LSB Industries suffered significant damage at nitric acid plant

(hydrocarbonprocessing) -- LSB Industries said its El Dorado chemical facility in Arkansas suffered significant damage to the DSN concentrated nitric acid plant and surrounding equipment when a reactor exploded Tuesday morning.

There were no injuries to employees or anyone in the El Dorado community, the company said, adding that it believes there was no environmental release.

LSB is investigating the cause of the event and the extent of the damages, it said.

LSB said it does not have an estimate on the extent of the damages or the repair time. However, the El Dorado facility is out of operation at the present time due to the damage.

It is unknown how long the facility will be out of production.

The El Dorado complex produces and sells about 470,000 tpy of nitrogen-based products, including nitric acid in concentrations up to 98%, sulfuric acid, ammonium nitrate solution, and both high and low-density ammonium nitrate prills.


Italian processor invests at facilities in India and Mexico

(plastemart) -- Italian moulding and compounds company Finproject is making new investments to the tune of EUR8m at facilities in India and Mexico as part of its international expansion strategy.

The company produces more than 30,000tpa of vinyl and polyolefin compounds for various sectors, but it is most closely associated with footwear, in particular Crocs EVA foam clogs. Finproject's moulding division also makes soles, sandals and boots with polyolefin compounds bearing its own brand name XL Extralight for customers such as Hugo Boss and Samsonite.

The company expects a new moulding and compounds plant in Rajasthan, India to be completed in September. The new 8,000m facility will take over production from a site it currently rents in Rajasthan. The company is also investing in new technology and machinery at a facility in Mexico which belongs to Foam Creations, part of the Finproject group, based in Quebec, Canada. The facility started operations in 2010, making soles and polyolefin compounds.

The Finproject group now operates eight facilities around the world: three in Italy and one each in Romania, Canada, Mexico, India and China.

US scientists presented renewable PET

(plastemart) -- A low-cost, high-yield process for making polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by a team led by a University of Massachusetts chemical engineer.

You can mix our renewable chemical with the petroleum-based material and the consumer would not be able to tell the difference," said Paul J. Dauenhauer, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, who led the team of researchers from UMass and University of Delaware.

Their findings were recently published in the journal ACS Catalysis. The new process transforms glucose, a simple sugar derived from such things as grasses and trees, into paraxylene. As per the team leader, a complete cost analysis and process design is still one to two years away.

But the process has significant benefits over competing technologies- the process can achieve 75% yield of p-xylene, while competing technologies only achieve yields below 20%.

The Belgium-based Solvay published financial achievements of Jan-Mar 2012

(chemmonitor) -- The Brussels-headquartered Belgium company Solvay S.A. unveiled its financial results of January-March 2012.
The company's REBITDA dropped by about 9% year on year, in Q1 2012, and demonstrated a 47% hike, if compared to October-December 2011.

Solvay's net sales from January through March reached about EUR 3.2 million. The figure rose by 8.1% year on year and by around 3%, as opposed to Q1 of the last year.

The Belgium chemical company showed a snug increase in its business through Q1, 2012.

mrcplast. com

Omsk-Polymer may be eventually sold in June

(chemmonitor) -- The Russia-based company Omsk- Polymer, engaged in the production of polystyrene and its downstream products, was put up for tender for the fourth time at an initial price of around RUB 1.1 billion (USD 36 million).

However, potential buyers did not demonstrate any interest. As a result, the price was lowered to RUB 995 (USD 32) million, VAT not included.

Omsk Chemical Company is one of the industry leaders in polystyrene production in the Russian Federation and the CIS. Production volume has grown to 60,000 tons annually. Omsk Chemical Company supplies polystyrene to a number of chemical and light industrial enterprises.

Omsk Chemical Company is one of the biggest producers of polystyrene film, disposable tableware and packaging. The company is one of the largest suppliers of disposable utensils and packaging in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belorussia, and the Baltic States.