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Dateline: May 17, 2005

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

Chemical Industry News from the U.S.

New PG ether plant
Dow Chemical Company will build a new phenolic glycol ether plant in Freeport, Texas.  The plant will help to meet the changing needs of Dow's performance solvents customers.  The new plant will replace the existing capacity in Midland, Michigan, with easier access to phenol, ethylene oxide and propylene oxide.  The plant should startup in the third quarter of 2006.

$34 million to support polymer and advanced materials industries
The Ohio Department of Development is granting $34 million to accelerate the growth of Ohio's polymer and advanced materials industries.  The grants will be used to establish two Wright Centers of Innovation, which will focus on developing new high-growth technologies.  The activities are focused on driving the creation of 4,500 new jobs in Ohio's polymer industry during the next three years as well as strengthen the existing 140,000 polymer jobs.

Ammonia plant mothballed
Terra Industries Inc. is mothballing its 500,000 ton/year ammonia plant in Donaldsville, Louisiana.  The facility will now be used as a terminal rather than a manufacturing site.  To replace the plant's output on a ton-for-ton basis, Terra will buy ammonia from Yara under a three-year contract, which can be renewed every two years thereafter.

Potential gasification project
Eastman Chemical Company and The Erora Group, LLC, have agreed to study the feasibility of chemicals co-production at Erora's facility near Taylorville, Illinois.  Erora had begun developing a coal-fired electric generating facility there in 2004, which when completed - in late 2009 or early 2010 - will be fueled with Illinois Basin coal.  Initially developed as a pulverized coal facility, the facility will now be an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) facility.

Reverse osmosis facility planned
The Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) for the textile processing units at the SIPCOT Industrial Growth Centre in Perunduari has signed a memo of understanding with Polutech Ltd., Chennai, to design and build a reverse osmosis facility to treat one million liters of wash water/day for Rs. 2.50-crore.  Today, the processing units in the industrial center segregate the wash water and the dye bath and then send the wash water to the CETP before discharge into the farms developed by the CETP.  When the reverse osmosis facility is complete, the units will be able to re-use the water.  The facility should be running within five months.

Chemplast aiming for zero discharge
Chemplast Sanmar Ltd. is moving toward zero treated effluent water discharge at its PVC and caustic soda plants at Mettur.  To achieve this, they are investing Rs 13 crores to treat the effluent discharge by installing a reverse osmosis plant, followed by a thermal evaporator and a crystallizer.  The liquid effluents will then be reduced to solid salts that can be disposed of in secure landfills.  This will achieve zero discharge.  They will also invest Rs 7 crores to deal with the treatment of effluents at the caustic soda plant.

Increase in caustic soda capacity
Indian Rayon plans to raise its caustic soda capacity by 85 tons/day by de-bottlenecking and setting up a 20 mega-watt captive power plant. 

Technically Speaking

What steps can be taken to avoid stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in steel vessels used for storing anhydrous ammonia?

The U.S. National Board of Pressure Vessel Inspectors recommends the following in one of their classic articles:

1.  Pressure vessels should be either fully stress relieved or fabricated with heads that are hot-formed or stress relieved.

2.  Extreme care should be used to eliminate air from the ammonia systems; new vessels must be thoroughly purged to eliminate air contamination.

3.  Ammonia should contain at least 0.2 percent water to inhibit SCC.

Reference: National Board of Pressure Vessel Inspectors
Note:  Entire Classic Article Series is available at:


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