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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Sumitomo, BASF submits Pavecto fungicide registration in EU

Sumitomo Chemical and BASF SEsaid that under an existing joint development framework, Sumitomo Chemical has submitted a registration application in the EU for the novel fungicide compound with the ISO common name metyltetraprole. The fungicide, discovered by Sumitomo Chemical, will be trademarked as Pavecto.
The compound belongs to a group of fungicides known as Quinone outside Inhibitors (QoI), and with the chemical structure tetrazolinone, represents novel chemistry in this group. Pavecto differs from existing QoI fungicides because it controls pathogens that have developed resistance towards strobilurin fungicides currently available on the market.

Greener blue jeans

Who doesn’t like blue jeans? They’re practically wrinkle-proof. The indigo dye that provides their distinctive color holds up to detergents, but ages into that soft, worn look. No wonder the average American wears jeans four days a week. No wonder it’s a $66 billion a year industry, with three billion pairs of jeans manufactured each year.
Indigo is one of the oldest dyes used for coloring textiles. Commercial synthesis of indigo dye replaced the plant source around 1900. Today, the jean industry uses about 40,000 tons of indigo a year. But there is a dark side. Industrial synthesis of indigo from petroleum is a “dirty” chemical process. Chemical production of indigo into an effective dye requires a chemical that becomes toxic to fish and some other aquatic life. And when sent to waste water treatment plants, it severely corrodes the piping.
Jeans manufacturers are interested in finding a cleaner route to produce the iconic dye. Berkeley bioengineering professor John Dueber has studied the chemical steps plants use to naturally make indigo, and he thinks he has found an environmentally green way for the industry to churn out the dye without use of the toxic compound.
When plant leaves are healthy, a chemical precursor to indigo, called indican, is caged within a sugar molecule and isolated from the rest of the cell in an organelle. Only when leaves are damaged is indican released from this compartment. The sugar protective cage is removed, allowing a chemical change that makes indigo. Green leaves turn blue.
Dueber’s lab very recently identified the plant enzyme that is essential for adding the protective sugar cage. They plan to insert its gene into bacteria. Hundreds of gallons of the harmless bacteria growing in fermentation tanks would churn out indican, held within the sugar’s molecular embrace. Later, outside the cell, a second enzyme could remove the protective glucose cage, triggering the final chemical transition to indigo. The result: environmentally cleaner jeans.
Read more: Greener blue jeans

Organic printing inks may restore sight to blind people

A simple retinal prosthesis is being developed in collaboration between Tel Aviv University in Israel and LiU. Fabricated using cheap and widely-available organic pigments used in printing inks and cosmetics, it consists of tiny pixels like a digital camera sensor on a nanometric scale. Researchers hope that it can restore sight to blind people.
Researchers led by Eric Glowacki, principal investigator of the organic nanocrystals subgroup in the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linkoping University, have developed a tiny, simple photoactive film that converts light impulses into electrical signals. These signals in turn stimulate neurons (nerve cells). The research group has chosen to focus on a particularly pressing application, artificial retinas that may in the future restore sight to blind people.
The Swedish team, specializing in nanomaterials and electronic devices, worked together with researchers in Israel, Italy and Austria to optimise the technology. Experiments in vision restoration were carried out by the group of Yael Hanein at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Yael Hanein’s group is a world-leader in the interface between electronics and the nervous system.
The results have recently been published in the prestigious scientific journal Advanced Materials.
Photoactive material
The retina consists of several thin layers of cells. Light-sensitive neurons in the back of the eye convert incident light to electric signals, while other cells process the nerve impulses and transmit them onwards along the optic nerve to an area of the brain known as the “visual cortex”. An artificial retina may be surgically implanted into the eye if a person’s sight has been lost as a consequence of the light-sensitive cells becoming degraded, thus failing to convert light into electric pulses.
The artificial retina consists of a thin circular film of photoactive material, and is similar to an individual pixel in a digital camera sensor. Each pixel is truly microscopic – it is about 100 times thinner than a single cell and has a diameter smaller than the diameter of a human hair. It consists of a pigment of semi-conducting nanocrystals. Such pigments are cheap and non-toxic, and are commonly used in commercial cosmetics and tattooing ink.

Researchers to develop greener parts for transport industry

University of Portsmouth researchers are at the forefront of a drive to develop environmentally-friendly materials from agricultural waste for use in the automotive, marine and aerospace industries.
A team from the University’s School of Engineering are producing and developing lightweight materials from farming leftovers (agriculture biomass) – a process that could provide significant environmental benefits.
The sustainable composite materials are produced from flax, hemp, jute and waste biomass date palm fibres to provide parts like car bumpers and door linings – mainly non-structural components. Using natural plant fibres for composite manufacturing has the potential to provide farmers with extra income and reduce C02 emissions from the burning of waste.
“We are working to address the key challenges of using natural reinforced composites for structural and semi-structural applications such as internal engine covers, seat back and roof structures, among others.
“The impact of this work would be extremely significant because these lightweight alternatives could help reduce the weight of vehicles, contributing to less fuel consumption and fewer C02 emissions. The sustainable materials can be produced using less energy than glass and carbon fibres and are biodegradable, therefore easier to recycle,” said Dr Hom Nath Dhakal, who leads the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AMM) Research Group at the University.
Dr Dhakal and his team have been working closely with industry to address these problems and test the strength and viability of parts made from the sustainable materials. These test results are compared to that of hybrids of the natural materials with more traditional glass and carbon fibres. The AMM Research Group has been working in collaboration with researchers from various institutions from around the world.

New sheen for next-gen automotive

Fast paced developments in the automotive industry demands a new outlook for pigments and coatings market.
By Debarati Das
Its not just the speed and the throttle that determines the X-factor of a car, but also the sheen, the shine and the gloss that ups the oomph of these automobiles. And hence, the right pigment for that perfect coating determines the market success of the whole package.
According to a report by Grand View Research, the global automotive coatings market is expected to reach $36.31 billion by 2025 owing to the increasing vehicle production. The right coating not just enhances the appearance and durability of automobiles but also provides protection from harsh environmental conditions including acid rain, extreme temperature, UV radiations and dust particles.
Reports suggest that while Europe is expected to witness steady growth, the major demand for this market is expected to arise from the emerging countries including China, India, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, and South Africa which is becoming the next big automotive market due to population growth and rising income levels in this region. Many companies are taking this opportunity to expand and strengthen their hold in these regions.
Axalta Coating Systems expanded their activities in China and India lately by installing additional capacity in India to supply OEMs and expanding their waterborne facility in China to meet customers’ requirements for reduced VOC emissions.
“These facilities and the significant investments made in the past couple of years are in sync with Axalta’s strong commitment to this region to deliver innovative and comprehensive coating solutions to our customers in every sector of the automotive market and in other industry sectors,” said Charlie Shaver, chairman and CEO, Axalta.

Enriching the Indian soil

In an interview, Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta (IAS), Managing Director, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd (GNFC), with Chemical Today Magazine delves into the ways in which India’s fertilizer industry is meeting the growing demands of the country with innovation and technology.”
By Shivani Mody
Trends in Indian fertilizers market. 
India is the second largest consumer of chemical fertilizers in the world. The annual growth rate of fertilizer production in India since FY 13 is 4 percent at a compounded annual rate. Given that the food demand is only likely to increase in India and available cultivable land being limited, it is only possible that the demand for fertilizer is also going to increase.
India’s requirement of major fertilizers like Urea, DAP, and MOP stands at roughly 300 Lakhs MT, 90 Lakhs MT and 60 Lakhs MT respectively against the domestic production of approximately, 250 lakhs MT, 40 to 45 Lakhs MT of Urea and DAP respectively. There is no domestic production of MOP as of now. It is evident that the mismatch between demand and supply is significant.
The current Indian government’s fertilizer policy is expected to reduce dependency on imports of fertilizers, in turn promoting the indigenous production and giving a thrust to Make in India program. In view of this, the Indian fertilizer sector has ‘tremendous’ potential for growth, in the coming years. On the other hand, 100 percent neem coating of urea and introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) has also improved efficiency of urea application and better availability of fertilizers to farmers.
Corresponding scenario of the chemicals market
Indian Chemical Sector is worth nearly $150-155 billion at present and is growing at 9-10 percent annually. It is expected to double its size to $300 billion by 2025. The manufacturing sector has a dependency on the chemical industry for its growth and increase in manufacturing activity will automatically lead to higher demand for chemicals.

Adding colors to technology

In an interview, Sambit Roy, Regional Business Head-Pigment, India Region, Clariant with Chemical Today Magazine discusses the opportunities that the inks & pigments industry has in the fast-growing Indian economy.
By Shivani Mody
Trends in inks & pigments industry on a global level.
The global pigments market size was valued at $32.7 billion in 2015 and is expected to garner $43.03 billion by 2022, registering a CAGR of 4% during the forecast period 2022. The market is expected to be driven by the growing demand in Asia-Pacific and rapidly increasing demand from existing applications.
The global printing inks market is expected to reach over US$25 billion by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 4.6% from 2017 to 2025. On the basis of geography, the Asia-Pacific region currently represents the largest market accounting for around one-third of the total global consumption. The increasing demand can be directly attributed to the developing economies of Asia-Pacific and South America which are witnessing rapid urbanization. Due to the change in trends, the traditional, family owned sheet-fed ink companies that were once numerous have now declined in number along with the small sheet-fed printers. Over the past couple of years, the market has been mainly driven by advancements in technology and processes such as ink-jet products and digital printing.
As the sector continues to grow, various strategies have been adopted by leading players in the industry to achieve additional market share which include new product launches, joint ventures, acquisition, partnership, expansion and investments. In the past few years, the consumption of printing inks has increased due to the growth in publishing, packaging industries and Inkjet Printing. Other factors like affordability, constant innovations and popularity of environment-friendly inks are also encouraging the growth of the global ink market. Additionally, companies are continuously investing in R&D to come up with unique and customized applications for their customers.  With a strong backing and a high demand from key end user segments, the ink and pigment market is expected to maintain its current healthy trend for a number of years to come.
Advancement in colourants demand.
The landscape for colourants is fast changing as technology and global economics have exerted pressure on the industry to continuously evolve and innovate. It has therefore become imperative for colourant companies to keep with up the current and emerging trends that are set to change the industry in the future. The colourant market is driven by a number of factors like increasing demand from high performance pigments application, recent developments in end-user industries and rising inclination towards environment-friendly products. The major driving factors for the colourant markets is the growth in the end-user industries, increase in per capita consumption of textiles, enhanced standard of living and rising demand for environmental-friendly products. Colourant companies are building and maintaining production and laboratory facilities at a global scale to keep up to the demands of the ever increasing global customers.
The printing ink industry is moving on from traditional toluene and ketone based inks to non-toulene and non-ketone (NTNK) systems. The demand for UV/EB curable inks is also increasing at a faster pace. The evolution and expansion of color space with IR reflective technologies also continues to gain momentum. Moreover, the transition from traditional to modern methods is bound to change the trends in the ink and pigment sector in the coming years. As the manufacturers get to know about the benefits of newer technologies, everyday life can become better and certainly more colorful for end users and consumers.
Fast growing sectors in Asia Pacific.
The global pigments market is expected to reach revenues of $39 billion USD by 2020, largely due to extraordinary growth in the Asia-Pacific regions. The APAC region accounts for nearly half of the global consumption of pigments and is expected to increase its share in the market even further. There has been a significant demand for products like titanium dioxide which is currently dominating the pigment market, given its widespread use in paints, varnishes and the processing of plastics. This has resulted in a greater demand for higher quality and more consistent pigments which are both color stable and viscosity stable, compatible with a wide range of resin systems and print on a wide variety of substrates. Printing inks are set to develop in a more dynamic way due to the growing market for printed packaging. With a robust demand in the printing ink sector, the market is projected to register steady growth in the coming years. There has been a significant increase in water and solvent-based packaging inks in the recent years and the trend in the packaging ink market segment is moving towards functional and sensory packaging. A substantial demand in alternative ink types such as UV and EB inks has greater demand on pigment properties such as viscosity stability and compatibility.

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