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Monday, 22 January 2018

Arlanxeo to expand chloroprene rubber capacity at Dormagen site

MAASTRICHT, NETHERLANDS/ DORMAGEN, GERMANY: Arlanxeo said that it is expanding its global chloroprene rubber (CR) production at the site in Dormagen, Germany. The production capacity there will be increased to as much as 70,000 tonnes per year overall that will be available to the market already during the first quarter of 2019.
Arlanxeo is investing an upper single-digit million in the expansion project overall.
The capacity expansion will be undertaken from Q2 2018. Within the expansion a production line will be renewed and equipped with new reactors, having a higher capacity. This ensures Arlanxeo to optimize its existing processes and make its production processes more flexible.
Arlanxeo produces and markets its chloroprene rubbers under the Baypren and Baypren ALX brands. They are used, for example, in the production of cable sheathing, belts, conveyor belts and wetsuits, as well as in adhesive applications, and feature high weather, UV and oil resistance. Chloroprene rubbers are products of Arlanxeo’s high-performance elastomers business unit.

Piece of paper can make water consumption safer: Findings

BATH, UK: A revolutionary microbial-based paper sensor has been developed by researchers at the University of Bath, creating a cheap, sustainable and recyclable device for detecting toxic compounds in water.
Access to safe drinking water is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals since it is a basic human right and is crucial to combating inequalities and reducing poverty. This right is yet to be achieved in the world’s poorest countries, and one of the reasons for this is the lack of easily deployable and affordable water testing tools.
A low cost, simple way of testing water
An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Bath’s Water Innovation & Research Centre (WIRC @ Bath) and Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT), has published new findings reporting the proof of concept for a device, which in the near future, could supply some of the world’s poorest countries with a low cost, simple and rapid way of testing a watersupply.
Inspired by the simplicity of litmus paper - commonly used for the rapid assessment of acidity in water - this innovative technology consists of a microbial fuel cell (MFC), obtained by screen printing biodegradable carbon electrodes onto a single piece of paper.

Clariant inaugurates healthcare packaging plant in Cuddalore, India

CUDDALORE, INDIA: Clariant in India has established its eminence in the speciality chemicals sector, with its presence in the country for more than 50 years. Clariant in India is living the “Make in India” mantra and has built a manufacturing hub for both exports and domestic markets. It comprises 11 production sites spread across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
Clariant in India aims for accelerated growth in the Indian market through the six business units that are: masterbatches, pigments, additives, industrial & consumer specialities, catalysts and functional minerals.
Clariant has inaugurated its healthcare packaging production facility in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India.
“Clariant is ambitious in India and we look to create a material and profitable speciality chemical business through our new greenfield plant for healthcare packaging. While this plant may not fall in the speciality chemicals category in the traditional sense, but it is certainly a differentiated product offering. In India, business line medical specialities have grown over the past few years and this facility will give us clear edge against the competition,” said Adnan Ahmad, region head, Clariant in India.

Researchers design the next-gen hair dyes

RALEIGH, US: North Carolina State University researchers have created the largest publicly available chemical database of hair dye substances as a resource for developing a new generation of hair colour products that are safer for consumers, stylists and the environment.
The online hair dye substance database contains detailed information about the structure and properties of 313 substances in current and past commercial hair dyes. Using computer-based classification – what’s known as cheminformatics – researchers grouped the dyes into clusters with similar structures and properties. The results revealed some surprises and promising new avenues for research.
The study appears in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.
“The database can definitely help drive design, not just of hair dyes but of other types of dyes, using the same approach,” said Tova Williams, NC State doctoral student and lead author of a journal article about the research.
Coloring hair is a multibillion-dollar global business that’s growing rapidly. Hair dyes are divided into three basic types, depending on how long they last. Temporary dyes, which coat the hair surface, wash out with one or two shampoos. Semi-permanent dyes last a bit longer – through six to eight washings.

Advanced polymers help transportation industry react to change

Chart this decade’s production figures from the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers, and you will need plenty of space on the Y-axis. Total output has climbed from 2.03 million vehicles in 2011, to 2.53 in 2017, a 20 percent increase.
Absolute growth is not the only change coming to India’s transportation industry. Last August the government made waves when it announced its goal of an all-electric vehicle future for India by 2030. Will it come to pass? At this point, it is difficult to predict, but it is a safe bet that change will remain constant in the industry.
Where will the changes take India’s transportation industry, and how can advanced polymers help manufacturers react to change? Consider three trends in the global automotive industry.
Transition to electric vehicles:  Whether all vehicles will transition to electric vehicles in the coming decades is debatable, but there will be many more electric vehicles sold in the coming years. “The advent of electric vehicles will create many new opportunities for polymers, in under-the-hood applications but also in vehicle interiors,” said Kelly Wessner, transportation-marketing director, Specialty Engineered Materials, at PolyOne.

Popular tool for drug discovery just got 10 times faster

WEST LAFAYETTE, US: Researchers at Purdue University have just made high throughput screening, a process often used in drug discovery, 10 times faster than previous methods.
High-throughput screening uses robotics, data processing software, liquid handling devices and sensitive detectors to quickly conduct millions of chemicals, genetic and pharmacological tests. It allows researchers to identify active compounds, antibodies or genes that modulate a particular biomolecular pathway, which is especially useful for drug discovery.
“The area of high-throughput library screening reached a plateau, where the fastest screens took about eight seconds per target. If you can reduce that time by a factor of ten, which is what we’re reporting, then you can potentially do library screens that might have taken months in days,” said Graham Cooks, the Henry Hass distinguished professor of analytical chemistry at Purdue, who led the research.
Cooks’ lab combined desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) mass spectrometry, a method of making ions from solid samples, with robotic sampling technologies to create a faster screening process. The research was published in the journal Chemical Science.

Looking to the sun to produce hydrogen fuel

LIVERMORE, US: When Lawrence Livermore scientist Tadashi Ogitsu leased a hydrogen fuel-cell car in 2017, he knew that his daily commute would change forever. There are no greenhouse gases that come out of the tailpipe, just a bit of water vapour.
The market for hydrogen cars is growing. According to a recent report by the California Energy Commission and the California Air Resources Board, the state is now home to 31 hydrogen fuel stations.
The next challenge is making hydrogen fuel cost-effective and sustainable.
“Hydrogen can be produced from multiple sources, but the holy grail is to make it from water and sunlight,” said Ogitsu, a staff scientist in the Quantum Simulations Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).
He also is a steering committee member for the HydroGEN Advanced Water Splitting Materials Consortium, a Lab-led consortium in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Materials Network. It is focused on hydrogen production from water via advanced high and low-temperature electrolysis, as well as photoelectrochemical and solar thermochemical processes and is managed through the Fuel Cell Technologies Office of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).  

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