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Sunday, 31 December 2017

DSM completes acquiring Amyris’ Brazilian production facility


Royal DSM and Amyris Inc said that they have closed the transaction for the sale of Amyris Brasil Ltda to DSM and the establishment of a long-term manufacturing partnership for Amyris’s high-volume products.
Read More: DSM completes acquiring Amyris’ Brazilian production facility

Itafos to merge with Canadian mining company GB Minerals


 Itafos, an integrated producer of phosphate-based fertilizers has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement to merge with GB Minerals, which owns the Farim phosphate project in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, with a view to further develop the Farim project.
Itafos is the second largest investor in GB Minerals since January 2014.
GB Minerals shareholders said that it will benefit from the opportunity to participate in a combined company with enhanced technical expertise, project management capabilities and financial resources.
Directors and executive officers of GB Minerals, as well as Aterra, collectively holding 48.67 percent of the outstanding common shares of GB Minerals, have entered into voting support agreements with Itafos in respect of the transaction.
Aterra to become and remain a shareholder in Itafos. The disinterested members of the boards of directors of both Itafos and GB Minerals have unanimously approved the transaction which is expected to close in late February 2018.
“The transaction with Itafos provides a clear path for the Farim project to be fully financed and developed with a group that has rapidly demonstrated it can transact and operate fertilizer businesses and we look forward to further updating shareholders of this exciting progress,” said Luis da Silva, president and CEO of GB Minerals.

Chemists provide theoretical interpretation to understand chemical reactions


In a lot of ways, understanding quantum mechanical equations in an effort to predict what will happen between reactants such as atoms and molecules resulting in complex phenomena in chemistry can be exhausting, and mind-boggling to many. Yet, without the theoretical insights, experimental chemists would largely be unable to understand what they are observing.
Researchers at The University of New Mexico, led by distinguished professor of chemistry Hua Guo, have been working with experimentalists to help them gain an understanding by providing theoretical interpretations of experimental observations. 
“When scientists probe molecules they see spectral features, but it is very difficult to interpret those features because they are just lines in the spectrum,” said Guo. “That’s where we come in and provide a theoretical interpretation of their experimental observations.”
One such joint study by Guo’s team is published recently with a group of researchers at Cal-Berkeley in the prestigious journal Nature Chemistry.
Characterizing the transition state of a reaction has long been a goal for both experimental and theoretical physical chemists since the 1930s. This is because the transition state governs how chemical bonds form and break during a chemical reaction. The transition state is a very short-lived complex, only a few femtoseconds, billions of billionths of seconds.

Water filtration solution promises 'Clean Water Everywhere'


According to the United Nations, water shortages will affect two-thirds of the world's population by 2025 if current consumption patterns continue.1 CERAFILTEC, a manufacturer of innovative water filtration solutions, is helping to address this looming potential crisis with a unique new water filtration module molded from SABIC’s NORYL™ FE 1630PW glass-reinforced polyphenylene ether (PPE) resin.
CERAFILTEC’s new filtration module features an all-advanced resin design. It securely houses multiple high-performance silicon carbide (SiC) flat sheet membranes that can quickly and effectively filter a variety of water sources, including seawater, freshwater, industrial wastewater and even hot water. NORYL resin provides best-in-class hydrolytic and dimensional stability and chemical and high-temperature resistance, and is certified for potable water applications under NSF/ANSI Standard 61. These critical properties enabled CERAFILTEC to replace previous modules that required corrosion-prone steel framing with a fully injection molded design.
Finding the SABIC material was a turning point for CERAFILTEC and its chief executive officer, Kay Gunther Gabriel, because it made module design feasible using one single advanced resin. During material validation, application development and mold trials, SABIC provided the comprehensive documentation, data and technical support that ultimately enabled CERAFILTEC to inaugurate a new module production facility in Germany in less than a year. Today, the company is supplying a top-quality, durable and reliable product to customers and partners worldwide to help solve the clean water supply challenge.

New structure of key protein holds clue for better drug design


Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have peered deep into the heart of a key protein used in drug design and discovered dynamic structural features that may lead to new ways to target diseases. The protein, called the A2A adenosine receptor (A2aAR), is a member of the G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family, which are the targets of roughly 40 percent of all approved pharmaceuticals.
The new, more detailed image of A2aAR’s signalling mechanism reveals key parts of its inner workings, including an amino acid that acts like a “toggle switch” to control signals across the cell membrane.
“This basic knowledge is potentially helpful for improving drug design,” said Nobel laureate Kurt Wuthrich, PhD, professor of structural biology at TSRI and senior author of the study.
The findings were published today in the journal Cell.
Imaging technique reveals how protein changes shape
All human cells contain A2aAR and other GPCRs embedded in their plasma membrane. More than 800 GPCRs have been discovered in the human body, and each has a role in regulating a bodily function. For example, A2aAR regulates blood flow and inflammation and mediates the effects of caffeine. A2aAR is also a validated target for treating Parkinson’s disease and a relatively new target for targeting cancers.

Siegfried reaches manufacturing, supply agreement with Keryx


Siegfried and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc have entered into a master manufacturing services and supply agreement. Under the agreement, Siegfried will perform certain manufacturing activities at its manufacturing facilities in Saint Vulbas, France and Pennsville, New Jersey as well as to manufacture and supply GMP-grade quantities of the proprietary active pharmaceutical ingredient for Keryx’s drug product, Auryxia.
The agreement has an initial term ending on 31 December 2021 and will automatically renew after that for successive terms of one year each.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Eastman to restart coal gasification plant


 Eastman Chemical Company announced mechanical completion of its coal gasification plant and is currently in the process of restarting. The restart, along with mitigating actions taken since the incident, is expected to enable full production of acetyls chemicals and derivatives in early 2018.
“Our teams of Eastman employees and contractors have been working to safely repair the facility as quickly as possible and I am confident that we have taken the appropriate corrective actions to ensure the highest safety standard as we restart and resume normal operation,” said Mark Cox, senior vice president, chief manufacturing, supply chain and engineering officer. “We appreciate the support from our customers and are excited to resume normal commercial supply of all acetyls chemicals and derivatives.”

Chemical Company of Malaysia names COO as new MD


The board of directors of Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCMB) has named the group’s chief operating officer (COO) cum chief financial officer (CFO), Nik Fazila binti Nik Mohamed Shihabuddin as the new group managing director of CCMB.
Her appointment will take effect upon the completion of the demerger of CCM Duopharma Biotech Berhad (CCMD) from CCM. Nik Fazila, 51, succeeds Leonard Ariff bin Abdul Shatar who will continue to spearhead CCMD as its group managing director (GMD).
Nik Fazila joined CCMB in March 2012 as director, finance and was appointed Group COO cum CFO in May 2016.
“We are confident that Nik Fazila’s strong leadership qualities will help us to achieve our business goals and objectives, and further solidify CCMB’s position in the chemicals and polymers sectors,” said CCMB chairman, Y B Dato’ Hajah Normala binti Abdul Samad.

Teijin to increase para-aramid fiber capacity in The Netherlands



Teijin Aramid said it will increase the production capacity for its Twaron® super fiber by more than 25 percent. This additional capacity will become available within the next five years (year 2022).
Teijin Aramid is currently implementing a new spinning technology at its Twaron facility in Emmen, the Netherlands, as was communicated in July 2017. The extra capacity of that investment will become available as of May 2018. The demand for Teijin’s high-performance para-aramid fiber Twaron is increasing all the time, and the market outlook is positive. The aramid business is expected to grow at the rate of 8 percent per year, the company said.
With this capacity expansion, Teijin Aramid will be able to meet future market demand and provide its customers with the material they need to excel in their markets.
Teijin Aramid aims to capture a substantial part of the global market growth, which should eventually lead to a future market share bigger than 50 percent.

General facts of Disinfectants


Disinfectants are chemicals that are utilized in objects and surfaces for the purpose of eradicating microorganisms that grow on them. Different range of disinfectants is made in use for different reasons. Disinfectants can be generally isolated as three major kinds, that is, air, water and surface disinfectants.A wide variety of chemicals are expended in diverse proportions in the production of disinfectants appropriate for distinct functions.
Properties of disinfectants
1.Non-corrosive
2.Limited residual activity
3.Disinfectants are constant and stable in both concentrated and diluted appearance.
4.A disinfection is used in wastewater treatment to along with chlorine or ultra-violet (UV) radiation which can be used as tertiary treatment to confiscate pathogens from wastewater.
5.Alcohols for instance ethanol and isopropanol are been noted to be decent general basis disinfectants.
6.Certain disinfectants for example formalin and glutaraldehye are extremely effectual in killing bacteria, but, they are toxic in nature and over exposure to these chemicals are hazardous.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Chemical sector: Outlook and opportunities


By Aditi Yadwadkar
Overview of the Australian Chemical Sector
A number of Australian industries, including healthcare, food, construction, packaging, and information technology are dependent on steady supply of chemicals. As stated by the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science of the Australian government, the chemical and plastic industry in Australia can support 109 industries out of 111 industries through the huge range of supplies it offers. Increasing applications and health concerns arising due to extensive use of chemicals have led the Australian government to regulate the industry at a more stringent level. In a bid to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders, especially environmental groups, the Australian government continues to introduce changes to the existing regulations.
According to the 2006 Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) system, the chemicals and plastic manufacturing in Australia is classified into three segments:

Samsung Engineering bags Sabic’s EO/EG plant contract


Samsung Engineering has been awarded a contract from Sabic’s manufacturing affiliate, Jubail United Petrochemical Company (United), for a $ 700 million ethylene oxideethylene glycol (EO/EG) plant in Saudi Arabia, to produce 700,000 MTPA MEG.
The project will be executed in Jubail Industrial City located in the east of Saudi Arabia, 100 km north of Dammam, construction completion expected in 2020.
Samsung Engineering is one of top EG plant builders globally, with previous delivering 16 plants in total. Samsung benefits from the track record and experience of delivering 27 projects to Saudi Arabia, 22 to SABIC related companies including United.
Further, during the last 10 years, Samsung Engineering built EG plants around the globe such as in countries like USA, Malaysia, Thailand and India.

Stamicarbon signs urea licensing contract with Jiujiang Xinlianxin


Stamicarbon BV, part of Maire Tecnimont Group and Jiujiang Xinlianxin Fertilizer Co Ltd (XLX), have signed contracts for the licensing of technology and for the delivery of proprietary equipment for a new ultra-low energy urea plant to be built in Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China.
This grass root project follows a smaller revamp project between the parties in 2016.
The scope of the project comprises the license, the process design package (PDP), the delivery of proprietary high-pressure equipment in Safurex and associated services for both the urea melt plant and the finishing by prilling.
The urea plant is based on Stamicarbon's LAUNCH MELT ultra-low energy design with a pool reactor. Plant start-up is planned for the end of 2020.
This new technology is an important innovation in energy efficiency. Not only does it lead to a very significant reduction in energy cost of a urea plant and therefore in OPEX, it also reduces the carbon footprint substantially in comparison with other types of urea plants.

Coromandel to acquire EID Parry’s bio-pesticides business


Coromandel International Limited, India's second largest phosphatic fertiliser player with interests in fertilisers, crop protection, speciality nutrients, organic fertilisers, has signed a term sheet to acquire the bio-pesticides business from E.I.D. Parry together with its wholly owned subsidiary Parry America, Inc, USA.
The transaction is valued at Rs 338 crore, which includes purchase of bio-pesticides business of E.I.D. Parry together with its R&D unit, captive plantations and its wholly owned subsidiary Parry America Inc. 
The bio-pesticides business is engaged in the manufacture and marketing of neem based Azadirachtin technicals and formulations, plant extract based bio-stimulants, etc. It has a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu and a research and development centre. 
Coromandel International feels that the complementary market presence in both Indian and global markets by both the companies provides an opportunity for both chemical and bio-pesticides to grow. 

Agrium, PotashCorp gets final approval to merge; forms Nutrien

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc (PotashCorp) and Agrium Inc (AGU) said that they have received clearance from the United States' Federal Trade Commission and have now obtained all regulatory approvals required to close their proposed merger of equals transaction.
The transaction is expected to close effective 1 January 2018.
With the closing of the transaction on 1 January 2018, the common shares of Nutrien are expected to commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "NTR" at the opening of market on January 2, 2018.
Trading of Agrium common shares and PotashCorp common shares is expected to be suspended at the opening of market on 2 January 2018, and such shares will be delisted at the close of market on the same date.
"This final clearance marks a significant milestone in bringing two industry leaders together. Given our extensive integration planning work, we expect to move quickly upon closing to begin delivering on the many strategic benefits and synergy potential of this combination," said Chuck Magro, president and CEO of Agrium.
Read More: Agrium, PotashCorp gets final approval to merge; forms Nutrien

Unipetrol restarts operation at POX unit following fire

 Unipetrol said that it has put its first part of partial oxidation (POX) unit into operation at its Kralupy refinery in Litvinov, Czech Republic.
The POX unit was on repair following a fire. The fire caused damage to the POX unit’s pipeline, cabling and insulation.
“This allowed us to increase performance of the Litvinov Refinery. We expect the second part of the partial oxidation unit to be put back into operation in early January. The ammonia plant’s operation should be restored to the full extent in the first half of January. Operation of the steam cracker and the refinery is expected to return to its standard performance at the same time,” said Krzysztof Zdziarski, Unipetrol group chief operations officer.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Superior full solution completes flexible packaging offer


By Virginia Mesicek 
Borealis and Borouge, leading providers of innovative, value-creating plastics solutions, announce the launch of Anteo™, a new family of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) packaging grades for the global packaging market. Anteo delivers easy processability at lower extruder pressure, better sealing integrity and improved puncture resistance in combination with strong optics for enhanced shelf appeal. Boasting a unique combination of end-use properties for high-performance film applications, Anteo completes the full solution offer for high performance, multilayer flexible packaging applications using Borealis Borstar® Bimodal Terpolymer (BBT) Technology.
Borouge produces Anteo at the Ruwais plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The reliable supply of Anteo to customers around the world is assured thanks to Borouge’s production, material handling, and global supply chain capabilities.

New process allows rapid screening for new types of solar cells


The worldwide quest by researchers to find better, more efficient materials for tomorrow’s solar panels is usually slow and painstaking. Researchers typically must produce lab samples — which are often composed of multiple layers of different materials bonded together — for extensive testing.
Now, a team at MIT and other institutions has come up with a way to bypass such expensive and time-consuming fabrication and testing, allowing for a rapid screening of far more variations that would be practical through the traditional approach.
The new process could not only speed up the search for new formulations but also do a more accurate job of predicting their performance, explained Rachel Kurchin, an MIT graduate student and co-author of a paper.
The paper appears in the journal Joule.
Traditional methods “often require you to make a specialized sample, but that differs from an actual cell and may not be fully representative” of a real solar cell’s performance, she said.
For example, typical testing methods show the behaviour of the “majority carriers,” the predominant particles or vacancies whose movement produces an electric current through a material. But in the case of photovoltaic (PV) materials, Kurchin explained, it is actually the minority carriers — those that are far less abundant in the material — that are the limiting factor in a device’s overall efficiency, and those are much more difficult to measure. In addition, typical procedures only measure the flow of current in one set of directions — within the plane of a thin-film material — whereas it’s up-down flow that is actually harnessed in a working solar cell. In many materials, that flow can be “drastically different,” making it critical to understand in order to properly characterize the material, she says.

Let there be light


In an interview, Ajay Pisat, Doctoral Candidate, Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University with Chemical Today Magazine talks at length about his research on improving the efficiency of photocatalytic water splitting process on perovskite family. 
AdvisorsGregory Rohrer (Department Head and Professor of Materials Science & Engineering) and Paul Salvador (Professor of Materials Science & Engineering) from Carnegie Mellon University.
Research Insight.
My current project broadly focuses on improving the efficiency of the photocatalytic water splitting process. Photocatalysis, in general, means using light to make a chemical reaction happen or speed it up. The photocatalyst absorbs light of a certain energy range and gives this energy to its electrons to make them available for reaction. In this process, electrons want to try to go to the non-excited states. There are six factors to having a good photocatalyst, and my research focuses on two of them. Those are preventing electrons from going back to non-excited states and separating different types of reactions on different areas of the photocatalyst. 
Read More: Let there be light

MHI to license CO2 capture technology to Metafrax


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) has concluded an agreement to license technology for its flue gas carbon dioxide (CO2) capture plant to PJSC Metafrax, a major Russian chemical company.
Metafrax will use recovered CO2 to produce ammonia, urea, and melamine from the byproducts of a methanol plant. The plant will provide recovery capacity of 1,200 tonnes per day and will be installed at a facility in Perm, located on the western side of the Ural Mountains, scheduled for completion in 2021.
MHI received the order through Casale SA, a Swiss engineering firm, which obtained a contract from Metafrax for engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) of the overall ammonia production, CO2 capture, and urea and melamine production facilities. MHI will grant a technology license for CO2 recovery technology to Casale SA, which will sublicense it to Metafrax.
Ammonia will be synthesized by combining surplus hydrogen from the existing methanol plant with nitrogen from a newly constructed air separation plant. Urea and melamine will be then produced from CO2recovered from flue gas emitted by the methanol plant. The facility will have the capacity to produce 894 tonnes per day of ammonia, 1,725 tonnes per day of urea, and 40,000 tonnes per year of melamine.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Developing water chemistries: Improved environment & superior performance


n an interview, Avijit Kumar Mitra, Director Marketing, Nalco Water (India), an Ecolab company, with Chemical Today Magazine  tells that the requirement for water treatment chemical will double in a decade and technologies will keep changing to keep up with the new demands presented to the industry.
By Shivani Mody
Technology, innovation trends in water treatment chemicals. 
The innovation trends are towards overcoming challenges primarily in 3 areas, which are - reduce water usage in various applications, handle varied water qualities that are available and reliability of water supply. The innovations are ensuring that the industries and societies have
  1. improved water production processes which includes polymers to enable optimized solid-liquid separation, reduced cost of operations in desalination processes, utilization of automation and technology to track water systems
  2. improved industrial water efficiency which will reduce operations and maintenance costs, maximize facility run ability, bring about major energy savings and induce improved safety in operations 

Kemira appoints new chief technology officer


Kemira Oyj said that Matthew Pixton (PhD chemical engineering) has been appointed chief technology officer (CTO) and a member of the management board, as of January 1, 2018.
He was previously heading Kemira's R&D and technology, Americas organization in Atlanta, US, and he will continue to be based in Atlanta in his new position. Matthew will report to Jari Rosendal, Kemira's president and CEO.
Matthew has extensive experience in the speciality chemical and polymer industries with global and regional leadership roles in R&D, product and process development as well as technology. He joined Kemira in 2016 from Dow Corning Corporation, where he was vice president of science and technology for the Hemlock Semiconductor division.

A pill of paradigm change


In an interview, Kanish Malik, President, Operations, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, with Chemical Today Magazine talks in depth about the revolutionary journey that the pharmaceutical industry is in today.
By Shivani Mody
Trends and developments in generic formulations, APIs.
Generics still drive the global pharma growth while representing a volume majority (~55 percent). There has been a tremendous rise in competition in the generics space as blockbusters come off the patent protection. There are multiple other factors at play such as evolving expectations from the regulatory bodies, renewed focus on patient safety, government’s policies to bring the prices down, and approval timelines getting shorter. These are going to test the core ability and speed of all the generic suppliers to provide cost-effective solutions while ensuring that patient safety remains the first and foremost priority.
In addition, the consolidation of trade is redefining the service expectations demanding an upfront commitment on first-time-right capabilities from supply chain with a manufacturing focus.
Focal areas - pharma industry, for business enhancement.
Optimizing the drug life cycle is enhancing the traditional value creation that was largely dependent on intellectual property backed by patents. This optimization would mean expanding the time horizon to realize the overall potential.
Organizations need to be nimble-footed about the development basket. The need for speed, robustness, and first-time-right capabilities that would lead to breaking the fully integrated pharma chain into centers of excellence and a rigour in selecting partners to enable product pipeline.

Brenntag to distribute Kronos titanium dioxide in Europe


Brenntag AG said that it will become the exclusive distribution partner for Kronos speciality titanium dioxide (TiO2) grades marketed into pharma, cosmetics, food and animal nutrition industries. Effective 1 January 2018, the exclusive agreement will cover the distribution in the Western Europe region.
The distribution includes the titanium dioxide grades Kronos 1171 and Kronos 2971 which comply with the product safety legislation 1223/2009/EC (cosmetics), 1333/2008/EC (foodstuff additives), 231/2012/EU (food colour), European Pharmacopoeia and FSSC 22000.
Kronos 1171 is an anatase pigment approved for colouring food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and tobacco products. Kronos 2971 is a rutile pigment approved for colouring foodstuffs and cosmetics. Brenntag holds a strong foothold in the EMEA wide Life Science industry and thus provides an excellent platform to further grow the Kronos product range.

Clariant to increase prices for selected pigments


Clariant said that it will increase the global price for selected pigments. The price increases, which come into effect for delivery as of 15th January 2018, will affect dioxazine violet and diarylide pigments:
Prices for PV 23 (dioxazine violet) and PO 34 will be increased by 15 percent.
Prices for PY 83 will increase by 14 percent, prices for PY 12, PY 13, PY 14, PY 174 and PY 176 will increase by 5 percent.
The price increases are driven by higher raw material prices (eg. carbazole, hydroquinone, dichlorobenzene and certain coupling agents) triggered by higher environmental, health and safety costs and lack of availability, eg. due to the stronger enforcement of environmental and safety regulations in China.
Read More: Clariant to increase prices for selected pigments

Waterlust - search for pure water


The world will require over 40 percent more water by 2030. Are we ready for it?
By Debarati Das
Factually, the earth is made up of 70 percent water. But a miniscule portion of this reserve, about 1 percent is available in the form of fresh water which can be used by humans. However, while this portion of water is in no way increasing, the demand for water is not decreasing either amidst rising population, soaring industrial activities and mounting agricultural needs. Reports suggest that the world will require over 40% more water by 2030 to cope up with global population growth and rising energy demand.
The need of the hour is not just to judiciously use the available water, but also conserve it for future generations by returning it back to nature in its pristine condition. Water reuse is no longer a choice, it has become a necessity. And that’s why water treatment processes are becoming more and more important for the world today.
Today, various technologies and methods are being used to treat water. According to Market and Markets research, water treatment chemicals market is projected to grow from $42.23 billion in 2017 to $56.57 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 6 percent from 2017 to 2022.
Read More: Waterlust - search for pure water

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