India's Reliance eyes 2014 start for Jamnagar cracker

(Yarns and Fibers) -- Reliance Industries is moving ahead with its Jamnagar cracker project and is looking at completing it in 2014. Preliminary activity on the project, which was put on hold after the 2008 economic crisis, has resumed. Discussions are on for technology selection and a firm start up date will be set after contracts have been awarded.

The cracker, which would have a capacity to produce 1.3m-1.6m tonnes/year of ethylene and small volumes of propylene, would use offgases from Reliance's two refineries at the same site as the primary feedstock. Other refinery feeds would also be cracked. The derivative slate includes mono ethylene glycol (MEG), low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear-low density polyethylene (LLDPE).

It is not only the cracker project that is being revived. Reliance is also refreshing plans for new capacities in purified terephthalic acid (PTA), polyester, styrene butadiene rubber and butadiene rubber (BR). The company had said last year after the completion of its second refinery that it would renew its focus on the olefins and derivatives project.

With Indian petrochemical demand showing very healthy growth prospects it makes sense for Reliance to expand in the country. And as its effort to grow the petrochemicals business inorganically by acquiring LyondellBasell has failed its time for Reliance to return to something that it is very good at - building mega projects.

MRCMRC Reference

LyondellBasell. The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PE - 1.4% (including HDPE - 2.5%, LDPE - 0.3%);
PP - 4.1% (including block-copolymers - 9.5%).

Annual sales growth in Russia, during the recent 5 years:
PE - 27%;
PP - 88%.

The leader in the following polymers processing technologies:

pipe extrusion;

film extrusion;

injection molding.

Quadrant Techtron╝ PPS Helps Biochem Fluidics Perform In Extreme Micro-Pump Applications

(Omnexus) -- Quadrant Techtron╝ PPS is enabling BioChem Fluidics, a micro-pump manufacturer to promote their line of micro-pumps. Designed for use as miniature fluid handling components, these units include micro-pumps, isolation valves, pinch valves, relief valves and rotary valves, and are used by the analytical instrument manufacturers and laboratories in the bio-tech industry.

The water absorption of Techtron PPS is among the lowest of all polymers and has no known solvents below 392F. BioChem utilizes Techtron PPS for both pump bodies and manifolds when other polymers such as PEEK, fluoropolymers (like PTFE and FEP) and POM failed prematurely as fluid contact components.

BioChem Fluidics, a Halma Company, specifies Quadrant Techtron PPS because of its purity, ability to maintain tight machined tolerances and broad size and shape availability.

BioChem micro-pumps, incorporating Techtron PPS are designed for continuous duty and are suitable for up to 20 million actuations or nearly 3,000 hours of continuous use at a 2Hz cycle rate. They can be cycled at up to 4Hz for the smallest version and 1.6Hz for the largest. Bio-Chem products are employed as critical components by instrument manufacturers in chromatography, chemical research, biotechnology, hematology, pharmaceutical analytical research, industrial quality testing, printing and environmental monitoring.


Galactic bioplastics operation is a total success

(prw) -- Futerro, a 50/50 joint venture established in September 2007 by Galactic and Total Petrochemicals, has announced the inauguration of its bioplastics production unit in Escanaffles, Belgium. Supported by the Walloon Region through the Marshall Plan, the purpose of this unit is to develop state-of-the-art technology for the production of PolyLactic Acid (PLA) bioplastics from renewable vegetable sources developed by the two partners.

By bringing this plant on stream, Futerro has become the first producer of this type of bioplastics in Europe, claimed the company. ⌠This project is perfectly aligned to the Total Group's research and investment policy for renewable resources, said Francois Cornelis, vice-chairman of the executive committee and president of chemicals, Total. ⌠Futerro will allow us to diversify to an even greater degree with regard to the raw materials used in the production of our plastics. This technology could then be used in international projects.


Blowmolding: Returnable PET 5-gal containers take the heat

(Plastics Today) -- Riding on the BPA debate, blowmolding machinery manufacturer Nissei ASB Machine Co. (Komoro, Japan) is promoting returnable 5-gal PET containers as an alternative.

Five-gallon PET returnable bottles have already been in use for several years with moderate success in some world markets, most notably Central America, according to the firm. Up to now, the major challenge has been control of shrinkage during the washing procedure, and major users may not want to adjust their washing temperatures and filling lines for a different material, it notes.

Advantages of PET include lower price≈typically one-quarter that of PC≈and better gas barrier, although its transparency, scuff resistance, impact resistance and heat resistance are inferior. Nissei ABS has come to the rescue for the heat resistance aspect by applying its "double-blow" heat-set technology to container molding. The result is that washing temperatures used for PC can also be applied to PET bottles with virtually zero shrinkage.

Tests have shown that overflow capacity of the double-blow PET container changes by less than 0.5% after 20 washes at 65?C versus more than 4% for a single blow PET container. At 75?C, the overflow capacity change is less than 1% whereas the single-blow PET container undergoes large deformation. A heat-set temperature of 180?C is used and container mass is as little as 650g. This is as much as 125g lighter than a PC 5-gal container and 50g lighter than a single-blow PET container. The material cost per bottle is approximately 21% of a similar PET bottle, says Nissei. Machine output is on a par with PC containers. To control scuffing, the company suggests adding a decorative shrink sleeve.


New liquid crystal polymers target electrical, electronic applications

(plastemart) -- New Vectra G Series that features two new cost-competitive halogen-free liquid crystal polymer (LCP) grades has been introduced by Ticona Engineering Polymers. Vectra G141 and G441 are glass- and mineral-filled LCPs designed to help EE customers meet demanding lead-free soldering and halogen-free requirements, and steer clear of costly corrosion and maintenance issues. The series offers processing characteristics that avoid issues commonly encountered by electrical and electronic manufacturers that use flame-retardant, high-temperature nylons. The 35% glass-filled Vectra G141 and 35% mineral- and glass-filled Vectra G441 from Ticona are halogen-free, inherently flame resistant without additives, V-0 to 0.15 mm (UL listing expected May 2010), potential drop-in solutions for small FR, HT nylon parts.

Both grades target the electrical and electronic markets, which typically require excellent dimensional stability in thin-wall parts, even at higher temperatures - more than 260C-where existing flame-retardant (FR) polymers struggle. They are designed to outperform traditional FR, high-temperature (HT) polyamides (nylons) and thermoplastic polyesters (PBT) that require lead-free soldering resistance.