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Monday, 29 May 2017

Lanxess increases sustainable flame retardants capacity

COLOGNE, GERMANY: Lanxess AG has successfully completed a project which increases the capacity of its Emerald Innovation 3000 flame retardant production unit.The debottlenecking project increases the sustainable production from 10,000 to 14,000 metric tonne per year.
Polystyrene insulating foam makers are changing from using hexabromcyclododecan (HBCD) flame retardants to more sustainable alternatives such as Lanxess’ Emerald Innovation 3000.
Emerald Innovation 3000 is manufactured at Lanxess’s El Dorado, Arkansas (USA) facilities.
The business of Emerald Innovation 3000 was taken over by Lanxess as part of the acquisition of US company Chemtura, which was successfully completed in April 2017.
 “About 50 percent of global demand has already adopted the new technology,” says Anno Borkowsky, head of Lanxess’s additives business unit (ADD).

“With global commitment from foam producers to eliminate HBCD use by 2021, the polymeric brominated flame retardant supply base must be capable of supporting necessary customer conversion and certification activities over the next few years with sufficient supply and technical support,“ explained John Davidson, EVP bromine solutions business with ADD.
© Worldofchemicals News
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Praxair, Linde inks formal merger agreement

DANBURY, US: Praxair Inc (PX) has signed in principle a business combination agreement (BCA) with Linde AG, moving a step closer towards completing a merger of equals.
The companies would combine their businesses in a merger of equals under a new holding company through an all-stock transaction, consistent with the transaction structure that the companies announced in December 2016.
The BCA is yet to be approval by the board of directors of Praxair and the executive board and supervisory board of Linde.
Read More: Praxair, Linde inks formal merger agreement

Providing platform for sustainable chemistry

Frank Fasdernes, Vice President, Plastic Additives, BASF FZE opens up about the opportunities that the Middle Eastern countries unravel for the chemical industry.
By Debarati Das  
Opportunities for the chemical industry in the Middle East.
BASF customers in the Middle East include the region’s main plastics and polymer producers. Traditionally, these companies produced basic chemicals and polymers primarily to leverage their regional feedstock advantage in oil and gas. More recently, we have seen a drive more downstream into performance and speciality segments to add more value and create jobs for the fast-growing young population of the countries in the region. Over time, this means that we will be competing with our customers on some products, but overall, as a solution provider to the entire value chain, for BASF this has opened new opportunities.
With respect to the development of the plastic additives market, we see the strongest market growth in the Middle East, as well as in Asia, especially in China and India.
BASF is the world leader in Customer Specific Blends (CSBs), which represent pre-packaged blends of additives tailored to meet the individual needs of customers, especially in the Middle East. Users in world-scale plants such as those in this region benefit particularly from CSBs, which are characterised by simpler and more accurate dosing and better dispersibility. In 2012, BASF inaugurated its latest state of the art production facilities in Bahrain, mainly producing CSBs based on extruded Irganox® antioxidants for use in polyethylene and polypropylene, to meet the growing and specific needs of the Middle East. The plant in Bahrain complements our already long-term running production in Saudi Arabia, where we have partnered with Astra Polymers.
Trends in the chemical industry in the Middle East.
Pressured by lower oil prices, regional chemical producers have responded with cost-driven restructuring programs, more emphasis on operational excellence and, even more important, greater integration with refining activities. In addition to this, the drive for sustainability is getting more in the focus.
BASF Plastic Additives is supporting its customers in becoming more sustainable by providing tailor-made solutions. For example, see the pressure for the polymer producers to replace TNPP (Tris Nonylphenyl Phosphite) in their products by more sustainable and future-oriented solutions, to stay competitive in the international export markets. With our excellent additives knowledge and extensive product offering, BASF is able to support our customers in achieving this.   
Challenges faced by the chemical industry in Middle East.
The biggest challenge chemical producers from the region are facing is currently coming from US shale. Especially the new established American polymer capacities will target export markets with bigger volumes. When oil prices started to recover late 2016, gains were immediately damped by a steady rise of US shale production. For the regional chemical industry, this means that the original competitive advantage of cheap access to feedstock is no longer valid. The industry has to reinvent itself to stay competitive in the global polymer market.
Energy efficient and sustainable solutions in the Middle East.
BASF is the market leader in antioxidants, UV stabilisers and pigments. We have the unique know-how and a deep understanding of the market and are committed worldwide. We very much consider ourselves a sustainability enabler: our innovative additives allow us to improve the processing properties of plastics which lead to energy and waste reduction, increase the lifetime of products, create functional surfaces, and create the space for our customers for new applications. These are all reasons why our customers in the Middle East continue to choose BASF as their partner. We want to lead by example on sustainability. One of the ways in which we do so is by shipping the production waste of BASF Plastics Additives to proper recycling or incineration units outside the Middle East.  
BASF activities in the Middle East.
BASF has been active in the Middle East for more than a century, supplying and customising its solutions for almost every industry, mainly Construction, Chemicals & Plastics, Energy & Resources, Water, Consumer goods, Agriculture, Feed and Food industry. BASF in Dubai serves as the sub-regional Head Office and Service Platform for the Middle East. With over 950 employees in the Middle East, BASF works cohesively to meet the local market demands towards its corporate purpose to “create chemistry for a sustainable future”.
The BASF Plastic Additives Middle East (BASF PAME) in Bahrain is our latest added production facility for antioxidant blends in the region, producing customer specific blends (CBS).
The plastic additives market offers significant opportunity for innovation and BASF remain committed to innovation for the plastics industry. Major drivers for innovation include enhanced performance requirements for plastics, increasing regulatory requirements with regards to environmental and consumer safety, especially food contact compliance, and the need of our customers for cost efficient operations. BASF as the market leader in plastic additives is well positioned to benefit from those market trends with its wide range of antioxidants, light stabilisers, and other additives for plastic applications. Based on our strong application know-how we support innovation at our customers in all regions through process specific support from our technical centres in Switzerland, Italy, U.S., and China. With our R&D activities, we are addressing the needs of our customers in their end use markets. Two of the latest product innovations BASF launched at the K show in October 2016 are Tinuvin® XT 55 for very long-lasting artificial turfs, and Tinuvin® 880, a new generation of low molecular weight methylated HALS for automotive interior parts.
© Chemical Today Magazine
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Albemarle rating outlook revised to positive: Fitch

CHICAGO, US: A report from the Fitch Ratings Inc states the long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of Albemarle Corporation (ALB) at 'BBB-'.
The rating outlook is revised to positive from stable. Albemarle's ratings reflect its exposure to the growing lithium industry, the relative stability of its bromine and catalysts businesses, strong FCF generation and increased financial flexibility.
Albemarle's credit metrics have improved considerably since the Rockwood transaction was finalised in early 2015 due primarily to strong growth in the company's lithium business and the repayment of greater than $2 billion of debt using proceeds from several divestitures including the sale of its Chemetall business in 2016.
The Positive Outlook reflects Fitch's view that Albemarle's positive operating momentum and strengthened balance sheet paired with a demonstrated track record of adhering to a credit conscious capital allocation policy as the company pursues its strategic goals would likely lead to a positive rating action in the coming 12-18 months.
Key rating drivers
Strong lithium growth profile: Fitch projects the lithium industry will experience substantial growth through the remainder of the decade driven primarily by demand from battery applications in end-markets such as transportation, grid storage and consumer products. Combined, Fitch estimates these end-markets accounted for between 40-45% of total lithium market demand in 2016. Fitch projects the transportation industry will be the strongest growth driver within battery applications due to the continued adoption of electric and plug-in hybrid motor vehicles. The global regulatory push towards less pollutant transportation methods as well as general consumer preference for more fuel efficient vehicles should help underpin strong demand growth in the transportation market for the remainder of the decade.
Planned lithium expenditures: Albemarle publicly guides to between $2-2.2 billion of capital expenditures over the next five years with around $700-$1 billion going towards the company's goal of dramatically expanding its lithium salts and mining/upgrading capacity. Albemarle projects it will have 85,000 tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) of lithium salts capacity and 89,000 tonnes LCE of mining capacity by the end of 2017. It plans to increase the capacity in both lithium salts and mining/upgrading to 165,000 tonnes LCE by 2021 as part of its stated to goal to capture 50% of total lithium demand growth.
Oligopolistic markets: The markets for bromine, lithium, and refining catalysts are highly concentrated, and Albemarle is a key player benefiting from low-cost production and pricing power. The company is the second largest bromine producer after Israel Chemicals Ltd., the second largest lithium producer after Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A., and a leader in the catalysts space. Market positions are supported by significant barriers to entry; for bromine and lithium, access to low-cost minerals, technology and track record.
Stable demand in catalysts and bromine: Bromine specialities and Refining Solutions generally serve mature markets that grow at or around GDP levels. Fitch believes the bromine industry is in secular decline given bromine's prime application as a flame retardant for consumer electronics where demand has declined steadily since 2011. However, Albemarle boasts one of the lowest cost positions in the bromine industry and is a leader in most bromine derivatives, allowing it to maintain EBITDA margins around 28%. Fitch projects growth in the segment to average around 0-1% going forward and expects the company to run the business with a focus on cash generation to help fund the lithium buildout.
Reliable FCF generation: Strong growth in lithium and stable demand in bromine/catalysts should enable Albemarle to generate between $150-200 million of FCF on average. Fitch believes this strong cash flow profile will give Albemarle the flexibility to pursue inorganic growth methods in lithium while still allowing the company to self-fund its CapEx and dividend growth.
Key assumptions
Fitch's key assumptions within our rating case for the issuer include:
  • Lithium and Advanced Materials revenue growth of between 10-15% on average through 2019 with EBITDA margins averaging around 38-40%;
  • Refining Solutions revenue growing around 1%-3% on average and EBITDA margins around 30%;
  • Revenue growth for Bromine Specialities generally flat with EBITDA margins around 28%;
  • Heightened CapEx through the forecast horizon reflecting planned expenditures in lithium;
  • Dividend growth consistent with public guidance.
  • The rating outlook is revised to positive from stable.
© Worldofchemicals News 
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Shell starts deepwater production at FPSO in Brazil

HOUSTON, US: Royal Dutch Shell plc and consortium partners have started deepwater production at FPSO P-66, located in Lula South, Brazilian pre-salt of the Santos Basin.
Positioned in 2,150-metre water depth, the P-66 can process up to 150,000 barrels of oil and 6 million cubic meters of natural gas per day. The unit is the first in a series of standardised vessels operated by Petrobras to begin production within the BM-S-11 block consortium and the seventh to produce within the consortium overall.
Shell has a 25 percent stake in the consortium developing the Lula field in the BM-S-11 block. Petrobras operates the field with a 65 percent interest, and Galp Energia, through its subsidiary Petrogal Brasil, holds the remaining 10 percent interest.
The P-66 is the tenth deep-water FPSO in operation across Shell's working interest in the pre-salt areas of Santos Basin.  Shell operates two additional FPSOs offshore Brazil.
"Achieving production at Lula South is an important accomplishment in the Santos Basin, and we recognise Petrobras' delivery of this critical milestone. Across Shell's deepwater business in Brazil, we're investing in projects with competitive break-even prices, and our presence as Brazil's second largest oil producer continues to grow," said Andy Brown, upstream director for Shell. 
© Worldofchemicals News 
Read More: Shell starts deepwater production at FPSO in Brazil

Boiler water treatment, a supercritical industrial process

“The industrial revolution was another of those extraordinary jumps forward in the story of civilisation,” the quote by Stephen Gardiner clearly explains how industrialization has changed all aspects of our life today. As we explore the various industrial techniques and processes, it is worth mentioning the incredible use of boilers in industrial processes. Without this critical piece of equipment, most of the chemical & industrial processes would not have come into existence. Whether it’s a simple food manufacturing process or a more complex nuclear fission reaction, the role of a boiler remains inevitable. To ensure that the boiler runs smoothly and efficiently in the long run, it is important to treat it in a proper way, failing which the boiler would lose it efficiency.
What are boiler water treatment chemicals?
The efficiency of the boiler majorly depends on the feedwater used. Untreated water, such as water from rivers, municipality bores and taps can cause severe damage to the boiler. Hence, it's critical to completely remove, or chemically modify the various substances present in untreated water. This is an important step in all chemical process which will avoid any potential damage to the boiler. The chemicals used in treating the feedwater are called the boiler water treatment chemicals.
(If you have landed on this page, then probably you might be in need of a quick look around of boiler treatment chemicals. Or you are searching for a reliable chemical supplier near you, or you might need a little help for an academic project on boilers and water treatment chemicals. Why not subscribe to worldofchemicals.com and get any chemistry information, not just water treatment chemicals. Join our mailing list, or subscribe to our monthly magazine “Chemical Today,” being delivered to your doorstep.)
Hazards of using untreated water in boilers
Boilers are mainly known for their heat transfer abilities. When untreated water is used, the heat transfer ability is drastically reduced and leads to overheating, pressure drop, tube failure and efficiency loss. This is due to dissolved salts and minerals present in water, which eventually gets deposited over the sides of the boiler. Moreover, the dissolved gases in untreated feedwater will lead to corrosion of the piping system and reduced efficiency of the boiler. Hence, it is mandatory to conduct a water treatment programme before it is being used in the boilers.
Boiler water treatment methods
Oxygen Scavengers to Prevent Corrosion: Corrosion of boilers occurs when untreated feedwater is used. The dissolved oxygen in the feedwater reacts with the metal scales of the boiler to form oxides. This can be prevented by using oxygen scavengers (also known as oxygen absorbers), that’ll remove or reduce the level of oxygen in the entire system. The most commonly used oxygen scavengers are activated charcoal and a mixer of iron powder with sodium chloride.
Alkalinity builders: All industrial process work at an optimal pH range, failing which appropriate results cannot be obtained. Most of the high pressure reactions need a high pH level. To increase the pH level, chemically modified substances called alkalinity builders are added to the boiler. Most industrial process use concentrated sodium hydroxide based alkalinity builders, which are balanced with phosphates, chelants, carbonates and certain polymers.
Scale and corrosion inhibitors: One of the major issues that affect the operations of industrial boilers is accumulation of salt deposits on the internal lining of the system. As a part of the equipment maintenance, scale and corrosion inhibitors are used. The common inhibitors are catalysed sodium bisulphite, carbohydrazide, diethyl hydroxylamine and cyclohexylamine. Oxygen scavengers also work well as scale and corrosion inhibitors.
Sludge conditioners: If the boiler is not maintained properly, suspended particles tend to settle at the lining of the system. If left untreated, it can drastically reduce the boiler efficiency. A sludge conditioner is often used to remove and clean the boilers. At some instances, it is also used to prevent and control scale formation.
Other chemicals: In addition to the above said methods to treat feedwater, there are numerous other water treatment methods that are process-specific. Condensate line protection and multi-functional treatments are some of the important methods used in treating the boiler feedwater.
Have more queries on boiler water treatment? Or need an elaborate answer on “what are water treatment chemicals?” Write to us at info@worldofchemicals.com
Leading boiler water treatment chemicals manufacturers
The key players operating in the global boiler water treatment chemicals market:
BASF SE
Akzo Nobel N.V.
Ecolab Inc.
Kemira OYJ
Suez Environment
Veolia International
King Lee Technologies
Ion Exchange India Ltd
The Dow Chemical Company
GE Water and Process Technologies
The current trends in boiler water treatment chemicals
The boiler water treatment chemicals market is ever-expanding and has no threat of slowing down in near future. Based on a recent report, the market for 2016-2026 identifies an anticipated growth in the industry. The boiler water treatment chemicals market is an on-going trend in the segments that include corrosion inhibitors, coagulants, flocculants, pH boosters, oxygen scavengers and scale inhibitors to name a few. Whereas, based on the end-user analysis, the boiler water treatment chemicals market will see a huge growth in various industries that include power, steel, metals, petrochemicals, oil refineries, textiles, dyes, paper mills, sugar mills, food and beverages among others.
Asia Pacific, particularly, China and India dominates the global boiler water treatment chemicals production, whereas North America is also a favourable market. The boiler water treatment chemicals market in GCC, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa will also expand rapidly. There is an increased market growth for boiler water treatment chemicals in Middle East and Africa too.
Read More: Boiler water treatment, a supercritical industrial process

Friday, 26 May 2017

KBR, BIV Builders JV for professional services

HOUSTON, US: KBR Inc (KBR) has inked a joint venture agreement with BIV Builders for an independent, long-term JV based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The joint venture (JV) will be known as KBIV.
KBR's global experience, differentiated professional services and project delivery, joined with BIV's cost competitive and experienced resources, confirms that the JV will deliver innovative and competitive engineering, project delivery and asset program management solutions.
By using the services of KBR's subsidiary Granherne, the KBIV joint venture can service the full range of the hydrocarbons life-cycle in both the Malaysian domestic market as well as highly selective regional opportunities, from field development planning, through engineering, to project delivery and asset services.
"The establishment of KBIV is our delivery vehicle to achieve this "think local, work global" outlook and we are excited to be re-establishing operations in Malaysia. The KBIV joint venture demonstrates KBR's commitment to the region and our recognition of the importance of being close to our customers and partners,” said Greg Conlon, president KBR – APAC.
© Worldofchemicals News 
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