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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Saudi Aramco inaugurates 2 chemical facilities in Jubail

DHAHRAN, SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Aramco’s two major projects Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara) and the Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co (SATORP) was inaugurated by The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
These two projects come among the largest facilities in the refining and petrochemicals industries that support the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030. The Vision aims to create new industries that will help provide new job opportunities for Saudis, as well as attract foreign investment to the Kingdom.
Sadara Project
The Sadara project is the largest integrated chemicals complex in the world to be built in one phase. It is a joint venture (JV) between Saudi Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company in Jubail Industrial City in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The first phase commenced operations in 2015, and the remaining operating units are scheduled for completion by the end of 2016. The production capacity is more than three million tonnes of various plastics and chemicals product annually.
The foreign direct investment used to establish Sadara is the largest in the Saudi petrochemicals industry. The company is the cornerstone of Saudi Aramco’s strategy to achieve integration in processing and refining to produce high-value chemicals and benefit all stakeholders.
The corporation with Dow Chemical allows Saudi Aramco to release its full potential in chemicals and to benefit from innovative technologies in producing high-value chemicals never before produced in the Kingdom.
The refining, processing and marketing projects will help Saudi Aramco achieve the maximum value possible from hydrocarbons in the Kingdom and establish new industries to create more jobs for Saudis. Through 14 newly introduced technologies, the project ushers the Kingdom into a new age of economic diversification, new products and job opportunities.
Sadara is the first chemicals complex in the GCC region that uses naphtha as feedstock. The complex has a unit to crack naphtha that can process 85 million standard square feet of ethane and 53,000 barrels per day of naphtha as a feedstock to produce three million tonnes of high value and high-performance plastics annually.
Once fully operational at maximum capacity, the project will employ more than 4,000 people. In addition, the PlasChem Park, a world-class industrial park for chemical and conversion industries created by a collaboration between Sadara and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, will create 15,000 direct and indirect job opportunities for Saudis in Jubail alone.
SATORP Project
The SATORP a JV between Saudi Aramco and Total in Jubail will support Saudi Aramco’s efforts to expand the value chain and achieve maximum value from the Kingdom’s resources. It can process 400,000 barrels of heavy Arabian crude daily into low-sulfur gasoline, diesel and jets fuel that comply with the standards in the United States, Europe and Japan. It also produces more than one million tonnes of paraxylene, benzene, sulphur and pure petroleum coke that fuels cement plants and electric power stations.
This JV will create approximately 5,700 new direct and indirect jobs and will serve Saudi Aramco’s vision to become among the world’s top three refiners. The venture showcases the positive impact of foreign direct investments in the Saudi economy. The construction of the project involved 45,000 workers with 80 percent of the work performed by local subcontractors with a Saudization rate of 65 percent.
His Excellency Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and Chairman of Saudi Aramco said: “Sadara and SATORP represents a bold undertaking for Saudi Aramco and its respective partners, Dow Chemical and Total. It is a major driver in achieving our goals of greater integration and value addition,” said His Excellency Khalid Al Falih, chairman of Saudi Aramco.
“The Kingdom will benefit from the commercial activities of Sadara and SATORP.  These will provide the additional boost for Saudi Aramco to become a fully integrated energy and chemicals leader which promises well for its larger portfolio diversification agenda, and will have a great impact on the economy, directly and indirectly,” added Amin Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco.

World Aids Day 2016: 2,000 Proteins Present in HIV Virus

AIDS stands for: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
 HIV stands for: Human immunodeficiency virus
 AIDS is a disease of the human immune system caused by the HIV.
 World AIDS Day observed on 1 December every year.
 The earliest fully documented case of HIV dates back to 1959. A Congolese man's blood sample from a medical study was preserved, found, and then analyzed in 1998. It was verified that he had been HIV+.Several naysayers have claimed that the disease originated from the use of African green monkey kidneys to cultivate poliovirus in the late 1950's and early 1960's.The first recorded cases in the U.S. occurred in New York City in 1952, 1959, and 1979.The first reported cases were those in the June 5, 1981.
 HIV infection existed at low levels for a long period of time in small tribal communities in Africa. Extensive use of blood transfusions for the treatment of Malaria and the frequent use and reuse of hypodermics for everything from immunizations and antibiotics to vitamin injections would contribute to spreading of HIV.
 1980’s timeline of AIDS
 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) reported first official reporting of AIDS epidemic.
 In December 10, 1982 reports mentioned 23 cases of immunodeficiency and opportunistic infections in infants.
 The causative agent for AIDS was identified as ‘Retrovirus’
 In the 1980’s only some organizations identified that by “avoiding injection drug use and reducing needle-sharing “should also be effective in preventing transmission of the virus.”
 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) license the first commercial blood test- ELISA - to detect antibodies to HIV in the blood.
 1990’s timeline of AIDS
 FDA approved first medication named zidovudine (AZT) for pediatric AIDS and even it licenses a 10-minute diagnostic test kit which can be used by health professionals to detect the presence of HIV-1.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published guidelines for preventing transmission of human immunodeficiency virus through transplantation of human tissue and organs.
 Important public health service recommended that pregnant women be given the antiretroviral drug AZT to reduce the risk of perinatal transmission of HIV.
 In 1990’s 500,000 cases of AIDS have been reported in the U.S.
 2000’s timeline of AIDS
 FDA approved the first rapid HIV diagnostic test kit for use in the United States that provides results with 99.6 percent accuracy in as little as 20 minutes
 Many government authorities started taking precautionary methods like producing new vaccines to AIDS, new type of test kits, precautionary measurements to other diseases which can lead to AIDS.
Spreading HIV
 According researchers opinion HIV evolved at some point from the closely related Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), and that SIV or HIV (post mutation) was transferred from non-human primates.
 HIV-1 virus can be transferred from chimpanzees and gorillas to humans
 HIV-2 virus can be from sooty mangabeys to humans
 In most non-human primate species, natural SIV infection does not cause a fatal disease. Comparison of the gene sequence of SIV with HIV should therefore give us information about the factors necessary to cause disease in humans. The factors that determine the virulence of HIV as compared to most SIVs are only now being elucidated. Non-human SIVs contain a nef gene that down-regulates CD3, CD4, and MHC class I expression; most non-human SIVs therefore do not induce immunodeficiency; the HIV-1 nef gene however has lost its ability to down-regulate CD3, which results in the immune activation and apoptosis that is characteristic of chronic HIV infection.

Living organisms can be influenced to make silicon-carbon bonds

PASADENA, US: A new study is the first to show that living organisms can be influenced to make silicon-carbon bonds—something only chemists had done before. Scientists at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) bred a bacterial protein to have the ability to make the man-made bonds, a finding that has applications in several industries.
Molecules with silicon-carbon or organosilicon, compounds are found in pharmaceuticals as well as in many other products, including agricultural chemicals, paints, semiconductors, and computer and TV screens. Currently, these products are made synthetically, since the silicon-carbon bonds are not found in nature.
The new research, which recently won Caltech's Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) grand prize, proves that biology can instead be used to manufacture these bonds in ways that are more environmentally friendly and potentially much less expensive.
"We decided to get nature to do what only chemists could do—only better," said Frances Arnold, Caltech's Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry, and principal investigator of the research.
The work is published in journal Science.
The study is also the first to show that nature can adapt to incorporate silicon into carbon-based molecules, the building blocks of life. Scientists have long wondered if life on Earth could have evolved to be based on silicon instead of carbon. Science-fiction authors likewise have imagined alien worlds with silicon-based life.
Carbon and silicon are chemically very similar. They both can form bonds to four atoms at once, making them well suited to form the long chains of molecules found in life, such as proteins and DNA.
"No living organism is known to put silicon-carbon bonds together, even though silicon is so abundant, all around us, in rocks and all over the beach," said Jennifer Kan, a postdoc scholar in Arnold's lab and lead author of the new study.
Silicon is the second most abundant element in Earth's crust.
The scientists used a method called directed evolution, founded by Arnold in the early 1990s, in which new and better enzymes are created in labs by artificial selection, similar to the way that breeders modify corn, cows, or cats. Enzymes are a class of proteins that catalyse, or facilitate, chemical reactions.
The directed evolution process begins with an enzyme that scientists want to improve. The DNA coding for the enzyme is altered in more-or-less random ways, and the resulting enzymes are tested for the desired trait. The top-performing enzyme is then mutated again, and the process is repeated until an enzyme that performs much better than the original is created.
Directed evolution has been used for years to make enzymes for household products, like detergents; and for "green" sustainable routes to making pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, and fuels.
In the new study, the goal was not just to improve an enzyme's biological function but to actually persuade it to do something that it had not done before. The researchers' first step was to find a suitable candidate, an enzyme showing potential for making the silicon-carbon bonds.
The perfect candidate turned out to be a protein from a bacterium that grows in hot springs in Iceland. That protein, called cytochrome c, normally shuttles electrons to other proteins, but the scientists found that it also happens to act as an enzyme to create silicon-carbon bonds at low levels. The scientists then mutated the DNA coding for that protein within a region that specifies an iron-containing portion of the protein thought to be responsible for its silicon-carbon bond-forming activity. Next, they tested these mutant enzymes for their ability to make organosilicon compounds better than the original.
After only three rounds, they had created an enzyme that can selectively make silicon-carbon bonds 15 times more efficiently than the best catalyst invented by chemists. Furthermore, the enzyme is highly selective, which means that it makes fewer unwanted byproducts that have to be chemically separated out.
"This iron-based, genetically encoded catalyst is nontoxic, cheaper, and easier to modify compared to other catalysts used in chemical synthesis," says Kan. "The new reaction can also be done at room temperature and in water."
The synthetic process for making silicon-carbon bonds often uses precious metals and toxic solvents and requires extra processing to remove unwanted byproducts, all of which add to the cost of making these compounds.
As to the question of whether life can evolve to use silicon on its own, Arnold says that is up to nature. "This study shows how quickly nature can adapt to new challenges," she said. "The DNA-encoded catalytic machinery of the cell can rapidly learn to promote new chemical reactions when we provide new reagents and the appropriate incentive in the form of artificial selection. Nature could have done this herself if she cared to."
Co-authors of the study are Russell Lewis and Kai Chen of Caltech.
The research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Caltech Innovation Initiative program, and the Jacobs Institute for Molecular Engineering for Medicine at Caltech.
Read More: Living organisms can be influenced to make silicon-carbon bonds

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Old Navy introduces new liquid-repelling white jeans

SAN FRANCISCO, US: Old Navy, an American clothing retailer company has introduced a new white skinny jean that's stain (liquid)-repellent. This Mid-Rise Stay-White Rockstar  Super Skinny Jeans are sold as the ever-clean white jeans.
The new Stay-White denim technology repels stains & spills so the jeans stay white, no matter how messy the day gets.
According to the company this jean is made up of 59 percent Cotton, 39 percent Polyester and 2 percent Spandex.
"The pairs treated with a stain-resistant wash, which makes liquids roll off the surface, magically, making the jeans perform well with many of your everyday liquid spills like coffee, juice, and wine; and combat more difficult stains after one wash," said Melissa Morrin, Old Navy's senior designer for women's denim, told Refinery29.
“The company recommends washing the jean inside-out in cold water and drying on low. The technology will perform well through 20 home wash cycles, though the stain-resisting technology allows for more wears between washes," Morrin explained.   
Read More: Old Navy introduces new liquid-repelling white jeans

Clariant unveils new range of sustainable aluminium dyes

MUTTENZ, SWITZERLAND: Clariant International Ltd introduces its sustainably-produced anodised aluminium dyes for indoor and outdoor applications.  
Clariant's palette of globally consistent, high-quality colourants for aluminium finishing is one of the broadest in the industry. Its ranges of dyes and aluminium finishing chemicals are manufactured according to strict Swiss safety and environmental requirements.
Additionally, Clariant uses its own specially-designed wastewater pretreatment plant – called AVORA - in Switzerland to ensure customers have the assurance of dyes produced through sustainable resource usage and with high safety standards that protect the environment.
Within its portfolio, Clariant offers a wide range of products which are formulated without using heavy metals in dyes (Sanodye), without borax in Anodal chemicals or without nickel in aluminium sealing solutions, to further assist customers and OEMs looking to improve the sustainability profile of their finishing processes or products.
From a performance view, Clariant's ranges provide varying levels of light-fastness and weather-fastness to support the requirements of different applications. For example, for exterior construction panels as used on globally-recognized landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, and on the Biomedical Research Centre Seltersberg of the Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany.
Customers are offered global technical service and support before and after sales to ensure their dyeing processes are optimised and to aid their development of special products and solutions to enhance OEMs end-products, such as car parts, electrical devices and appliances.
"Clariant's unique combination of a 50-year history in dyes and chemicals production, constant innovation, and focus on sustainable solutions gives us, as aluminum finishes, easy access to the widest variety of colors and effects that not only cover our requirements for meeting design trends, but can help us to take aluminum into new product and application areas," said Hermann Feissli, CEO at Aloxyd AG, a customer of Omya.
Omya (Schweiz) AG is an exclusive distributor of Clariant's portfolio for aluminium finishing.
Read More: Clariant unveils new range of sustainable aluminium dyes

New reagent made from pine trees ease chemical synthesis

HOUSTON, US: Rice University researchers have created a reagent from the goop from pine trees. This goop contains compounds known as terpenes, which is used in the manufacture of food, cosmetics and drugs.
Laszlo Kurti, a synthetic chemist at Rice describes his victory at creating highly efficient aminating and hydroxylating reagents from abundant and bio-renewable terpenoids that promise to make the reagents’ use environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
The work is published in the journal Nature Chemistry.
Amination introduces amino groups into organic molecules to create amines, compounds with one or more nitrogen atoms that are important to metabolic processes. Hydroxylation incorporates oxygen-hydrogen (hydroxyl) groups into organic compounds to create alcohols or phenols. Reagents prompt or report on chemical reactions when added to a system.
The lab’s method permits for the rapid synthesis of nitrogen- and oxygen-containing molecules by using terpenoid-derived reagents at or below room temperature and in one step. These multifunctional reagents enable the easy transfer of oxygen and nitrogen atoms during the synthesis of a wide range of compounds and can be recycled and reused, which cuts waste and saves money for manufacturers, Kurti said.
“Terpenoids like camphor and fenchone are abundant and bio-renewable natural products,” said Kurti, an associate professor of chemistry at Rice. “I’m excited about their use as robust reagent scaffolds because these are about as cheap as they get.”
The new, bio-renewable reagent scaffold is a middleman that allows the transfer of either nitrogen or oxygen from one molecule to another. Most reagents are used only once and discarded. The researchers sought a better way to include nitrogen and oxygen atoms into sometimes-delicate molecules and in the process discovered a single scaffold that could be used for the transfer of either oxygen or nitrogen.
“A long time ago, people realised it would be nice if we could have a one-step conversion of negatively charged carbons (i.e., carbanions such as those found in arylmetals) into primary amines that now contain a new carbon-nitrogen bond,” he said. “This is difficult because the nitrogen-hydrogen bonds in traditional aminating agents are very acidic and rapidly destroy the delicate carbanions.”
The researchers discovered that aminating agents with bulky terpenoid scaffolds can effectively shield the nitrogen-hydrogen bond while still exposing the nitrogen to contact with the arylmetal, he said. “We demonstrated that camphor and fenchone-derived bulky nitrogen-hydrogen oxaziridines (triangular molecules in which oxygen, nitrogen and carbon atoms are interconnected) transfer the nitrogen atom exclusively to arylmetals, while nitrogen-alkyl oxaziridines transfer the oxygen atom exclusively.
“Given that the oxaziridines are oxidising agents, it was remarkable to see otherwise easily oxidised functionalities like thioethers, tertiary amines and conjugated double bonds survive the heteroatom-transfer process intact,” Kurti said.
He said that all of the terpene-derived oxaziridines are stable at room temperature. “We can keep it on the bench indefinitely and nothing happens to it,” Kurti said. “The previous processes were less practical since they relied on highly reactive — thus unstable — aminating agents that required storage at low temperatures.
“Oxygen and nitrogen are exceedingly important heteroatoms,” he said. “So, using the same bio-renewable terpenoid scaffold and making just a very minor structural change to transfer one or the other heteroatom is huge. It’s stable, it doesn’t decompose, it doesn’t use transition metals and you don’t need expensive ligands. That’s why it’s so cool.”
Hongyin Gao, Rice postdoctoral researcher is the lead author of the paper. Co-authors are Rice postdoc researcher Zhe Zhou and graduate student Nicole Behnke; students include Doo-Hyun Kwon, James Coombs and Steven Jones; and Daniel Ess, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, at Brigham Young University.
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Robert A Welch Foundation, Amgen and Biotage.
Read More: New reagent made from pine trees ease chemical synthesis

Interesting facts about Hydrochloric acid

Hydrochloric acid is a colourless and odourless solution of hydrogen chloride and water; with chemical formula HCl. Once commonly referred to as muriatic acid or spirit of salt, this acid is a highly corrosive chemical compound with several applications in industry. Here are some of the interesting properties of HCl –
Chemical properties of HCl: Hydrochloric acid is a clear, colourless, highly pungent solution of hydrogen chloride (HCl) in water. It is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. The molar mass being 36.46 g/mol, compound has a density of 1.18 g/cm3 .
HCl can dissociate (ionize) only once to give up one H+ ion (a single proton). In aqueous hydrochloric acid, the H+ joins a water molecule to form a hydronium ion, H3O+.The other ion formed is Cl−, the chloride ion. Hydrochloric acid can therefore be used to prepare salts called chlorides, such as sodium chloride. Hydrochloric acid is a strong acid, since it is essentially completely dissociated in water.
Present in digestive acids: HCl exists naturally within gastric acid which is one of the main elements that works in the intestinal tract to digest food and get rid of secretions in human beings. The gastric acid comprises primarily of hydrochloric acid which acidifies the stomach contents. Chloride and hydrogen ions are secreted separately in the stomach section which sits at the top of the stomach by parietal cells of the gastric mucosa into a secretory network known as canaliculi prior to entering the stomach lumen. After exiting the stomach, the hydrochloric acid of the chyme is dissolved in the duodenum by sodium bicarbonate. The intestinal tract is protected from the strong acid by the secretion of a thick, protective mucus layer, and by secretin induced buffering with sodium bicarbonate. If hydrochloride is sent to the oesophagus, it can aggravate the lining of the oesophagus and lead to the sensation like peptic ulcers or heartburn.
Fatal at certain concentrations (HCl hazards): concentration of 600 molar of HCl can kill a person. The concentration of 50 – 150 molar can make a person blind.
Used in activating oil wells: HCl is used in a process known as oil-well acidization. This process involves injecting the acid into the cavities of oil wells to dissolve away sections of rock, leaving an open column behind. Ultimately, the method serves to accelerate oil production from the well.
HCl as cleaning agent: One of the strongest commercially available cleaners today is hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is extremely powerful and is recommended as a cleaner. Industrial strength hydrochloric acid, is commonly used on masonry; however, the acid can be used to clean any product that can withstand its effects.
Hydrochloric acid safety: Concentrated HCl is highly corrosive. In laboratories, it is advisable to apply a barrier cream to the hands prior to use. Keep it away from any heat source such as burners, ovens, sunlight etc. Keep containers closed and in an upright position when not in use. For dilute HCl add the acid to water and store the diluted acid solution in a reagent bottle (never add the water to the acid). On industrial scale, label the product, chemical name and chemical formula. Name the ingredients and formulation details where relevant. Follow the first aid and emergency procedures. Provide the details of manufacturer, reference to MSDS and expiry date.

Air Products signs industrial gases supply contract with Grupa

LEHIGH VALLEY, US: Air Products in Poland and Grupa Azoty Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn SA, part of Grupa Azoty have signed a long-term agreement for the supply of oxygen and nitrogen.
Grupa Azoty is the second largest producer of mineral fertilisers in the European Union.
The contract will remain valid until the end of 2035 and extends cooperation between the companies which dates back to 1997. This also secures Air Products’ position as a key supplier to major industries in Poland.
Under the contract, Air Products will provide oxygen and nitrogen gas to the Grupa’s plant, as well as liquid oxygen and nitrogen to other customers in Poland. The project will be implemented on the basis of an upgrade of Air Products’ production facility which, with a capacity of approximately 2,000 tonnes per day, is one of the largest of its kind in Poland.
Industrial gases supplied by Air Products are used by Grupa Azoty Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn SA for the production of ammonia, OXO alcohols and in auxiliary processes. Nitrogen is also used to ensure the safety of production facilities on-site.
Liquid nitrogen has a number of applications due to its unique properties. It’s very low temperature allows it to be used for quick food freezing, ice cream manufacture and packaging of food products (eg snacks or drinks). It is also used for cryotherapy, production of plastic, metal processing and for the production of artificial snow.
Liquid oxygen is used by hospitals, for water treatment, and for oxygenating the water in fish farms. Oxygen is also used to improve quality and efficiency in the production of metals and glass.
“This new contract extends our commitment to supply gases critical to our customer’s operations. The plant in Kedzierzyn–Kozle (Poland) is the largest Air Products production unit in Central Europe,” said Piotr Wieczorek, VP, Air Products Central Europe.
“A contract with such a large and reliable partner as Air Products guarantees a stable supply of industrial gases for the needs of our business in Kedzierzyn,” stated Mariusz Bober, CEO of Grupa Azoty.
“Along with signing the agreement, the Air Products production plant will also be modernised. This is particularly important since our company uses such a significant amount of industrial gases," said Mateusz Gramza, president of the management board of Grupa Azoty Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn.
Read More: Air Products signs industrial gases supply contract with Grupa

Mexichem acquires PVC compounds manufacturer in UK

TLALNEPANTLA, US: Mexichem said that it has purchased a leading UK-based technical (polyvinyl chloride) PVC compounds manufacturer, Vinyl Compounds Holdings Ltd (VCHL).
VCHL serves a broad range of industries including building and construction, pipe and profile manufacturers, footwear and consumer goods. Based in Derbyshire, VCHL has annualised revenues of approx $40 million.
Mexichem will combine VCHL under its compounds business unit, a leading supplier of PVC compound solutions serving the global market and part of the Company’s Vinyl Business Group, which reported sales of $2 billion for the trailing twelve months ended September 2016.
The addition of VCHL will expand Mexichem’s ability to meet global PVC compound demand and will enable further vertical integration of its Compounds Business Unit operations through VCHL’s stabiliser technologies and recycled PVC capabilities. VCHL’s key raw materials are PVC resin and plasticisers, which should bring additional synergies to Mexichem’s Vinyl operations.
“This deal is aligned with Mexichem’s strategy of completing bolt-on acquisitions that provide us with access to new geographies and end markets, expand our portfolio of speciality products and serve as a platform for future growth, while enhancing returns on invested capital,” said Sameer Bharadwaj, president of the compounds business unit.
“We are pleased to partner with Vinyl Compounds Holdings, a company with a strong management team that has achieved consistent sales growth and has developed a loyal and impressive customer base. With the benefit of Mexichem’s resources, VCHL will be able to anticipate and more fully address the needs of its customers as we move forward together,” added Bharadwaj.
Read More: Mexichem acquires PVC compounds manufacturer in UK

Sasol unveils polypropylene expansion project in South Africa

SECUNDA, SOUTH AFRICA: Sasol Limited completes another major capital investment in South Africa as part of its dual-regional, multi-asset hub growth strategy in Southern Africa and North America.
The company unveiled the C3 Expansion Project, which enables Sasol to increase its polypropylene production capacity by 103 000 tonnes per annum from its Secunda Chemicals Operations, while also realising developments in environmental impact.
Polypropylene (PP) is one of the world’s most widely used petrochemical products. A versatile polymer, the product has a variety of applications which include packaging for consumer products, plastic parts for various industries including the automotive industry, and textiles. The chemical serves double duty both as a plastic and as a fibre.
“This particular investment further establishes Sasol as a global chemicals player. With more than R1 billion invested, we are proud to unveil yet another major capital investment in South Africa, our home,” said Stephen Cornell, joint president and CEO of Sasol.
Read More: Sasol unveils polypropylene expansion project in South Africa

Evonik to buy fermentative methionine production technology from METEX

ESSEN, GERMANY/CLERMONT-FERRAND, FRANCE: Evonik Industries AG has agreed to buy a technology package from METabolic EXplorer (METEX), strengthening its biotechnology platform for amino acids.
The package includes METEX’s entire technology portfolio for the fermentative production of methionine, as well as patents, essential bacteria strains, and the inoLa brand. METEX considers that this agreement will highlight the relevance of its substitute technologies and will reinforce its ability to commercialise its other technologies.
The deal also includes a back-license agreement relating to certain patents to be transferred to Evonik; this contract will allow METEX to continue using these patents for activities other than those relating to methionine. Moreover, the companies mean to explore the possibility of an R&D collaboration agreement on the development of biotechnologically produced amino acids.
The total consideration for the transfer of this technology, including a two-year transfer service agreement, amounts to €45 million.
Amino acids produced by fermentation are an important pillar of Evonik’s product portfolio for sustainable animal nutrition. Production process efficiency for Biolys (lysine), ThreAMINO (threonine) and TrypAMINO (tryptophane) has been continuously improved over the past few years, and the portfolio was recently expanded to include ValAMINO (valine).
“Through its fermentative methionine production process, METEX has demonstrated excellent development work and was able to secure wide-ranging patent protection. The acquisition of this technology will expand our technological leadership for amino acids produced both chemically and by fermentation,” said Dr Emmanuel Auer, head of Evonik’s animal nutrition business line.
“We have been able to show that the fermentation process for manufacturing methionine is a potential alternative to familiar manufacturing routes. The technology will be transferred to Evonik immediately after the required approval of Evonik committees. This is expected before mid-December 2016,” said Benjamin Gonzalez, CEO of METEX.
Read More: Evonik to buy fermentative methionine production technology from METEX

The world will soon get a fresh coat of colour on it!

The global market for dyes and organic pigments is expected to grow at 6 percent per year to become $20 billion by 2019. Moreover, as the growth in the west is slowly becoming stagnant, the new age growth story of ink and dye industry is being written in Asia.
As the industry gets mature and consumers are more aware of health issues, there is a rise in demand for safer inks and dyes. While incorporating the new consumer demands, Asia will definitely bring about a fresh coat of colour to the world.
The biggest blow for the ink industry has been the decline in the printing industry due to the closure of newspaper printing, the rise of e-books and advertisers increasingly using other media to reach consumers. However, this decline has made way for increased usage of digital inks. All this and much more is part of our ‘Sector View,’ as we look at how the Inks & Dyes industry is shaping up in the future.
In our ‘Expert Viewpoint’ section, read views of Sun Chemical as Roy Bjorlin, director, global commercial & strategic initiatives, electronics materials, speaks about various aspects driving the growth of the Electronic Chemicals business.
Other than the Inks & Dyes, glance through our ‘Feature Story’ on Glass & Ceramics, where we reflect the trends in the society. Some of the latest concepts such as new patterns and nature emulating tiles are being majorly accepted by customers globally. Do read what RAK Ceramics has to say about how the industry has evolved, as we speak to the CEO Abdallah Massaad, in our ‘Expert Viewpoint’ section.
For our ‘Logistics Insight,’ know what Accenture has to say about digital supply chain planning for the chemical industry. The IT major gives six capabilities that will prove to be a winning proposition for the industry.
Moving towards research, many times Academic Research provides a simple solution to solving global environmental concerns, for instance, oil spills. See how a team of researchers - Dr Justin Weibel, Dr Xuemei Chen and Dr Suresh Garimella from Purdue University, are researching the use of sponge material to tackle major oil spills, in our ‘Academic Speak’ section.
The Chemical Today digital magazine is available on our website www.worldofchemicals.com. And yes, download our worldofchemicals magazine app for both IOS and Android!
Read More: The world will soon get a fresh coat of colour on it!

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