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Itâ€™s a case of Keep Calm and Carry On in the chemical sector Industry people are remarkable individuals in many ways. Whereas we are used to seeing television images of panicking financiers yelling into telephones as they try to cope with difficult situations, business leaders seem to have a more measured approach to adversity. That is certainly true of the chemical sector where a couple of recent reports have struck an optimistic note for the months to come despite the turbulence in the world. Despite concern over Brexit, worries about Donald Trump and anxieties over the alarming events surrounding North Korea, the industry remains focused on the job in hand. As the slogan says, itâ€™s a case of Keep Calm and Carry On. One of the reports, which is featured on our
John Dean news pages, was the Chemical Trends Report Editor in chief mid-year overview published by the Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, which showed that chemicals output grew significantly during the first half of 2017, compared to the same period of 2016.
According to information gathered as part of the EU Commission Business Survey, conditions for the chemical sector will become increasingly favourable in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of the year. A second report, also on our news pages, showed that business confidence is high amongst the companies making up the chemical-processing sector in the North East of England. Industry body NEPIC surveyed its 300-plus member companies, comprising of major North East manufacturers, downstream producers and supply chain organisations, and four fifths reported a high level of optimism. They cited reasons including the winning of new domestic orders and the development of new products and services. But there is more to the optimism than the sheer practicalities, I would suggest. This is about leadership and good leaders are the ones who drive industry through difficult times by keeping their heads.
I am a big football fan and as a young newspaper reporter used to report on my local team as it battled to survive in the lower leagues. One of the big problems was that whenever the ball came into our penalty box, the defenders belted it away so the other team immediately had it back and could mount another attack. It was exhausting for the team and eventually something would give and weâ€™d concede a goal. Yet when I watched the really good big-time professionals defend, it was a different story. They would keep calm, control the ball and play it out in a measured way to a team-mate. Did they feel the same pressure as the defenders in my local team? Yes, of course they did. It was, after all, the same problem to contend with. You can see such scenarios mirrored in industry. Companies face difficult situations all the time, markets wobble, clients tighten margins, cost go up but the key to success is how you cope with the risk of failure. That, I think, is why we are seeing reports which suggest that confidence remains high in the chemical sector. Yes, there are challenges, yes these are worrying times but panicking solves nothing. That is not to say that chemical company boards will not take drastic decisions. Cuts will sometimes have to be made, plants closed, operations curtailed, yes, but similarly plants will open, jobs will be created, new products will emerge. The two reports highlighted on our news pages show that managers are prepared to keep calm and carry on. They are prepared to see the bigger picture and express confidence where they see good cause. And everyone who follows football knows that a confident team wins many more games than it loses.
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Team uses light to drill holes in membranes
Motorised molecules driven by light have been used to drill holes in the membranes of individual cells and, according to the team behind the work, show promise for either bringing therapeutic agents into the cells or directly inducing the cells to die. Researchers at Durham University, working with teams from Rice and North Carolina State universities in America, demonstrated in lab tests how rotors in single-molecule nanomachines can be activated by ultraviolet light to spin at 2 to 3 million rotations per second and open membranes in cells. The researchers used motors based on work by Nobel laureate Bernard Feringa, who won the prize for chemistry in 2016. The motor itself is a paddle-like chain of atoms that can be prompted to move in a single direction when supplied with energy. Properly mounted as part of the cell-targeting molecule, the motor can be made to spin when activated by a light source. Leading the work was chemists James Tour of Rice, Robert Pal of Durham and Gufeng Wang of North Carolina State. Their labs collaborated to create several motorised molecules that can home in on specific cells. The Tour lab previously demonstrated molecular motors whose diffusion in a solution was enhanced, if not specifically directed, when activated by ultraviolet light. The rotors needed to spin between 2 and 3 megahertz – 2 to 3 million times per second – to show they could overcome obstacles presented by adjacent molecules and outpace natural Brownian motion.
James Tour said: “We thought it might be possible to attach these nanomachines to the cell membrane and then turn them on to see what happened. “The motors, only about a nanometer wide, can be designed to target and then either tunnel through a cell's lipid bilayer membrane to deliver drugs or other payloads or disrupt the 8-10 nanometer-wide membrane, thereby killing the cell. They can also be functionalized for solubility and for fluorescent tracking. “These nanomachines are so small that we could park 50,000 of them across the diameter of a human hair, yet they have the targeting and actuating components combined in that diminutive package to make molecular machines a reality for treating disease.” The researchers found it takes at least a minute for a motor to tunnel through a membrane. Dr Pal, A Royal Society Research fellow, said: “We are moving towards realising our ambition to be able to use light-activated nanomachines to target cancer cells such as those in breast tumours and skin melanomas, including those that are resistant to existing chemotherapy. “Once developed, this approach could provide a potential step change in non-invasive cancer treatment and greatly improve survival rates and patient welfare globally.” The Pal lab at Durham tested motors on live cells, including human prostate cancer
cells. Experiments showed that without an ultraviolet trigger, motors could locate specific cells of interest but stayed on the targeted cells' surface and were unable to drill into the cells. When triggered, however, the motors rapidly drilled through the membranes. James Tour said: “The researchers are already proceeding with experiments in microorganisms and small fish to explore the efficacy in-vivo. The hope is to move this swiftly to rodents to test the efficacy of nanomachines for a wide range of medicinal therapies." Rice graduate student Victor Garcia-López is the lead author of the study. Co-authors are graduate students Lizanne Nilewski and Amir Aliyan; research scientist Guillaume Duret; Anatoly Kolomeisky, a professor of chemistry and chemical and biomolecular engineering; and Jacob Robinson, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, all of Rice; and North Carolina State alumnus Fang Chen. Robert Pal is a Royal Society University Research Fellow at Durham (U.K.). Gufeng Wang is an assistant professor of analytical chemistry at North Carolina State. James Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice. The National Science Foundation, North Carolina State University, the Royal Society and the Biophysical Sciences Institute at Durham University supported the research.
Collaboration on track
Arecor, the Centre for Process Innovation and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies have announced that their collaboration project ‘Improving Downstream Operation through Formulation Innovation’ has successfully completed its initial rounds of downstream performance testing. The aim of the project, which is on track for completion in November, is to achieve a step change in biopharmaceutical yield and quality by improving product stability during downstream processing (DSP). The partners are developing a novel formulation platform that can be applied to routine biopharmaceutical manufacturing to deliver significant improvements in the performance of DSP, while also reducing manufacturing costs.
Energy project success
Award for Megan
UK technology innovation provider for process manufacturing, the Centre for Process Innovation, has announced that the SeaGas collaboration has successfully harvested a 20 tonne batch of seaweed, the largest harvest of farmed seaweed in the UK.
A high-flying chemistry student has received a national award for her scientific work after impressing judges for two years in a row.
SeaGas is jointly funded by Innovate UK and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is assessing the viability – both technical and financial – of farming sugar kelp seaweed for bioenergy production through anaerobic digestion.
Megan Todd, 22, was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Industry Technician of the Year award, which recognises the outstanding contribution made by an individual in a technical role in the industry.
She was shortlisted for the award last year but managed to win it this time around. Megan, from Ingleby Barwick, on Teesside, is completing her BSc (Hons) Chemistry degree part-time at Teesside University, while working as an Experimental Scientist for DuPont Teijin Films at the Wilton Centre near Redcar. Her role involves the development and testing of polyester films for uses such as food packaging, solar panels and electronics. Megan became a member of the RSC after the TTE Young Scientist programme was accredited for Registered Scientist status. The programme incorporates the first two years of the part-time degree. She said: “I was delighted to be shortlisted for the award again, but I wasn’t as nervous this time. “'When they read out my name I was really shocked but incredibly proud to have won. It is a great achievement and something that will certainly help me in my career.”
Megan has always wanted to be a scientist and is now entering the final year of her degree. She added: “It can be quite tiring working and studying at the same time – especially when I have exams and coursework deadlines. “But, for me, it has been worth it and definitely a good way of obtaining a degree. I will be graduating with five years of industry experience. “In this profession, there is only so far you can go without a degree. When I graduate, it will enable me to go deeper into research and progress further within the profession.”' Megan chose Teesside University as it was local and had strong links with the industry. She said: ”I really love my job and am doing exactly what I have always wanted to do. 'There are quite a few part-time students on my course and we get the opportunity to work together on group projects. “It gives you that extra motivation because there are people around you with common interests – plus you want to do your best for the company which has invested in you.”
A team of scientists has developed a new approach for the preparation of a coaxial cable 50,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair. The miniscule wire – comprising a carbon nanotube located inside a boron nitride nanotube – may represent an important step towards the miniaturisation of electronic devices. The multi-national team of experts from the UK and Hungary, was jointly led by Andrei Khlobystov, a Professor of Nanomaterials and Director of the University of Nottingham’s Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre (nmRC), and Graham Rance, a Research Fellow in Nanomaterials Characterisation at the nmRC, who possess complementary expertise in the synthesis and characterisation of carbon nanomaterials.
New technique unveiled Scientists have developed a new way to genetically engineer bacteria called Clostridia.
While certain Clostridia are the causative agents of diseases such as antibiotic-associated diarrhoea or food-borne botulism, the vast majority are harmless and can be used to make chemicals and fuels, and even to treat cancer. Through the use of their proprietary technology based on the genomeediting tool CRISPR-Cas9, scientists at Nottingham’s BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) can now rapidly alter the genetic make-up of all types of Clostridia tested to date.
Strong EU ‘crucial to UK chemical industry’ Chemical businesses across the UK have voiced their need for a strong European Union economy to their manufacturing operations. The latest Chemical Industries Association (CIA) survey of member companies, showed that total sales volumes and export volumes continued to gain. The expectations for export growth remained high; 50% of companies expect exports to increase over the next twelve months with only 6% expecting a decrease. A third of companies saw the expanding European economy as an opportunity over the next twelve months. The European Union is the sector’s biggest export market with 60% of exports going to the EU. Further increases in both capital expenditure and R&D spending are predicted in the survey with employee numbers expected to rise at the fastest rate since early 2015. 41% of companies expect to increase capital expenditure over the next twelve months with only 9% expecting to lower spending. In addition, no company expects to reduce R&D spending in the next twelve months while 21% will increase R&D spending. Chief Executive of the Association Steve Elliott said “In spite of the positive results, the survey also showed that trading uncertainty was already weighing down exports and potential increases in regulatory costs was a big concern for chemical businesses.
“We, therefore, continue to urge the Government to provide clarity over the future trading and regulatory relationship with the European Union to ensure frictionless tariff free trade, regulatory consistency and access to skilled people are essential to maintaining the growth of the chemical sector across the UK. “A strong EU economic performance benefits the UK if we can get the relationship right after we leave.” The CIA has criticised the UK Government for making the full transition to Brexit unnecessarily complex. Steve Elliott was speaking after publication of the Government’s plans for a customs union He said: “Cross-Government acceptance of the need for a transition period is very much welcomed by our sector and many others – it’s a priority that CIA has been highlighting for some time now. “Surely, however, the best way to guarantee no adverse disruption to business and trade during a transition period, and to guarantee only one adjustment before reaching a final agreement with the EU, is to seek to retain our existing membership of the single market and customs union, rather than pursue a ‘close association’ with the customs union that still leaves key questions around regulatory continuity, tariff and non-tariff barrier impacts.”
Alterations include the removal of undesirable traits, such as toxin production or antibiotic resistance, enhancing their anti-tumour potential, or increasing the productivity of chemical and fuel manufacture.
Cambridge Research Biochemicals to licence novel fluorescent dyes
Cambridge Research Biochemicals (CRB), which is based in the North East of England and supplies peptides and antibodies for life science research and development, has signed a licence agreement with Edinburgh Innovations, the Innovation Management Service for The University of Edinburgh. Under the new agreement, CRB will be permitted to label both custom made and catalogue peptides with novel dyes developed by a research team from The University of Edinburgh, School of Clinical Sciences, led by the Principal Investigator Dr Marc Vendrell. Dr Vendrell worked in collaboration with academic partners at the University of Barcelona and IRB Barcelona, led by Professor Rodolfo Lavilla, and The University of Manchester’s Professor Nick Read to invent the technology.
Confidence high among North East firms Business confidence amongst the North East’s chemical-processing sector remains high, according to a new survey
Industry body NEPIC surveyed its 300-plus member companies, comprising of major North East manufacturers, downstream producers and supply chain organisations, and four fifths reported a high level of optimism. They cited as reasons for the optimism the winning of new domestic orders and the development of new products and services. They said that retaining talented staff remains the biggest challenge for local companies, coupled with intense competition from emerging markets.
the UK, as well as improving and refining their goods and services to customers. This is really positive and shows the inherent strength of the North East as a great place to do business.
NEPIC chief executive Iain Wright said: “It is highly encouraging that the North East’s chemical-processing sector is reporting a positive business outlook, with recent investments in the region by some of our multinationals, such as Sabic and Fujifilm Diosynth Technologies, acting as a catalyst for this confidence.
“North East firms produce great goods and services that have demand all over the world. We would encourage firms, with our support, to look to overseas markets as a lucrative source of new markets for their products and future wealth creation.
“Firms in the region are clearly shrugging off the uncertainties surrounding Brexit and are gearing up to grow by winning new orders in
“Highlighted challenges, notably firms’ concerns surrounding their ability to retain and recruit suitable talent for their growth plans to reinforce the importance of close co-
operation between industry and government and the roll-out of a proper Industry Strategy that benefits firms in the North East.” NEPIC is a membership organisation working with the chemical-using industries in the North East of England. The region is home to the chemistry-using industries of chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, biofuels and renewable energy and low carbon materials. There are more than 1,400 companies directly involved or in the supply chain of these industries, generating £26 billion of annual sales.
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The Bragg centre will become a base for world-leading engineering and physical sciences research
Plan seeks new ways of working Leeds University’s plans for advancing engineering and physical sciences have been approved by the city council’s planning panel. The £96m investment aims to provide an environment for students and researchers from across engineering and physical sciences. The investment is a key part of the University’s £520m campus development programme, aimed at securing Leeds’ position in the UK’s top ten research universities. To be completed by summer 2020, the plan is to bring the School of Computing and School of Physics and Astronomy together with colleagues in Chemistry and Engineering for the first time. The investment will include the new Bragg Research Centre for Advanced Functional Materials. The Bragg Centre will be the new home for the University’s internationally-recognised activity in materials characterisation and analysis of soft matter and nanostructured thin films. It is named after Sir William Henry Bragg, the early 20th Century mathematician and physicist who developed X-Ray crystallography at Leeds, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915 for his work together with his son Sir William Lawrence Bragg.
The Bragg Centre will also be the location for to the University’s research in functional materials and devices, which is part of the UKwide Henry Royce Institute. This institute brings together world-leading academics from across the UK to study and develop advanced materials and explore Leeds’ specialism in Atoms-to-Devices and the translation of new material systems from the atomic scale to the operational device. Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, said: “The Bragg Centre’s interdisciplinary culture and state-ofthe-art facilities will support and attract the best minds at all levels, placing our exceptional standard of research on a global scale. “Working in such an innovative environment will also transform how we can work with our industry partners on real world problems. “The Bragg Centre will be a fabulous environment for cross-disciplinary teams to work on big technical challenges, drawing on our existing strengths while working together in new and disruptive ways to improve both the quality and the scale of our research.
Working in such an innovative environment will also transform how we can work with our industry partners on real world problems.” The ‘superlabs’ concept behind the Engineering Physical Sciences development will bring together existing strengths in applied and fundamental research to support interdisciplinary problem-solving research groups. Professor Steve Scott, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences, said: “We are creating an exceptional environment to carry out cutting-edge research. The interplay between people, working culture, equipment and buildings will be central to creating the highest quality findings and original ideas. “The quality of our research brought about through leading facilities and the exceptional breadth of our academic staff, will drive external partnerships and attract international support, leading to a greater depth in funding bids and a rise in standards of research.”
The winners of the 2017 Chemical Industry Awards were announced at a celebration dinner held at the Queens Hotel in Leeds. THEY WERE:
BASF Young Ambassador Award Stephen Donnelly, Dow Chemical, Belfast
A decades-old mystery of why a naturally-occurring organic crystal fluoresces blue under ultra-violet light, yet when grown under laboratory conditions fluoresces with an intense green has been solved by scientists from the University of Bristol.
Using electron microscopy coupled with fluorescence spectroscopy and X-Ray diffraction, Dr Simon Hall, Jason Potticary from the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials CDT and Torsten Jensen from the Centre for Doctoral Training in Condensed Matter Physics in the School of Chemistry found that the disparity is instead due to differences in the structure of the crystals at the nanoscale.
Chemical Industry Service Provider of the Year Award, Sponsored by CIEC HFL Consulting, Denton CIA Company of the Year Award Nufarm UK Ltd, Wyke Environmental Leadership Award, Sponsored by ERM EPC United Kingdom plc, Bramble Island GSK Innovation Award BASF, Bradford
INEOS Responsible Care Award LyondellBasell, Carrington
Crystal puzzle solved
Karpatite which is prized for its beautiful blue fluorescence under ultraviolet illumination shows green under laboratory conditions.
ABB Manufacturing & Resource Efficiency Award Johnson Matthey, Edinburgh
Health Leadership Award, Sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland DSM Nutritional Products, Dalry HSD Safety half-page ARTWORK.pdf
Reputation Award, Sponsored by Chemicals Northwest BASF, Bradford Skills Award, Sponsored by Cogent Skills GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage
Lifetime Achievement Award Dr Stan Higgins, NEPIC
Their results show that in nature, karpatite has a nanotexture that is not present in the synthetic crystals, which enables different photonic pathways and is blue, rather than green colour whilst undergoing fluorescence.
Liability for closed landfills Many chemicals companies will have an asset portfolio containing one or more closed landfills, which have perhaps been operated to dispose of process residues or which have been inherited from third parties through land or corporate transactions.
Periodically the courts hear cases concerning historic cleanup liabilities for such sites found in Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act. A recent case, Powys County Council v Price & Anor  challenged certain assumptions made about the transfer of risk in the context of a former local authority landfill site.
In the early 1960s the owners of a farm in Powys allowed the local authority to create a landfill on their land for the disposal of domestic and commercial waste. Tipping continued until 1992, through a change in ownership of the farm and two local government reorganisations which occurred in 1974 and 1996. The latter brought Powys County Council into existence, and initially Powys took responsibility for the closed landfill and the water pollution which it was found to be causing, on the assumption that it
indeed bear the clean up responsibility. However, could the precise wording of the terms of the local government reorganisation be construed to impose on Powys, a liability under Part IIA which did not exist at the time of that reorganisation ?
had acquired its predecessor’s liability for the site.
Powys ceased monitoring and mitigation activities in 2015 following a reappraisal. The owners of the farm then sought a declaration from the High Court that clean-up liability had transferred to Powys in 1996 under the local government reorganisation legislation.
The court held that it could not, and considered that very specific wording – which was not present – would be needed to do so. For example, in other legislation where this point arises, such as the Water Act 1989, the wording requires the successor body to be expressly treated as being the same person in law as the predecessor body.
The “original polluter” with primary liability under Part IIA would have been the operator of the landfill, namely the original local authority body, “Brecknock”. However Brecknock had ceased to exist. It is inferred that Powys did nothing to allow itself to be categorised as a “ knowing permitter”, which might otherwise have rendered it liable under Part IIA directly. It is unclear from the judgement whether this point was tested in court.
The landowner at the material times was the farmer. Powys had reportedly never owned nor had an interest in the land. As Brecknock had ceased to exist, the farmer was therefore at risk of liability.
In transactions where landfill assets are transferred, it may not always have been feasible to examine the detail of an apparent transfer of liability between previous owners. Certain closed landfill sites may therefore represent an unanticipated liability risk for the present owner. For further information contact : firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
The Court of Appeal considered that were Brecknock to be still in existence, it would
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Report paints an optimistic picture for European chemical industry
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Improving detection of a 'date rape' drug
Scientists have identified a potential biomarker that might lead to tests to detect the compound used in gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), commonly known as a ‘date rape drug.’ GHB is rapidly absorbed so it is difficult for law enforcement to tell if someone has been given it. Now, scientists writing in the American Chemical Society Journal, including Míriam Pérez-Trujillo and her colleagues, say they analysed the samples using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and found that they could detect GHB in urine samples taken up to two hours after ingestion. They also could distinguish GHB from other similar drugs The Drug Control Centre at King’s College London provided samples, and funding and support came from MINECO, a Jose Castillejos mobility fellowship from the Spanish government, an Erasmus+ trainee fellowship from the European Union and a King's-China scholarship.
Chemicals output grew significantly during the first half of 2017, compared to the same period of 2016, according to the Chemical Trends Report mid-year overview published by the Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council. According to information gathered as part of the EU Commission Business Survey, conditions for the chemical sector will become increasingly favourable in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of the year. Total order-book levels of chemicals and employment expectations for the months ahead continued to increase, according to the report, and chemicals business confidence is following an upward trend for the fifth consecutive quarter, sitting above its longterm average. The figures show that production in the EU chemicals sector grew 3.1% during the first half of 2017, compared to the same period of 2016. Output rose in most chemicals sub-sectors; production in crop protection, basic inorganics, polymers, dyes and pigments and consumer chemicals increased significantly. Modest output growth for specialty chemicals was recorded although chemicals output is still (2.1%) below the first quarter of 2008. Chemicals prices increased as well during the first half of 2017 and were above the previous year’s level. Producer prices in the EU chemicals sector grew 5.7% compared to the same period of
2016. Most chemicals sectors posted growth on prices during the first half of the year. Larger production volumes and a positive trend of producer prices brought a clear rise in sales. Domestic sales developed favourably from January to May and sales revenue generated by EU companies in the EU single market reached €163.6 billion through May. This represents an additional revenue of €21.4 billion, 15% up year on year. Sales revenue (domestic and exports) posted the value of €219.2 billion during the first five months of 2017, up from €203.1 billion in May 2016, a rise of 8%. Chemicals consumption in the EU home market developed positively from January to May as well, generating a value of €201.3 billion, up 8.9% year on year. According to EU Commission Business Survey data, capacity utilisation in the EU chemicals sector reached the value of 84.1% in the second quarter of 2017. This represents the fifth consecutive quarter of growth since the second quarter of last year. Chemicals capacity is slightly below the first quarter of 2011, which represents the peak level after the global financial crisis.
Looking to the future
BASF offered 17 college students an opportunity to participate in the annual internship programme at its site in McIntosh, Alabama, in the United States. The interns worked closely with employee mentors and received first-hand experience in the areas of chemical process technology, logistics, communications, and engineering. Jason Slinkard, Site Director for BASF in McIntosh, said: “To meet our growing workforce needs, BASF continues to expand its annual summer internship programme. It’s important for us to partner with local colleges and universities to create a diverse pipeline of talent.”
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Avocado offers opportunities for chemistry researchers The least appreciated part of an avocado could hold the key to a new age of chemical research. According to researchers in the United States, avocado seed husks, which are usually discarded along with the seed, are packed with previously unrecognised chemical compounds. They say these compounds could eventually be used to treat a host of debilitating diseases, as well as to enhance cosmetics, perfumes and other consumer goods. The researchers presented details of their work at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, which featured presentations on a wide range of topics. Researcher Debasish Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D said: “It could very well be that avocado seed husks, which most people consider as the waste of wastes, are actually the gem of gems because the medicinal compounds within them could eventually be used to treat cancer, heart disease and other conditions. “Our results also suggest that the seed husks are a potential source of chemicals used in plastics and other industrial products.”
Nearly five million tons of avocados are produced worldwide annually and in most cases the flesh is eaten and the seed is thrown away. Some edible oil manufacturers extract avocado oil from the seeds but they remove the husk surrounding the seed and discard it before processing. Bandyopadhyay and his students Valerie Cano, Orlando Castillo, Daniel Villicana and Thomas Eubanks at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley ground 300 dried avocado seed husks into 21 ounces of powder. After additional processing, the powder yielded about three teaspoons of seed husk oil and slightly more than an ounce of seed husk wax. Using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis, the research team found 116 compounds in the oil and 16 in the wax. Many of these compounds do not appear to be found in the seeds themselves. Among the constituents in the oil was behenyl alcohol (also known as docosanol),
an ingredient used in anti-viral medications, heptacosane, which might inhibit the growth of tumor cells, and dodecanoic acid, which increases high density lipoprotein (known as HDL) and, as a result, could reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. In the wax, the researchers detected benzyl butyl phthalate, a plasticiser used to promote flexibility in numerous synthetic products from shower curtains to medical devices; bis(2-butoxyethyl) phthalate, which is used in cosmetics; and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which is a food additive. Bandyopadhyay says his team will modify several of these natural compounds so that they can be used to create better medications with fewer side effects. Funding came from the Center of Excellence in STEM Education (College of Sciences) at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Report highlights green impact
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Air Products wins contract
Air Products, the world’s leader in liquefied natural gas technology and equipment, has announced an agreement with TP JGC Coral France for the supply of its cryogenic coil wound heat exchanger technology and liquefaction process licence for a floating liquefied natural gas facility to be located in the Indian Ocean, offshore Mozambique, Africa. The facility being built by TP JGC Coral France, an incorporated joint venture formed by TechnipFMC and JGC Corporation, along with Samsung Heavy Industries, will use Air Products’ dual mixed refrigerant process.
Air Separation Units in Inner Mongolia onstream
Air Products has announced that its three large air separation units in Hangjinqi, Inner Mongolia, for Inner Mongolia Yitai Chemical Co. Ltd. have come on-stream. The facilities supply more than 9,000 tonnes per day of gaseous oxygen, four pressure levels of gaseous nitrogen, instrument air, and plant air to Yitai Chemical’s leading fine chemical demonstration project, which produces 1.2 million tonnes of highquality fine chemical products annually.
Sun Chemical highlighted its products that are helping the planet in its recently-released 2016 Corporate Sustainability Report. The company, whose headquarters is in New Jersey, mentioned the contribution of four recently developed products. SunBar oxygen barrier coatings and SunFuse (PolarSeal) re-closable cold-seal adhesives help reduce food waste, SunLam Deseamable Technology improves the ability of recyclers to remove shrink sleeve labels and ensure plastic bottle recycling and SunSpectro (Aquathene) water-based flexographic inks allow packaging to comply with international compostability standards. Gary Andrzejewski, Corporate Vice President of Environmental Affairs, said: “Sun Chemical’s investment in the development of products that have an overall positive impact on the environment is of critical importance to our customers. “Our customers want to see key metrics and environmental indicators that show Sun
Chemical is doing its part. Our sustainability report does just that and pushes us as a company to improve eco-efficiency in both our products and our processes.” Global Product Stewardship Leader Michael Simoni said: “Our commitment to sustainability drives us to provide our customers with meaningful data that they can use. “Improving our manufacturing processes from production to distribution helps Sun Chemical uphold its reputation for quality, service and innovation while improving sustainability practices for our customers. It is a critical component of our sustainability policy.” Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC group, is a leading producer of printing inks, coatings and supplies, pigments, polymers, liquid compounds, solid compounds, and application materials.
Initiative to improve the standardisation of metabolomics
The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals has announced the launch of a new initiative which will accelerate the use of metabolomics technology to improve safety assessment of chemicals. The technology has the potential to transform chemical risk assessment by providing a deeper view of the molecular events underpinning toxicity than is currently possible but, because it is so new, scientists do not yet have standard procedures for applying metabolomics or reporting its findings, both of which are needed for chemical risk assessment. The MEtabolomics standaRds Initiative in Toxicology (MERIT) has brought together a team of international experts to address the problem by defining best practices and minimum reporting requirements when metabolomics is used in regulatory toxicology.
z WORLD NEWS
Project explores Industry 4.0 opportunities
Chemical company BASF and software company SAP have announced the start of a project that will help businesses to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by Industry 4.0. Based at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site in Germany, the project will explore digital collaboration among business partners in engineering and maintenance. The initiative is in response to the emergence of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT), which relate to the way technology talks to each other. As previously reported in the Chemical Industry Journal, Industry 4.0 is transforming the way chemical companies run their operations. At Industry 4.0’s heart is a growing realisation that huge amounts of time and effort are being wasted because too many production and back-office systems are not connected.
BASF with a digital connection to equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers. The companies say that the project’s goal is to establish a fully integrated and centrally managed repository for information, helping to ensure readily available and reliable data. BASF says that, by establishing a single source for information, it aims to further improve the efficiency of its engineering and maintenance processes. Andreas Wernsdörfer, Senior Vice President Technical Site Services Ludwigshafen, BASF, said: “BASF constantly works on optimising its sites, plants and production processes.
That disconnect means that skilled personnel ranging from manufacturing teams to sales staff find themselves repeating the same tasks when, if managed properly, their IT could do it in a fraction of the time.
“SAP Asset Intelligence Network is an approach that has the potential to further improve our engineering and maintenance processes by establishing a fully integrated digital information chain between OEMs, service providers and BASF over the whole asset lifecycle.
SAP’s Asset Intelligence Network, a cloudbased collaborative network, will provide
“A more integrated digital approach with our business partners would allow us to easily
access the latest and current information when and where needed, leading to quicker and better decision-making and, in consequence, higher asset effectiveness.” Dr Tanja Rueckert, President IoT and Digital Supply Chain, SAP, said: “With SAP Asset Intelligence Network, we enable our customers to collaborate in a digital ecosystem to manage intelligent devices in the Internet of Things and achieve their goals for operational excellence,” “Working with industry leaders like BASF, we aim to establish a network of real-time industrial asset information so that our customers and their partners can realize the full advantages of the IoT.” The evaluation project is expected to run for several months. As the market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries improve operations in everything from back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device.
z WORLD NEWS
Companies link up for CO2 project BASF and bse Engineering have signed an exclusive joint development agreement for BASF to provide custom-made catalysts for a new chemical energy storage process. The companies say that the process will enable the economically-viable transformation of excess current and off-gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into the chemical energy storage methanol in small-scale, delocalized production units.
the most efficient production of methanol. Methanol is one of the most important basic chemicals used in numerous industrial applications. For example, it is blended into diesel or gasoline in some countries.
They say that, when generating current from renewable energy sources such as in wind or solar power plants, excess current is generated at times when consumers do not need it. This excess current can often not be reasonably used at the moment.
Adrian Steinmetz, Vice President Chemical Catalysts at BASF, said: “We are pleased to participate in this exciting endeavor and to contribute significantly to a concrete solution for the use of excess current and CO2 as a raw material.
The new process developed by bse Engineering enables the sustainable use of current and CO2 with small-scale production units built where the two components are generated, including near power plants using renewable sources of energy as well as large-scale industrial plants producing CO2.
“We will leverage our know-how and expertise in catalysis in the service of advancing a sustainable answer for the transition to new energy sources and the material use of CO2.”
The excess current will be used to produce hydrogen through discontinuous electrolysis. In a second step, methanol is produced from CO2 and hydrogen, thus leading to a valorising of excess current and CO2 off-stream gas. In the second process step, BASF’s catalysts will be used for methanol synthesis. The catalysts have been further tuned and adapted to enable
Christian Schweitzer, Managing Director of bse Engineering, said: “The implementation of these projects is ensured with international branch leaders of the respective process units and part-services over a reliable consortium consisting of Aker Solutions ASA, Sulzer Chemtech AG, InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG, led by bse Engineering. We are very proud to work on the key technology catalysts with an experienced and innovative industry leader like BASF to make our vision a reality.”
Dow announces $1 million support after hurricane disaster
The Dow Chemical Company announced an emergency fund in response to the widespread devastation caused by the recent Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Texas is home to 12,000 Dow employees and contractors and, although the company, accounted for each of its employees, many were seriously affected by the storm. As a result, the Dow Chemical Company and The Dow Chemical Company Foundation announced the allocation of $1 million to support immediate relief and long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts associated with the storm and its aftermath as well as support for the company’s employees. Dow donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, $100,000 to Team Rubicon, and $200,000 to other local nonprofit organisations assisting the region.
Dow is also matching employee and retiree donations up to $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. To support its employees, Dow is offering interest-free loans and temporary housing as needed. Communities impacted where Dow sites are located include Seadrift, Freeport, Texas City, Deer Park, Beaumont, Bayport, La Porte and Houston. Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire region, including our employees and the communities that we call home.”
Chemist receives award
Keary M. Engle, an assistant professor of chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in the US, has been awarded a $1.25 million grant from NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The R35 grant will support the Engle Laboratory’s development of new molecule-building techniques for drug discovery. The awards provide long-term support for research programmess that are deemed especially promising. It is aimed at scientists who are just starting their careers.
Chemists develop new technique
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute in America have developed a new method for making ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules in the laboratory. The method has the potential to bring down dramatically the cost of producing RNA for scientific and pharmaceutical applications. Senior investigator Floyd E. Romesberg, a professor of chemistry at the institute, said: “Already three companies have contacted me about licensing this technology, so it’s not just a proof of principle—it’s going to be used.”
Product proves its worth BASF presented a case study on the successful first use of its scratchresistant iGloss® clearcoat technology in North America at the 29th annual SURCAR Conference.
A global automotive manufacturer adopted the iGloss technology at one of its North American production plants to help achieve longer lasting protection on its vehicles and found that scratch resistance and appearance improved by more than 25% using iGloss clearcoat technology.
A week in the life of Gina Heywood combines two main responsibilities in an important role for Dachser UK, based in the Company’s Rochdale branch. She is the branch Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA) as well as being a ‘Dachser Expert Network Operations’ (DENO). The responsibility of a DENO within Dachser is best described as a business analyst and trainer for the operations departments. Gina’s in-depth understanding of Dachser’s UK and European network combined with her extensive technical and practical knowledge and qualifications relating to the handling of dangerous goods makes her ideally qualified for this role. Gina is part of a team of three DGSAs in Rochdale; she has been qualified since January 2011, one colleague is newly qualified and another will be returning from maternity leave in the near future.
Gina Hey wood Dangero u
s and Dach Goods Safety Ad vis se Operatio r Expert Network or ns, Dach ser
Start of the week and we have a new client who will be shipping consignments containing dangerous goods. The safety data sheet (SDS) for each product is checked for any necessary risk assessments and the UN numbers are checked against the Dachser Dangerous Goods Masterfile to ensure that transport of the products is permitted within the groupage network. Dachser has its own lists of transport bans, some of which are absolute and some conditional. Later on, we have our daily production meeting with the various operations and customer service departments to share information and address any queries.
The morning begins after breakfast with a swim at the local gym. I
Outside of work, I am a musician, playing the saxophone, cornet and piano in two bands and a saxophone quartet. Monday evening, living in the heart of Lancashire, it is my time for playing the cornet with a traditional brass band.
Tuesday In the morning, we have our weekly branch DGSA meeting. We share information on any production issues and discuss the Dachser internal Dangerous Goods guidelines. These meetings are extremely valuable in order to share experiences and promote best practice internally, as well as addressing specific operational requirements relating to particular dangerous goods consignments or flows of business. This week, I also take this opportunity to carry out training on dangerous goods processes and rules within the Dachser network, which are an important part of our daily operation. During the afternoon, I carry out my weekly checks of the line-haul drivers’ licences and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)/spill equipment. Tuesday evening is funk and soul time, and I travel to south Manchester to rehearse with my band on the alto saxophone.
Wednesday Help and advice is required for the Export department with some shipments we have been requested to collect by one of our European partners. The shipments contain dangerous goods with hazards which will clash with other shipments from other customers already planned for this evening’s departures. After some considerable scrutiny, some new load planning decisions are made! Following the daily operations meeting, I undertake analysis of the Short Distance production during the afternoon. A busy evening follows with badminton scheduled after first teaching a group of children and adult brass players from the brass band training division.
will push for 70 lengths in an hour but sometimes it’s only 60. Today at the office, a whole day of awareness training, covering the transport of dangerous goods by road, is scheduled. Throughout the year, the DGSA team will make presentations and carry out training for all blue collar and white collar operational staff (some 100 people in total) in all aspects of working with dangerous goods. Local and long-distance transport planners and clerks, bookings administrators, warehouse staff and drivers are all eligible for and included in the training programme.
Friday The morning begins with a VCM (Virtual Classroom Meeting) with Dachser’s Head Office in Kempten, southern Germany, and the other DENOs from my community. The group contains a DENO from almost every branch of the European Network. The meeting is held by ‘Fastviewer’ system. The topics this morning are varied and include new internal rates, the new options for our customer portal, e-Logistics and finally a presentation from a colleague in Dachser France on the data integration of dangerous goods from our clients in DOMINO, our freight management system, along with options for the special routing of dangerous goods in our warehouses. The afternoon is time for spot checks on import consignment data as well as physical shipments from our European partners plus outbound shipments from our own clients. I check the quality of the data in DOMINO against the dangerous goods note (DGN) and transport documents, and then track the pallets outside in the warehouse, checking on the quality of packaging, marking and labels. I conclude by making sure that our equipment in the warehouse is in order, including the spill equipment and PPE clothing for the warehouse. The end of another busy and varied week! It’s a good feeling to know that I’m part of a specialised team which is able to work in close co-operation with the other parts of the business, helping to secure the safe and compliant transport of dangerous goods in our network.
EUROPEAN LOGISTICS IN ITS ELEMENT. DACHSER Chem-Logistics
Your advantages with DACHSER Chem-Logistics: n Specialised chemical logistics expertise and standardised logistics solutions n High standards of safety and quality for the chemical industry n Complete transparency with innovative IT systems n A uniform and comprehensive European network n A high degree of expertise in handling dangerous goods
DACHSER Ltd • UK Regional Office Thomas Dachser Way • Brackmills • Northampton • NN4 7HT Phone: 01706 758014 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Process Safety Management Manchester, April 2018 Manchester will play host to the third Process Safety Management (PSM) Summit in 2018, hosted by the UK Process Safety Management Programme Board. The PSM Summit is the UKâ€™s largest gathering of practitioners and executives from industry, stakeholder and regulatory bodies. Register your interest To register your interest in attending, sponsoring or exhibiting please contact Samantha Collins on 01325 740900 or email email@example.com
z SUPPLY CHAIN
On the Brexit
launchpad As the legislative countdown to Brexit begins, Peter Newport, Chief Executive of the Chemical Business Association (CBA), highlights some of the key objectives of the UK’s independent chemical supply chain. The Brexit Secretary David Davis has described Brexit as ‘an operation of such technical complexity that it makes a moon landing look simple’. As the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill has now entered Parliament, the legislative countdown to Planet Brexit is under way. Much of the chemical sector, one of the most highly regulated sectors of the economy, is nervous about this relatively unplanned journey to a distant galaxy. During the past forty years, the industry’s regulatory framework has become a kaleidoscope of directives and regulations originating from the European Union (EU). However, the Government is determined that EU law must cease to apply and will be transposed into domestic law on exit day. The repeal bill now before Parliament means we are about to start to face the legislative and regulatory realities of the Brexit decision. For the chemical industry, the devil really is in the detail. At this stage, it is only possible to address some of the main issues because we just don’t have enough information to discuss the complexities that will arise during the withdrawal process. As the CBA, we have recently surveyed our member companies on the headline issues - the Single Market, Customs Union and the transposition into UK law of key aspects of the industry’s regulatory framework – REACH, CLP, and the Biocides regulations. I should say, at the outset, that CBA’s objective during the referendum process and during its aftermath has been to accurately reflect the impact of Brexit on the UK chemical supply chain. CBA’s position is non-political and our sole aim is to protect the interests of our member companies.
Some 81% of respondents to CBA’s Brexit Survey said continued membership of the Single Market was ‘Important’ or ‘Very Important’ to their businesses. This included all the large companies responding to the Survey (accounting for virtually all this category of companies holding CBA membership).
Without exception, large companies responding to the survey, favoured remaining within the Customs Union as did more than 60% of smaller companies, despite their reliance on third-party logistics services providers.
The chemical sector is one of the very few truly global industries and it is crucial to preserve its ability to trade across national borders on a tariff-free basis.
Less predictably, perhaps, smaller companies – many of which are UK-centric, buying and supplying chemicals only in the UK - also wish to retain membership of the Single Market. This applies even to smaller firms currently selling less than 20% of their product portfolio to EU customers. These businesses are clearly unwilling to jeopardise future access to profitable markets. CBA member companies are concerned that the loss of access to the Single Market and the benefits it involves in addition to the possibility of new tariff (or non-tariff) barriers will significantly undermine the industry’s competitiveness. Tariff-free access to EU markets is crucial to a chemical sector that is massively interdependent, with high levels of trade and commercial dependency throughout the global chemical supply chain. Should Brexit negotiations not result in this preferred outcome, the UK chemical supply chain would require a significant transitional period to adjust to any new trading environment.
Similarly, 82% of companies responding to CBA’s Brexit Survey favoured continued membership of the Customs Union (or some arrangement delivering the same benefits).
As with the Single Market, CBA members are seeking a significant transitional period for the industry and its logistics services systems to adjust to any new regime.
Respondents to CBA’s Brexit Survey highlighted three key elements of the industry’s regulatory regime as important to their businesses: REACH (82%), CLP (89%), and Biocides (31%). Compliance with these regulations by UK companies has already represented an investment of many millions of pounds by the industry. Brexit creates a number of institutional, functional, and legislative challenges regarding the industry’s regulatory framework all of which have potential to increase the industry’s costs significantly. In institutional terms, the UK will have to either create its own version of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) or negotiate for a transitional or long-term relationship with ECHA to allow that body to continue to manage the key functions of REACH. In functional terms, the UK needs to create or secure continued access to a number of expert committees that are central to the operation
SUPPLY CHAIN z
of REACH. The same point applies to the IT systems and tools that are an important part of the REACH process. In legislative terms, the UK industryâ€™s regulatory environment has become enmeshed with European legislation which, in turn, is an important element for globally harmonised regulations. This framework may be essential in negotiating post-Brexit European and international trade deals. CBA believes that the pragmatic (and most cost-effective) way forward is to adopt the REACH, CLP, and Biocides legislation into UK law on exactly the same institutional, functional, and legislative terms as they are currently operating. This guarantees future regulatory equivalence; it does not jeopardise existing commercial arrangements, many of which will include regulatory compliance as a central contractual term; and finally, it does not impose further compliance costs on the UK chemical supply chain. Should Brexit negotiations fail to deliver this outcome in whole or in part, several CBA member companies have expressed an interest in exploring derogations from the industryâ€™s current regulatory framework that allows domestic trading in substances regulated on a riskbased, rather than hazard-based, basis. Finally, the continuing status of products already registered under REACH in 2010 and 2013 needs urgent clarification (as well as substances scheduled for registration in 2018).
For the chemical industry, the devil really is in the detail. At this stage, it is only possible to address some of the main issues because we just donâ€™t have enough information to discuss the complexities that will arise during the withdrawal process.
The long and winding road to GHS harmonization The aim of the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is to have a globally uniform communication system on hazardous chemicals. One of the goals is to facilitate global trade of chemicals. However, keeping up with the latest changes and the implementation status of GHS in different regions can be quite a job.
THE FLEXIBILITY OF GHS POSES A CHALLENGE
The planned revisions of the standard and the building block approach of GHS ensure adaptation to technical progress and flexibility. On the other hand, they also pose challenges to companies operating in an international market. Countries around the world have implemented different revisions of the UN standard as well as different hazard categories. This can lead to quite different product classifications and label elements as illustrated below. (Table 1)
HIGHLIGHTS OF GHS REVISION 7
BE AWARE OF NATIONAL INVENTORIES
Both the different revisions of the Purple Book and how countries choose to implement these have an impact on how products are classified. Several countries have national inventories that may include mandatory GHS substance classifications. This means, that even if you have classified your product according to the GHS criteria in one country, the classification of the same product may differ in another country based on the mandatory substance classifications. As a result, companies must ensure that classifications, SDSs and labels comply with the national implementation of GHS if they want their products cleared at the local customs. This table shows the GHS substance classification of Hydrazine and label elements for a 9% aqueous solution in the EU, China and Japan, respectively. (Table 2)
DIFFERENT GHS REVISIONS AND HAZARDOUS CATEGORIES Not implemented hazard caetegories (ref. GHS rev.7)
USA | GHS rev. 3
EU | GHS rev. 4 Flammable gas, Category 1A (Pyrophoric gases) and 1B*
Desensitized explosives, all categories*
Flammable liquids, Category 4
Acute toxicity, Category 5
Skin Corrosion/Irritation, Category 3 Aspiration hazard, Category 2 Environmental hazards
Safety Data Sheets • SDSs are now also required for mixtures containing substances classified in the hazard class “aspiration hazard”, when the concentration of such substances is equal or above 1% (previously 10%). • Requirements for transport in bulk are extended to all bulk cargoes.
Classification • “Flammable gases”: category 1 is divided into two categories, 1A and 1B, the former now also including “Pyrophoric gases” and “Chemically unstable gases”.
• Classification criteria for “Flammable solids” and “Desensitized explosives” are made clearer. Labelling • Amendment of some hazard and precautionary statements and introduction to a new precautionary statement on disposal of explosives. • Examples of fold-out labels for small packaging.
Flammable gases, Category 1A (Pyrophoric gases and Chemically unstable gases) and 1B* Aerosols, Category 3*
GHS is updated periodically and the seventh revision has just been published. This revision fine-tunes some items of the previous editions. The most important changes are:
Acute toxicity, Category 5
Skin Corrosion/Irritation, Category 3 Aspiration hazard, Category 2
Aquatic toxicity, Acute 2 and 3
*Hazard categories that were introduced by later revisions than those implemented in the two regions
There is no doubt that a certain degree of harmonization has been achieved with the introduction of GHS. Today, there is a common understanding of classification. Furthermore, the hazard pictograms and statements as well as the precautionary measures for handling chemicals are identical to a great extent. However, there is still room for improvement before the target of a real harmonization is reached. For more information on our services within Product Safety, Environment and Toxicology: www.tox.dhigroup.com Table 2
GHS substance classification
Flam. Liq. 3 - Carc. 1B - Acute tox. 3 (oral, dermal, inhalation) - Skin Corr. 1B - Eye Damage 1 Skin Sens. 1 - Aquatic Acute 1 Aquatic Chronic 1
Flam Liq. 3 - Carc. 2 - Acute tox. 3 (oral, dermal, inhalation) Skin corr. 1B - Eye damage 1 Skin sensitizer 1 - Aquatic Acute 1 - Aquatic Chronic 1
Flam. Liq. 3 - Self-react. Type G Acute tox. 2 (dermal) - Acute tox. 3 (oral, inhalation) Muta. 2 - Carc. 1B Repr. 2 - Skin corr. 1 - Eye damage 1 Skin sensitizer 1 - STOT SE 1 - STOT RE 1 - Aquatic Acute 1 - Aquatic Chronic 1
Label elements for a 9 % aqueous solution*
Danger H302 - H315 - H319 - H317 - H350 - H411
Danger H302 - H314 - H317 - H351 - H401 - H411
Danger H302 - H311 - H314 - H317 - H341 - H350 - H360 H371 - H373 - H401 - H411
*Solution not classified for physical hazards
In the EU, Hydrazine has a specific concentration limit. Consequently, a 9% aqueous solution does not meet the criteria for classifying the solution as corrosive, whereas the solution is classified as corrosive in China and Japan.
YOUR PORTAL TO GHS INFORMATION • Worldwide implementation status • Translation of H & P statements in more than 40 languages • Conversion tool from R to H statements Access the free portal at ghs.dhigroup.com
Visit us at : tox.dhigroup.com DHI Agern Allé 5 DK-2970 Hørsholm Denmark
The consideration of conductivity in ﬂammable and potentially explosive atmospheres
This article by Amy Rigby, Technical Service Manager at Innospec, looks at the challenges associated with electrostatic build-up in liquids and at potential measures to reduce the risk of spark discharge. Wherever there is a ﬂow of liquid, there is the potential to generate static. As ﬂuids are pumped, stirred or mixed, solids dissolved or crystalised charge is generated at interfaces. The rate of ﬂow, the conductivity of the liquid, and the diameter of the vessel or pipe have a dramatic effect on the electrostatic buildup. In non-conductive ﬂuids this charge can build and accumulate even when the system is grounded and bonded. If static charge is generated more quickly than it can be taken away, there is potential for static discharge. If this charge discharges as a spark it can lead to a number of problems in terms of process manufacture from pitting of the vessel to explosion.
The electrostatic hazards of liquids are not always well understood. An electrostatic charge can build up within a liquid, particularly those with low conductivity such as hydrocarbons. Even with the pipe or vessel being earthed, a charge can remain within
Direction of Flow
Figure 1. The generation of static due to the flow of liquids the liquid for a period of time (1, 2). Accumulated charge can also give rise to electrostatic discharges from the liquid surface sufﬁciently energetic to ignite a ﬂammable atmosphere. This ﬂammable atmosphere may be evolved from the liquid itself if the liquid is ﬂammable or combustible and it is above its ﬂash point temperature, or in the form of a spray or mist. Electrostatic charge is generated when two dissimilar surfaces - such as the liquid and
the walls of the vessel or piping- come into contact. The greater the area of the interface between the liquid and the surfaces and the higher the ﬂow velocity, the greater is the rate of charging. The charge is carried with the liquid to the receiving vessels where they can accumulate (ﬁgure 1). The electrical properties of the solvents play a major role in determining both charge generation and relaxation. Static electric charge on a liquid in a grounded conductive container will dissipate at a rate that depends on the conductivity of the liquid. (2)
The conductivity of a liquid affects its charging ability. The conductivity is expressed in terms of siemens per meter (S/m) or more commonly picosiemens per metre (pS/m). According to NFPA-77, the US consensus practice on static electricity, liquids can be divided into three classes; conductive (>10,000pS/m), semi-conductive (50-10,000pS/m) and non-conductive (<50pS/m) (Table 1). For
Ethyl Alcohol (25 oC)
1.35 x 105
1.6 x 10-3
Isopropyl Alcohol (25 oC)
3.5 x 108
5 x 10-7
~1 x 109
7.1 x 10-4
1.8 x 10-2
3 x 10-2
1 x 10-5
Relaxation Times Constant (s)
Table 1. Conductivity and Relaxation Times for Selected Liquids(2)
conductive liquids any static generated within the liquid can be conducted to the pipe/vessel and be dissipated safely via the grounding. For semi-conductive liquids, the rate of charge generation is critical, i.e. when charge generation is rapid, there may not be time for the charge to be dissipated. Low conductivity liquids are unable to dissipate the static charge. Static buildup can occur even if the vessel is earthed. Conductivity is a factor of temperature; hence the conductivity of a liquid will be lower when it is cold. Therefore it is important in a manufacturing process to measure the conductivity of a solvent when it is at its lowest temperature.
PREVENTION OF STATIC BUILD-UP
All conductive equipment associated with processing of ﬂammable liquids should be grounded in order to prevent the accumulation of static charge. Limiting the liquid velocity during vessel and container ﬁlling operations helps to limit electrostatic charge increase. In pipes, buildup of static is limited by reducing ﬂow velocity. The recommended maximum ﬂow for a low conductivity solvent is 1m/s where a solid or second liquid could be present. Where this is not the case, a maximum limit of 7m/s is suggested.(3)
The electrostatic hazard posed by nonconductive liquids such as hydrocarbons, aromatic solvents, and insulating oils to name but a few, can be decreased dramatically by increasing their electrical conductivity. The conductivity of an insulating liquid can be increased by addition of an anti-static additive. The increased conductivity enables charge to be more readily dissipated from the liquid. The use of antistatic additives, also known as conductivity improvers, to render a solvent ‘conductive’ and enable static electric charge dissipation is becoming a recognised practice, particularly in the solvents and coatings industry and is described in the industry guidelines.(2-5) Static dissipater additives increase the conductivity of solvents to render them conductive (>10,000pS/m), mitigate the build of static charge and its resulting consequences. The latest such additives have the advantage of very low dose rates, requiring the addition of only a few parts-per-million, and can increase the conductivity of an insulating liquid by several orders of magnitude, as well as being available in a food contact approved version. The low treat rates can offer a cost effective solution to static electricity in ﬂuids, when used in conjunction with appropriate grounding of equipment, for use in solvents, and coatings applications. Handheld conductivity meters allow the conductivity to quickly and easily be checked to ensure target conductivity continues to be maintained after a period of time or downstream in the process. This conductivity consideration gives an extra layer of protection against static electricity, helping to keep your plant, people, processes and business safe, and also helping to achieve ATEX compliance.
directive, implemented as DSEAR in the UK, places a mandatory obligation on employers to: “consider and eliminate possible sources of static electricity”. (6,7) One source that is often overlooked is the ﬂammable liquid itself. Use of best handling practices in conjunction with antistatic additives can be effective at minimising the risks associated with generation of static electricity in moving liquids.
The role of conductivity in static generation of ﬂammable liquids is often overlooked. The conductivity of a liquid determines the rate at which generated static can be dissipated via grounding. Rendering a liquid ‘conductive’ with a conductivity of >10,000pS/m by the use of an antistatic agent reduces electrostatic hazards in a variety of applications. This is a cost effective solution to reduce the risk of static discharge and ﬁre, and also helps to achieve ATEX compliance when used in conjunction with other safety methods such as appropriate grounding of equipment and reduced ﬂow rates.
1. Walmsey, H. L., J. Electrostat. 1992, 27, Nos. 1 and 2 2. National Fire Protection Agency document, NFPA-77, ‘Recommended Practice on Static Electricity’, (section 7.4.3). 3. British Standard 5958, control of undesirable static electricity, (1991) 4. American Coatings Association, Generation and Control of Static Electricity in Coatings Operations, 2010 5. European Solvents Industry Group, Best Practice Guidelines, Flammability: A safety guide for users No.4, V3, 2013 6. European Directive 99/92/EC (‘ATEX 137’)
ATEX 137/ DSEAR
Where ﬂammable and potentially explosive atmospheres exist the ATEX 137 European
7. DSEAR (the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations) 2002
IT ONLY TAKES ONE BRIGHT SPARK The Statsafe™ range of anti-static agents are designed to reduce unwanted static generation, a common problem in solvent-based industrial applications. The consequences of an electrostatic ignition can be serious and costly. A charge that builds up could be released as a spark and potentially creates a risk of fire. Innospec’s unique Statsafe™ formula efficiently dissipates the static before it becomes a danger and puts you firmly in control. It only takes one bright spark to halt production, and as we all know it’s easy to be wise after the event. Take control and integrate Statsafe™
For more information on how Statsafe™ can help you or to request a sample, free of charge, contact us today: E: Statsafe@innospecinc.com T: +44(0) 7920 563 642
American Elements CEO calls for National Laboratory Michael Silver, CEO of American Elements, an advanced-materials manufacturer, has proposed a bold plan to create the USA’s only specialist rare earth research centre. Mr Silver, who has discussed his idea several times with US President Donald Trump and some of his key officials, says the idea would help the US better compete on a global scale. His idea concerns the Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine, an open-pit mine on the south side of the Clark Mountain Range in California. The mine, previously owned by Molycorp Inc and recently taken over by a consortium, made its name supplying most of the world’s rare earth elements but financial problems saw it enter bankruptcy in 2015. The new owner of the Mountain Pass rare earths mine is MP Mine Operations LLC but Mr Silver has proposed that the US Government step in. American Elements has a particular knowledge of the site because the company did business with Molycorp before Mountain Pass became idle. He argues that creating a research centre supported by the mine’s raw materials would prove a powerful combination. Mountain Pass was the only rare earths mine operating in the United States before it went bankrupt in 2015 and is based on a deposit in a 1.4 billion year old Precambrian carbonatite intruded into gneiss. The mine contains 8% to 12% rare earth oxides and metals that can be
extracted from it include Cerium, Europium, Lanthanum and Neodymium. Michael Silver said: “The mine has changed hands several times over the years and my proposal is for the US Government to take it into public hands by applying the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment and acquire Mountain Pass by eminent domain. “The Government would pay the current owners just compensation as required under the Constitution then set Mountain Pass up as a National Laboratory. The United States has experience of this model through its experiences with Los Alamos.” Los Alamos in New Mexico was established as a National Laboratory in 1943 of the Manhattan Project to design and build an atomic bomb. Today, the teams at the Laboratory, including chemists, work on advanced technologies to provide the scientific and engineering solutions to the nation's most crucial security challenges. Mr Silver said he has been talking to key US Government officials to press his idea that the US should nationalise the country’s only mine of rare earth minerals, which are used in military applications. The production of rare-earth minerals -- used in applications from hybrid electric cars to iPhones and military hardware such as night-
vision goggles and guided weapons --is dominated by Chinese mines and Mr Silver argues the time has come to challenge that. He said: “This is a great opportunity. The problem for the United States is that although it has the raw materials, it is lagging behind when it comes to the technology for separating them. “Separation needs high level technology and the US has not been as effective as countries like China. “A National Laboratory would allow us to develop that technology and the mine would allow it to generate income at the same time. “China recognised what had to be done and if we do not, we are dead. We will be a Third World country. “That is why I have suggested to the President that the mine should be converted to a National Laboratory dedicated to rebuilding America’s rare-earth mining industry so the world knows it is safe to build high-tech manufacturing plants in the US. “The perception is the only place in the world you can go for reasonably priced rare earth materials for your product is in China. We have to change that perception.” Neither MP Mine Operations or The White House responded to requests for comment.
z HEALTH AND SAFETY
An HSE perspective on the risk management of hazardous substances
It is just over 40 years since the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (HASWA) received Royal Assent. The Act provided the regulatory framework for workplace health and safety in Great Britain and has helped to make this country one of the safest places in the world to work; saving many lives, preventing injuries at work, and reducing the economic and social costs of health and safety failures. Based on consultation and engagement, the regime was designed to deliver a largely non-prescriptive, proportionate and risk-based approach, the principles of which we believe have stood the test of time. 30
THE LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK
Whilst HASWA provides the overarching regulatory framework, it is supported by secondary legislation (regulations) that focus on more specific issues of aspects of worker health and safety. The key piece of legislation concerning the management of the risks associated with the day-to-day use of chemicals and other harmful substances in the workplace is the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (widely known as COSHH). As well as traditional chemicals, COSHH applies to a wide range of substances including those generated during work activities – such as wood dust and respirable crystalline silica, as well as biological agents and other materials with the potential to cause harm if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. The enduring principles of COSHH, mirroring HASWA, are ‘risk assessment’ and proportionate ‘risk control’. It the responsibility of those creating risks to worker health to carry out an assessment to establish the hazards and risk associated with the processes they are using, and to put measures in place to control those risks.
improvement in workplace safety. The numbers of fatalities and serious injuries occurring in Great Britain’s workplaces has shown an overall long-term decreasing trend. The picture, though, on occupational ill-health is not so encouraging with generally little change over recent years. Whilst the legislation provides a robust and flexible framework, what really matters is how it is put into practice. As outlined above, we have seen many improvements in safety and some improvements in health since HASWA was introduced but it requires all the efforts of those involved to bring it all together to ensure it works and improve things further. This is why last year HSE launched the Helping GB Work Well strategy for the health and safety system, one of the key themes of which is tackling ill-health. By the ‘health and safety system’ we mean everyone involved in the workplace including employers, workers, consultants and other advisors, suppliers and anyone else that can influence the safety of the workplace.
There is a lot of advice and detailed information available on COSHH on the HSE website however the key points can be simplified as: • finding out what the health hazards are; • deciding how to prevent harm to health by conducting a risk assessment;
Helpful website links
• considering substitution;
• providing control measures to reduce harm to health and make sure they are used;
• keeping all control measures in good working order; • providing information, instruction and training for employees;
www.hse.gov.uk/risk/index.htm www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/ www.hse.gov.uk/strategy/index.htm www.hsl.gov.uk/healthy-lungs
• providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases; • planning for emergencies. In common with other British health and safety legislation, COSHH sets standards in terms of outcomes to be achieved – not by straitjacketing business into doing things in a particular way, according to prescriptive rules potentially leading to simply box ticking. COSHH places ownership and responsibility for managing risk where it belongs – it creates a culture where management and workforce need to collaborate to address issues in their workplace and for everyone to be constantly vigilant. This means that the principles are universally applicable whatever the sector; from farming to the ultra high-tech laboratory situation, although the detail will obviously differ.
PRIORITIES GOING FORWARD
For many years now, HSE has been able to report an encouraging story of the continual
Currently occupational respiratory disease linked to exposure to chemicals or dust is estimated to result in approximately 12,000 deaths each year. Estimates from the 2013/14 to 2015/16 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 36,000 people who worked in the previous year (and 141, 000 who had ever had a job) reported lung or breathing problems that were caused or made worse by work. There are an estimated 14,000 new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work each year, resulting in at least an estimated 400,000 working days lost*. As can be seen, occupational lung disease (OLD) therefore continues to present a particular challenge as the causes are often not easily recognised. The air might look clear to breathe but the small particles that get deep into the airways and lungs and cause the often irreversible damage cannot be seen by casual observation. The effects themselves may take many years before they become apparent,
HEALTH AND SAFETY z
leaving the worker and country with a legacy that often the employer does not see. This all means that these causes and effects are often overlooked. This is why HSE is focusing on OLD as one of three key topics as part of its new Health and Work Strategy, launching later this month as HSE’s contribution to the wider Helping GB Work Well strategy. HSE’s overall vision for OLD is that anyone who goes to work should expect to breathe the same quality of air that they would breathe outside work. Although HSE is taking the lead on tackling OLD, a significant part of what is planned is to work closely with our partners in the health and safety system. HSE has established a Healthy Lung Partnership (HLP) comprising representatives from trade associations (including the Chemical Industry Association), employers, trade unions, other government departments, third sector and professional bodies. The purpose of the HLP is to work both together and independently in co-ordination to raise awareness about, and ultimately contribute to, a reduction in occupational lung disease and work towards our ultimate goal of clean air in all workplaces. Other planned activities include targeted HSE inspections of those activities that create a greater risk of lung disease, for example welding in manufacturing, work where respirable crystalline silica can be generated, and activities where occupational asthma is a problem such as in bakeries. Asbestos, of course, remains firmly on the radar in particular those activities where workers can be exposed when its presence is less obvious, such as in refurbishment. HSE will also be working with HLP and other partners across a range of activities including looking at how we can encourage consultants to provide proportionate and risk-based advice, supporting the rolling out of ‘Learning Occupational Health by Experiencing Risks’ project know more simply as ‘LOcHER’ - an exciting and innovate approach introducing apprentices to health and safety in the workplace, and using insight research to help target our communications efforts more effectively. A more detailed exploration of our plans and how they are developing will be made at the HSE-organised ‘Workplace Healthy Lungs Summit’ at the QEII Centre on 22 November this year. If continued improvements to reduce the burden of occupationally-related diseases are to be made in the future, the health and safety community cannot afford to be complacent. Chemicals and other potentially harmful materials are part of modern life, and are encountered by all of us every day - from the chemicals used at work, to products in the home such as paint, and detergents and pesticides used in the garden. We all have a role to play and we would end by posing the question – what can you do in your workplace to make a difference for the future respiratory health of your workers and colleagues? *Source HSE statistics
A Look At Common Risk mAnAgement stRAtegies
A popular aphorism says, It's better to be lucky than good. Due to the significance associated with process safety incidents, process safety professionals cannot rely on luck. Instead they must strive to use rigorous evaluations of hazards and their likelihoods. Their objective is to reduce the risk by either lowering the likelihood of these events occurring or mitigating the consequences of an incident. Relying on luck can have significant impacts. For example, when deciding on the basis of design for a mitigation system, trusting to luck can lead to overly-costly mitigation plans or worse, under-mitigated hazards. While robust design methodologies exist, based on both consequence and risk assessments, these methods are highly dependent on the input data and the expertise of the risk analyst. With process safety, it is better to be good.
tRusting to LiuCk CAn LeAd to oveRLy-CostLy mitigAtion oR woRse, undeR-mitigAted hAzARds. The blast resistant design of buildings is frequently a component of a comprehensive risk management programme and is a prime example of where the input data, implemented as the basis of design, can have significant impact on the effectiveness and economy of the programme. There are a variety of approaches commonly used as a basis for risk management. Four are identified below, together with some relative strengths and weaknesses.
The maximum postulated blast load (overpressure and duration) is often adopted as the design basis for a blast resistant building. This technique has
the advantage of ensuring that the blast risk to personnel and assets within the building approaches zero. However, it is imperative that a sufficiently representative maximum load be determined. If only a small sampling of blast hazards is considered, the analyst may not identify the worst-case blast load. The analyst also runs the risk of selecting too stringent a design criteria and spending excessively to design to a scenario that has a very low probability of occurring. Attempting to dismiss blast hazards as non-credible without a proper frequency and risk assessment may leave the building design dependent on luck instead of on the strength of the data.
Frequency pressure curves are a common way to credit that high blast loading events are typically predicted to occur very infrequently, and provide a simple way to screen out low probability events. However, this data should be used with caution as a basis of design. Frequency pressure curves are often presented without reference to the duration of the blast load. At times, a long duration or the maximum duration may be chosen for the design load. At other times, the duration of the particular blast scenario at the design frequency is selected. In either approach, the analyst is trusting to luck to ensure that the selected design load satisfies the intent of the design. The amount of uncertainty in the input data makes it difficult to determine an optimised design that will minimise blast risk as well as cost.
On a COMAH regulated site, a set of high-consequence major accident hazard scenarios may be developed. These scenarios may be used to develop risk values that can be utilised in the riskbased design of a facility. There can be a tendency to trust to luck and believe that if a building is designed to these scenarios, then the building will be adequately protected from any lesser hazards by default. While this may sometimes be true, lowerconsequence, higher-frequency events may be discounted. Collectively, these scenarios may contribute significantly to the overall risk, resulting in missed risk reduction opportunities. Once again, the analyst must trust to luck that they have captured all of the significant scenarios.
ComPRehensive Risk BAsed design
A comprehensive risk-based design fulfils many of the same functions as a design based on major accident scenarios; however, it expands upon the analysis. A comprehensive risk-based design includes significantly more scenarios, which in turn provides a more complete risk profile. This comprehensive set of potential scenarios may be more analytically intensive to obtain and use, but it provides the foundation to create a balanced risk design that minimises both risk and cost. While this article has primarily dealt with blast design, it is critical that other hazards such as toxic releases and fires be considered
Designed to Max Consequence
Designed to FP Curves
Designed to COMAH Scenarios
Designed to Comprehensive Risk
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as well. This can be done using similar techniques to those described above for each hazard. The outcome is a robust set of results that can be confidently used to support a cost benefit analysis of different risk mitigation options.
quALity inPut dAtA is essentiAL when
• Facility Siting & Layout • Process Hazard Analysis • Compliance & Internal Safety Auditing • Insurance Risk Engineering • Incident Investigations • Large Scale & Laboratory Testing • Dynamic Structural Analysis & Design • Blast Effects & Explosion Testing • Capital Project Support
deveLoPing design CRiteRiA in oRdeR to AChieve the sAFety And eConomiC goALs oF the PRojeCt.
A new building can be a significant investment for a facility. As shown above, it is imperative that quality data be provided as input when developing the building design criteria in order to achieve the safety and economic goals of the project. While we have used the specific example of a building, the same arguments can be made for many other design decisions. Working in the process industry, we should always be looking for opportunities to reduce our dependency on luck in achieving this good building design. After all, the best kind of luck is that which we make ourselves.
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z HEALTH AND SAFETY
Effective HAZID – it’s in the psychology
In the previous edition, we wrote about making the most of hazard identification in order to facilitate effective risk management, including use of a team with an independent chair to stimulate creative thinking. This time we explore more closely the importance of getting the right people involved in HAZID and why, in reality, this might not always be given priority. After all, if we don’t identify all the risks, how can we manage them? Using a team for HAZID is important; several minds with different areas of expertise allows different perspectives to be taken into account. While this might seem like it goes without saying, in some instances hazard identification is carried out and reviewed by an ill-fitted team, whether too large, too small, with the wrong areas of expertise, or even carried out by an individual. Why though, if the benefits of team exercises appear to be so clear? Is it a matter of resource or is there a more deep seated reason to why operators might limit HAZID efforts? One reason might be the failure to recognise the difference between actual risk and perceived risk. The perception of risk can be altered by several factors, and the result is generally that risk is perceived to be lower than it actually is. These factors include familiarity and the effect this has on complacency, the acceptance of consequences for reward (e.g. efficient operation) and the influence of choice over how we perceive danger. In the case of the operator who is responsible for allocating resources, perceived risk might result in incorrect prioritisation of risk management and a lack of focus on effective HAZID. Within the HAZID session itself, all of these factors may affect the level of commitment
of individuals to identifying hazards. It is important that those involved with the exercise are familiar with the plant and process in order to ensure that the outcomes are correct. However, the level of familiarity is a factor that reduces perceived risk and can therefore have a detrimental effect on hazard identification by either blinding people to the hazard or creating an ‘it’ll never happen here’ culture. This may be exaggerated in a team that is too large by the concept of diffused responsibility, or the bystander effect, where there is a presumption that others in the group will assume responsibility, discouraging individuals from contributing new ideas. The concept of risk compensation is also a factor that might lead to the focus on HAZID and risk management slipping, both on an organisational level and during a HAZID session. On a high hazard site, personnel have constant exposure to the arrangements for risk reduction around them. For example, they receive training, work with safety systems such as alarms and rehearse emergency response scenarios as a regular part of their operational duties. Such exposure to protection measures provide a sense of security which might be exaggerated, prompting personnel to act with disregard to the actual risk. The familiarity of a person with the subject of the HAZID is an important consideration when choosing a team and is a particular argument against allowing the factors discussed above to lead to a culture where an individual
performing a HAZID is standard practise. Of course familiarity is vital, however a level of independence will discourage the participants from falling into the trap of mindless or onesided thinking. Take for example a project manager, who has worked on the subject since the beginning, understands the topic in fine detail and has had a considerable influence over design and operation. With such a high level of knowledge and attachment to the subject, it would (understandably) be difficult to open their mind to any changes, both physically and also to how they regard their project. In HAZID, it would be difficult for an individual to think creatively and conceive of any hazards that had not been identified in the early stages of design. There are many things that should be taken into consideration when planning a HAZID session. The selection of participants should be deliberate; numbers, areas of expertise and level of independence should all be taken into account. A suitable team can help to avoid the concepts discussed from resulting in hazards being omitted from a HAZID exercise, and will ultimately mean the difference between risk that is actively managed and accidentally managed.
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Question and Answer with… additional tests are required and in some cases there are currently no regulatory in vitro methods available.
recommends a “2 out of 3” approach, whereby 2 positive results would result in classification of a chemical as a skin sensitiser.
WHICH TESTS DO YOU RECEIVE MOST QUESTIONS ABOUT AND WHY?
WHICH NON-ANIMAL TESTS AREN’T YET AVAILABLE FOR REACH?
Definitely skin sensitisation testing. This is a more complex pathway in the body compared with things like irritation and corrosion, and so a combination of 3 in vitro tests are required to model the process accurately. All 3 tests now have regulatory approval and are OECD Test Guidelines, but this fact is often overlooked when people are considering their testing strategy.
Dr Carol Treasure
Founder and Managing Director of Non-Animal Testing Lab, XCellR8
IN A NUTSHELL, CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE 3 REGULATORY IN VITRO TESTS FOR SKIN SENSITISATION?
HOW DO COMPANIES ADDRESS THE GAPS WHEN NON-ANIMAL TESTS AREN’T AVAILABLE?
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE WORLD OF NON-ANIMAL TESTING?
It started with a childhood interest in biology, nurtured by long walks in the countryside with my Dad. Then, I went to Sheffield to do my degree in Physiology & Pharmacology which is where I first witnessed animal testing and resolved that there had to be a better way, not just ethically but scientifically too. A PhD at FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) followed, and I’ve since spent my career helping organisations adopt non-animal technologies.
WHY ARE YOU SUCH A STRONG ADVOCATE OF NON-ANIMAL TESTS?
Strict validation processes now mean that a non-animal test must satisfy a high number of criteria to gain regulatory acceptance, which proves to regulators around the globe that they are reliable and robust when compared to historical animal tests, most of which were never validated. This gives us a much higher level of scientific confidence in the new in vitro approaches than in the traditional animal models. The ethical aspect of this shift is selfevident, and the sooner animal testing can be eradicated, the better.
CAN THE NON-ANIMAL TESTS PROVIDED BY XCELLR8 HELP COMPANIES WITH REACH COMPLIANCE? Yes! Key human health endpoints using regulatory methods include skin corrosion, skin and eye irritation and skin sensitisation. In the cosmetics sector, most ingredients fall under Annex VII of REACH (1-10 tonnes imported into the EU each year). Non-animal tests are available for all of the human health tests required under Annex VII, with the exception of acute toxicity. For other chemical industry sectors importing greater quantities,
A current drawback of the 3 in vitro skin sensitisation tests is that they are not validated for potency ie. how strong is the sensitising potential? In some cases, regulators are asking for an animal test as a follow-up, usually the Local Lymph Node Assay. Efforts are underway to ensure that in vitro methods for potency assessment are available ASAP, and new methods – such as the human genomic screen GARD – are already being validated for potency prediction. Other human endpoints for which there are currently no in vitro tests available include reproductive toxicity, repeatdose and acute toxicity.
Key events in Skin Sensitisation and Related Tests 1. Contact (DPRA) 2. Release of pro-inflammatory Cytokines by Keratinocytes (Keratinosens™) 3. Dendritic Cell Activation/Maturation (hClat) 4. Migration 5. T-Cell Proliferation (LLNA)
In some cases, non-regulatory methods can be used as part of a weight-of-evidence approach. Annex XI of REACH allows for methods that have reached an appropriate stage of prevalidation to be used. They may be combined with read-across data to argue against the need for animal testing. XCellR8 has developed a non-regulatory screen for acute toxicity, which some companies are already using for this purpose. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) states that animal testing for REACH compliance should only be used as a last resort, but confusingly it is still requiring it in quite a few scenarios. At XCellR8, we want to provide the best possible prediction of human health, and so we work with companies to look at non-animal strategies that enable them to challenge the status quo.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS – WILL ANIMAL TESTING IN THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY EVER BE COMPLETELY ERADICATED?
Safe, and sound
These are very exciting times in test The complex pathway of skin sensitisation development and I truly believe that a major was only recently mapped out in detail, using has occurred over the past decade. A huge a system known as an Adverseregulatory Outcome safetyshift Animal-free, tests REGULATORY number of industry scientists and regulators Pathway (AOP). The 3 tests measure human Skin sensitisation XCellR8’s GLP accredited laboratory provides companies now recognise Skin animal testing as an archaic responses to a chemical at 3 points in AOP – irritation with test results to demonstrate product safety and meet approach that Skin willcorrosion one day be as extinct as the these are described as key events. The first international regulatory requirements. dinosaurs, and Eye we’re doing all we can to help key event is contact between the chemical irritation Our innovative in vitro methods enable you to adopt animalthat process! and skin proteins. binding free Protein testing strategies that increases are both scientificallyaccelerate advanced ALSO AVAILABLE ethically sound. being a skin the likelihood ofandthe chemical To find out more about testing services offered Genotoxicity sensitiser. This is measured by the Direct With turnaround times as short as 4 weeks, why not ask us by XCellR8, visitCytotoxicity www.x-cellr8.com. for a Assay quote today? Peptide Reactivity (DPRA). Key events Acute toxicity 2 and 3 are measured using human cell culture based tests that assess the activation of skin epidermal cells (keratinocytes) and immune cells (dendritic cells) – these are the KeratinoSens and h-CLAT methods +44 (0) 1925 607respectively. 134 For REACH compliance, these in vitro methods firstname.lastname@example.org must now be used andwww.x-cellr8.com current guidance
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REGULATORY Skin sensitisation Skin irritation Skin corrosion Eye irritation ALSO AVAILABLE Genotoxicity Cytotoxicity Acute toxicity
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Survey reveals concern over compliance Checks carried out by inspectors in 17 European countries revealed that too many companies were failing to comply with the demands enshrined in the REACH regulations.
authorisation-related duties were fulfilled.
A pilot project run through the Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement checked the situation relating to 13 substances of very high concern and subject to authorisation with sunset dates in 2015.
However, inspections in companies that used or placed the substances on the market showed a rate of non-compliance of 10.7 % and 8.9 % respectively.
The work showed, that although most of the European companies complied with REACH authorisation obligations, a significant number failed to do so. The inspections checked if the substances were used or placed on the market without an authorisation and whether or not other
Where an authorisation had already been granted, inspectors also checked compliance with the conditions of the granted authorisations. The inspectors reported the results of 802 inspections, 78 % of them SMEs. The vast majority of the companies did not actually use (93%) or place on the market (92%) any of the substances that had a sunset date in 2015.
In all cases of non-compliance, inspectors took appropriate enforcement measures, such as verbal or written advice, filing administrative orders or criminal complaints to remedy the non-compliances. The beginning of REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) can be traced back to 13th February 2001,
when the European Commission adopted a White Paper setting out the strategy for a future Community Policy for Chemicals. Having come into force in 2007, REACH aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. Manufacturers and importers are required to gather information on the properties of their chemical substances, which will allow their safe handling, and to register the information in a central database in the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. The Agency is the central point in the REACH system: it manages the databases necessary to operate the system, co-ordinates the in-depth evaluation of suspicious chemicals and is building up a public database in which consumers and professionals can find hazard information.
Website to focus on nanomaterials ECHA has launched a new website that gives citizens, workers and professionals access to information on nanomaterials. It is the first phase of the European Union Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON), which offers a web-based information point with neutral content about nanomaterials on the EU market. The website includes information explaining what nanomaterials are and where they are used, health and safety issues, research, regulatory and international activities. Geert Dancet, Executive Director of ECHA, said: “With the EUON, we aim to create a reliable source of information on nanomaterials. “They are used in many everyday products and it is, therefore, important that workers and
consumers in the EU have access to objective and easily understandable information on nanomaterials.” Nanomaterials are regulated by the same EU legislation as any other chemical substance. Depending on how they are used, nanoform substances are managed under many regulatory regimes by different EU authorities. The potential hazards and risks resulting from the use of nanomaterials have to be assessed case-by-case as for any other chemical. However, more safety information is still needed for many of the most commonly used nanomaterials. As all substances under REACH, the burden of proof is on the industry putting nanomaterials on the market as a substance, part of a mixture or an article. The observatory will be further developed in the coming years with new content to meet the audiences’ needs. You can find out more about the EUON at https://euon.echa.europa.eu/
Substance added to list ECHA has added the substance PFHxS to the Candidate List. Entries for bisphenol A and four phthalates have been updated to include endocrine-disrupting properties for human health. The Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) for authorisation now contains 174 substances. The entry for bisphenol A (BPA) has also been updated to include endocrine-disrupting properties for human health, based on a proposal from France, following the SVHC
With the EUON, we aim to create a reliable source of information on nanomaterials. They are used in many everyday products and it is, therefore, important that workers and consumers in the EU have access to objective and easily understandable information on nanomaterials.
identification process with the involvement of the Member State Committee (MSC). Due to the fact that the European Commission has decided on the endocrine-disrupting properties of four phthalates following MSC opinions on these substances, the existing entries for benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) were also updated.
Chemical INDUSTRY JOURNAL Check out our website for more REACH related stories chemicalindustryjournal.co.uk
Long-awaited KKDIK Regulation is published
KKDIK, widely known in the EU as the Turkish REACH-like Regulation was published on the 23rd of June 2017 after final opinions of the stakeholders and Turkish Chemicals Manufacturers are considered by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation (MOEU) early in the year. The regulation is basically a translation of REACH Regulation and an output of an EU Implementation Project for the purpose of aligning Turkish chemicals regulatory management to that of the European Union. Despite the fact that EU and Turkey relations with regard to the EU membership are on hold, several Ministries are continuously working on aligning the regulations with the EU as global harmonisation is popular amongst regulatory environment, especially within the frame of EU-Turkey Customs Union. The Turkish By-Law on Inventory and Control of Chemicals of 2011 is repealed on the same date, 23 June 2017 while By-Law on Restriction of Manufacturing, Placing on the Market and Use of Certain Hazardous Substances, Preparations and Articles will be repealed 6 months after KKDIK publication date. The Regulation enables companies to adopt their Safety Data Sheets according to KKDIK requirements via providing a long transition period. The current Regulation on Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for dangerous substances and mixtures will be in force until 31 December 2023 which is the deadline for companies to submit registration dossier to MOEU regardless of the hazard classification and the volume of the substances put into the Turkish market. In addition to that a three year time frame is given for companies to submit registrations between 31/12/2020 – 31/12/2023 and database system called “Chemicals Registration System” abbreviated as KKS in Turkish is readily available on the MOEU website for making pre-registrations for the time being. The same database system is already being used since 2015 to make SEA notifications which is Classification and Labelling Notifications in Turkey. Keeping in mind Turkey adopted CLP Regulation earlier, the SEA notifications for hazardous substances in the market are already completed before 2015 deadline. MOEU system that will be used for (pre)-registrations is representing an old version of IUCLID regarding the data fields and structure. The system can be defined as a hybrid of IUCLID and REACH-IT through which online created dossiers can be submitted to MOEU directly. However, it is anticipated that KKS will be under construction in the upcoming months or years to cope with the changes in REACH and IUCLID in the recent years. European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) had published several guidance documents, factsheets, and updates since 2008. Guidance
on Registration is the only guidance document published by the MOEU for the time being. However, Ministry is working on other guidance documents as well. A newly published guideline; “The documents and programmes that the Chemical Safety Assessor Training and Certifying Bodies must deliver to the MOEU” is for companies planning to become a certifying body in Turkey. The document summarises the conditions and all necessary requirements regarding certification. It was already known from the Draft KKDIK documents that Chemical Safety Reports will be prepared and signed by Certified Risk Assessors established in Turkey. The requirements and procedures for qualifying to apply for a certificate and getting authorised as a certified body are already explained in Annex XIIX of the Regulation. Another important document published at an earlier stage of KKDIK before many guidance documents is “The Fact Sheet on Toll Manufacturer under KKDIK”. The roles of companies are clarified in this document. The data requirements for compliance to KKDIK is almost the same as in EU REACH. Many experts in the regulatory business believe that it is a wise decision to share the data used in EU REACH registrations and agree that this eventually increases the regulatory value of the data. The terms Substance Information Exchange Forum, Consortium,
Lead Registrant, Joint Submission, are all translated into Turkish in KKDIK regulation. EU consortia probably will start thinking about giving the right to use the data for compliance purposes to KKDIK in Turkey after finalising 2018 registrations which is keeping everybody busy at this point in time. REACH Regulation Article 8 which defines the term Only Representative (OR) and the obligations of an OR in short are translated into Turkish in Article 9 of KKDIK Regulation. The section relating to OR role in the Guidance on Registration is also identical to ECHA guidance document as well. Companies located outside of Turkey putting chemicals into the Turkish market must appoint an Only Representative to comply with the KKDIK obligations unless they have subsidiary with qualified staff to take on the workload in Turkey. Otherwise, appointing a trustworthy OR seems to be the safest way for compliance likewise in EU REACH Regulation. Please contact RGS, if you are not compliant with Turkish Chemicals Regulations or need more details on our services and the status of your substances.
Dr. Yaprak Yüzak Küçükvar RGS Turkey Branch Manager www.reach-gs.eu
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REACH 2018: Are you ready for the deadline? Jenny Butcher Chemicals Executive REACHReady
The final REACH registration deadline on 31 May 2018 is fast approaching as there is less than 9 months left for companies across Europe to meet this major regulatory challenge. This final tranche of phase-in registrations is involving both first time registrants from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies with previous registration experience, including those with wide-ranging portfolios of substances to register. ECHA is currently forecasting that up to 70,000 dossiers could potentially be expected; nearly three times as many dossiers as under the first deadline in 2010, which will cover up to 25,000 substances. Registration is a significant undertaking for many SMEs and large companies alike. Whilst working on registration, companies are also likely to be affected by other REACH processes such as evaluation, authorisation and restrictions. This has generated a significant impact in terms of resources, especially on those companies that have registered in 2010 and 2013 and are still busy preparing their submissions ahead of 2018 deadline. For those companies that are planning to submit a dossier for the 2018 deadline we would like to remind you that REACH requirements for skin corrosion/irritation, serious eye damage/eye irritation, acute dermal toxicity and skin sensitisation changed last year. This change made the non-animal testing the default requirement for those endpoints. In many cases, the information needed under REACH for the classification or
risk assessment of a substance is now obtained through non-animal methods. Companies need to take the changed requirements into account when submitting registrations to ECHA. To pass the completeness check of registration dossiers, registrants need to give information according to the new legal requirements. ECHA’s IT tools are at the centre of the creating and submitting a dossier process and are periodically updated to ensure that this process runs smoothly. Every registrant must prepare a registration dossier that has to include information specific to their company and their substance. IUCLID software application is the IT tool in which dossiers must be created in order to fulfil the requirements of REACH. In the latest version, IUCLID 6, 1.3.0, released at the end of April, several new functionalities were introduced to create a more user-friendly experience. These include a predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) calculator that uses data submitted in IULCID, the capability of re-using dossier headers, the ability for user to access a file after directly importing it via the background jobs window and the possibility to compare two dossiers. The validation assistant plug in for IUCLID 6 is another crucial feature as it highlights if any information is missing from the dossier. ECHA recommends that before submitting your dossier it is checked by the validation assistant as if information is missing the dossier will fail ECHA’s completeness check. Any failure it draws attention to should be corrected before submission. However, if no failures are indicated it does not guarantee that the dossier is complete. This is because further manual checks will be carried out by ECHA that can’t be displayed by the validation assistant. Infrequent users and SMEs can now access the IUCLID software via ECHA’s cloud services
that were launched in April. IUCLID Cloud for SME’s has been designed for SME’s who need to prepare their dossiers for the 2018 REACH deadline. It’s anticipated that this service will be used by less frequent users of IUCLID who stand to benefit from the user friendly cloud environment and not having to download the IUCLID software locally. Users are able to access their data anytime from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. They also have a reduced risk of losing data as it is regularly and automatically backed up by ECHA.
ARE YOU CONCERNED BY THE 2018 DEADLINE?
The REACHReady team can support you to successfully achieve this important milestone. REACHReady offers a confidential, comprehensive and cost-effective “one-stop shop” service, right through from keeping you informed of all the latest developments, to fulfilling your specific registration and authorisation needs. We aim to save you time, trouble and money. If there is any aspect of REACH registration you would like to discuss with us - just let us know!
Join us in Manchester on 23 November for our CPD accredited ‘REACH Registration: Are you ready for 2018?’ workshop. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.reachready.co.uk for booking and further information.
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AUTUMN 2017 AUTUMN 2017
Severe corrosion in galvanised steel
Field Erected GRP Towers
Plastic Fantastic Cooling Towers are process cooling systems that work through the evaporation of water. Their primary purpose is to remove heat from water which has been generated by some sort of process, such as chemical production, plastic thermoforming and power generation, to name but a few.
Other layers of protection come in the form of chemical management of the water within a cooling system. All cooling towers need to have a water treatment programme in place and this serves several functions.
In carrying out this function, the water passing through a cooling tower is usually at a temperature suitable for the growth of legionella bacteria. Legionella bacteria are found in natural water sources but the cool temperature of these waters usually keep the numbers of bacteria low. Inside Cooling Towers the temperature of the water is such that conditions are favourable for the proliferation of this bacteria. If allowed to escape the Cooling Tower as an aerosol (known as drift), can be inhaled and could cause a condition known as legionnaireâ€™s disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.
Tower beyond economic repair This all sounds very scary, but the reality in the UK is that there are many layers of protection to minimise this occurrence. It begins with the design of the Cooling Tower, as manufacturers need to ensure that materials of construction are such that they limit growth of bacteria. Stagnation of water (dead-legs) should be prevented and the creation of drift is minimised by the installation of high efficiency drift eliminators. There are more design requirements than detailed here, but this gives an idea of the considerations needed in designing these systems.
Painted casing panel failure
A professional water treatment company is best placed to offer advice on the correct dosing regimen for a cooling tower. This may include some of the points mentioned, but could also include additional measures not mentioned here, depending on the findings of a detailed risk assessment of the whole process. All of this means that a Cooling Tower can suffer from some pretty harsh conditions in its operating lifetime and as a result, towers constructed from galvanised steel or paint coated steel can become severely corroded.
Main structure corrosion Firstly, by killing any bacteria in the system using biocides so that high levels of bacteria are not allowed to build-up. Secondly, bio-dispersants are added to prevent the growth of biofilms that can provide a protective barrier between the bacteria and the biocide. Thirdly, the injection of corrosion inhibitors to minimise the presence of corrosion in the system, which can provide a food source for the bacteria. Lastly, scale inhibitors are used to limit scale build-up caused by the evaporation of water, as scale provides a safe haven for bacteria that the biocides cannot penetrate. This is just a very basic overview of water treatment and is not meant for detailed scrutiny.
Modular GRP towers At DHD Cooling we represent FANS, a manufacturer of Cooling Towers that are either constructed entirely from Glass Reinforced Polyester, or a combination of GRP and Stainless Steel. For a Cooling Tower end-user, this solution provides a product that has the increased longevity of stainless steel at a price point similar to galvanised steel, while at the same time reducing the cost of a water treatment programme, due to the decreased likelihood of corrosion. For more information on these products and to learn more about the capabilities of DHD Cooling, contact us or visit our website:
GRP towers and GRP access platforms
DHD Cooling Limited 6 Sansome Lodge, Sansome Walk, Worcester WR1 1LH Telephone: 01905 317 370 Email: email@example.com Website: www.dhdcooling.co.uk
Refurbishment, Maintenance, Design and Installation Solutions for Industrial and Commercial Cooling Challenges throughout Europe Cleaning and Maintenance Delivered on an ad hoc or contracted basis, cleaning, maintenance and servicing for air and water cooling systems from DHD Cooling, delivers maximum operational eﬃciency with minimum downtime.
Cooling Solutions Supply of evaporative, hybrid, dry and adiabatic cooling systems and speciﬁc complementary products designed to assist cooling are key services from DHD Cooling.
Performance Enhancement No matter what kind of air cooling system you use, it’s highly likely that you’ll reduce costs and improve eﬃciencies by adding seasonal protection screens.
Systems Reconditioning Fuelled by comprehensive technical knowledge and a problem solving approach, DHD Solutions report on, recommend and deliver eﬃciency improvements for all industrial cooling units.
Tel: +44 (0)1905 317 370 www.dhdcooling.co.uk
z TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS
There is no room for error in logistics for the chemistry sector Chemistry is life: many industrial sectors depend on products made by the chemical industry. Whether they are liquid or solid, chemical substances act as the essential basis for foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and all kinds of everyday items. From lunch boxes to paint, shampoo to weed killer, even the food we buy, chemicals are part of nearly every product lining home and office shelves. In their raw state, the chemicals used to make these everyday products include such diverse materials as corrosives, acids, pesticides, and plastic pellets. But how do we receive these products at the click of a button and how do ensure the safe, efficient and effective delivery from warehouse to warehouse and door to door all over the world? The answer is logistics. Chemical logistics requires flexibility and adaptability, the chemical supply chain is long, unpredictable and complex. When the chemical industry and the logistics sectors meet, the potential for catastrophe is high, but experts in our fields quietly go about their business to ensure a seamless path from A to B for the most dangerous of goods.
I wonder: Is there a more important area of business in today’s world, that requires a faultless supply chain? With a worldwide sales value of €3,000 billion, the chemical industry is one of the world’s largest and most important sectors, generating international trade volumes above 700 million tons of freight annually. The industry is exceptionally diverse with the supply chain challenged by the vast variety of products, the dependence on highly specialised transport and storage requirements and increasing safety issues. The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) is absolutely aware that safe,
efficient and sustainable logistics are critical to the future of the chemical industry. Ensuring an effective handling of its products, with care for the environment and in full accordance with regulations, is of key importance for the image and reputation of both the logistics and chemical industries. The chemical industry is an important driver of the global economy and the EU remains a leading chemicals production area and it is therefore fundamental that our supply chain runs effectively to match the high requirements put upon it. CILT is under no illusions that chemical manufacturers—and the third-party logistics partners that serve them — tackle enormous challenges day in
TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS z
Chemical logistics requires flexibility and adaptability, the chemical supply chain is long, unpredictable and complex. When the chemical industry and the logistics sectors meet, the potential for catastrophe is high, but experts in our fields quietly go about their business to ensure a seamless path from A to B for the most dangerous of goods.
and day out to keep the multi-billion-pound industry moving. Many chemical products require special care in handling, transporting, and storing to prevent safety hazards such as combustion, impurity and decomposition. CILT is the membership body home to some of the most talented expert leaders in this field, and its members are regularly put to task about how better to iron out the creases, or challenges, in this very long and complex supply chain.
THE CHEMICAL CHAIN’S CHALLENGES 1 Demand
2 Knowledge 3 Management 4 Safety Since chemical products are at the beginning of the value chain for many products in different industries, the demand is correspondingly high - and so are the volumes on roads, in containers on the sea or on board aircraft. As demand rises, capacity shrinks and so, the supply stretches. Logistics professionals must ensure the safety of people, the environment and material goods with comprehensive protective measures throughout all phases of transporting dangerous goods. That means, that in addition to sound know-how, excellent knowledge of the industry is required for the transport and storage of chemical goods. Management boards of chemical companies usually do not perceive supply chains and logistics as opportunities for their business. Logistics in the chemical industry is expected to run smoothly and reliably with senior executives usually only paying attention when something goes wrong and rarely regarding logistics as an opportunity. The consequences of a transport or storage accident are likely to be severe for the company and its public image, so it’s unsurprising that only when bad news hits, board executives are finally forced to turn their attention to logistics – sadly, for all the wrong reasons. But short of a major incident, logistics usually remains under
the boardroom radar. Logistics and supply chain management should be key elements in a formula for success for global chemical companies in today’s complex interconnected marketplace where products are fast being commoditised. Logistics is far more than a “necessary evil” and can, in fact, be a significant contributor to your company’s bottom-line results. With a more strategic approach to its supply chain management, chemical companies can and will establish a real competitive advantage. The chemical supply chain comprises a myriad of products, many of which require special care in handling, transporting, and storing to prevent safety hazards such as combustion, contamination, and spoilage. The manufacturers, carriers, and third-party logistics (3PL) providers who store and transport these products must adhere to a complex web of ever-changing federal and state regulations aimed at minimizing the hazards for workers and the general public who might be affected if an accident occurs. On paper, it’s the perfect relationship; chemical companies are adept at designing their products and manufacturing safely, while logistics companies offer the expertise required to safely navigate transporting and storing these potentially dangerous products. However, the array of safety considerations and regulatory follow-throughs needed to store and transport chemicals makes the logistics an increasingly complex challenge for operations managers.
BREXIT AND BEYOND
In the modern industrial world, the role of chemical industry is hard to overstate and is one of the most dynamic and powerful sectors of the domestic and global industry. With a worldwide sales value of Euro 3,000 billion, the chemical industry is one of the world’s largest and most important sectors, generating international trade volumes above 700 million tons of freight annually. The industry is exceptionally diverse with complex supply chains challenged by the variety of products, highly specialised transport and storage requirements and
growing safety issues. Logistics services companies can only handle chemicals carefully if they have the extensive specialist knowledge and the correct equipment. As the chemical industry continues to grow, shippers and their service partners work hard to keep product moving, trouble-free. CILT advocates that the entire supply chain takes heed of becoming an Authorised Economic Operator to ensure that the Chemical Supply Chain maintains frictionless borders through Brexit and beyond. AEO status is an internationally recognised quality mark and is open to any company directly or indirectly involved in the international supply chain, however large or small. This crucial ticket to negotiating Brexit indicates that your role in the international supply chain is secure, and that your customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant. Post-Brexit, an army of AEO-accredited operators will be crucial to achieving the smooth transition of borders to our markets. Created after 9/11, AEOs improve customs and security and ensure a delay free passage thereof. AEO certifies that a company meets the necessary standards in compliance, security and safety in the international supply chain. This is a complex, formal accreditation to achieve with a very low pass rate so far. Very few UK companies have it, but very many will need it, and CILT is encouraging all organisations to get on with it now. This will truly be the club to be in to guarantee success through Brexit and beyond. To ensure that your Institute is helping members in the best possible way, it is laying on specialist courses in partnership with experts at Morley Consulting to provide crucial insights and information to guide you through the process to booking your Brexit ticket. The application process takes months, not weeks, and companies need to prepare prior to submitting their applications. Now really is the time to get started. www.ciltuk.org.uk
z TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS
The Right Chemistry
Rhenus expands service offering to chemicals industry with brand new facility. INVESTING IN TOMORROW
A state-of-the-art logistics hub opened by Rhenus Logistics UK, a world-leading freight forwarding specialist, will significantly expand upon the organisation’s chemicals and hazardous materials transportation provision. Based at Manchester’s Port Salford, one of the UK’s most exciting business hubs, the impressive Rhenus Manchester development includes more than 40,000 sq ft of logistics and warehousing space, alongside a further 10,000 sq ft of offices and parking for 30 trailers. Strategically located at the UK’s first tri-modal inland port facility, the Rhenus depot gives customers access to some of the most efficient routes in and out of the UK. Representing an investment of more than £138m, Port Salford’s prime location next to the Manchester Ship Canal represents the blend of heritage and experience alongside forward-focused thinking for which Rhenus is renowned. The opening of the Rhenus Manchester facility is the latest milestone in the organisation’s long and impressive history in freight forwarding for the chemicals industry. Since its launch in the 1930s, Rhenus had led the way in pioneering innovative solutions for the transportation of chemicals and hazardous goods. Today, the business turns over more than £60m per year and employs more than 270 people at 11 locations nationwide. As one of the first businesses to take advantage of Port Salford’s prime location and facilities, Rhenus UK is heading into an exciting new chapter of its history. The operational space afforded by the new depot means Rhenus UK can expand its chemicals industry service offering like never before. With excellent transport links for road, rail, sea and air, Rhenus UK has been able to widen its daily delivery proficiencies, further streamlining its logistics offering for chemicals clients.
RHENUS UK: YOUR PARTNER FOR CHEMICALS AND HAZARDOUS GOODS TRANSPORTATION
A first-rate logistics provision is crucial for any chemical manufacturer, and, if implemented correctly, can be an impressive cost and efficiencies driver for a business. Here, Gary Dodsworth, director at Rhenus UK, explains why such investment is crucial for Europe’s chemical industry, and outlines why the sector must ensure that logistics is a strategic, and not just operational, issue. “The chemicals industry is one of the world’s largest and most important sectors, with global revenues in excess of €3,000bn. The sector employs more than 105,000 people
Rhenus’ Logistics Hub at Manchester’s Port Salford across the UK alone, and forms an important bedrock for many other industries, including pharmaceuticals, textiles, automotive and plastics. “While current economic uncertainties have led to a far leaner supply chain in many parts of the sector, the chemicals industry still handles more than 700 million tonnes of freight per annum, meaning first-rate logistics and supply chain management is absolutely imperative. That’s why Rhenus has identified five key areas within the logistics sector where significant process improvements could be made.
FIVE AREAS FOR GROWTH
1) Safety and security – A priority for chemicals companies. The challenge is to turn safety into a strategic advantage. Demonstrating a proactive approach to safety across the international supply chain can be a long-term, profitable differentiator for businesses. 2) Efficiency savings and cost reduction – More 3PLs operating across the logistics supply chain should adopt a ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ approach, creating a comprehensive, end-to-end overview of logistics costs.
“At Rhenus, we have put this theory into action, developing a best-practice model by appointing in-house chemical specialist teams which provide advice and solutions on hazardous transport challenges. This includes helping UK manufacturers keep up-to-date with the latest legislation for the transportation of chemical products, as well as ensuring exporters know the differing laws and standards for hazardous material from country to country. “Companies can waste a lot of time cutting through red tape, so we utilise our practical experience, knowledge and guidance to ensure the process of transporting chemical products is as easy as possible. Our expansive network of services allows us to provide companies with solutions for their shipments, with frequent departures to more than 60 locations across mainland Europe, the Nordic states, CIS, Mediterranean and North Africa, supported by an equally impressive global air/ocean network.” To get in touch with Rhenus UK and find out how it can support your business, visit the official website www.uk.rhenus.com.
3) Improved inventory management – Making better use of just-in-time solutions and freeing up capital will be a key area for the chemical logistics industry over the next decade. 4) Investment in technology – Calculated investment in appropriate logistics assets encourages a more collaborative approach throughout the supply chain. 5) Added value services – In a competitive marketplace, differentiated services designed to meet customer requirements can create a competitive advantage in an industry where standard chemicals are very similar.
Gary Dodsworth, Director, Rhenus UK
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z SOLVENTS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
New film presses home the solvents safety message All companies involved in the solvents industry know the importance of being vigilant when it comes to handling potentially dangerous materials. Even in an industry as safety conscious as ours a gentle reminder from time to time never does any harm, which is why the UKbased Solvents Industry Association (SIA) has collaborated with the European Solvents Industry Group (ESIG) to produce the latest in their series of solvent-related safety films. Entitled ‘Safe Loading and Transportation of Bulk Solvents by Road’, the short film is designed to support hauliers, drivers and site operators who routinely handle solvents on the move. This fifth safety film that the organisations have produced encourages best practice in the safe transportation and bulk transfer of solvents between vehicles and storage vessels. SIA General Secretary Andrew Norman said: “The film guides and advises anyone handling solvents of the need to observe health and safety procedures at all times. It can also be used as an educational tool for anyone away from the day to day handling of solvents, showing them what actually happens when products such as this are being moved and handled. All of the films and Guidance Notes that we have produced in recent years
communicate essential safety information to people dealing with solvents. “The idea is to offer best practice on issues such as flammability, avoiding sources of ignition, the build-up of static electricity and some of the other risks that must be taken into account when loading, off-loading and transporting solvents. “The film was shot over a three-day period at SIA member sites in the Netherlands and in the UK, and covers all aspects of the disciplines required to ensure the safe loading of solvents and flammable liquids.” The film complements the commitment of SIA members to the principles of Responsible Care and each member is able to establish close ties with colleagues in the European Solvents Industry Group through membership of the Association. Through a range of activities carried out by the SIA’s Technical Committee, each SIA member is provided with the advice and guidance to comply with the latest legislation and best practice. Members are encouraged to share this knowledge with all parties coming into contact with their solvent products. Strong communication is one of the cornerstones of the Association and the production of high quality films is part of this approach. Topics covered in the latest offering include: • The hazards associated with solvents and solvent-based materials • Pre-delivery inspection • Arrival on site and induction
• Adherence to site rules and understanding emergency procedures • Using the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) • Safe connection to loading gantries and storage vessels • Communication between site operators and drivers • Safeguards against static discharge and spills • ADR requirements for vehicles and drivers Available in five languages, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, the latest film accompanies previous productions from the SIA and ESIG, which include ‘Safe Use of Solvents’, ‘Solvents and IBCs’, ‘Solvents and Static Electricity’ and ‘Solvents and the Safe Use of Gloves’. All of the above productions are available to view or download via the SIA website at www.solvents.org.uk
SOLVENTS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION z
Tradebe signs up The Solvents Industry Association has announced Tradebe as the latest company to join its growing list of members. An international leader in the management of waste and recycling services, Tradebe has joined the Association through its activities in solvent recycling, supply and distribution, and thus provides a new field of expertise to the SIA and its Technical Committee. Rona Lairdwright, Business Development Manager at Tradebe, said: “As the first recycling specialist to join the SIA, we hope to contribute valuable understanding of the solvent life cycle to our fellow members.
The SIA has also taken into account advances in communications and USB copies are available. Andrew said: “Our previous safety films were distributed on DVD but as technology moves on we now offer all of the films in one place via a USB storage device.” If required, DVD copies of the first four films are still available by request from the SIA. To order a free USB copy please contact Andrew at 44 (0)7758 118675 or at: email@example.com The film was launched at the 31st SIA Annual General Meeting of the SIA held at Mottram Hall Hotel, Cheshire, on Thursday 12th October. Speakers at the event included Mark Brunt, SIA Chairman, Cornelia Tietz, Director General, ESIG, Marco Mensink, Director General, Cefic, John Roche, Operations Manager, Chemicals Northwest and David Hughes, CEO, International EChem. Talks and presentations included Brexit and free trade.
Established in 1973, the SIA has sought from its beginnings to support the UK solvents industry and consumers by promoting the safe and responsible use of solvent materials. It currently has 26 members, covering all areas of the solvents industry, including manufacturers, distributors, hauliers, chemical storage companies, packaging manufacturers, electrostatic control manufacturers, solvent recycling and distillers. The SIA’s mission is to work to ensure that the UK’s regulatory framework relevant to the manufacture, storage, distribution and use of solvents is based on sound science and best practice. Close co-operation is maintained with UK legislative bodies such as HSE, Environment Agency, HMRC and others, resulting in the production of high quality, relevant guidance which is available to all those using solvents and solvent-based materials.
“We are a company where sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and hope to assist other members to contribute further to the circular economy. We already work closely with many SIA members but believe that by actively participating in the Association, we can gain a better understanding of this core market. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with the SIA and its members, whilst at the same time gaining valuable insight into other solvent using industries.” In addition to chemical manufacture and recycling, Tradebe Chemicals offers a wider range of specialist chemical services which includes chemical innovation through research and development, adaptable custom manufacturing and safe worldwide distribution, as well as ancillary services such as contract filling, packaging and labelling.
z INDUSTRIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Lighting & attention to detail are the two most important elements to create great photographs
Industrial Photography – Glamorous?
Inside Atlantic Steel in Merseyside Pictures: Adrian Waine
The combination of photography and manufacturing may not sound like much of a marriage to most people, but to industrial photographer Adrian Waine, it’s a blend which continuously opens the door to new and varied subjects. With most photographic assignments underpinned by marketing, the whole point is to raise a company profile or to tell the world just what you are capable of. A stunning visual image will always take president over the written word and it cuts across the cultural and language barriers too. A picture which carries its message from one brief glance can be worth its weight in gold, but how’s it done? A new brochure or an exhibition are little use without riveting pictures which stop you in your tracks. It’s necessary to draw you in, look deeper, maybe ask some questions and then you might be on your way to doing some business. Adrian’s job is to create these pictures in the first place. So, returning to the Midas Touch, there are a number of different elements which create fantastic pictures and they begin with a) Lighting and b) Attention to detail. The key is often to route out something interesting about your subject which most people might miss, this might mean looking at it from floor level – yes down where all the dust and dirt lies!
Once the viewpoint is located, it’s then time to bring it to life with flash lighting which transforms it into a front cover or a backdrop to an exhibition. Picking out intricate details and textures by using small flash guns hidden within machinery can produce the most spectacular results. It shouldn’t be underestimated though, doing this kind of work takes time and sometimes equipment is out of action whilst the shoot takes place. This has to be seen as an investment as a set of really great images can run for miles and help to win oodles of business and endorse the company’s brand through marketing and PR. Those commissions which allow the time and space usually produce the most worthy photographs. If you’re a fan of industry then you will already know that the manufacturing environment can yield some of the most interesting and fascinating subjects. Transforming these into pictures can be heaven and hell at the same time for the industrial photographer as things are not always as easy as they might be. Seemingly simple issues such as power supplies, solvents and moving machinery are
all obstacles to overcome. One everlasting occurrence is the flashing light on a fork lift truck. There’s more to it than just a light, it is more likely a pulse which can continuously trigger electronic flashes into perpetual motion. Very quickly all the fuses can blow due to overheating. Planning a photographic job requires a good technical knowledge where the photographer works in tandem with the site operators. The key is to get the job done safely whilst everyone else manages to achieve theirs with minimum disruption. Hence work permits and gas detection meters come into action before a single shutter is fired. A good example would be paints and solvents where there’s a potentially explosive atmosphere – don’t forget, an electronic flash is a spark! We have all no doubt seen countless shots appear on magazine covers, at exhibitions and in brochures so in future give a thought to what effort from the photographer hides behind them. adrianwaine.com
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