatings and technology.
The marine industry is starting a new chapter in terms of the way ships are designed, built, operated and maintained. Autonomous vessel operation, digital connections through global satellites and new powering solutions will lead to a whole new generation of naval architects and we will witness much more collaborative partnerships across the value chain.
Sustainability is a key driver to develop these exciting technologies and it is the only way forward in shipping. With that belief as our compass, we’ve developed a number of initiatives to limit environmental impact and increase the sustainability of products across the entire industry.
Reducing the environmental impact of shipping and increasing the share of sustainable products is not just our responsibility. We work closely with other key industry players like our recent agreement with Maersk, in which we are creating transparency on sustainable best practices in the supply chain and reducing carbon emissions. We have also partnered with the Volvo Ocean Race and The Ocean Clean Up to develop programs that will drive sustainability. 

Eric Borgstedt, Global Marketing Manager, Solvents, Aerosol & Solvents Fluorine Products group, Honeywell


Leading the market with panache
In an interview, Eric Borgstedt with Chemical Today Magazine talks about the changing quotients of end user industries, which is constantly keeping the solvents industry on its path of innovation.
By Shivani Mody
Trends and developments in the solvent industry. 
There are two significant trends impacting the global supply and use of industrial solvents: A regulatory environment that drives adoption of products that are safer for the environment and the user, and new, more challenging technical requirements resulting from increased component complexity.
 Regulations tend to drive awareness of both hazards and potential solutions. In the recent past, we have seen numerous countries recognize the scientific data and act to control or phase out many popular cleaning solvents including n-methyl pyrollidone (NMP), halogenated CFCs (TCE and PERC) and HCFCs like HCFC-141b, among others. The increased scrutiny led to the development of several commercially viable and readily available alternatives including hydrofluoroethers (HFEs), hydrofluoro-olefins (HFOs) and workplace mitigation techniques to reduce worker exposure. Some of these technologies have very favorable environmental properties. HFO-1233zd has an ultra-low global warming potential of 1, is non-ozone-depleting, and is non-flammable. This new class of products is becoming the standard for environment and worker safety.
Read more: Eric Borgstedt, Global Marketing Manager, Solvents, Aerosol & Solvents Fluorine Products group, Honeywell

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