Compound used in Chinese medicine prevents biofilm formation on polystyrene surfaces

(ScienceDaily) -- A compound that is an active ingredient in plants commonly used in Chinese medicine prevents biofilm formation on polystyrene and polycarbonate surfaces by Staphylococcus aureus. The research suggests that this compound, 1,2,3,4,6-Penta-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucopyranose (PGG) is highly promising for clinical use in preventing biofilm formation by S. aureus. The paper is published in the March 2011 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

S. aureus commonly forms biofilms on medical implants, causing pneumonia, meningitis, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and bloodstream and urinary tract infections. Biofilms, which are far tougher than bacteria not incorporated into biofilms, are resistant to antibiotics even when the individual bacteria composing the biofilm lack antibiotic resistance genes. Once biofilms become attached to the surfaces of medical devices, they are extremely difficult to expunge.

PGG is an active ingredient in plants that are commonly used in Chinese medicine to treat inflammation. It was one of 48 compounds purified form medicinal plants that the researchers screened for efficacy in inhibiting S. aureus biofilm formation. PGG was on sole compound from among them that did not kill the pathogens.


European thermoplastic composites are projected to grow

(Marketwire) -- Attributes of light weight and performance are pushing the use of composites in public transportation. Due to safety issues and rising gasoline prices, public transportation including buses, trains and trams are being used extensively. This is having a positive ripple effect on the uptake of composites. While the resins used in public transportation have different properties, strength and resistance to heat and chemicals are the major factors underpinning their appeal.

According to Frost & Sullivan Strategic Analysis of the Composite Resins Market in Public Transportation, European thermoset plastic composites for public transportation earned revenues of EUR 70.72 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach EUR 114.94 million in 2017. European thermoplastic composites are projected to grow from EUR 3.46 million to EUR 5.71 million over the same period. The following products are covered in this research: unsaturated polyester resins, Epoxy resins, phenolic resins, polyurethane resins, polyamide resins and polypropylene resins.

The general economic revival is set to be accompanied by the growth of the composite industry. Composites offer a weight reduction of around 30 to 40 per cent compared to materials such as steel. As a result, steel is rapidly being substituted by composites.


NOVA Chemicals signed agreement with a subsidiary of Williams for ethylene supply

(BUSINESS WIRE) -- NOVA Chemicals Corporation signed a long-term agreement with a subsidiary of Williams for a feedstock supply of an ethane/ethylene mix to be extracted from off-gas produced at oil sands upgrading facilities located at Fort McMurray and Redwater, Alberta.

Under the terms of the agreement, Williams will produce, for NOVA Chemicals, up to 17.000 barrels per day (bpd) of an ethane/ethylene mix which will be transported via the Joffre Feedstock Pipeline to NOVA Chemicals' Joffre, Alberta petrochemical facilities. This feedstock source will enhance and diversify NOVA Chemicals' feedstock supplies beyond traditional sources derived from Alberta-based natural gas exports.

NOVA Chemicals develops and manufactures chemicals, plastic resins and end-products. NOVA Chemicals, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.


Oil futures continued to linger around USD 106

(Plastemart) -- Oil futures eased at the end of last week, but continued to linger around USD 106 as political tensions continued to blaze in the Middle East. One of the latest developments in the Middle East crisis has seen members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), reportedly reach an agreement to take over enforcement of the United Nations-sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya.

Expectations of oil demand from Japan bouncing bounce back also provide some support to oil prices. However, Japanese oil imports are estimated at less than pre-quake levels of 4.2 mln bpd, while data suggests an extra 0.7-1.2 mln tons of extra oil on the market currently.


Asian suppliers actively entering HDPE markets of FSU

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Excessive offer of HDPE in the Asian market and price stability made the Asian companies turn their export stream. Now Asian material is actively offered in the markets of FSU, according to ICIS-MRC Price report. Last week the Chinese and South Korean companies offered HDPE for April delivery to the markets of FSU. The price offer was within the range of USD 1.380 - 1.420/mt, FOB. Also there are enough spot offers for North American HDPE re-exports from China.

Many market players refuse from such offers, despite a high level of prices from the part of European and Russian producers. The main argument of refusal is long-term logistics and
incomprehension of the situation in May when the first batches of HDPE are expected to arrive.