Venkatraman Ramakrishnan: Mapper of the structure of the ribosome


Venkatraman Ramakrishnan: Mapper of the structure of the ribosome

Biography & Contributions: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is a British American chemist, physicist and structural biologist of Indian origin. He was born in 1952. Ramakrishnan is best known for his Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 along with Ada E. Yonath and Thomas A. Steitz for their research on the structure and function of the ribosome. He is the recipient of Padma Vibhushan in 2010, which is India’s second highest civilian award. Ramakrishnan is renowned globally for his research work on the atomic structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit. In the beginning, he had represented the layout of proteins in the 30S ribosomal subunit through neutron diffraction and explained X-ray structures of the components and their RNA complexes. Read More

Sabic has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UK-based Plastic Energy Ltd, for the supply of feedstock. This deal support Sabic’s petrochemical operations in Europe. Both companies intend to build a first commercial plant in Netherlands to refine and upgrade a valuable feedstock, known as Tacoil. Tacoil is a patented Plastic Energy product, which will be produced from the recycling of low quality, mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill. The plant, which is anticipated to enter commercial production in 2021, is a significant milestone for Sabic towards the company’s commitment to establishing a circular economy and, more broadly, its sustainability goals. Read More

Trinseo (TSE) has appointed Lauren Pagano as global business director adhesives and construction for latex binders. In this newly created position, Pagano will have a key role in driving the global latex binders strategy of growing the adhesives and construction business. Pagano will have global responsibility to develop this business and grow in these strategic markets. She will further shape and develop the business strategy in close alignment with the regional latex binders business directors, the company said. Pagano has worked for Worthington Industries, driving the integration of a recently bought Europe-based company. Before that, Pagano was with HB Fuller for almost 10 years in various roles. Read More

IFF-Lucas Meyer Cosmetics (IFF-LMC), a cosmetic actives subsidiary of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc has acquired three personal care ingredients and related intellectual property from Kemin Industries. This acquisition expands IFF-LMC’s product portfolio and related offerings to its customers, particularly to those focused on the environment and sustainability. The acquired products (and associated IP) include: Lysofix: an easy-to-use and cold-process lysophospholipid emulsifier extracted from a non-GMO soybean source. It enhances formulas by evenly dispersing sunscreen and makeup pigments, provides immediate hydration and support collagen and elastin production while imparting a luxurious texture to the skin. Read More

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Mississippi Lime increases hydrated lime capacity


Hanwha Total Petrochemical, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Hanwha, will invest nearly $500 million to further expand its Daesan integrated refining and petrochemical complex in South Korea. The planned investment will increase polypropylene capacity by close to 60 percent to 1.1 million tonnes per year by the end of 2020. The ethylene capacity will simultaneously increase by 10 percent to 1.5 million tonnes. This project complements the ongoing investments totaling $750 million to increase the complex’s ethylene production capacity by 30 percent to 1.4 million tonnes per year by mid-2019 and to expand polyethylene production capacity by 50 percent to 1.1 million tonnes by end-2019. Read More

ExxonMobil has made its 10th discovery offshore Guyana. Increasing its estimate of the discovered recoverable resource for the Stabroek Block to more than 5 billion oil-equivalent barrels. The resource estimate, up from the previous estimate of more than 4 billion oil-equivalent barrels, is a result of further evaluation of previous discoveries and includes a new discovery at the Pluma-1 well. The Liza Phase 1 development is expected to begin producing up to 120,000 barrels oil per day by early 2020, utilizing the Liza Destiny floating storage, production and offloading vessel (FPSO). Sanctioning of a third development, Payara, is also expected in 2019 with start up as early as 2023. Read More

Yordas Group has launched a global regulatory monitoring system on behalf of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). The global regulatory monitoring system for chemical substances (GRMS2) is a regulatory radar for the automotive industry, providing key information on regulatory action being considered for the substances used within the sector. The roll-out of the GRMS2 tool is scheduled to take place over a 3-year period. The GRMS2 platform aims to inform companies in advance of new regulations, enabling the sector to make timely decisions regarding their regulatory compliance. The system is built around the comprehensive data that powers Yordas Hive, an internationally renowned regulatory compliance and chemicals management system. Read More

Mississippi Lime Company has significantly increased enhanced hydrated lime capacities at their Weirton, WV and Verona, KY facilities. Mississippi Lime’s products employ industry leading technology for efficient solutions in the Dry Sorbent Injection industry as well as many other chemical processes and environmental control applications. The novel, high quality products allow customers to realize cost savings and processing efficiencies from higher performing hydrated lime. Read More

 

Bayer to cut 12000 jobs; exit animal health business


Bayer to cut 12000 jobs; exit animal health business

Bayer plans to exit animal health business, consumer health brands Coppertone and Dr Scholl’s, and cut 12,000 jobs worldwide. The company also plans to sell its 60 percent interest in Currenta, a JV with Lanxess. The company aims to strengthen its core life science businesses following the takeover of Monsanto. The job cuts are expected to be complete by the end of 2021 and a significant number of them is in Germany, the company said. The job cuts will include approximately 900 jobs in pharmaceuticals R&D and around 350 positions in connection with the factor VIII facility in Wuppertal; roughly 1,100 jobs associated with the reorganization at consumer health; around 4,100 positions at crop science as the result of combining Monsanto; and a further 5,500 to 6,000 jobs in the corporate functions. Read More

Covestro has increased its stake in the joint venture DIC Covestro Polymer Ltd (DCP) from 50 percent to 80 percent.  The investment is part of Covestro’s expansion of its global thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) business. The total investment sums up to a low double-digit million euro. Closing of the deal is planned for early second quarter of 2019. DIC Corporation (DIC) will continue to support the success of DCP with its industry network, strong brand name, and as a reliable local partner. “The strong and long-term partnership of both companies, as well as our thorough understanding of the future growth potential make this acquisition a fitting step in Covestro’s growth strategy focusing on sustainability-driven innovation,” said Dr Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro. Read More

MFG Chemical said that it is upgrading its Pasadena, Texas plant, which the company acquired in March 2018. The acquisition of the Pasadena plant, together with the company’s 3 plants in Northwest Georgia, makes MFG Chemical one of America’s largest consumers of maleic anhydride. Improvements include debottlenecking and new capacity additions, including two new reactors, one of which is 20,000 gallons in size. “MFG is increasing its capacity to meet its customers’ growing needs for custom and speciality chemistries. Our significant capital investments in our Pasadena, TX,  plant as well as our three other world-class ISO 9001:2015 Certified manufacturing plants in Dalton, GA reflect our ongoing effort to deepen our manufacturing and formulating partnerships with our valued customers,” said Keith Arnold, CEO of MFG Chemical and Member of the SOCMA Board of Governors. Read More

Clariant has increased capacity of ethylene oxide (EO) unit in Gendorf, Germany. The investment positions Clariant to continue its successful development of innovative EO-based specialties to support a wide range of industries, such as personal and home care, crop solutions, and industrial applications. “As a globally leading company for specialty chemicals, Clariant continues to invest also in our production network in Europe. I am confident that this sizeable expansion will support our strategic goal of intensifying profitable growth in both developed and emerging markets,” said Christian Kohlpaintner, member of Clariant’s Executive Committee. Read More

Making in India: The manufacturing story


Making in India: The manufacturing story

Mobil safeguards equipment life; helps PPAP Automotive achieve ‘maximum productivity’ goals. Switching to Mobil saves automotive manufacturer Rs.12.30 lakh annually. The manufacturing industry in India has poignantly grown over the decades, witnessing a series of transitions through the socio-economic and political corridors of the country. Turning a corner after liberalization in the early-90s, the Indian manufacturing industry is today a globally competitive behemoth, powered by solid capacity expansions and multidisciplinary investments. Strong domestic demand, a growing middle class and a high rate of return on investments are among the factors that make India a credible manufacturing investment destination.  Read More

Thermo Scientific ISQ EM system offers a robust, easy-to-use and reliable solution for both novice and expert users. Chromatographers can now benefit from a single quadrupole mass spectrometer for challenging mass confirmation analyses. ThermoFisher Scientific designed this for high performance and productivity standards in laboratories. The system offers the power to detect and quantify small and large molecules, supporting analytical needs across an extensive range of applications. The system’s high-performing ionization probes facilitate the measurement of polar and non-polar analytes, enabling application flexibility. Read More

It is time for a sea change in strategy. The life sciences industry’s commitment to digital transformation is increasing, but few organizations are digitally maturing.  Here’s how companies can take an enterprise wide approach to digital transformation. As is true for most industries, digital transformation is no longer a buzzword, but a strategic imperative for life sciences companies. While first movers would likely gain a competitive advantage, all of today’s companies risk falling behind their competitors in delivering across all elements of the value chain if their strategies are limited to a few pilots and experiments. Life sciences companies have been fast followers in adopting new technologies… Read More

Asynt introduced new DrySyn inserts that enables scientists to heat reactions. In addition, the company has introduced the ADS2-2 DrySyn MAXI stand-alone 2L base for laboratories wanting to heat larger scale flask-based reactions and the DrySyn SuperMAXI 4L insert for use with the SuperMAXI 5L base. DrySyn is made of chemically resistant anodized aluminium. The DrySyn range of heating blocks offers excellent visibility and heating performance, without the inherent risks and mess of an oil bath. DrySyn heating blocks help you create more efficient and sustainable working environment. Read More

New water treatment method inspired by a sea creature


Inspired by Actinia, a sea organism that ensnares its prey with its tentacles, a team of researchers from Yale University have developed a method for efficiently treating water. The research, a collaboration of the labs of Yale’s Menachem Elimelech and Huazhang Zhao of Peking University, used a material known as a nanocoagulant to rid water of contaminants. By removing a broad range of contaminants in a single step, the discovery promises to significantly improve the centuries-old use of coagulants for water treatment. Actinia is a sea anemone with a spherical body that has tentacles that retract while resting and extend while catching its prey. Read More

Air Liquide SA said that it will build the first world-scale liquid hydrogen production unit in Western US. Dedicated to the hydrogen energy markets, the company expects to invest over $150 million, with construction to begin in early 2019.  In addition, the company has signed a long-term agreement with FirstElement Fuel Inc (FEF), a leader in retail hydrogen infrastructure in US, to supply hydrogen to its retail liquid hydrogen fueling stations in California. The plant will have a capacity of nearly 30 tons of hydrogen per day — an amount that can fuel 35,000 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The new plant is the first large scale investment into the supply chain infrastructure needed to support hydrogen energy solutions for the energy transition… Read More

Henkel has entered into a strategic mobility alliance with RLE International, to drive automotive innovation and become the premier design-in engineering solution provider for mobility industry. Automotive megatrends and future mobility concepts driven by increasing environmental legislation, e-mobility and autonomous driving are shaping the engineering challenges of the industry. Besides, the integration and protection of batteries and electronic components play a crucial role in development and manufacturing. “To design new e-mobility concepts and lightweight innovations, the combination of material science and engineering expertise is a significant competitive advantage,” said Dr Christian Kirsten, corporate senior vice president, Henkel Transport & Metal. Read More

Following the demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar, DV Sadananda Gowda and Narendra Singh Tomar were assigned additional portfolios of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, respectively. Gowda is currently in charge of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Tomar holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Mines. The two ministers were given the additional portfolios which were earlier held by Ananth Kumar. Read More

Lanxess expands halogen-free flame-retardant PBT compounds range


Lanxess is expanding its range of halogen-free flame-retardant compounds based on polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) to include variants with outstanding fire resistance in glow wire tests. The first in the product range is a compound reinforced with a glass fiber content of 25 percent. There are plans to introduce the trial product onto the market shortly. The new PBT material has already been certified by VDE Prüf- und Zertifizierungsinstitut GmbH with a GWIT value of 775 °C for wall thicknesses of 0.4 to 3.0 millimeters (Glow Wire Ignition Temperature, IEC 60695-2-13). It also achieves excellent results in glow wire tests on finished parts according to IEC 60695-2-11. Read More

BP Plc, on behalf of co-venturers Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, announced first oil production from the giant Clair Ridge project in the West of Shetland region offshore UK. Clair Ridge is the second phase of development of the Clair field, 75 kilometres West of Shetland. The field, which was discovered in 1977, has an estimated seven billion barrels of hydrocarbons. Two new, bridge-linked platforms and oil and gas export pipelines have been constructed as part of the Clair Ridge project. The new facilities, which required capital investment in excess of £4.5 billion, are designed for 40 years of production. Read More

Perstorp announced the sale of Perstorp BioProducts, a leading producer of biodiesel and glycerine in Scandinavia to a Swedish investor. The sale includes the production site in Fredrikstad, Norway, while the production site in Stenungsund, Sweden, will remain under Perstorp’s ownership. Perstorp will also, for a limited time, be a minority owner of the new company i.e. Adesso BioProducts AB. The 20 staff employed at Perstorp BioProducts, mostly in Fredrikstad, have been offered to continue their employment with Adesso BioProducts AB.  A tolling agreement forms a part of the sale, whereby Perstorp will continue to produce biodiesel at Stenungsund production site for Adesso BioProducts. Read More

Sika has opened new headquarters in the metropolitan area of Lima, Peru and introduced a modern plant for the production of concrete admixtures, mortar products, and acrylic liquid applied membranes (LAM). With this new plant, Sika is tripling its production capacities and strengthening its market position in Peru. At the new site in Lucumo, Sika has commissioned a modern plant for mortars and admixtures. The acrylic LAM manufacturing equipment has also been moved to the new site from the existing plant in Lurin, and further modernized. The new factory and supply centre will result in a threefold increase in overall capacity. Read More

Floor Cleaner: Types and Chemistry


Floor Cleaner: Types and Chemistry

Introduction: Our floors are designed to withstand a variety of elements from furniture movement, pet movement, heavy foot traffic to kids’ activities. Moreover, we invest a small fortune on floors during the interior work of our homes. Therefore, we would want to take good care of them so that they last for a long time. Floor management is a broad affair which is employed not only at our homes but also in industries, institutions and commercial places. Floors require daily cleaning due to the quick buildup of grime, dirt, spills, mud and more. They must be kept clean so that they are aesthetic and at the same time free from the accumulation and spread of germs and debris through the rest of the place. Read More

McDermott International Inc (MDR) has been awarded a contract by Petrobras for a natural gas pipeline project in support of the client’s Santos basin pre-salt field program. The contract covers the implementation of the ultra-shallow segment of the new Rota 3 gas export pipeline. The scope of work includes design and detailed engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCi) of six miles (10 kilometers) of a 24-inch rigid concrete coated pipeline from the already installed shallow water segment of this new pipeline system to the shore, including a horizontal directional drill, tie-in spools and pre-commissioning of the six-mile (10 kilometers) pipeline. Read More

Fluor Corporation said that ioneer Ltd has selected Fluor to deliver its lithium and boron mine outside of Tonopah, Nevada. The full notice to proceed on the EPCM phase is expected in 2019 with first production expected in 2021. Fluor will initially provide a definitive feasibility study, and subsequently, engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services as the project progresses. Fluor will book the feasibility study contract value in the fourth quarter of 2018 and expects to book the full EPCM contract value in 2019 dependent on a final investment decision. Read More

Gelest Inc has expanded its acetylenic and alkynyl silane offerings, increasing chemists’ options and formulating flexibility in organic synthesis and material science applications. From pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals to polymers and electronic materials, these silanes are used to synthesize building blocks and more complex molecules that cannot be obtained otherwise. For example, the commercial antifungal drug terbinafine is manufactured using an alkynyl silane. To support this product line expansion, Gelest offers a new technical brochure featuring a comprehensive review of acetylenic and alkynyl silane chemistry with emphasis on synthetic organic transformations. Read More