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Dateline: March 22, 2005

Chemical Industy News from the U.S.
Chemical Industry News from India
Technically Speaking

Chemical Industry News from the U.S.

Monsanto granted regulatory clearance
Monsanto received U.S. regulatory clearance for its next generation cotton technology, Roundup Ready Flex cotton.  This clearance should enable them to have a commercial launch in time for the 2006 growing season.  The addition of Roundup Ready Flex cotton provides a wider over-the-top application window for Roundup agricultural herbicides throughout the growing season to provide growers increased flexibility and convenience on the farm.  Clearances from other countries are still pending.

Huntsman Corporation plans expansion
Huntsman's expansion plans will significantly increase its global capacity for the manufacture of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), in response to growing global demands.  U.S. expansion will occur at a facility in Geismar, Louisiana.  The capacity of the plant will be expanded by 130 million pounds per year to 990 million pounds per year.  Expansion will take place in increments, with final completion scheduled for late 2006.

Restart of hydroprocessing catalyst manufacturing plant
Criterion Catalysts & Technologies LP has announced plans to increase the supply of catalysts through the restart of their Michigan City, Indiana hydroprocessing catalyst manufacturing plant.  The plant is scheduled to restart in the second quarter of 2005.  In addition to this restart, they are exploring other opportunities to meet the refining industry's needs.  Increased supply of higher performance catalysts is needed to address stringent refinery needs, particularly those associated with the production of ultra low sulfur diesel.

DegussaHeadwaters achieves success in direct hydrogen peroxide technology
DegussaHeadwaters is a joint venture between Degussa AG, Dusseldorf, Germany, and Headwaters Incorporated, South Jordan, Utah.  It successfully integrated its pilot plant for direct synthesis hydrogen peroxide (DSHP) into the pilot plant for manufacturing propylene oxide (PO) using Degussa-Uhde technology.  This is an important milestone in developing and marketing the direct synthesis of H2O2 and marks the first time that propylene oxide has been generated from hydrogen peroxide by means of the DSHP process.  Complete development of the new DSHP process should be by the end of 2006, with commercial availability in 2007.  This process is expected to provide a highly cost-effective process for the production of H2O2 as an intermediate product for chemical synthesis.

Minerals Technologies to build Synsil plant
Minerals Technologies plans to construct a 200,000 ton-per-year facility in Chester, South Carolina to produce Synsil Products, a new composite mineral for the glass industry.  The plant should be operational in the fourth quarter of 2005.  Synsil facilitates quicker melting and integration of raw materials, allows higher yields and reduces energy consumption in the glass production process.

Chemical Industry News from India

DuPont targets growth in India
DuPont has committed to further accelerating the growth potential of business in India.  After spending time in India, Terry Caloghiris, Vice President and General Manager of DuPont Engineering Polymers (EP), said he has a sense of confidence for future success.  He will look to leverage EP's leadership position in India to further strengthen its technical application development capabilities to support customers as well as benefit from the existing growth potential in India. 

Tata Steel now SA 8000 certified
Tata Steel in Jamshedpur received Social Accountability (SA) 8000 Certification by Social Accountability International (SAI).  Tata Steel is the first and only steel company in the world to receive this certificate.  SA 8000 certification is a global verifiable standard for managing the workplace in a most effective manner by improving working conditions. 

Vedanta plans aluminum smelter
Vendanta Resources Ltd., the London-based holding company of Sterlite group, will set up a 0.5-mtpa greenfield aluminum smelter in Orissa.  The project also includes a 1,000 mega-watt power plant.  The project will take place in two phases over the next three to five years.  The first phase includes setting up a 245,000-tpa smelter with associated power facilities.  Initial project work, including land acquisition, feasibility studies and Government approval, is underway.   

How are vessels lined with glass?

First, the glass mixture is smelted to form the proper recipe based on the temperature and pressure requirements of the vessel.  Then the glass is ground into tiny particles and suspended in a liquid medium called a slip.  This mixture is then spayed onto the surface to be coated.  The vessel is then heated to about 800C to bond the glass to the steel (usually carbon steel).  The vessel is then slowly cooled.


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