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Dateline: April 5, 2005

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

Chemical Industry News from the U.S.

Dow expands cellulosics
In response to continued global demand, Dow Chemical Company will implement a two-phase 20,000 metric-ton expansion of its Methocel methylcellulose and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose products.  The first phase will involve an expansion of Dow's Stade, Germany facility.  The second phase will add 17,000 metric-tons of capacity between its facilities in Midland, Michigan and Plaquemine, Louisiana.  Expected startup will be in late 2007 for Midland and 2007 or 2008 for Plaquemine.  

BASF invests in plasticizers
BASF Corp. will invest $60 million to restructure its North American plasticizer business.  With this investment, BASF will introduce a new plasticizer, di-propyl heptyl phthalate (DPHP) with butene-fed 2-propyl heptanol (2-PH) as its basis.  The investment includes the conversion of a 125,000 tons/year 2-ethyl hexanol (2-EH) facility in Pasadena, Texas to a 120,000 tons/year 2-PH unit, with startup during the second half of 2006.  This expansion will support downstream derivatives including the plasticizer di-octyl phthalate.  At the same time, BASF will also start up a new 125,000 ton/year ester facility in Pasadena.  To accommodate the 2-EH to 2_PH switch, BASF plans to increase the capacity of its Freeport, Texas 2-EH plant by 40,000 tons to 120,000 tons/year. 

ISP expanding its ESBR capacity
International Specialty Products (ISP) will increase capacity at its Port Neches, Texas plant, which manufactures emulsion SBR Elastomers.  The plant was expanded to 400 million lbs/year in 2004; This expansion will expand its capacity to 750 million lbs/year by 2007.  The expansion will include the installation of new reactors and finishing lines. 

Breakthrough: Fire Fighting Gel
Astaris LLC, the world's leading brand of fire management chemicals, and BASF have produced a breakthrough fire fighting gel.  The gel will be marketed domestically as PHOS-CHEK AquaGel and abroad as PHOS-CHEK FOCSTOP.  The new gel is a result of BASF's experience in superabsorbant polymer technology and manufacturing and Astaris' decades of experience in fire fighting technology.  Unlike traditional liquid-type gels, PHOS-Chek AquaGel does not leave an oily residue on surfaces after it has been applied and does not require expensive cleaners for removal.  It makes work areas safer while clean up is faster, easier and less expensive.  It is initially delivered in power form, which requires less inventory space and then is simply mixed with water before use.  It's environmentally friendly because it contains no acrylamide, NPE, oils or solvents and is approved by the USDA Forest Service. 

Chemical Industry News from India

Clariant expands in Roha
The Life Science Chemicals Division of Clariant, the Switzerland-based fine chemicals company, has transferred the manufacturing of building blocks primarily based on Friedel Crafts reactions from Germany to Colour-Chem Ltd., its affiliate in India.  The move is part of Clariant's strategy to build on its strengths and to maintain competitiveness.  Clariant saw an opportunity with the Roha site in India because of its well developed infrastructure, technical expertise and excellent safety track record.

Cadila and Tyco enter into marketing agreement
Cadila Healthcare has entered into an alliance with a unit of Tyco International to sell generic drugs in the USA.  Under the agreement, Tyco's Mallinc-krodt Pharmaceuticals will market generics produced by Cadila at its USFDA approved unit in Ahmedabad.  Mallinc-krodt will market and sell the products under the joint Mallinckrodt-Zypharma label.  The five year deal was struck by Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., the U.S. arm of Cadila, and Mallinckrodt.  The deal could be extended further by mutual consent.

India looks to Taiwan for partnership possibilities
In an unpublicized visit, a delegation of private sector oil and fertilizer companies from India visited Taiwan to explore the possibility of cooperation in the petroleum industry.  The discussions centered on forging an alliance between the private sector oil companies to pool in their respective strengths for mutual benefit.  They also discussed the possibilities of complementing the Taiwanese companies' marketing skills with Indian managerial expertise and technical manpower.  Companies involved included China Petroleum Corporation, Dairen Corporation, USI Corporation, International Petrochemicals Group, Formosa Petrochemicals Corporation and Morning Star Group. 

New sales office
Aryavart Chemicals P. Ltd. opened a new sales and marketing office in Vadgadi.  The company is a leading manufacturer of paint driers and PVC stabilizers.  Aryavart is looking to expand its worldwide marketing network and wants to sell its products in all the major world markets.

CPCL to expand
Chennai Petroleum Corporation (CPCL) is planning a polypropylene project that will have a capacity of 150,000 tons/year.  It should take about four to five years for the plant to be commissioned.  The plans include a plant that is smaller than the international economic size for a polypropylene plant, but CPCL believes it is viable given the projected demand in India.

Technically Speaking

What are some general rules that should be considered when designing a piping system to transport a slurry?

Whenever possible, piping should be designed to be self draining.

Manual drains should be installed to drain sections of the piping when self draining is not possible.

Blow-out or rod-out connections should be provided to clear lines in places where plugging is likely or could occur.

Access flanges should be provided at T-connections.

Manifolds should have flanged rather than capped connections to allow for easy access.

Clean-out connections should be provided on BOTH sides of main line valves so that flushing can take place in either direction.

Break flanges should be provided every 20 feet of horizontal pipe or after every two changes in direction.


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