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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Aug 2005

Petrochemical industry|Natural gas|Rice bran|Glycerine industry
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
FOCUS ON IRAN’S PETROCHEMICALS: IRAN ON THE FOREFRONT OF PETROCHEMICAL GROWTH
NATURAL GAS IMPORT TO INDIA THROUGH PIPELINE - A STATUS REPORT
RICE BRAN AND RICE BRAN OIL – A PROFILE
GLYCERINE INDUSTRY AT THE CROSS ROADS
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

BRING CLARITY TO HERBAL TECHNOLOGY

Several dictionaries describe herb as "an agricultural plant used for flavouring food or in medicine". It is also defined as a "plant which dies down to the ground after flowering".

But, in practice several agro chemicals are being included in the classification of herbal products, even if they would not fall under the dictionary definition of the term herb.

For example, Neem based pesticide Azadirachtin is often discussed in the Herbal forum, though Neem is a big tree with long life and cannot be described as herb.

A clear definition of herbal product is required at this stage, so as to provide a proper focus and strategy for the development of the industry. Perhaps, the correct approach could be to restrict the term herbal products only to those which have clear and definite medicinal applications. This would automatically ensure that the products with pesticidal or cosmetic applications and those which are food supplements would not be included as herbal product. The agricultural plants with non-medicinal applications can be classified under the term agrochemical which would go a long way in securing the identity for the herbal products.

Today, the herbal industry in India is struggling to find its feet in spite of the all-round euphoria that has developed around it, since the application development efforts are still inadequate and remain without focus. For successful application development efforts, it is necessary to associate the end user sector in an intimate manner. The strategy for developing the application in medicinal sector by establishing the pharmaceutical efficacy of the product, conducting the clinical trials etc are altogether different as compared to some other application sector such as cosmetics or pesticide.

For example, Aloe Vera is marketed as a cosmetic ingredient such as skin moisturizer and hair growth aid. It also has applications as a sports drink, which can be considered as a food supplement. The other important application is in ayurvedic medicines as one of the ingredients. Several producers market the Aloe Vera based product for all the above applications without any particular application oriented specifications or product development work for particular end use. Such confusion have eroded the image of the herbal products to some extent.

Several herbal enthusiasts in the country must have been disappointed about the recent denial of permission for sale of ayurvedic products in Canada on the ground that it contains toxic elements. Similar regulations have been proposed to be adopted in UK and other developed countries. To overcome such objections, ayurvedic practitioners sometimes attempt to sell the herbal based ayurvedic products as food supplements and not as drugs. Objections to this practice are already evident in countries like USA and before long, one can expect some legislations on branding the potential drug products as food supplements.

It is high time that the herbal practitioners firmly classify only the products intended for medicinal application as herbal products and provide it a distinctive status and develop the standards and certification procedures accordingly. The development of herbal products only as medicinal inputs would clearly identify the potential beneficiaries and enable the medical practitioners to recognize the products as such. This would inevitably lead to quicker development in the field and pave the way for providing a scientific and technological explanation and justification for the use of the products in the medicinal sector.

The drugs made out of herbs have to be positioned in the market vis a vis that of the allopathic drug, for the herbal industry to forge ahead. If this were to happen, the herbal drugs should also be subjected to scientific explanations, clinical trials and should be brought under the Pharmacobia and Drugs Act for the purpose of registration.

The Government of India should firmly classify only those products produced from agricultural plants and that are intended for medicinal use. This would provide the necessary status and recognition for the herbal drugs and define its targeted growth strategy in a clear manner.

FOCUS ON IRAN’S PETROCHEMICALS: IRAN ON THE FOREFRONT OF PETROCHEMICAL GROWTH

With the proposal of Government of India to import natural gas from Iran by laying pipeline, considerable interest has been generated in India about Iran and its development plans in the petrochemical sector.

Iran is endowed with huge reserves of crude oil and natural gas. India and Iran have the exciting possibilities of co-operation in the petrochemical industry that would provide mutual benefits.

Recently Iran’s 75 International Petrochemical Forum was organisation in Tehran. The recent developments relating to the petrochemicals industry in Iran are described in this article.

  • Crude Oil reserves and production
  • Major Iranian oil fields
  • Natural Gas reserves and Production
  • Gas export efforts by Iran
  • Petrochemical Industry
  • Petrochemical Special Economic Zone
  • Projects under various stages of implementation
  • Petrochemicals complex in other regions of Iran
  • Other projects
  • Ethylene Pipeline
  • National Petrochemical Company
  • Consolidated Statement of Capacities
  • Projects planned  
NATURAL GAS IMPORT TO INDIA THROUGH PIPELINE - A STATUS REPORT

Indian imports of 70 percent of its crude oil requirement. To meet the energy needs of the growing economy, India looks for stakes in foreign oil projects and import of liquefied natural gas. An estimated of 6800 mmscfd demand in India is expected to more than double over the next two decades to approximately 13700 mmscfd in 2025. India consumes more than one trillion cubic feet of dry natural gas per annum.

Proved reserves in India at the beginning of 2004 were estimated at 30 trillion cubic feet, up from about 27 trillion cubic feet at the beginning of 2003.

This article also discusses the following aspects in detailed manner:

  • Iran -Pakistan – India Natural Gas Pipeline
  • Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan Natural Gas Pipeline
  • Myanmar-Bangladesh-India gas pipeline
RICE BRAN AND RICE BRAN OIL – A PROFILE

Traditionally Rice Bran oil (RBO) is used in soap and cosmetic industries. Later, after perfecting the refining technology, it has found a unique place in cooking segment.

The nutraceutical values of rice bran oil provide it an importance place in human diet. There are also other applications for rice bran oil.

The potential application of rice bran and oil in India is not fully realized and exploited, though India is the second largest producer of rice globally.

It is estimated that the solvent extraction industry is producing about 6.0 lakh tonnes of RBO out of which 5.50 lakh tonnes is of edible grade and 0.5 lakh tonnes is non edible grade from 35.0 lakh tonnes of Rice Bran processing per annum.

The advancement of Research and Development in USA, Japan and Thailand has yielded many value added products from rice bran oil.

India should focus its research in such value added products as oryzanol, IF-6, Squalene, Ferulic acid esters which are used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics & food industries.

Soap stock obtained from Rise Bran Oil refining process can be mainly used as raw material for the manufacture of soaps & paints.

In the 16th Session of the Codex Committee on Fats & Oils held at London, U.K. on 8-12th March, 1999, the delegation of India proposed to include the development of provisions of rice bran oil in view of its production in several Asian countries and its specific nutritional qualities. The proposal was reviewed in the nineteenth session of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils in February 2005 and the industry hopes that RBO will be recognised by Codex soon.

GLYCERINE INDUSTRY AT THE CROSS ROADS

In May 2005 issue of Nandini Chemical Journal, an elaborate article was published on emerging surplus scenario for Glycerine in the global market. The readers evinced considerable interest in the article

India is now targeting to emerge as big biofuel producer in the world. The production of bio fuel in massive quantities is required in India to reduce its dependence on petro- based fuels.

Bio fuel is produced by trans-esterification of vegetable oils, such as jatropha, which would result in production of glycerine. For every tonne of trans-esterified vegetable oil, 250 kg of glycerine would be produced as byproduct

In the event of producing massive quantities of bio fuel in the country, the production of large quantity of glycerine is inevitable. In view of the comparatively small market for glycerine, it would be difficult to sell large quantity of glycerine that would be produced from the bio fuel plant. On the other hand, selling of glycerine at reasonable price and at capacity utilisation level is vital for the economics of biofuel project.

Under the circumstances, there is urgent need to find new applications for glycerine and develop its market. This is a task that is presently receiving urgent international attention and India cannot afford to lag behind in this area.

Strong and focussed research and development efforts to develop and promote new applications to expand the market base for glycerine has to receive top most national priority

This article describes some of the recent developments on utilisation of glycerine.

OTHER STORIES

ANTI CANCER DRUG FROM NATURAL PRODUCTS - PACLITAXEL

Today, over 60 percent of the current anticancer drugs are derived in one way or another from natural sources, and, thus far, natural products chemistry has proved superior to that conventional chemistry

There are atleast seven drugs approved by FDA, USA. They are namely Paclitaxel, Vinblastine, Vincristine, Topotecan, Irinotecan, Etoposide, and Teniposide. In addition, there are quite a number of molecules derived from medicianal plants are under various stages of development

In this issue, details on Paclitaxel is discussed.

  • Discovery
  • Product characteristics
  • Application and approval
  • Derivatives of Paclitaxel
  • Advantages of Paclitaxel over other cancer drugs
  • Product development
  • Indian manufacturers and formulators
  • Global scenario
  • Global demand
  • Industry trends, technology and patents
  • Conservation measures
  • Conclusion

BIOFUELS-TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

Biofuels- fuels derived from biological matter could make a key contribution to cutting damaging emissions from the UK transport sector.

DTI International Technology Promoter (ITP) considers the worldwide developments and highlights opportunities for partnering in this rapidly developing field.

ADVANCES IN WET FLUE GAS DESULPHURISATION

Power generation generally represent the largest single, controllable source of sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions and the industry has been especially challenged by enviornmental regulations in recent times.

This article discusses the innovation in the limestone/gypsum Wet Flue Gas Desulphurisatino (WFGD) process, aimed at controlling SO2 emissions.

OTHER ARTICLES
  • Product stewardship vital part of Business Strategy
  • Coal-Demand and availability
  • Case Study – Valuation of Lubes and Chemicals
  • Global Hydrocolloids Scenario
  • Process Flow – Ethylbenzene
  • Patented Technology Update
  • Update on Nano Technology
  • Woodfuel as Biomass – Projects in UK
  • Safety & Accident Page
  • Anti Dumping Page
  • Certification Issues
  • Technology Development-India/International
  • News Round Up - India/International
  • Pharma page - India/International
  • Bio Technology - India/International
  • Herbal Page – India
  • Agrochemical Page – International
  • Environmental Page
  • Typical Propellants for Aerosol
  • Energy Page - India/International
  • Price Trends - India/International
  • Nandini Internet Index
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code-Part XXXIV
  • Directory of Chemical Industries in China-Manufacturers, Trading Houses and Promotional Organisations – Part XXX
  • Chemicals Exported at Chennai Port During the Month of April 2005
  • Book Review  
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