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Dateline: November 29, 2005

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

Chemical Industry News from the U.S.

Tamiflu conflict resolved
Roche and Gilead Sciences Inc. have resolved their dispute over the rights of Tamiflu, the influenza drug that has recently made headlines as a potential treatment for avian flu.  The companies will jointly oversee the manufacturing, commercial and pandemic planning for the drug, with
Gilead having the option to co-promote the drug in some parts of the U.S. starting in 2007.  Roche licensed Tamiflu from Gilead in 1996, but Gilead sought to terminate this pact in June, accusing Roche of neglecting to devote sufficient resources to the commercialization of the product.  Roche plans to increase internal manufacturing capacity by the end of 2006 ten-fold over its 2004 level.     

New synthetic cold seal product
Rohm and Haas is adding a new synthetic cold seal product to its Coseal™ line of cold seal adhesives.  The new Coseal 55-300 adhesive is being touted as providing significant improvement in sealing performance for those packaging converters who have relied on natural rubber, while bringing converters who use existing synthetic cold seal adhesives a new, lower-priced, higher-performance synthetic alternative.  In addition, it also adheres to metallized and white OPP films.  The product is fully FDA-certified for direct food contact, has no odors that change taste or aroma, and completely avoids natural rubber.  It's now available in North America, will be introduced to European converters soon and should be available worldwide in 2006.

New polyols facility
Archer Daniels Midland Company plans to build a polyols facility that will use renewable carbohydrate-based and/or glycerol-based feedstocks.  The plant will produce propylene glycol and ethylene glycol from agricultural-based resources as an alternative to traditional petroleum-based industrial chemicals.  Site selection is still underway and construction will be dependent on final permit approvals.

Chemical Industry News from India

New manufacturing facility
Dow Corning Corp. is building a new manufacturing facility in Pune to help meet the growing demand for silicone-based products.  The new plant should be operational in 2006.  The plant will manufacture a variety of value-added products, including polymers, lubricants, sealants and emulsions.  It will also include a technical services laboratory for the research and development of new products.

Refinery updates
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOC) will double the capacity of its 120,000 barrels/day Panipat refinery by March instead of January.  Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) is on track to complete its refinery expansion projects by February.  Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.’s (BPCL) subsidiary, Kochi Refineries Ltd., will add 40,000 barrels/day to its refining capacity of 150,000 barrels/day by 2009. 

Ethyl acetate capacity expansion
Somaiya Organo Chemicals, a division of the Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd., will boost its ethyl acetate (EA) production capacity to 30,000 tons/day, widening its global export base.  The expansion should be completed by mid-2006.  The additional capacity is planned in response to increasing local and international demand.

Planning for downstream projects

Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd. (FACT) has called for an expression of interest from parties for setting up a number of downstream projects in its complex.  This is part of a plan to improve the company’s performance by optimizing the use of its existing facilities, including infrastructure, land and utility services.  The company has proposed the setup of a 1,100 ton/day sulfuric acid plant, which should enhance the production of phosphoric acid as well as nitrogen and potash. Another proposed project is capacity enhancement of the phosphoric acid plant and augmentation of port handling facilities to find a use for existing by-products that are being piled up in the facility.  In addition, the company has proposed the setup of a single stream urea plant of 1,100 tons/day using the ammonia from the 900 ton/day ammonia plant and the carbon dioxide there along with facilities for storage and bagging.    

Technically Speaking

What is a common cause of getting water, solvents, or other liquid into inert purge lines?

One of the most common causes of this situation is the lack of a check valve at the point of use.  If an inerting system is being used to charge a vessel containing a liquid, and the system contains no check valve, the vapors can make their way into the inert line and condense later.

Although this seems like an obvious feature of such a system, it's omission is not uncommon.


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