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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

ExxonMobil plans to triple Permian oil production by 2025

IRVING, US: ExxonMobil Corporation said that it plans to triple total daily production to more than 600,000 oil-equivalent barrels by 2025, from its operations in Permian Basin (West Texas) and New Mexico.
Tight oil production from the Delaware and Midland basins will increase five-fold in the same period.
Recent changes in the US corporate tax rate create an environment for increased future capital investments, including ExxonMobil’s plan to spend more than $2 billion on transportation infrastructure to support its Permian operations.
ExxonMobil is one of the most active operators in the Permian Basin. To help achieve this growth, the horizontal rig count in the Permian is expected to increase a further 65 percent over the next several years. ExxonMobil has doubled its footage drilled per day on horizontal wells in the Permian since early 2014 and reduced per-foot drilling costs by about 70 percent.
Through its $6 billion Bass companies acquisition in 2017, ExxonMobil added an estimated resource of 3.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with upside potential in multiple additional prospective horizons. A large majority of the development drill wells from the purchase are projected to have attractive returns at oil prices below current levels.
The increased production will provide low-cost supply and feedstocks to ExxonMobil downstream and chemical operations in Baytown, Beaumont and Mt Belvieu, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. These facilities manufacture high-value products, including polyethylene to meet growing demand for high-performance plastics and advanced synthetic lubricant base stock products.

Shell to sell stake in Thai Bongkot field for $750 million

 Royal Dutch Shell Plc has agreed to sell its interest in the Bongkot field to PTT Exploration & Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP), for $750 million.
Shell Thai subsidiaries Shell Integrated Gas Thailand Pte Ltd and Thai Energy Company Ltd will sell their 22.2222 percent interest in the Bongkot field and adjoining acreage offshore Thailand to PTTEP and its subsidiary PTTEP International Limited.
The transaction is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2018.
The agreement is for Shell's stake in Blocks 15, 16 and 17 and Block G12/48. Following the completion of this transaction, PTTEP's stake in Bongkot will increase to 66.6667 percent, with the remaining 33.3333 percent owned by Total SA. PTTEP is the current operator of Bongkot.

Solvay invests €6 mn to expand Rheinberg site in Germany

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Solvay SA announced a €6 million investment at its site in Rheinberg (Germany), to expand its sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) production capacity. Its startup is planned by the end of 2018. With this new capacity, Solvay will be able to deliver its customers with SOLVAir SB 0/3, the ready-to-use solution for reducing pollutant atmospheric emissions in industries, to help them meet the most stringent newest environmental regulations.
SOLVAir solutions improves the air quality by eliminating acid gases such as hydrochloric acid (HCl) and sulfur oxides (SOx) in a simple, efficient, and sustainable way. SOLVAir SB 0/3 allows industrial companies to comply with regulations with reduced investment and operation costs.
This new capacity will benefit from a reduced energy consumption, in line with Solvay’s sustainable commitment to decrease its carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity. The project will be co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Kraiburg increases TPE capacity in Waldkraiburg, Germany

WALDKRAIBURG, GERMANY: Kraiburg TPE has started-up a new extrusion line for the production of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) at its headquarters in Waldkraiburg, Germany. The line expands the company’s total capacity to 56,000mt worldwide.
The demand for thermoplastic elastomers is increasing worldwide, showing constant growth in the automotive, industry, consumer and medical markets. To guarantee reliable deliveries of its TPE compounds on a long-term basis, Kraiburg TPE has been relying for many years on its three production sites in Waldkraiburg (Germany), Buford (Georgia, US) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
Along with the Waldkraiburg headquarters, the production sites in North America and Asia have also been specifically developed. In the US, Kraiburg TPE already relocated to a new production plant in Buford (near Atlanta, Georgia) in 2016. And an additional new line has recently been put into operation at the Kuala Lumpur plant as well.
“The Waldkraiburg site is and will remain the focus of all of our activities, where we have been investing particularly in expanding our development centre and increasing our production capacities in recent years. The new extrusion line underlines this strategy, which is based not least on strong staff loyalty,” said Franz Hinterecker, CEO of Kraiburg TPE.

Bayer supports myAgro start-up to help smallholder farmers in West Africa

LEVERKUSEN, US: Smallholder farmer in Africa can now save money for much-needed fertilizer and seed without a bank account or access to a loan, through pilot projects in Mali and Senegal by the start-up company myAgro.
Mobile phones are widely used in rural areas of Africa and easy to use. The model works in a similar way as a pre-paid card for cellphones. As soon as a farmer has a little money left over, they can buy a myAgro scratch card that has an associated code at the back of the card, which is being sent to their myAgro account through SMS.
The farmers – up to 70 percent women by the way – can pay in even the smallest amounts, for example, one US dollar. Well in time for the start of the planting season, myAgro delivers high-quality seed and fertilizer to the farmers in their village. Thanks to the donation of $ 600,000 by Bayer AG, this important social innovation can now be extended. 

Increased prosperity for smallholder farmers
“Through our model, we are changing access to the financial system in a way that suits smallholder farmers. That’s because their needs often are not compatible with conventional capital flows. In this way we help them to achieve increased prosperity,” said Anushka Ratnayake, founder and CEO of the start-up. With the myAgro’s savings program, high-quality products and on-time delivery, small farms that are usually cultivated by the families themselves increase their yields by 50 to 100 percent on average and raise their net farming income by about $150 to 300 per year.

ADM inaugurates new innovation center in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has opened a cutting-edge flavours and ingredient creation, application, development and customer innovation centre at the Biopolis research hub in Singapore.
The opening of the 8,900-square foot (825-square meter) space was announced at a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
The Singapore innovation centre will serve as the gateway to consumers in Southeast Asia and beyond, and enable ADM to work closely with customers to create complete flavour and speciality ingredient solutions that meet consumer preferences for taste, nutrition, function and texture. It will be staffed by a team of food scientists, flavours and applications experts, along with sales, marketing and regulatory personnel.
The new innovation centre features a wide range of capabilities, including a food and flavour analytic lab; a beverage and dairy applications lab and pilot plant; a bakery and confectionery lab; a meat and savoury lab; a sweet and savoury creation lab; sensory evaluation facilities; and a customer innovation centre.
“Consumer tastes and preferences are changing, as people look to balance busy lifestyles with healthy eating habits. Our goal is to be the first-call ingredient and flavour experts for customers working to meet those consumer needs throughout Southeast Asia,” said Donald Chen, ADM’s president, Asia.

Digitalization – The path forward for the chemical industry

Opportunities digitalization offers
The process of generation, collection, and storage of data has never been easier and happens to be compatible with computational powers peaking at remarkably lower costs. At the same time, the digital mind-set of society has also expanded, inspiring a willingness to engage with digital technology. This has also resulted in customers having high expectations for the quality of user interfaces and the level of service.
The combination of these factors has opened up a host of new opportunities for the chemical industry. Companies can use analytics to extract top management-relevant information from the massive amounts of data that they generate. This information can then be used to improve operations and to make better-informed decisions quickly across the entire range of a chemical company’s value chain. 
The potential of digital in chemicals enjoys significant excitement, just as there is about digital across society in general. Digital will have a significant impact on many areas of the chemical industry, with the potential to completely overhaul value chains, lead to higher productivity and spurring innovation, resulting in the creation of new channels to market.
Teething Issues
Once pioneers and extensive users of digital technologies, in recent years the chemicals sector has fallen behind companies in other sectors. Banking, media and retail have explored innovative ways to use digital technology to evolve their businesses—not only in altering their operations, but also in engaging end consumers and generating value. Chemical companies are now playing to catch up. As the traditional factors of competitive advantage such as access to raw materials, scale assets, process technology and market reach become common, new ways of doing business are emerging that threaten to disrupt the existing market.
The three key benefits of digitalization
There are three key areas where digitalization promises great potential: customer engagement, newer products and services, and optimization of operations. A comprehensive digital vision by early adopters to fully exploit these opportunities is vital. This will help in the transformation of the existing business to imbibe newer capabilities, platforms, gain insights using data analytics and making timely changes in business decisions to optimize the existing operating model and maximize efficiency and profits.
A strategic advantage and the way forward
For years, chemical companies have relied upon remote sensing and communications technologies for supervisory control and even data acquisition to operate their plants and oversee production processes. Improvements in the condition monitoring of critical manufacturing components has helped minimize the cost of maintenance. In fact, the main advantage brought on by digitalization is that the number of sensors and the amount of data that operators must manage is almost doubled. For improved product quality and yield quality, Chemical companies have more data now than ever before to improve final production quality and yield, while minimizing costs. On-site workers can monitor the operations of the plant to ensure they are within the design parameters, and they can see when equipment shows risks of failure—all of which helps improve plant efficiency and reliability.

India among 5 worst nations in curbing environmental pollution: EPI

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND: A new green index has ranked India the fourth worst country worldwide in curbing environmental pollution.
According to the latest global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) rankings released on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet in Davos, India is at the 177th spot – down from 141st position two years ago – in the list of 180 countries.
The EPI ranks 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across 10 issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
"India and Bangladesh come in near the bottom of the rankings, with Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nepal rounding out the bottom five," said the latest biennial report by the Yale and Columbia universities in collaboration with the WEF.
The report said that low ranking of the emerging economies – China (120) and India – reflect "the strain population pressures and rapid economic growth impose on the environment".
The report said substantial populations still suffer from poor air quality, most notably in India, China, and Pakistan (169).

IFF breaks ground on new flavours & fragrances site in India

SRI CITY, INDIA: International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (IFF) has broken ground on a new flavours and fragrances plant located in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, India. Part of a larger investment into the Greater Asia region, the plant is expected to be commercialized in December 2019.
The new facility, which will be the largest flavour and fragrance manufacturing facility in India and the largest IFF site in Greater Asia, occupies a 32-acre/130,000m2 plot and will serve IFF flavours & fragrances customers across India and the region.
The new facility, strategically located in Sri City, will have excellent logistics options, access to skilled labour, and solid infrastructure and utilities. In line with the company’s dedication to driving sustainability across the entire organization, the site is designed for efficient water use and reuse, rainwater harvesting capabilities, energy-efficient building materials and equipment, maximization of natural daylight, and low-consumption LED lighting.
“In this economically vibrant country, it is critical that we invest to provide our customers with winning tastes and scents. This new facility is fitted with capabilities tailored to our customers’ needs. Coupled with our excellent consumer insights teams and their deep understanding of the local markets, we are well-positioned to live up to our promise to be our customers’ partner of choice,” said Andreas Fibig, IFF chairman and CEO.

Rise of the chemical sector

By Namrata Sharma
Being an important financial hub, South East Asia is home to some of the preeminent emerging countries in the world. The region, by and large, has continued to export raw materials and import manufactured goods. The chemical industry in the region is on a solid footing, with Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand among the lucrative markets. Singapore too has emerged as one of the leading chemical industry hubs with petrochemical and speciality chemical products creating a window of opportunity. Singapore is further expanding its chemical industry by focusing on high value-added speciality chemicals. A majority of leading chemical companies run their manufacturing and research & development centres in South East Asia. South East Asia chemical sector produces all three ie. basic, speciality and consumer chemicals.
Singapore Offers Promising Outlook for Specialty Chemicals
Singapore is home to some of the world’s largest chemical plants. The hub of the chemical industry in Singapore is Jurong Island. Singapore currently plays host to over 100 leading chemical companies. Specialty chemical companies are shifting from developing products to solutions. Hence, various research institutes in Singapore offer industry-relevant research and development through collaboration with companies to develop innovative solutions. For instance, the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) located at Jurong Island is focusing on supporting top chemical companies to develop new solutions. Moreover, in order to comply with regulatory and environmental standards, companies are focusing on developing eco-friendly solutions.

Implications of Calcium Caseinate in the chemical industry

The name Casein is derived from a larger group of proteins commonly known as phosphoproteins. Phosphoproteins are mainly found in mammalian milk. Casein has more nutritional value consisting up of indispensable amino acids, carbohydrates, calcium and phosphorus. Certain people have life-intimidating allergic effects to casein. The main significant character of Caseinates is they are very fair solubility, water absorbability, emulsification and Foaming Capability.
Production of Calcium Caseinate
Calcium Caseinate is produced by altering the pH of milk to neutral state or acid. In this state, casein turns out to be insoluble in water; which allows manufacturers to detach it from the other proteins present in the milk. Following this separation, manufacturers mix casein with calcium hydroxide at a large alkaline level. Calcium Caseinate varies from Micellar Casein because of in which it is high soluble. Calcium Caseinate forms when an alkaline substance such as Calcium reacts with the casein. This aids to raise the mineral content to form of casein.
The various applications of Calcium Caseinate
Calcium Caseinate has a large organic value and also contains every vital element such as amino acids essential to humans. Calcium Caseinate also has high levels of the minerals, calcium and also phosphorus in a highly available and appears as an essential part for bone formation & strength. Calcium Caseinate is extremely low in sodium and has a high content in L-Glutamine which is an amino acid.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Everything about Acid Rain you need to learn

Acid rain is the rain or any other form of precipitation which is generally acidic, means which has exalted levels of hydrogen ions. The corrosive effect of acidic or polluted air was noted in the 17th century on limestone and marble by John Evelyn. Robert Angus Smith was the first in 1852, who showcased the relationship between acid rain and pollution in the atmosphere in Manchester. The etymology acid rain was coined by Robert Angus Smith in 1872.
Emissions of chemicals resulting in Acidification:
The most crucial gas leading to acidification is sulfur dioxide.
The dominant natural process that injects acidic gases to the atmosphere are volcanoes emissions. For example, Laguna Caliente crater fumaroles of Poas Volcano develop extremely large amount of acid rain with high acidity of around 2 pH. Gases producing acids are also formed by some biological processes that appears on the land, wetlands and in the oceans. Dimethyl sulfide is the main biological source of sulfur composed compounds.
Important source of fixed nitrogen is nitric acid found in rainwater and it is also formed in the atmosphere because of electrical activities like lightning.

Praxair to supply nitrogen to EverDisplay Optronics

DANBURY, US: Praxair Inc (PX) has signed another long-term contract with an electronics manufacturer in Shanghai, China. Praxair will build, own and operate multiple air separation plants that will supply high-purity nitrogen and oxygen to EverDisplay Optronics (EDO), the first mass producer of 4.5-generation AMOLED displays in the country. Under the terms of the contract, Praxair will also supply EDO with helium and other gases.
Praxair’s plants will provide a combined 720 tonnes per day of nitrogen to EDO’s new 6th-generation AMOLED project in Shanghai. The nitrogen will be used in EDO’s manufacturing processes. The bulk gas supply is scheduled to begin in mid-2018, followed by additional supply from the air separation plants, which are expected to start up in 2019.
EDO will invest more than $ 4.1 billion in its new project, which is the only AMOLED project supported by the Shanghai government and one of the focal projects in China’s 13th five-year plan.
“We are pleased to select Praxair as a valued supplier. As a leading industrial gas company, we know Praxair will provide us a safe, reliable and competitive gas supply. We are looking forward to our close cooperation and the completion of the new project,” said Huiran Liu, vice general manager of EDO.

Grace licenses Unipol technology to Grupa Azoty in Poland

COLUMBIA, US: W R Grace & Co (GRA) said that it has contracted to license its Unipol PP process technology to PDH Polska SA for a new facility in Police, Poland. With a capacity of 400 kilotons per year, the polypropylene (PP) line is expected to begin operations in 2022.
The PDH Polska operation is a subsidiary of Grupa Azoty SA of Tarnow, Poland, a leader in the manufacture of nitrogen fertilizers and compounds, engineering plastics, organic and inorganic chemicals, and other chemical products.
Grace's gas-phase Unipol PP process technology provides the most advanced and broadest range of PP homopolymers and copolymers in the industry. As the simplest of all PP process technologies, with fewer moving parts and less equipment than any alternative, its reliable, stable, and predictable operation leads to lower capital, operating, and maintenance costs.
“As we expand our capabilities into PP production, we do so with a technology that has demonstrated success in making both leading commodity and superior speciality grades. This is in line with our track record of meeting the expectations of our customers,” said Andrzej Niewinski, president of the board, PDH Polska SA.

Raw materials cost concerns to affect market price trend

Industry Trends
Industrial Head Protection Market size was above $2.3 billion in 2016 and expects volume consumption to surpass 400 million units by 2024, according to a report by Global Market Insights Inc.
Rising influence on considering worker’s safety at high priority in mining, oil & gas, and construction industries should drive industrial head protection market size. It plays a vital role in working environment by safeguarding against low hanging objects, electric hazards, falling objects and accidental falls, making it beneficial for industrial injury safety programs.
Global construction industry was estimated over $9 trillion in 2016 and is poised to surpass $16 trillion at the end of 2024. Construction industry registered over 995 fatalities due to brain injuries. Various fatalities include falls, electrocution, trench cave-ins, struck by objects, malfunctioning equipment like forklifts and cranes. High mortality rates accompanied with stringent policies and regulatory norms set to ensure worker’s safety should contribute towards product demand.

Dow launches fully recyclable polyethylene packaging solution in India

MUMBAI, INDIA: Packaging and Speciality Plastics, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), has developed an innovative formulation of polyethylene(PE) resins to create a new sustainable all PE laminate solution with flexible packaging applications.
Current flexible packaging solutions contain multiple layers of different polymers and additives that are incompatible during the recycling process, requiring complex processes break down. Dow’s revolutionary mono-material all PE laminate packaging solution brings to the table a solution that does not compromise on - aesthetics, brand perception and performance while the postconsumer packaging will remain 100 percent recyclable at the end of its lifecycle.
In India, brand owners and consumers have become increasingly dependent on flexible plastic packaging for its superior qualities such as convenience, being lightweight, affordability and barrier properties. However, Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 – guidelines issued by the Ministry of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India – called for large-scale implementation of proper plastic disposal practices and phasing out non-recyclable, multi-polymer packaging. Dow’s all PE laminate solution enters the market at an opportune time as brand owners look for environmentally friendly alternatives.

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.

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