A sustainable solution to our plastic needs

A sustainable solution to our plastic needs

polythene bag for grocery, a disposable coffee cup, a discarded broken toy- there are so many plastic items that we discard every day which ends up in the landfills, polluting and degrading our planet bit by bit. If only these things were made of bio-based plastics, imagine the difference that we can make to the world.By Debarati Das: Despite rising environmental concerns and an even bigger concern over the amount of plastic waste chocking the ecology posing a serious threat to the biodiversity of the planet, plastics form an integral part of each of our lives. Read More


BASF Petronas Chemicals, a Malaysia-based joint venture between BASF SE and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) has successfully decided the start-up of a new plant for the production of highly reactive polyisobutene(HR-PIB).The new plant will have a total annual capacity of 50,000 metric tonnes, at its integrated site in Gebeng, Kuantan, Malaysia.HR-PIB is an important intermediate product for the manufacturing of high-performance fuel and lubricant additives, including additives for sludge prevention. Read More


Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara) has signed an agreement to supply SADIG-ILCO, a new Saudi-German joint venture focused on the manufacture of a wide range of speciality chemicals with ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO).Under the terms of the supply agreement, SADIG-ILCO’s new PlasChem Park facility will offtake EO and PO from Sadara through the EO and PO pipelines that are being established by Sadara.Using these products as feedstock, the company will manufacture a range of speciality chemicals.Read More


DIC Corporation has opened a new solid compound technical centre Asia Pacific in Malaysia to develop and improve products suitable for the markets in Southeast Asia and South Asia. And to strengthen its technical service structure in the compound business of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) compounds and resin colourants.The facility is located on the premises of DIC Compounds (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (DCM) and has been in full operation since January 2017. Read More

Engineering the future of plastics

Engineering the future of plastics

In an interview, Bert Havenith, Strategy & Intelligence Manager, DSM Engineering Plastics with Chemical Today magazine discusses how engineering plastics is making its way into the future of engineering in various industries.By Shivani Mody :Global trends and development in engineering plastics.Some of the prominent trends in the area of engineering plastics include the increased use of high-performance plastics such as PA46 (Nylon 46), PPA (polyphthalamides), PPS (polyphenylene sulphide), LCP (liquid crystal polymers) & PEEK (polyetheretherketone). Read More


Lanxess AG has unveiled new leather trends for the spring-summer season 2019. The collection presents tanneries with numerous leather samples that reflect the trends in terms of colour, structure, haptics and overall appearance. Lanxess’s leather business unit provides this service twice a year so that leather designers, producers and suppliers can react early to future trends and realize new creative items. Furthermore, tanneries receive relevant formulations and practical advice on processing. Read More


Multi-business entity SRF Ltd has received a green nod for expansion of its speciality chemicals, pesticide and fluorochemicals manufacturing plant at Dahej in Gujarat, which will entail an investment of Rs 4,800 crore, as per the official document.The company wants to increase the production capacity of speciality chemicals, pesticide and fluorochemicals from 1,75,000 tonnes per annum to 5,87,177 tonnes per annum and captive power plant capacity from 25MW to 75 MW at Dahej. Read More


Solvay SA and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have signed a global partner agreement for three years, raising the group’s opportunity to significantly contribute in accelerating the transition towards a circular economy in the chemicals sector.Solvay will join the Foundation’s eight Global Partners Danone, Google, H&M, Intesa Sanpaolo, NIKE, Inc, Philips, Renault and Unilever, as the only global partner for the chemical sector from 2018 to 2020. Read More


Changing chemistries of changing times

Changing chemistries of changing times

In an interview, Nelson Corda, General Manager of Consumer Specialties at Ashland, Asia Pacific excluding China & Global Sales Director – Home Care & Agro, with Chemical Today magazine talks at length about the cellulose & PVP industry and the ways in which it can transform the way India enjoys food. He also talks about the need for emerging countries to embrace new technology and enable businesses to grow. By Debarati Das :Trends in cellulose ethers, vinyl pyrrolidones market… Read More


In an interview, Harshad Desai, Chairman, All India Plastic Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) Seminar Committee with Chemical Today magazine talks at length how plastics can help shape a better life. He also speaks about the dire need for the industry to innovate and be sustainable enough to survive.Desai is also the Co-chairman of AIPMA Technology Centre, Business Advisor at Bloom Seal Packaging Pvt Ltd and Ex-executive Director at Hitech Plast Ltd.By Shivani ModyOpportunity for the plastics industry in India… Read More


In an interview, Ayumu Tagami, PhD student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Fibre and Polymer Technology / Wood Chemistry and Pulp Technology, with Chemical Today magazine talks about his work towards increased use of renewable wood-based resources for a sustainable future.Tagami also works at Nippon Paper Industries Co Ltd as a Research Lab Superintendent.The main purpose of our project is to investigate the correlation between average molecular weight and structural features for kraft lignin fractions extracted by four environmentally friendly chemicals – Ethyl acetate, Ethanol, Methanol and Acetone… Read More

In an interview, Todd Gardner, Vice President, Siemens Process Industries & Drives Division, US, with Chemical Today magazine delves into the ways in which digitization is changing the operational formula of the chemical industry.By Shivani Mody:Digitalization for the chemical industry. The chemical industry continues its drive to optimize the plant and asset lifecycle, gaining operational efficiency to outperform competitors.As with many other industries, the chemical sector is in a transformational phase… Read More

Toward a smart graphene membrane to desalinate water

Toward a smart graphene membrane to desalinate water

An international team of researchers, including scientists from Shinshu University (Japan) and the director of Penn State’s ATOMIC Center, has developed a graphene-based coating for desalination membranes that is more robust and scalable than current nanofiltration membrane technologies. The result could be a sturdy and practical membrane for clean water solutions as well as protein separation, wastewater treatment and pharmaceutical and food industry applications. Read More


Sebaceous glands help the skin stay moist and protect it against external influences such as harsh weather, pollution, and microbial assaults: The oily or waxy matter that these microscopic, exocrine glands secrete – called sebum – lubricates and softens the skin and hair.BASF Care Creations and the Cell Therapy Research Institute CTIBiotech presented the initial results of their joint research on 3D tissue models for the development and testing of bio-actives for skin care applications. Read More


Beaulieu Yarns, the global supplier of high-quality synthetic polyamide and polypropylene yarns, has now offered sustainable versions of all its polyamide (PA6) yarns for carpets for residential and commercial use, including automotive.A first for the carpet industry, new EqoBalance PA6 yarns follow the biomass balance approach, which ensures that at the very start of the supply chain, natural renewable raw materials can partially or even completely replace fossil resources in the production of polymers processed into yarns. Read More


BASF SE said that it will present its new “Be authentic” concept and latest product launches for skin care. The concept comprises two collections of appealing formulations – Mediterranean Influences and Experimental Nomad – that are inspired by the latest beauty trends, identified by French trend consulting agency Peclers.Mediterranean Influences – glamorous formulations that care and protect: Relaxation, sunshine, and exquisite cuisine – the Mediterranean lifestyle, famous for being both casual and elegant, is inspiring major beauty trends all over the world. Read More

Common ‘oxygen sponge’ catalyst soaks up hydrogen too

Common ‘oxygen sponge’ catalyst soaks up hydrogen too

Having the right tool for the job enabled scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and their collaborators to discover that a workhorse catalyst of vehicle exhaust systems—an “oxygen sponge” that can soak up oxygen from air and store it for later use in oxidation reactions—may also be a “hydrogen sponge.” The finding, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, may pave the way for the design of more effective catalysts for selective hydrogenation reactions. Read More


The US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has developed a 3D printing process that creates a chemically active catalytic object in a single step, opening the door to more efficient ways to produce catalysts for complex chemical reactions in a wide scope of industries.While 3D printing has found applications in many areas, its use as a way to control chemical reactions or catalysis is relatively new. Current production of 3D catalysts typically involves various methods of depositing the chemically active agents onto pre-printed structures. Read More


Power plants draw more freshwater than any other consumer in the US, accounting for more than 50 percent of the nation’s freshwater use at about 500 billion gallons daily.To help save this water, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a new silica filter for power plant cooling waters that decreases the number of freshwater power plants consume by increasing the number of times cooling tower water can be reused and recycled.“If you can recycle the water being used at power plants, it frees up a lot more water for domestic and personal use,” said Sandia geochemist Pat Brady. Read More


Devan Chemicals, a developer of finishing technologies for textiles, has launched a new product line. These revitalizing agents enable textile manufacturers to boost their textiles and offer health & wellness to consumers. Boost textiles and enhance well being: In our daily lives, we are confronted with energy loss, sleep deprivation, ageing, allergens, pollution, UV “damage”. Devan has found a way to boost the textiles we sleep on, so they can help to reduce negative impacts from “outside” and enhance our wellbeing, the company said. Read More

Bacteria makes blue jeans green

Bacteria makes blue jeans green

They can be tight, flared, ripped at the knee. Jeans come in all styles and colours these days, but one hue will always be synonymous with the world’s favourite garment: indigo blue.To satisfy the world’s seemingly insatiable demand for blue denim, more than 45,000 tonnes of indigo dye are produced every year, with much of the waste making its way into rivers and streams, conservationists say.Scientists announced that they have developed a greener method to produce the coveted tint – using lab-grown bacteria. Read More


Methane in shale gas can be turned into hydrocarbon fuels using an innovative platinum and copper alloy catalyst, according to new research led by University College London (UCL) and Tufts University.Platinum or nickel are known to break the carbon-hydrogen bonds in methane found in shale gas to make hydrocarbon fuels and other useful chemicals. However, this process causes ‘coking’ – the metal becomes coated with a carbon layer rendering it ineffective by blocking reactions from happening at the surface. Read More


The fight against climate change is a call-to-arms for the industry. We currently rely on fossil fuels, a major source of the greenhouse gas CO2, not only for energy but also to create chemicals for manufacturing. To ween our economies off this dependency, we must find a new source of “green” raw materials so that factories and laboratories can run without producing and emitting CO2.Now, a research team at Osaka University has discovered how to create valuable chemicals from clean sources. Read More


Keeping nature top-of-mind, Archroma said that it will showcase its advanced innovations and solutions to enhance active and sportswear. Archroma will showcase the below solutions:Spotlight on EarthColors: EarthColors is a range of products created from agricultural and herbal waste and embracing the latest in communication technology to enable transparency and traceability through the supply chain to consumers – from nature to fashion. Read More

Arsenic and algae: finding sustainable water purification systems

Arsenic and algae: finding sustainable water purification systems

A University of New Mexico undergraduate engineering student thinks algae could solve the problem of arsenic contamination in water.Chase Stearnes said he got the idea after hearing about researchers who were able to use algae to collect and harvest gold from water samples.“I heard about that research and thought ‘ok, what else can we do with that?’ and I’m interested in rural communities and developing water resources,” Stearnes said.“So, I combined those two into the idea of creating an algal biofilm treatment system that could possibly help communities in places like India and Bangladesh.” Read More


Chemists at the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have designed a new catalyst that speeds up the rate of a key step in “artificial photosynthesis”—an effort to mimic how plants, algae, and some bacteria harness sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into energy-rich fuels. This step—called water oxidation—releases protons and electrons from water molecules, producing oxygen as a byproduct.This “single-site” catalyst—meaning the entire reaction sequence takes place on a single catalytic site of one molecule—is the first to match the efficiency of the catalytic sites that drive this reaction in nature. Read More


National University of Singapore (NUS) chemists have developed a light enhanced, nickel catalysed method for carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bond functionalisation in organic molecules.The replacement of “H” in C–H bonds with other atoms or substituents is one of the most coveted ways to create new and useful molecules. However, while the C-H bond can be found in most organic molecules, it is considered inactive and therefore difficult to functionalise. C-H bond functionalisation refers to the substitution of the hydrogen atom in the C-H bond with another functional group, such as an alkene, alkyne etc. Read More


Researchers have discovered a new reaction mechanism that could be used to improve catalyst designs for pollution-control systems to further reduce emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust.The research focuses on a type of catalyst called zeolites, workhorses in petroleum and chemical refineries and in emission-control systems for diesel engines.New catalyst designs are needed to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides, or NOx, because current technologies only work well at relatively high temperatures. Read More