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Linear alkylbenzene
Uhde India completes Farabi Petrochemicals LAB expansion project
The linear alkylbenzene (LAB)
expansion project of Saudi Arabias
Farabi Petrochemicals [Focus on
Surfactants, Mar 2012, Feb 2011 &
Nov 2010] was fully accomplished by
Uhde India. Uhdes services among
others include engineering, purchase
of materials, inspection and project
management. This project utilizes the
technology of UOP of the USA.
Consultancy services have also been
provided by Foster Wheeler.
Original Source: Chemical Weekly, 15 May 2012, 138
(Website: http://www.chemicalweekly.com/) Sevak
Publications & Chemical Weekly Database P Ltd 2012

Oleochemicals
Green chemicals: fatty alcohol
demand gains from shale gas boom
The upswing in shale oil and gas
exploration in the USA will boost
demand for fatty alcohols in the
country, according to US-based
oleochemical trading firm IP
Specialties. Fatty alcohols are used in
the manufacture of many surfactants
used in drilling applications.
Worldwide fatty alcohols capacity
stood at an estimated 3.3 M tonnes in
2011, comprising around 70% natural
alcohols and the reminder synthetics,
according to IP Specialties.
Original Source: ICIS Chemical Business, 7 May 2012,
(Website: http://icischemicalbusiness.com) Reed
Business Information Limited 2012

Organic uses of palm oil


Neil Burns, the managing partner of
Neil A Burns LLC, opines that the
demand for palm oil and palm kernel
oil has been escalating in recent
years by virtue of their usage in the
oleochemicals and surfactants
industries. These oils are essential
feedstocks for the oleochemical
industry, which in turn provides critical
raw materials such as fatty acids and
fatty alcohols for the production of
2

ON

S U R FA C TA N T S

surfactants. These surfactants find


applications in consumer products
such as laundry detergents,
shampoos, soaps and many other
household, industrial, institutional and
personal cleaning products. The
increase in demand for lauric oils has
contributed to volatility in pricing and
a rearrangement and re-structuring of
the oleochemicals and surfactants
industries. The surfactant industry
across the globe currently stands at
$25 bn-$35 bn/y, with about 65%75% being utilized in consumer
cleaning such as detergents and
cleaners, cosmetics and personal
care products. The Asean region and
China are making new investments in
the surfactants sector. Europe (the 22
countries of Western Europe and 27
countries of Central and Eastern
Europe, accounting for 34% of total
consumption) is the main consumer
of surfactants globally, followed by
North America, including the USA
and Canada (27%), and China (17%).
The highest growth rates in
consumption are expected for China,
the Middle East (13 countries) and
Africa (56 countries). The growth
rates in the various regions vary from
low (in Western Europe) to medium
(in Latin America, which includes
Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and
Venezuela). Overall growth on a
volume basis in the major areas is
expected to average only 2.7%/y
during the period 2009-2014. The
developed countries are presently
making a shift towards green
surfactants such as alkyl
polyglycosides. Several companies
are focusing on biomass as an
additional option in surfactant
feedstocks. Analysts anticipate these
firms to forge alliances in future for
accelerated development and
commercialization of such products.
Original Source: The Star, 9 Jun 2012, (Website:
http://www.thestar.com.my/) Star Publications (M)
Bhd 2012

SURFACTANTS
Green chemicals: detergent
companies seek bio-based surfactant
feedstock
US detergent and cleaning products
makers Procter & Gamble (P&G) and
Seventh Generation are looking for

renewable chemical firms that can


steadily supply them with costeffective plant-based surfactant raw
materials that are comparable with, if
not better than, traditional surfactants.
Seventh Generation is now offering a
laundry detergent product containing
98% bio-based surfactants as certified
by the US Department of Agriculture.
The firm is collaborating with French
chemical firm Rhodia on palm kernel
oil-based surfactants called Laureth-6
alcohols. P&G has teamed up with
several US renewable chemical
companies such as Zeachem, LS9 and
Amyris to achieve its sustainability goal
of using renewable-based surfactant
materials for its detergent products as
soon as possible. Meanwhile, Elevance
Renewable Sciences is slated to start
up its 180,000 tonnes/y biorefinery jv
with Wilmar in Indonesia during 2H
2012. The firm plans to build a second
bio-refinery, a 270,000 tonne/y unit in
Natchez, MS, USA, for start-up by
2013.
Original Source: ICIS Chemical Business, 7 May 2012,
(Website: http://icischemicalbusiness.com) Reed
Business Information Limited 2012

Kao establishes production company


for chemical products in China,
receives RSPO certification for
sustainable palm oil procurement
Kao Corp established a new
production company, Kao (Shanghai)
Chemical Industries Co Ltd, in Apr
2012, in the Jinshan district of
Shanghai, China. The new company
and its facilities will reinforce Kaos
production system for industrial-use
chemical products in China. The
production companys new plant is
scheduled to start operations in 2014,
and the investment is estimated at
approximately Yen 5 bn. Kao will
strengthen production systems in
China for products used in fields that
are experiencing surging demand,
such as steel and steel sheet, civil
engineering and construction, and
agents for moulding. The new plant
will specifically produce surfactants
used as raw materials for various
industrial-use cleaners and toiletries,
and materials used for moulding. In
line with the Kao groups mission to
save energy and mitigate its
environmental impact, endeavours to
reduce carbon dioxide emissions will
be promoted at the new plant.
AUGUST 2012