Connecting Businesses In the World Of Plastics
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Polymer solar cells are lightweight, potentially disposable, economical to fabricate, flexible and have lower potential for negative environmental impact. They will find increasing application in portable devices, as ability to deliver longer battery life will be an important advantage to device manufacturers. They can be bonded to almost any surface which makes them ideal for charging cellphones, laptops, MP3 players. But so far, these devices have been too inefficient to compete with silicon solar cells for most applications. Solar market is presently valued at US$20 billion and is predicted to grow by around 30% pa for the next decade. Read about the research studies resulting in polymer solar cells with good efficiencies in
Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) yield chlorine and bromine, hence their use leads to ozone-depletion. Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to accelerate the phase-out of HCFCs, bringing forward the final phase-out date to 2030. Phase out of HCFCs is leading to development of alternative blowing agents to fulfill the need for insulation materials with improved energy efficiency that are environment friendly. To know about the phase out of HCFCs, the environmentally safer blowing agents, developments in alternatives, etc, read
Graphene has outstanding electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity, combined with strength and barrier, which make it an exciting new material in development of conductive applications. US graphene manufacturers are associated with university research and are developing materials for lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft and car parts, stronger wind turbines, medical implants and sports equipment, transparent conductive coatings for solar cells and displays, and a host of other applications. Read in
In China, Q1-2010 GDP rose by 11.9% and retail sales rose 18% from a year earlier in March, while factory output rose 18.1%. This is the fastest annual growth rate since 2007 in China. After robust growth numbers, the country has been under pressure to revalue the yuan. China is predicted to overtake Japan in 2010 to be the world's second-largest economy- hence several economists suggest the yuan be allowed to rise or other measures used to keep price pressures in check. However, the country is reluctant to do so. Read more in
Globally, over 25% of new crackers that started up between 2003 and 2007 were based on ethane and produce little propylene. Ethylene is projected to grow at about 3% pa, while propylene is expected to see faster growth at 4-5%. At current levels, steam cracker expansions/additions cannot keep pace with propylene demand growth- a shortage of propylene from conventional sources seems to be imminent. Technology has been developed to produce propylene from renewable sources such as biomass. Read in
Collapse of several bridges across the globe, draws attention to the need to develop new bridges or repair the existing ones at a quicker pace. The economic impact of bridge replacement is not only the direct costs associated with demolition and construction of a new bridge, but also by the indirect costs associated with the loss of roadway use and traffic disruption. Many organizations are working to develop rapid bridge replacement technology, that allow for bridges to be replaced in as little as 24-48 hours. Read more in
The largest markets for engineering polymers are automotive, electrical/electronic and industrial products, where they continue to replace metal parts. As their use lowers cost when compared to conventional materials, they find usage in an increasing range of applications. Their properties include high strength, light weight, high-temperature, corrosion and chemical resistance, desirable electrical properties and design flexibility. To know of the newer developments, read
Medical devices can be damaged by the presence of oxygen or moisture during sterilization and during the shelf life of the product. To remove oxygen and moisture, medical device producers use a few in-line procedures, though not as efficient as active packaging. Active packaging provides a barrier to outside influences. It can control, and even react to, events taking place inside the package. Such systems scavenge oxygen gas within the package and improve product shelf life and safety. Read more in
The conventional methods to produce food-grade recycled PET are solid state polymerization (SSP), vacuum decontamination, and others. These remove contaminants and also increase intrinsic viscosity. Alternative process is also being developed to process to recycle post-consumer plastic into a food-grade PET. Read in
PRICE TRENDS for the week
Naphtha prices have collapsed in Asia in the week of June 7, 2010 in line with weakening oil prices. Open spec naphtha for H2-July has fallen to US$645/MT levels. Feeble petrochemical...
Ethylene prices have collapsed to seven-month lows of US$950-1000/ton CFR NE Asia in the week of June 7, 2010. Prices have been dragged down by ample supply from the Middle East...
Propylene prices have spiked past US$1100/MT in Asia in the week of June 7, 2010 on limited avails. Prices have seen stability amid propylene shutdowns in the region.....
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