George Wald – discoverer of function of vit-A role in retina


George Wald – discoverer of function of vit-A role in retina

Biography & contributions: George Wald was an American scientist and Nobel laureate born in New York City on November 18, 1906 – died on April 12, 1997. He shared the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Haldan Keffer Hartline and Ragnar Granit. Wald was also the winner of Eli Lilly Award for Fundamental Research in Biochemistry from the American Chemical Society in the year of 1939, Proctor Medal of the Association for Research in Ophthalmology in the year of 1939, Rumford Medal by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the year of 1959. In 1966 he was awarded the Ives Medal of the Optical Society of America. Read More

Novozymes has launched its next yeast technology, Innova Lift, for the starch-based ethanol industry. Innova Lift expresses a glucoamylase that is two times more effective at converting difficult-to-reach starch. When paired with advanced enzyme solutions, Lift also has the potential to significantly increase ethanol yields, reduce fermentation risks and eliminate costly inputs, while improving performance reliability. Novozymes’ new yeast platform, Innova, has been founded on new S. cerevisiae yeast – utilizing proprietary methods to enhance its ability to withstand the rigors of today’s ethanol production processes and goals. Read More

Covestro said that it is developing and marketing new polyether carbonate polyols, under the name cardyon. These polyols are produced with the aid of carbon dioxide (CO2). With Desmopan 37385A the company now offers the first representative of a new series of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) containing polyether carbonate polyols based on CO2 technology.  Compared to conventional TPU materials, the new TPU products leave a lower carbon footprint and help close the carbon cycle. They also conserve fossil resources and, unlike many bio-based materials, do not compete with food production.  Desmopan 37385A has a hardness of 85 Shore A. Its mechanical properties are at least at the level of conventional TPU grades of similar hardness, and even exceed some of them. Read More

Perstorp said that it will expand the production capacity of its non-phthalate polyester plasticizer Pevalen from 2019 onwards. To achieve this the company has entered into a long-term production agreement with Italian company Alcoplast Srl. The new partnership more than doubles the current production capacity, bringing it in total to 50.000 tons per year and improving unit metrics due to the economies of scale. Pevalen (pentaerythritol tetravalerate or PETV) is Perstorp’s high-performance, true non-phthalate plasticizer. It is the perfect choice for sensitive applications and products in direct human contact, e.g. toys and childcare products, apparel and accessories, sports & leisure products, automotive interiors or other indoor applications such as furniture, floors or wall coverings in both homes and public spaces. Read More

 

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Ascend sees constrained PA66 availability in short term


The US nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 (Polyamide 66-PA66) markets continue to face pressure despite decreasing feedstock costs amid severely constrained global supplies and strong demand. In this market scenario, “PA66 availability will continue to be constrained for the short term,” said Phil McDivitt, President and CEO of Ascend Performance Materials, in a statement. “We are committed to meeting the long-term needs of our customers and maintaining reliable operations,” he added. Due to conflicting reports on long-term PA66 availability, the company believed it necessary to restate its plans to meet the increased market demand, it stated. Read More

Axalta Coating Systems Ltd (AXTA) has appointed Robert Bryant, Axalta’s executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), to the additional role of interim chief executive officer (CEO), effective immediately. Bryant succeeds Terrence Hahn, who has resigned by mutual agreement with the board, following an investigation by outside counsel into conduct by Hahn unrelated to financial matters that Axalta believes was inconsistent with company policies. Hahn has also vacated his position on the board. “We are pleased that Robert Bryant has agreed to step into the role of interim CEO. Having worked closely with Robert for over five years, I know he has the leadership skills and financial acumen, as well as the respect of the management team and employees, to be an effective leader for Axalta. Read More

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (IFF) has opened two new facilities in China. A flavours manufacturing facility in the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone and a Natural Product Research lab, located in the Nanjing Life Science Park. The flavours plant is the company’s second in China and is designed to supplement IFF’s existing flavours and manufacturing operations in Guangzhou. The Naturals Lab is the company’s first outside of the US. The Zhangjiagang site spans 66,800 sqm, encompassing the main manufacturing building that is fitted with a strong odour control system, quality control labs and an ambient warehouse for goods. Read More

Covestro has approved an investment of around €1.5 billion to build a new world-scale methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) plant in Baytown, Texas. This investment at the existing site in Baytown is the largest single investment in the history of the company. Total capacity of the new train will be 500 kilotons MDI per year, start of production is expected in 2024. At the same time an older, less efficient MDI unit of 90 kilotons production capacity will be closed. Thus, total MDI capacities of Covestro in the NAFTA region will reach around 740 kilotons per year making Covestro the industry capacity leader in the region by 2024. Read More

Transparent, thermally stable polyamide-100 percent biobased


The natural substance 3-carene is a component of turpentine oil, a waste stream of the production of cellulose from wood. Up to now, this by-product has been incinerated for the most part. Fraunhofer researchers are using new catalytic processes to convert 3-carene into building blocks for biobased plastics. The new polyamides are not only transparent, but also have a high thermal stability. Plastics are a useful alternative to glass or metal for a wide range of applications. Polyamides play an important role in the manufacture of high-quality structural components, as they are not only impact- and abrasion resistant, but also resistant to many chemicals and solvents. Read More

Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL), a developer of fertilizers and other chemical products, is in talks to buy Haifa Chemicals Ltd, a supplier of specialty fertilizers, for more than a $1 billion in cash and stock, according to a person familiar with the matter. Tel Aviv-based ICL, which focuses primarily on agriculture, food and engineered materials, has long been seen as a logical buyer for Haifa, according to industry observers. The two firms have a history of potential merger discussions and have major assets located close to each other in Israel.The Israeli deal could result in synergies approaching $100 million a year, the person familiar with the matter said. Read More

BP Plc, National Oil Corporation (NOC) and Eni have signed an agreement expected to lead to Eni and BP working together to resume exploration activities on a major exploration and production contract in Libya. A letter of intent (LOI) was signed by Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of National Oil Corporation, BP group CEO Bob Dudley and Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi. The parties agreed to work towards Eni acquiring a 42.5 percent interest in the BP-operated exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) in Libya. On completion, Eni would also become operator of the EPSA. Read More

The former AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals is being relaunched as Nouryon. The move follows the recent acquisition of the business by The Carlyle Group and marks the company’s transition to becoming an independent, global specialty chemicals leader. Nouryon has a history that stretches back nearly 400 years and its new name and brand identity reflect that heritage. Noury & Van der Lande was one of the first companies to realize the important role chemistry could play in everyday life; today, Nouryon is a world leader in essential chemistries used to manufacture everyday products. Read More

Can India replicate Middle East’s desalination success story


Water is an essential ingredient in across industries, not just in the products but also in the preparation for cleaning the products, processing and other uses. While 71 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water, only a tiny amount (0.6 percent) is fit for consumption. The supply of clean and fresh water is fast decreasing. In contrast, the demand for consumption of water is fast increasing due to a growing global population, agricultural activities and economic development. Pressures from both, the supply and demand sides means that clean water is increasingly becoming hard to source. Read More

Total SA and Saudi Aramco have signed a joint development agreement for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of a giant petrochemical complex in Jubail, on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast. The agreement was signed by Amin Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco and Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and CEO of Total. Announced in April 2018, the world-class complex will be located next to the SATORP refinery, operated by Saudi Aramco (62.5 percent) and Total (37.5 percent), in order to fully exploit operational synergies.The project represents an investment of around $5 billion and is scheduled to start-up in 2024. Read More

Wood Group has secured a new multi-million-dollar contract with Duqm Refinery and Petrochemicals Industries to provide two Terrace Wall double-fired delayed coker heaters at their refinery on the south eastern coast of the Sultanate of Oman. The award follows on from Wood’s successful delivery of the engineering and process design phase, the technology package and licence of the company’s SYDEC (selective yield delayed coking) technology. Effective immediately, the contract will be delivered by Wood’s process and technology specialists based in New Jersey, US, and builds on Wood’s strong contribution to the Duqm Refinery to date, including the successful delivery of the overall facility pre-FEED, FEED and ongoing project management. Read More

Sonatrach and Total SA have signed two agreements as part of the comprehensive partnership announced in 2017: A new concession contract to jointly develop the Erg Issouane gas field located on the TFT Sud permit, signed by Sonatrach, Total and Alnaft (the National Agency for the Valorization of Hydrocarbon Resources). The TFT Sud permit is located south of the Tin Fouye Tabankort (TFT) field, of which Total is a long-standing partner. Sonatrach (51%) and Total (49%) will develop the reserves of Erg Issouane located on the TFT Sud permit estimated at more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Read More

Going Back To The Roots…


With a growing population, nowadays farming and food consumption is becoming a major area of focus. Along with the grain and pulses requirement, health or organic quotient of the food is also gaining prime importance. Over the years, with continuous and regular crop plantation, farmers have forgotten the nutrition requirements of the soil. Further, the preference for growing specific produce such as ‘cash rich’ or ‘export oriented’ crops has also added to the woes. Not only the farmers but also the Government policies have not been supportive for a long haul. Against this backdrop, the agricultural community and various stakeholders are demanding better solutions for soil nutrition. Read More

By Kyuyeol Lee: Numerous products encountered in everyday life would be unthinkable without the use of adhesives and sealants. Adhesives, which are stronger, bind surfaces together, while sealants are used to make materials such as concrete air- and water-tight and are frequently applied on the exterior walls of buildings, for example. Adhesives have the ability to bind different materials together and to distribute stress more efficiently across joints. They are easily applied and allow increased design flexibility over other binding systems. Polymer Stabilizers help to prevent discoloration and loss of adhesive properties. Read More

Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, have undergone rapid development over the past few years. Whether as a toy for children and adults or – in top quality – as support for rescue operations and in farming, drones are becoming increasingly common. Market research institute Gartner estimates that around three million drones were sold worldwide in 2017 – almost 40 percent more than in the previous year. Gartner also predicts that drones will be one of the strongest-growing sectors in consumer electronics over the coming years. Corporate consultants at PwC expect a global market of almost $130 billion for drone-based services, for example in infrastructure, transport and security. Read More

By Rajendra Gogri: The Indian economy traditionally being an agrarian economy has seen a tectonic shift from an agriculture industry based economy to become a service industry based economy. More than half of its population is dependent on agriculture as its primary occupation. The Green Revolution in the early 1970s helped India become a food surplus country from a food deficient country and currently ranks amongst the top 15 exporters of agricultural products in the world. However, despite all these achievement the agriculture sector is facing a number of issues which includes reduction of arable land, lower per hectare yield, increase in pest attacks and lower farmer income. This is where agrochemicals have an important role to play. Read More

Hikma appoints European commercial head for injectables


Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (Hikma) has appointed Sagar Patel to a newly created London-based role as the European Commercial Head for its injectables business, effective immediately. Reporting to the CEO of Hikma’s injectables division, Riad Mechlaoui, Patel will focus on developing business growth strategies and partnerships with key stakeholders across the region. He joins the company from Fresenius Kabi, where he most recently held the role of Senior VP global alliance management and third-party manufacturing. Patel joins Hikma at a time of organizational change to boost the group’s senior leadership capabilities and expand its reach across Europe. Read More

Covestro AG and its partners have developed a high-performance thermoplastic (HPT) that could be used in many industries in the future. This would significantly increase the sustainability and performance of products in areas such as aviation, automotive and health. The challenge now is to enable the continuous production of the new plastic on a large scale. This is the goal of a research project coordinated by Covestro and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). HPT is a high-performance plastic that can be processed by injection moulding and uniquely combines numerous good properties. Read More

AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals and partner firm Photanol BV are going to build a demonstration plant for a groundbreaking technology to produce chemicals from sunlight. The plant will be built at AkzoNobel’s site in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. The companies formed a partnership in 2014 to jointly work on a technology using cyanobacteria that mimics the way plants use photosynthesis to produce chemical building blocks such as organic acids from carbon dioxide (CO2). These have applications in biodegradable plastics, personal care products and as intermediates for the chemical industry. Read More

 

Emery Oleochemicals’ Eco-Friendly Polyols business has introduced a new line of aromatic-containing EMEROX Polyols for rigid PUR and PIR foam applications. EMEROX Polyols for CASE applications offer unique performance characteristics including a hydrophobic backbone and low viscosity with the additional benefit of high renewable content in the 70-99 percent range. These polyols, which show good compatibility with common solvents and chain extenders, enable the formulator to develop polyurethane coatings that are clear, glossy, offer low moisture vapor transmission and have excellent UV and chemical resistance. Read More

Proteins research bags 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry


The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is finally revealed. Researchers win the Nobel Prize for their work harnessing the power of evolution to develop proteins that solve humankind’s chemical problems. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Prize with one half to Frances H. Arnold, at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, US “for the directed evolution of enzymes,” and the other half jointly to George P. Smith at the University of Missouri, Columbia, US and Gregory P. Winter at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK “for the phage display of peptides and antibodies. Read More

 

Ineos announced plans to construct a world-scale propane dehydrogenation unit, together with the first gas cracker to be built in Europe for more than 20 years. After careful consideration, Ineos has selected McDermott’s Lummus Catofin Technology as the operating technology for its planned PDH unit and a license agreement has now been signed. In parallel, an agreement has been signed with Clariant for the long-term supply of catalyst for the unit. The PDH unit will have a nameplate capacity of 750ktpa of polymer grade propylene and is planned to be commissioned in 2023. Propylene from the asset will feed INEOS’ polypropylene units, as well as a number of other downstream propylene derivative businesses. Read More

AkzoNobel NV has completed the sale of the specialty chemicals business to The Carlyle Group and GIC for an enterprise value of €10.1 billion. “This is a key milestone in the history of AkzoNobel, creating a focused paints and coatings company, with market-leading positions, strong global brands, and a clear strategy to create value for all our stakeholders. This is also an important step for the specialty chemicals business and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our colleagues and wish them a successful future with Carlyle and GIC,” Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of AkzoNobel. “I am delighted to assume my new role at specialty chemicals and look forward to working with the management team, Carlyle and GIC to deliver long-term success. Read More

Solvay SA has finalized an exclusive agreement with French biotech producer Deinove SA to commercialize ReGeN-oPhyt. ReGeN-oPhyt is a novel, natural active ingredient for skin-care products in North America and Asia. ReGeN-oPhyt is derived from phytoene, a colourless carotenoid used as a cutting-edge skin-care active to deliver antioxidant/anti-aging properties. ReGeN-oPhyt was developed using a state-of-the-art biotechnology platform based on the fermentation of natural sugars by extremophilic Deinococcus bacterium. Carotenoids are naturally occurring substances that fight oxidative stress in skin cells. Until now, nutrition was the only recognized logical source of phytoene for consumers. Read More