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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Major fire breaks at Banashankari Chemicals plant in Bangalore

A major fire broke out early Thursday morning in a prominent chemical plant in KIABD Industrial area at Malur, Bangalore, Karnataka. The plant belonged to Banashankari Chemicals Pvt Ltd, a mid-sector, solvent recoverer in the state, observers reported.
Local authorities and company officials have yet to confirm the cause of the fire and the missing or injured persons information.
Nearby factory employees have reported sounds of an explosion from the site. “We heard sounds of a boiler explosion and noticed black smoke emitting out of the factory premises. Mostly ten workers, known to us, are working in the factory during the morning shift. Currently, none of them are accounted for,” said an R&D professional, working in the vicinity.
The fire is spreading to nearby locations, a cause of concern for the closely located chemical companies.

ADM nominates AECOM chairman to its board

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has nominated Michael Burke, CEO and chairman of AECOM, to stand for election to the board at its upcoming annual shareholders’ meeting.
AECOM designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets in more than 150 countries. Prior to his current position, Burke served as AECOM’s senior vice president of corporate strategy; chief corporate officer; chief financial officer; and president. Before joining AECOM in 2005, he served in a variety of leadership positions at accounting firm KPMG LLP.

Surfactants-based products to see significant growth

Surfactants are the organic compounds that can enhance cleaning efficiency, wetting, dispersing, solvency, foaming and lubricity of water and water base substances. This compounds can constitutes both lyophilic (solvent –loving) and lyophobic (solvent-fearing) group in its molecule. Surfactants lowers the surface tension of liquids and allow chemicals to mix more easily.
Surfactants are traditionally being manufactured from the crude oil. Scarcity of crude oil and growing environmental concerns are key drivers of bio surfactants manufactured by using plants and natural substances like coconuts, soybean, grapefruit seed and pulp extracts, corn etc. Methyl Ester Sulfonates (MES) is the largest consumed bio surfactant derived from coconut and it is the perfect substitute to synthetics surfactants as detergent feedstock.
Coconut-derived surfactants is substitute for alkylbenzen products from crude oil. It is not only ecofriendly but also tender for skin, it can be effectively applied under hard water, for different types of cotton and fabrics. Many modern surfactants are made from oleochemicals (vegetable derived) rather than petrochemicals (petroleum derived) and are also biodegradable. Oleochemicals or fats used to synthesize these surfactants include palm and coconut oils. These surfactants include the anionic alkyl polyglucosides (decyl, lauryl, and octyl), which are made from fatty alcohols from coconut or palm and glucose from corn starch using green chemistry.
Market Segmentation
Coconut derived surfactants market is segmented on the basis of its application household, detergent, personal care, food processing applications, agriculture chemicals, textiles, institutional applications and others. The growing environmental awareness and growing market for personal care products in emerging economies is reporting high market demand for bio surfactants. As coconut derived surfactants are natural and no hazards to skin its demand in household detergents market is growing.

Rise of e-commerce expected to be key factor driving product growth

The global laundry detergent market size was valued at $133.3 billion in 2016. The rising penetration of washing machines in the developing economies is likely to be key driver for demand over the forecast period. Furthermore, technological advancements are also likely to fuel the growth.
The demand for the product in the US is dominated by growing popularity of liquid products. The US has witnessed tremendous growth in the use of liquid commodity over powder merchandise. However, issues regarding the safety of children ingesting these products acted as a restraint to market growth in 2016. Global vendors such as Procter & Gamble have developed new packaging type to make the company’s packaging child resistant. The company also claims to add sour flavor in the packaging of the product.
The competition in the industry is highly concentrated in nature as majority of market share is dominated by Proctor & Gamble. The industry analysis suggests that Procter & Gamble was the top leader in the US industry capturing nearly half of the market share in 2016. The greater penetration of the company’s brands such as Tide and Gain has made it the undisputed leader in this category.
The mature US laundry detergent market is highly concentrated in nature with global vendors such as Procter & Gamble and Church & Dwight Co Inc accounting for over 67 percent of the total market share in 2016. The trend to innovate product in terms of formula and packaging is the key factor driving sales. The strategy adopted by Procter & Gamble to develop environmentally-friendly products such as Tide purclean became a major factor in driving the company’s growth in the country.
The rising prominence of e-commerce is expected to be the key factor driving product growth, especially among the working-class due to easy accessibility and convenience. The e-commerce platform is largely dominated by companies such as Amazon, Target, and Walgreen. It is expected e-commerce is emerging as the fastest-rising distribution channel.
The vendors in developed markets such as the US are adopting product bundling strategy to increase shares in the market by offering bulk discount on various products such as fabric softeners, liquid and powder. In addition, vendors are also continuously adopting innovative marketing strategies to attract regional consumers.

Growing food industry to support market growth

Marine Enzymes market size will witness a significant growth owing to its use in food & beverage, medicine, nutraceutical and cosmetic industry. These have omega-3polyunsaturated fatty acids used that are used in nutraceutical industry. Its use as a natural ingredient in health and dietary supplement industry has increased. These are widely used in skin and hair care products due to their anti-inflammatory and hypolipidemic properties.
Growing food industry will support marine enzymes market growth owing to its usage as a colouring agent. Their consumption has spurred with ban on synthetic food colours. These are used in food to improve its quality and increase the shelf life of processed products. Further, with ongoing research and development activities for its use in bio fuels and bio fertilizers are anticipated to propel marine enzymes market.
Marine enzymes are bioactive elements obtained from aquatic plants and animals. They are used in mineralization of organic matter in aquatic environment and help in secondary production. Some commonly used marine enzymes are amylases, lipases and dnases. These are preferred over traditional enzymes as they are thermoresistant and perform well at high temperature, pH and salt concentration. Thus, they can function well in heat sensitive processes. It is used as stabilizers and thickeners in various food products. Their use eliminates the antinutritive substance from nutritional raw materials.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

KBR bags additional work on Acron ammonia plant in Russia

KBR Inc (KBR) has been awarded a contract by JSC Acron subsidiary JSC Dorogobuzh, to provide equipment to revamp its ammonia plant located in Dorogobuzh, Russia.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide proprietary equipment to enable Dorogobuzh to produce low-cost ammonia.
KBR previously received a contract from Dorogobuzh to provide KBR's proprietary ammonia technology to significantly increase plant capacity to 2,100 MTPD and improve efficiency. KBR is utilizing its industry-leading revamp technology KBR reforming exchanger system (KRES) in conjunction with KBR's True Cold Wall Add-on Converter to achieve low project cost for the revamp at this site.

TechnipFMC bags subsea equipment contract by Sabah Shell Petroleum

TechnipFMC (FTI) has been awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract by Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd.
This award covers the delivery and installation of subsea equipment including umbilicals, flowlines and the subsea production system for the Gumusut-Kakap phase 2 project.
“We are extremely honoured to have been awarded this project by Sabah Shell Petroleum.

Sika opens new mortar facility in Vietnam

Sika AG has opened a state-of-the-art facility for mortar production alongside the existing production of concrete admixtures plant in Bac Ninh in northern Vietnam.
Underscoring its commitment to dynamic growth in the country’s booming construction market. This most recent investment enables Sika to extend its portfolio of locally manufactured products in the north of the country, and thus reinforce the company’s cost structure and competitiveness.
More stringent building regulations in Vietnam require the use of ready-mixed mortar, which is one of Sika’s strongest product lines. As a result, ready-mixed mortar is gaining market share, unlike mortar products that are mixed on the building site. In addition to more stringent regulatory requirements in the construction sector, Vietnam is experiencing a massive construction boom, where rising education and prosperity levels fuel demand for high-quality, high-performance building materials.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Liquid silicone rubber for sensitive applications

Articles made from conventional silicone rubber often do not meet legal requirements unless they have been post-cured. Novel liquid silicone rubber grades from WACKER eliminate this laborious process step for many applications.
Despite being a rather young class of materials, liquid silicone rubber is well established in the market nowadays. It is processed in a fully automated injection moulding process that is capable of producing silicone articles in large quantities: quickly, efficiently and with high precision.
In some cases, the moulded parts are post-cured. This heat treatment process, which, for example, must be performed on articles made from conventional liquid silicone rubber for use in the baby-care, food-contact and medical sectors, removes volatile or extractable residues from the elastomer. It is the only way to meet the stringent regulations on silicone articles for sensitive applications.
However, post-curing is a process step that is costly, time-consuming and work-intensive and it significantly restricts silicone processors’ productivity. The new ELASTOSIL® LR 5040 generation of liquid silicone rubber compounds just launched by WACKER solves this problem: post-curing will no longer be necessary for many applications.

Microbes for better harvests

As the global population continues to grow, farmers are tasked with a tall order: They need to get the most out of every acre and, at the same time, reduce the environmental impact caused by their crops.
It is, undeniably, an uphill struggle. After all, how are you supposed to make more—with less? And yet The BioAg Alliance, now in its fourth year, is helping the world’s farmers do just that.
The Alliance brings together Novozymes’ BioAg operations and capabilities within microbial discovery, development and production with Monsanto’s microbial discovery, advanced biology, field testing and commercial capabilities. By pooling resources and expertise, we’re helping farmers globally to increase their production, while making sustainability a priority.
Now, those efforts are bearing fruit. But before we dive into the latest developments, let’s take a brief look at the science and methodology behind microbial biotech.
Harnessing the power of nature
Just a spoonful of soil from anywhere on earth contains tens of billions of microbes, many of which help make nutrients and minerals better available to plants. Among other things, these microorganisms can spur growth and increase their resiliency. They can even help stimulate plants’ immune systems, resulting in fewer plant diseases and higher yields.
The hard part is that sifting through and testing each individual microbe for its efficacy is like looking for a needle in a haystack. A haystack the size of New York City.
Using state-of-the-art technology, The BioAg Alliance tries to match crops, such as corn or soybeans, with the perfect microbe. It can be a long process of discovery and elimination. But when we find a match, that discovery reveals a synergy that’s not just a win for the plant—but for the whole planet.
Harnessing the power of nature’s microbes, farmers can produce more crops while emitting less CO2 and reducing the need for fertilizer and pesticides. This benefits agriculture, consumers and the environment, and is important due to a variety of factors, not least the increasing demands from a rising global population and the need to grow food in a more sustainable manner and often in sub-optimal environments. 

Filtration and Adhesion: When the bond needs to hold

When we talk filtration, the extent and importance of the process is never fully understood. Filters are today used in every aspect of our lives right from the cars that we drive to the air-conditioning in our homes to automotive and hospital applications. Today filters serve different needs, from water, that is the most natural thought when we hear the word filter to oil and air filters that are used in the motors that we drive. Apart from these, there are a whole host of applications that use filters, and these are expected to perform in some of the most demanding and extreme environments.
When we talk about water, this is one natural resource that has universal uses right from domestic to industrial. Today, every conceivable manufactured product uses water in some part of its production lifecycle. Industrial water use, includes water used for such purposes as fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling or transporting a product; incorporating water into a product; or for sanitation needs within the manufacturing facility. Some industries such as food, paper, chemicals, refineries, etc. use large amounts of water during the production stages.
Today, the World population is exploding and given the rate at which we have been drawing on nature’s reserves we will soon be staring at a crisis. According to a recent UN alert, in the next twenty years, global demand for fresh water will vastly outstrip reliable supply in many parts of the world. Freshwater makes for just 2.5% of the earth‘s water, and this again is contained in glaciers and groundwater which leaves just enough of the resource actually useable in rivers, lakes and ponds. Which highlights today more than ever the need to filter and recycle water.

Supporting partners in medical technology

When a cancer patient needs life-saving medical treatment, everything must work as designed, right down to the plastic used in luers and other IV connectors. However, not all materials are created equal. Inferior materials often cannot withstand cleaning agents, nor can they tolerate aggressive solvents found in oncology drugs and other treatments. The result: cracking and damage to critical components.
Makrolon® Rx3440 polycarbonate, a new medical polycarbonate from Covestro LLC, offers superior durability and chemical resistance to help prevent cracking so that health care professionals can more safely deliver oncology drugs to patients.
Compared with other transparent resins used for IV access components, comprehensive lab testing has shown that the polycarbonate provides best-in-class chemical and oncology drug resistance. This material also demonstrates the best retention of stress to provide more reliable IV connections.
Tailored property profile
Makrolon® Rx3440 polycarbonate also offers several other advantages for medical OEMs, including:
  • Biocompatible according to ISO 10993-1 and USP Class IV standards
  • Greater structural integrity to allow for thin-walled designs
  • Toughness to resist mishandling
  • Dimensional stability in shipping and storage

Stability and tradition in heat transfer

Numerous industrial processes would be inconceivable without heat as an energy carrier. Temperatures of up to 400 degrees Celsius are even required in many cases. With organic heat transfer fluids like Diphyl, heat can be passed from one station to the next without any being lost.
When precision is critical
Synthetic organic heat transfer media show their advantages especially at high temperatures, when precision temperature control is imperative, for instance in manufacturing and processing plastics, synthetic fibres and rubber, and in the wood and metal processing industries. Heat transfer media are indispensable, for example, in fabricating PET from polyester and further processing it into fibres and bottles.
The distinguishing features of synthetic heat transfer media are their high thermal stability and long service life, which make them perfectly suited to processes that run at high temperatures of 280 to 400° Celsius. Under these conditions, the LANXESS Diphyl products prove their worth, as they have been doing since 1929. At temperatures exceeding 340° Celsius, the product is even unique. Thanks to its outstanding thermal stability and longevity, Diphyl is known as the “Grande Dame” of heat transfer fluids.
Exact boiling point is advantageous in the vapour phase
Diphyl proves its effectiveness, particularly in the vapour phase. The mixture has an exact boiling point, which manufacturers can make good use of. An exact boiling point often is crucial to the quality of a manufactured product because it supports precise adherence to target temperatures, as required in spinning and above all polymerization processes.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Heat Exchangers Applications in Chemical Industry

Heat exchangers have been successfully employed for decades in the chemical industry in the most diverse sectors, such as the cooling and heating of base, intermediate and final products, heat recovery or also the tempering of containers, reactors and autoclaves. They are mainly used to transfer the heat from one fluid/gas to another. While there are a variety of applications and adaptations of the heat exchanger, here are their four typical adaptations:
1.Cooling hot liquids
2.Heating and drying
3.Heating cold liquids
4.Cooling and condensing
    Take a look at the broader applications of the above mentioned heat exchangers in the chemical processing industry:
    • Air Cooled Heat Exchanger
    An air-cooled heat exchanger (ACHE), otherwise known as a finned tube heat exchanger works by passing a liquid in a series of tubes while pumping air over or around the pipework to cool the liquid. The efficiency of these units comes from its design – the extended fins that protrude into the air/gas flow and improve the heat transfer ability of the structure.
    Such type of heat exchangers are often used for heat recovery purposes to exhaust hot gases. This is done by transferring the heat in the gas to the liquid (usually water or thermal oil). ACHEs are usually used in chemical industries for applications like petrochemical cooling and steam cooling. However, since air (both hot and cold) can be reused for a variety of functions, the ACHEs can be used for a variety of applications.
    • Shell And Tube Heat Exchanger
    These types of heat exchangers work by passing the fluid/gas through a series of tubes thatare enclosed ina large metal shell. You can choose to pass the fluid/gas from the sheel or tube side depending on the level of corrosiveness of the substance as well as final state (fluid/gaseous) of the desired prodcut.
    The shell and tube heat exchangers are typically used for high pressure applications as well as those which require a vacuum condition to carry out the heat transfer process. Shell and tube heat exchangers are the most popular type of heat exchangers used in the chemical industry due to its containment abilities which is extremely beneficial when handling noxious or toxic gases and chemicals.

    Read more: Heat Exchangers Applications in Chemical Industry

    Yara makes changes to executive management team

    Yara International ASA announced the following changes to its organizational structure and corporate management, with immediate effect.
    Petter Ostbo will take up the position of executive vice president (EVP) and chief financial officer (CFO). Ostbo currently serves as EVP production.
    Torgeir Kvidal will take up the position of head of mining operations, reporting to EVP Production. He is currently EVP, chief financial officer.
    Tove Andersen will take up the position of EVP Production. Andersen currently serves as EVP supply chain. Pablo Barrera Lopez, currently country manager Yara Chile, will take up the position of EVP supply chain.
    Corporate innovation will be moved to industrial and report to EVP industrial, Yves Bonte. Consequently, Pierre Herben will no longer be part of the executive management team.
    Alvin Rosvoll will continue to be responsible for our partner operations and will from now on report to EVP people & global functions, Lene Trollnes.
    The above changes will take effect immediately, except for Tove Andersen and Pablo Barrera Lopez who will take up their new positions on 1 April. Petter Ostbo will continue as EVP production until 1 April, in addition to his new role as CFO.

    BASF presents hygienic heavy-duty Ucrete flooring systems

    Under the brand of Master Builders Solutions, BASF SE presents the extra heavy-duty Ucrete flooring systems range.
    Ucrete is a highly durable surface protection system based on a unique polyurethane resin technology, which meets and exceeds the special requirements of the food and beverage industry, and is also perfectly suitable for chemical and pharmaceutical industry applications thanks to its chemical, mechanical and thermal shock resistance.  
    Ucrete flooring systems have been meeting the highest requirements of occupational safety and hygiene since 50 years as they exhibit bacterial cleanability comparable to stainless steel and do not support bacterial growth. Depending on the layer thickness, they can withstand temperatures ranging from -40 °C to 130 °C, being ideal for use in cool rooms and refrigerated environments. They are extremely impact resistant and offer highly effective anti-slip properties. The anti-slip class of the flooring can be adjusted to meet specific customers’ requirements from smooth to highly slip resistant.

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