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WINTER 2017/18

Study shows that more support is needed for SMEs

UK and World News

Regulatory Charges

Big Interview




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WINTER 2017/18



Chemical industry calls for strong support as Europe enters a crucial year Welcome to the latest edition of the Chemical Industry Journal, which is published as the European economy enters a crucial year with Brexit negotiations reaching a crucial phase. Brexit affects all industries but with its global

John Dean reach, the chemicals sector is watching

Editor in chief

developments particularly closely and hoping for an agreement that puts economic concerns ahead of political interests. Indeed, the European chemical industry has just signed a joint statement setting out the importance of a future EU/UK trading relationship. The statement, agreed by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), the organisation representing and advising chemical and pharmaceutical companies located across the UK, shows why politicians must proceed wisely in their negotiations. Cefic and CIA said in their statement that Brexit without a new trade agreement between the UK and the European Union would be the worst possible outcome, that a transition period is essential, that there is a need for the least disruptive agreement in terms of customs procedures and that continued free movement of skilled labour between the EU-27 and the UK is essential. They also called for the establishment of measures to facilitate investment and growth of the European chemical industry and regulatory consistency to uphold the level playing field between the EU-27 and the UK.


Marco Mensink, Director General of Cefic, said: “Considering that cross-channel chemical trade amounts to over 40bn euro, and given the close interconnection of supply chains, we are very concerned about Brexit causing disruption of chemical markets. Business needs to get clarity on the nature of the future relationship and the provisions that will apply in a transitional period as early as possible so it can timely prepare.” Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of CIA, added: “Brexit is a huge challenge for the EU and for the UK. We call on negotiators on both sides to make rapid progress, so the discussions can move to a future relationship that delivers growth for all parts of our Continent. That growth can be best achieved by the development of a forward- looking industrial policy ensuring Europe is an attractive place to invest, where the chemical industry can thrive and continue to deliver societal solutions including jobs growth across all of Europe.” Such sentiments are echoed in our Big Interview with Richard John Carter, the Managing Director of BASF in the UK & Ireland, who argues that clarity is needed and that Brexit is already causing immense disruption. It is not for the Chemical Industry Journal to play politics but what we would say is that the voice of all industries, not just chemicals, must be listened to. Brexit is not – cannot be – about political concerns. Businesses of all type thrive on creativity but creativity happens best when companies are operating in an atmosphere of stability and clarity. That is a thought – the thought – that should occupy the mind of everyone involved in bringing Brexit to a satisfactory end.


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Contents 18







UK News


World News

20-21 Regulatory Charges 26-27 Big Interview 36-37 Solvents Industry 46-53 REACH



World News


John Dean john.dean@distinctivepublishing.co.uk


Distinctive Publishing, Unit 6b, Floor B, Milburn House, Dean Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 1LE Tel: 0845 884 2343 www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk



John Dean & Francis Griss john.dean@distinctivepublishing.co.uk


Distinctive Publishing, Unit 6b, Floor B, Milburn House, Dean Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 1LE Tel: 07813 874970 email: john.neilson@distinctivegroup.co.uk www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk


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Distinctive Publishing or Chemical Industry Journal cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and Chemical Industry Journal.


WINTER 2017/18


Project seeks to create new fuel University of Nottingham scientists are partnering with the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) and CPL Industries to produce a facility capable of converting biomass into next-generation solid fuels with coal-like properties. The new facility is being financed by ERA, an Innovate UK-funded initiative involving the Midlands Innovation consortium of universities, together with the British Geological Survey and industrial partners, who are working together to support innovation in energy. The technology being used to develop the biocoal is known as Hydrothermal Carbonisation (HTC), which converts highmoisture biomass into solid fuels using moderate temperatures and high pressures. The HTC process effectively mimics the longterm natural process of coal formation and takes a matter of hours.

He said: “Developing this new HTC facility is very exciting as this is the first such plant in the UK. We will be able to look at how we can convert waste streams into value-added fuel products that have many domestic and industrial applications. “Also, by using the biocoal that has been made from biowaste, we are producing a carbon-neutral fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” The installation will be located at CPL’s production site in Immingham, North Lincolnshire, and is scheduled to begin production in mid-2018.

Once completed, the HTC facility will be operated by CPL Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of solid fuels which already has products on the market containing biomass materials.

Gordon Waddington, Chief Executive of the Energy Research Accelerator, said: “This facility is a great example of what ERA is aiming to do, demonstrating cutting-edge innovation, with industrial partners who can advise on the commercial application of the products.

CPL is working with Professor Colin Snape at the University of Nottingham, who is Director of the Centre in Efficient Power from Fossil Energy and Carbon Capture Technologies.

"By tapping into the experience of CPL and the expertise of Professor Colin Snape and his team at the University of Nottingham, I am confident that we will be able to demonstrate


that producing biocoal using this technique, has significant commercial potential.” Jason Sutton, Director of CPL, said: “The technology has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of high-moisture organic waste streams, producing value-added products that displace fossil fuels and promoting the circular economy. “CPL and the rest of the project partners stand ready to engage with local authorities and waste managers to source suitable waste material, conduct trials and develop the wider commercial and environmental benefits.” The intention of the HTC facility is to investigate suitable replacements for fossil fuels in its home heating products, with possible future developments being the replacement of coking coals in industrial applications such as foundries and smelters. The facility in Immingham is one of a number of demonstrator projects and facilities in which the Energy Research Accelerator is investing in across the Midlands.

WINTER 2017/18


Project receives funding


Transistor research

An international team of scientists has discovered a new route to ultra-lowpower transistors using a graphenebased composite material. When transistors are squeezed into small areas within computer chips, the semiconductor industry struggles to contain overheating in devices. Researchers from the University of York and Roma Tre University believe the solution lies in composite materials built from monolayers of graphene and the transition metal dichalcogenide that could be used to achieve a fine electrical control over the electron’s spin, its tiny compass needle.

A project that will help increase the competitiveness of local Small and Mediumsized Enterprises (SMEs) in the chemical industry is to receive 3.9 million euros (£3.4 million). The economic development project, known as LabFact, will unite leading research centres in the Channel area, including the University of Sussex, in supporting and training SMEs on clean and environmentally-friendly ways to manufacture fine chemicals. Through a series of development courses and consultation services, SMEs in the South of England and North of France will learn production techniques which will help unlock new, low cost and low waste manufacturing opportunities in the industry. Professor Mark Bagley, who leads the team at the University of Sussex, said: “The chemical sector is hugely important to both the French and UK economy, and we are all excited to have the opportunity to share our knowledge

through this significant project, with such strong financial backing. “Sussex brings expertise in microwaveassisted synthesis, flow processing, drug discovery and array synthesis to help innovate manufacturing for the future. “We are especially pleased that the LabFact project has a focus on working with SMEs to develop more efficient and sustainable methods of production in the chemical industry, benefiting both the economy and environment in the Channel area.” The programme will support four new PhD studentships at the University of Sussex and new mechanochemistry and photochemistry reactors to add to existing instrumental technology. Seven partners from the UK and France will be involved in the LabFact project, including the University of Sussex’s Chemistry department. The team members are: Professor Mark Bagley, Professor John Spencer, Professor Brian Cox, Dr Eddy Viseux and Dr John Turner. The overall project budget will total 5.7 million euros, with 69% funded by the Interreg FCE programme, representing a European Development Fund budget of 3.9 million euros.

Research opens up new markets Scientists at The University of Manchester have fabricated miniaturised pressure sensors using graphene membranes which can detect minute changes in pressure with high sensitivity, over a wide range of operating pressures. Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan and PhD student Dr Christian Berger have shown that it is possible to make an atomically thin membrane of graphene float just nanometers above the surface of a silicon chip.

They have established a spin-off company, Atomic Mechanics, with a view of commercialising the technology and Dr Berger and fellow PhD student Daniel MelendrezArmada, were awarded the Eli and Britt Harari Graphene Enterprise award for their touch interface concept based on the technology. Dr. Berger said: “Our sensor can find a range of applications, such as in engines, industrial plants and even household heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, which offers us a large market.”


The research, which could lead to lowenergy electronics, was funded by the Royal Society and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Sector performs well

The chemical and pharmaceutical sector, which is the largest UK exporter of manufactured goods with annual exports of £50 billion, is continuing to grow according to the latest survey of the Chemical Industries Association. Member companies reported the strongest employment growth over a three-month period since 2015 with 12% reporting an increase in jobs for the sector’s 140,000 direct workforce. The survey suggested that the outlook for the next 12 months is tempered by Brexit uncertainty.

Low carbon opportunities

Work is under way to develop a low carbon strategy for the chemical industry in the Tees Valley in North East England. Tees Valley Combined Authority is working in partnership with NEPIC and KPMG to develop an understanding of the economic and technological potential of low carbon initiatives. The strategy will include methods by which the Tees Valley can deploy technologies such as Carbon Capture Storage and Utilisation, district heating, the hydrogen economy and large scale energy storage. NEPIC chief executive Iain Wright said: “Tees Valley’s ambition for a modern and prosperous low carbon economy is a really exciting opportunity.”


WINTER 2017/18


Survey shows downturn The Chemical Business Association’s latest Supply Chain Trends Survey has revealed that order book volumes, current sales, and sales margins have all shown a downward trend over the past three months. The latest on-line Trends Survey was conducted during the three weeks 23 October-10 November 2017, and received responses from 56 member companies. The positive trend in order books and sales reported by the last Survey in July 2017 appears to have evaporated, according to the research. Though still remaining positive, their momentum has slowed and, in relation to order books, weakened significantly. The outlook for future sales also remains uncertain. However, the industry still expects to create more jobs during the next three months. CBA’s Supply Chain Trends Survey asks for information on order books, sales, sales margins, and employment, on a ‘better-worsesame’ basis. To measure short-term trends, the analysis ignores responses answering ‘same’ and

focuses on the positive or negative balance provided by the difference between the ‘better-worse’ responses. CURRENT ORDER BOOKS – Significantly weaker Members are asked if their order books are better, worse, or the same than in the previous three months. The survey shows a positive balance of +14%, a significant decline from the level (+54%) recorded CBA’s last survey in July 2017. SALES VOLUMES – Slowdown in current sales volumes Respondents are asked to compare their current sales volumes with the preceding three months and indicate their expectations for the next three months. Mirroring the trend of order books, current sales volumes continue to show a positive balance of +11%, though this represents a marked slowdown to the positive balance of +51% reported by CBA’s last survey. Future sales remain in positive territory at +14%, roughly the same as reported in July (+16%).


SALES MARGINS – Pressure on margins increasing Companies are asked to compare their current sales margins with the preceding three months and forecast their trend over the coming three months. Current sales margins have declined with a negative balance of -12% and member companies expect this trend to continue at least for the next three months as they also expect a further 12% decline in future sales margins. EMPLOYMENT – positive trend continues Member companies remain positive about employment levels. The current Survey shows a positive balance of +18% in the number of companies believing they will increase employment during the next three months (July 2017, +29%).

WINTER 2017/18


Hot stuff


Cigarettes research Chemists at the University of Nottingham have discovered that carbons derived from cigarette butts have unprecedented hydrogen storage capacity.

The research was carried out by Robert Mokaya, Professor of Materials Chemistry, and Troy Scott Blankenship, an undergraduate project student, in the School of Chemistry.

Scientists from the University of Surrey have helped develop nanoparticles which heat up to a temperature high enough to kill cancerous cells but lose heat before they get hot enough to harm healthy tissue. Thermotherapy has long been used as a treatment method for cancer, but it is difficult to treat patients without damaging healthy cells. However, tumour cells can be weakened or killed without affecting normal tissue if 1 HSD Safety half-page ARTWORK.pdf temperatures can be controlled accurately within a range of 42°C to 45°C.

Scientists from Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute have worked with colleagues from the Dalian University of Technology in China to create nanoparticles which, when implanted and used in a thermotherapy session, can induce temperatures of up to 45°C. Professor Ravi Silva, Head of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, said: "This could potentially be a game changer in the way we treat people who have 25/08/2016 12:08 cancer.”


Hydrothermal carbonisation, a process that requires only water and heat, of discarded cigarette butts yields a carbon product called hydrochar. The research team found that when the hydrochar is activated, it generates oxygen rich porous carbons that have very high surface area. Professor Mokaya said: “This may not only address an intractable environmental pollution problem – cigarette butts – but also offers new insights into converting a major waste product into very attractive hydrogen storage materials.”



WINTER 2017/18

Graphene offers promise of fabrics breakthroughs

Researchers have successfully incorporated washable, stretchable and breathable electronic circuits into fabric in research that opens up new possibilities for smart textiles and wearable electronics. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, working with colleagues in Italy and China, demonstrated how graphene can be directly printed onto fabric to produce integrated electronic circuits which are comfortable to wear and can survive up to 20 cycles in a typical washing machine. The new textile electronic devices are based on low-cost, sustainable and scalable inkjet printing of inks based on graphene and other two-dimensional materials, and are produced by standard processing techniques. Based on earlier work on the formulation of graphene inks for printed electronics, the team designed low-boiling point inks, which were directly printed onto polyester fabric. Additionally, they found that modifying the roughness of the fabric improved the performance of the printed devices. The versatility of the process allowed the researchers to design not only single transistors but all-printed integrated electronic circuits combining active and passive components. Most wearable electronic devices that are currently available rely on rigid electronic components mounted on plastic, rubber or textiles. These offer limited compatibility with

the skin in many circumstances, are damaged when washed and are uncomfortable to wear because they are not breathable.

well-being technology, to wearable energy harvesting and storage, military garments, wearable computing and fashion.

Dr Felice Torrisi, of the Cambridge Graphene Centre, the paper’s senior author, said: “Other inks for printed electronics normally require toxic solvents and are not suitable to be worn, whereas our inks are both cheap, safe and environmentally-friendly, and can be combined to create electronic circuits by simply printing different two-dimensional materials on the fabric.”

Dr Torrisi said: “Turning textile fibres into functional electronic components can open to an entirely new set of applications from healthcare and wellbeing to the Internet of Things. Thanks to nanotechnology, in the future our clothes could incorporate these textile-based electronics, such as displays or sensors and become interactive.”

Co-author Professor Roman Sordan of Politecnico di Milano, said: “Digital textile printing has been around for decades to print simple colourants on textiles, but our result demonstrates for the first time that such technology can also be used to print the entire electronic integrated circuits on textiles. “Although we demonstrated very simple integrated circuits, our process is scalable and there are no fundamental obstacles to the technological development of wearable electronic devices both in terms of their complexity and performance.“ The work opens up a number of commercial opportunities for two-dimensional material inks, ranging from personal health and


The teams at the Cambridge Graphene Centre and Politecnico di Milano are involved in the Graphene Flagship, an ECfunded, pan-European project dedicated to bringing graphene and GRM technologies to commercial applications. The research was supported by grants from the Graphene Flagship, the European Research Council’s Synergy Grant, The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, The Newton Trust, the International Research Fellowship of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. The technology is being commercialised by Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm.


WINTER 2017/18


Partners announce collaboration

The Centre for Process Innovation, which is based on Teesside, is to collaborate with world-leading partners to develop standardised models for the development of particulate products across sectors including detergents, pharmaceuticals and food.

Centre opens

The aim of the project, which is due for completion by April, is to deliver best practice guidance to support the development and industrialisation of manufacturing processes for particulate products.

Air Products, the industrial gas supplier, has launched a new sales centre in the West Midlands. The centre, located on Shaw Street, West Bromwich, offers the full range of industrial gas products for applications including engineering, food, leisure and entertainment and is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4.30 p.m. Air Products has revitalised a previously derelict one-acre site over the past few months and invested more than £250,000 while creating three new permanent full-time employment positions.

Steve Hackett, Sales Centre Manager, said: “The new sales centre is going to significantly increase our ability to serve the gas needs of customers in the West Midlands area. I’m really excited to expand our reach and create more opportunities for employment.”

The project involves collaboration with eight partners: AstraZeneca, Pfizer Inc., Johnson Matthey, Proctor & Gamble, The University of Sheffield, The University of Edinburgh, PSE Ltd and EDEM (DEM Solutions Ltd).

Andrew Hale, Channel Marketing Manager, said: “We are continuously evaluating areas where we can enhance our market share. West Bromwich is an area where the market fits the service a Sales Centre offers. This centre will form an important part of the commercial strategy in the area."

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WINTER 2017/18


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 [2017] 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 : paul.bratt@symmetrylaw.co.uk victoria.joy@symmetrylaw.co.uk

The Court of Appeal considered that were Brecknock to be still in existence, it would

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WINTER 2017/18



New EEF and Santander report details new market opportunities for the UK’s £21bn chemicals industry • Demand from emerging markets, the rise of the ‘green chemistry’ industry, and the need for specialist chemicals for 3-D printing are some of the key opportunities for the UK’s chemical manufacturers • Manufacturers should continue to invest in R&D and focus on exports • Digitalisation has the scope to reduce costs, big opportunities lie in optimisation, better security and ‘smart’ manufacturing Green chemistry Green chemistry broadly describes the efforts of industry to reduce the negative impact that chemical manufacturing has on the environment through emissions and waste, by developing alternative products and processes. One of the most influential trends has been the move to bio-based feedstocks. For instance, the majority of solvents have historically been derived from petroleum. In recent years, however, the element D-limonene has seen its uptake increase as manufacturers look to move towards “greener inputs”. D-limonene is the main component of oil extracted from citrus fruit rinds.

Demand from emerging markets such as China for UK goods, the rise of the ‘green chemistry’ industry and the positive impact of digitalisation on production costs are three key future market opportunities for the UK’s chemical manufacturers, according to a new sector report from Santander and manufacturing organisation EEF. Other opportunities are the growing demand for low-impact products and production processes that meet heightened environmental regulation, and the need for specific chemicals to support the booming, global 3-D printing market. With £12.1 billion and £21 billion generated in gross value added and sales respectively in 2016, the UK chemicals industry makes a sizeable contribution to UK manufacturing and the wider UK economy. Output has increased 27% since 1990, a growth rate surpassed only by the pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles and other transport sectors. Paul Brooks, Head of Manufacturing at Santander Corporate & Commercial said: “From shampoos and soaps, to industrial products derived from petrochemicals and dyes, the chemical sector has a hand in almost every aspect of daily life, without us often realising. The sector’s impressive slice of R&D expenditure, given its size, has also contributed to huge gains in productivity growth over the last 20 years, and while the sector was hit hard, like most, by the financial crash, its output has bounced back and is now broadly back to its pre-crisis level. This relatively stable performance, combined with efficiency programmes, has resulted in significant productivity improvements in the sector. Indeed, between 1996 and 2016, the chemicals sector productivity growth more than doubled, outstripping growth in all other manufacturing sub sectors, barring other transport.” Martyn Jenkins at EEF said: “Our sector bulletin shines a light on the dynamic chemicals industry, and its contribution to UK manufacturing, not just in terms of sales, but to a host of other manufacturing sectors, through its integration across supply chains. Its success overseas, and productivity performance in recent years stands the sector in good stead for the future. But policy makers must underpin this by ensuring the UK business environment is cost competitive for this vital sector.”

According to the EEF and Santander Chemicals Sector Bulletin, the six market opportunities for the UK chemicals sector are: Digitalisation As with all other manufacturing sectors, 4IR technologies, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence are all growing in importance and influence. The big opportunities lie in optimisation but also better security and importantly smart manufacturing, such as the introduction of closed loop sensors, which has the ability to improve logistics, reduce waste and avoid delays. Shale gas The recent development of the shale gas market has revolutionised world commodity markets over the last few years. In the UK, shale gas, and specifically the process of fracking, has been the source of much debate, with particular concern regarding the environmental impact. However there are also many opportunities on offer, in terms of job creation, cost reduction and crucially reduced dependency on Russian gas. Environmental policies The push towards environmentally friendly policies can represent an opportunity for chemical manufacturers, over the longer term. The demand for low-impact products and production processes is growing, and governments are increasingly introducing new regulations to this effect. This may mean higher costs in the short term for manufacturers, but it may also result in manufacturers pushing to achieve greater efficiency and productivity, key drivers for prosperity in the long-run. Opportunities also lie in the development of new bio products.


3D printers 3D printing is becoming a crucial technology in manufacturing, and the chemical sector is no different. Several chemical players are already investing, together with 3D printing manufacturers, to develop chemical products suitable for this technology. Producing polymers, resins or powders able to satisfy clients’ needs and to run efficiently in a 3D printer can be a great source of revenues for chemical companies. Emerging markets Long term growth in the chemical industry, as is the trend throughout manufacturing, hinges on the sector’s ability to harness the opportunities that emerging markets represent. The globalisation of the industry has occurred at a rapid pace, as more and more manufacturing activities shift to the Far East. While this can represent a risk to some incumbent UK chemical manufacturers, the opportunities on offer are great. Paul Brooks added: “Despite its relatively low share, China is expected to grow in importance as a destination for UK chemical exports, as demand in the region continues to grow at a substantial rate. In fact, despite growth being healthy across all regions, it is Asia and Oceania which has seen the greatest growth rate in terms of exports, with demand up 71% from its level in 2000. This helped to contribute to a trade surplus in the region, and represents a growing and untapped market for the sector.”


WINTER 2017/18


Air Products signs deals

Air Products, the world-leading industrial gases company which has been serving Guangdong in South China for 30 years, has signed a second long-term oxygen and nitrogen supply contract with a leading global materials supplier in the province. Under the agreement, Air Products will build two cryogenic air separation plants in Guangdong to produce both gaseous oxygen and nitrogen. The new plants are scheduled to come onstream in 2018. Together with an existing plant, which started-up in 2017 and was the company’s first of its kind built in China, Air Products will significantly increase gas supply capacity. Saw Choon Seong, China president, Industrial Gases at Air Products, said: “The new investment and capacity expansion will give Air Products an even stronger position to supply the strategic high-tech materials industry in the important Pearl River Delta region.” Air Products was one of the first multinational industrial gas companies to enter the China market when it set up its first plant in Shenzhen in 1987. Following 30 years of continuous growth and investment, it has 2,500 employees and more than 140 production facilities in the country. In Guangdong province, the company operates a supply network across the Pearl River Delta

to support the growing demand from more than 30 industries. In a separate development, and in the presence of Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, and Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Li Xiyong, Chairman of Yankuang Group Co., Ltd., signed an agreement for a $3.5 billion coal-to-syngas production facility to be built in Yulin City, Shaanxi Province, China. The agreement was signed in the Great Hall of the People as part of the Trade Mission to China led by the US Department of Commerce. Under the agreement, Air Products and Shaanxi Future Energy Group Co., Ltd. (SFEC), a subsidiary of Yankuang Group, intend to form an Air Products majority-controlled joint venture company which would build, own and operate an air separation, gasification and syngas clean-up system to supply the SFEC site. The air separation units are expected to produce approximately 40,000 tons-per-day (TPD) of oxygen to support the production


of 2.5 million nm3/hour of syngas. SFEC will supply coal, steam and power and receive syngas under a long-term, onsite contract. Air Products currently supplies SFEC’s Phase 1 project in Yulin with 12,000 TPD of oxygen. The addition of Phase 2 would make the complex one of the largest coal to fuel and chemicals facilities in China, with SFEC Phase 2 producing four million tons-per-year of liquid fuels and downstream chemicals. The project is expected onstream in 2021 and Seifi Ghasemi said: “This new agreement confirms Yankuang’s trust in us, built on the supply reliability we have delivered for their Phase 1 project. It is another excellent example of Air Products’ strategy to grow profitably by deploying capital into world-scale industrial gas projects.” Li Xiyong said: “We look forward to further extending our excellent partnership with Air Products, leveraging their technology, reliability and expertise to enable us to produce even more high-quality fuel and chemical products that drive growth and support sustainable development.”

WINTER 2017/18



Silicon nanostructures could transform printing Scientists have found a way to expand the colour spectrum used by printers using a novel nanostructure system. The current colour range for computers and printers is based on the sRGB (standard Red Green Blue), which was developed in 1996 by Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. However, the hues in the sRGB system only encompass a subset of colours that the human eye can see, say scientists in research published in the ACS’ journal Nano Letters and supported bv funding from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), SERC and National Research Foundation. The researchers have been trying to develop a better system to surpass sRGB that would broaden the printable colour spectrum while maintaining high resolution.

For example, they have used metallic nanostructures for printing but this has resulted in either high-resolution images with less-rich colours or images with vivid colours but lower resolution. Also, the use of metals like silver and gold would be too expensive for wide adoption so researchers turned to silicon because it has unique properties that might be used for expanding computer and printing colours at a lower price. So far, silicon colour systems have shown poor saturation and range so Joel Yang and colleagues designed a novel silicon nanostructure that could potentially overcome these limitations and compete with the sRGB system. The researchers tested differently sized silicon nanodisks, controlling how close the structures

were to each other. Once they figured out the optimal disk sizes and distances between them, the team used the nanodisks to print an art piece on silicon coated with an antireflective layer consisting of silicon nitride. This anti-reflective coated substrate was used to more closely mimic the range of colours visible to the human eye. The researchers concluded that the silicon nanostructures expanded the range of printable colours by 121%, while maintaining both high colour saturation and resolution. They say that although their design still has some limitations that need to be addressed, it has achieved the largest colour gamut for printing while maintaining a print resolution better than 40,000 dpi.

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WINTER 2017/18

Solvay and Henkel team up on sustainable farming project

Chemical company Solvay has expanded a project that has been designed to ensure that the raw materials it uses come from sustainable sources. The company is teaming up with global business Henkel in the Sustainable Guar Initiative to help more than double the number of Indian farmers involved in the project to 6,500 by 2020.

He said: “Solvay welcomes Henkel as its partner to build on the success of this project, which improves the daily lives of the farmers and families while also benefiting various industrial uses.

“By empowering farmers and promoting sustainable farming methods, we aim to increase the global supply of sustainablycultivated guar while also improving living and working conditions.”

The initiative, which is run by non-profit organization TechnoServe, teaches and promotes sustainable agricultural practices among 3,000 guar bean farmers across twenty villages in the desert region of Bikaner, Rajasthan.

“With this programme, we aim to generate a long-term sustainable, fair and transparent value chain, from the guar farmer up to our most engaged customers,”

William Warshauer, President and CEO of TechnoServe, said: “Guar is a critical income source of income for farmers in this area of India and learning sustainable agronomic techniques greatly enhances their livelihoods and the well-being of their families.

Solvay is interested in the project because it is the world leader in guar derivatives used in home and personal care and other applications. The company initiated the project in 2015 and Emmanuel Butstraen, President of Solvay’s Novecare Global Business Unit, said the link-up with Henkel would allow it to expand.

Thomas Foerster, Corporate Vice President R&D Henkel Beauty Care, said: “At Henkel, we recognise our responsibilities regarding ingredients based on renewable raw materials that we use in our products. “We want to drive sustainability on the ground by teaming up with partners like Solvay and TechnoServe to directly support guar bean farmers in India.


“These kinds of projects, which engage forward-thinking companies like Solvay and Henkel, are essential to sustainable development and are core to TechnoServe’s work worldwide.” Solvay is a specialty chemical company, with its headquarters in Brussels and employs 27,000 employees in 58 countries.

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Chemists unlock secrets Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in America have found a compound that may have been a crucial factor in the origins of life on Earth. Researchers have hypothesised that a chemical reaction called phosphorylation may have been crucial for the assembly of three key ingredients in early life forms: short strands of nucleotides to store genetic information, short chains of amino acids (peptides) to do the main work of cells, and lipids to form encapsulating structures such as cell walls. However, no one has ever found a phosphorylating agent that was plausibly present on early Earth and could have produced these three classes of molecules sideby-side under the same realistic conditions. TSRI chemists have now identified such a compound: diamidophosphate (DAP). Study senior author Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, associate professor of chemistry at TSRI, said: “We suggest a phosphorylation chemistry that could have given rise, all in the same place, to oligonucleotides, oligopeptides and the celllike structures to enclose them. That, in turn, would have allowed other chemistries that were not possible before, potentially leading to the first simple, cell-based living entities.”

Other researchers have described chemical reactions that might have enabled the phosphorylation of pre-biological molecules on the early Earth. However, Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy said: “It has been hard to imagine how these very different processes could have combined in the same place to yield the first primitive life forms.” He and his team, including co-first authors Clémentine Gibard, Subhendu Bhowmik, and Megha Karki, all postdoctoral research associates at TSRI, showed first that DAP could phosphorylate each of the four nucleoside building blocks of RNA in water or a paste-like state under a wide range of temperatures and other conditions. With the addition of the catalyst imidazole, a simple organic compound that was itself plausibly present on the early Earth, DAP’s activity also led to the appearance of short, RNA-like chains of these phosphorylated building blocks. Moreover, DAP with water and imidazole efficiently phosphorylated the lipid building blocks glycerol and fatty acids, leading to the self-assembly of small phospho-lipid capsules called vesicles – primitive versions of cells. DAP in water at room temperature also phosphorylated the amino acids glycine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid, and then helped link these molecules into short peptide chains.

BASF celebrates partnership at automotive plant BELGEE’s new automotive production plant has opened in in Belarus, strengthening the cooperation between the Chinese-Belarusian joint venture and BASF.

The BELGEE joint venture was founded by Geely, one of the leading Chinese car producers, and Belarusian automotive manufacturer BELAZ.

The plant near Minsk will help produce SUVS for the Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Kazakh market

Ravil Bayazitov, Local Account Manager, Automotive OEM Coatings, BASF Wostok, said: “In the end, we were able to convince BELGEE with the quality of our products and our technological know-how.”

BASF’s Coatings division supplies the coatings products for the car body as well as for the plastic parts. Monika Pander, Account Manager New Business Development, Automotive OEM Coatings, at BASF, said: “We are proud that we won BELGEE as new customer for our comprehensive layer portfolio and that we can further strengthen our position on the Eastern European market.”

The production line has a capacity of 60,000 car bodies a year with scope for expansion. Top-ranking politicians from Belarus and China joined the official opening ceremony.


Green potential

A study has shown that the global chemical industry has the possibility to make an important contribution to a low carbon future. It demonstrates how solutions from the chemical sector could enable significant emission reductions and support the Paris Agreement for restricting global warming. Undertaken by energy and climate experts Ecofys, a Navigant company, the study shows that savings can be made through buildings, transport, renewable power and food packaging.

Printing platform unveiled

The Dow Chemical Company has unveiled its EVOLV3D™ platform for 3D printing. Keith Wilson, market segment manager for Dow, said: “As a leader in materials science, Dow is focused on leveraging our R&D capabilities to develop highperformance materials for 3D printing that will help enable greater design freedom, reduce product development cycles, and offer unique performance benefits.” EVOLV3D USM provides the ability to use a single support for a broad range of popular build material filaments.

Plant to open

Sekisui Chemicals is to establish a polyolefin foam plant at a second site in Thailand through Thai Sekisui Foam Co Ltd. Responding to a rise in construction demand in the Middle East and Asian countries, the company has been increasing production of heat and sound insulation products for pipes used for air conditioning and heating/chilled water supply. The new plant, at Chonburi, is scheduled to commence operations in April.



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Research leads to new painkiller options

Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in America have developed new opioid pain relievers that reduce pain on a par with morphine but do not slow or stop breathing, the cause of opiate overdose. The research outlines a method for making safer opioid painkillers, which is important because, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses. The deaths are caused when opiates like oxycontin, heroin and fentanyl slow and eventually stop a person’s breathing. Study leader TSRI Professor Laura M. Bohn, Ph.D., said the research shows that a range of compounds can block pain without affecting respiration. The study builds on two decades of research by Prof Bohn and her colleagues, who have questioned whether the painkilling pathway, called the G protein pathway, could be separated from the breathing suppression pathway, called the beta-arrestin pathway. Prof Bohn said: “One of the questions we had

was how good we can get at separating out the pathways, and how much separation do we need to see analgesia without respiratory suppression.”

The researchers found that the new compounds could enter the brain and all of the compounds were as potent, if not more so, than morphine.

For the study, she worked closely with TSRI chemist Thomas Bannister, Ph.D, to develop new potential drug molecules; they then adapted their chemical structures to systematically vary the ‘bias’ between the two pathways—G protein signaling and betaarrestin recruitment.

Prof Bohn said: “I think what we have done here is shown that bias isn’t all or none—that there is a spectrum.”

The group have developed more than 500 compounds in the past six years and found more than 60 that showed bias between signalling assays. They selected six compounds to represent a wide range in the degree of bias from those that preferred barrestin2 recruitment to those that almost exclusively preferred G protein signalling.


The findings suggest an opportunity to expand the range of doses at which a drug may be administered safely, she said. The results today are the culmination of work by TSRI scientists including Cullen Schmid, Ph.D., Nicole Kennedy, Ph.D., and Michael Cameron, Ph.D., as well as former members of the research lab: Jenny Morgenweck, Ph.D., Zhizhou Yue, Ph.D., Kim Lovell, Ph.D. and Nicolette Ross, Ph.D. The work was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.


consulting Safety Sustainability Profitability

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CBA calls for new con escalating regulatory As the costs and charges payable by the industry to regulators continue to rise, Peter Newport, Chief Executive of the Chemical Business Association (CBA), is calling for a change in approach. The organisation has written to Claire Perry MP, the Minister responsible for the chemical industry at the Business Department, calling for a new approach to the regulatory costs and charges paid by the chemical industry. Member companies have expressed concern that continued pressure on public spending is resulting in government departments and their agencies compensating for departmental budget cuts by increasing levels of regulatory costs and charges on business. CBA believes that, if this trend continues, it will become unsustainable and self-defeating in terms of future economic growth. CBA’s Chief Executive Peter Newport said: “One of CBA’s key strategic objectives is to minimise the cost of regulatory compliance for its member companies. There is a balance to be struck between the industry’s ability to deliver economic growth and the costs and charges it has to pay to regulators.” As one of the most heavily regulated business sectors, the industry is subject to a complex regulatory framework overseen by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Transport, and the Department for Work and Pensions through its Executive Non-Departmental Body, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). With the exception of the Department for Transport, these bodies operate a charging regime, based on an hourly rate, for inspection and enforcement work. These rates are based on a ‘full cost recovery’ model for the work involved and derived from an internal formula involving notional overheads, salary costs, consumables, and bad debt.


Government Departments attempt to create a budget for the regulatory income from industry. In recent years, the annual out-turn figures show these calculations have resulted in the significant over and under recovery of costs. To take HSE’s total annual COMAH charges as an example, they have ranged from a surplus of £1 million (2011-12) when the charged hourly rate was £171 to a deficit of £1.5 million (2013-14) when the charged hourly rate was £155. Clearly, there are other variables at play, but the forecasting and cost recovery models used by Government Departments do not seem to be fit for purpose. These charges lack transparency; they are unpredictable, as well as being unchallengeable and uncontrollable.


Continuing cuts to public expenditure have resulted in the growing concern that these charges are not intended just to recover costs, but are designed to generate surpluses and to compensate for departmental budget cuts. Peter Newport said: “Over recent years, these regulatory charges have risen to the extent that member companies feel they are crowding out productive investment in their businesses.” To take HSE’s COMAH charges as an example, their overall value has almost doubled over recent years. For 2009-10 they totalled £7.6


million, in 2012-13 they totalled £10.5 million and in 2013-14 (the last year for which CBA has official data) they totalled £12.6 million. This runs the risk of fundamentally changing the relationship between the regulators and the industry they regulate. Inspectors, particularly in an enforcement context, are placed in the unenviable position of being under pressure to generate revenue whilst maintaining the pretence of the impartial enforcement of regulation.


The system of regulatory charging is becoming overly-complicated with a range of charges for different types of work from different agencies. CBA has suggested that greater transparency is required in the formulae used to calculate regulatory charges and that the charging structures should be simplified. Industry requires a better understanding of the departmental cost elements it is being asked to fund, what ‘cost recovery’ actually means, and given the reassurance it is not being asked to subsidise unrelated costs. CBA has proposed the development of a simple two-tier charging system, with one charge for planned inspections or standard recurring work and a second charge for any enforcement processes – this brings the ‘polluter pays’ principle into the equation.

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ntrols on costs This approach would also require the introduction of a process allowing industry to dispute any charges made. This disputes process should be independent of the department concerned and involve a panel with a legally trained Chair and two industry nominees.



One of CBA’s key strategic objectives is to minimise the cost of regulatory compliance for its member companies. There is a balance to be struck between the industry’s ability to deliver economic growth and the costs and charges it has to pay to regulators.


The uncertainty caused by Brexit complicates the question of regulatory charging. As the European Chemicals Agency recently made clear, the UK becomes a ‘third country’ postBrexit and much of the chemical industry’s current regulatory framework ceases to exist. REACH registrations, in ECHA’s words, become ‘non-existent’. This is a more serious issue for the chemicals than other business sectors. It is not simply a question of tariffs. For chemicals, regulatory compliance is the key to market access. Authorities in target markets determine the nature and extent of the compliance required. It is non-negotiable: without market access there is no trade. Achieving regulatory equivalence with the European Union post-Brexit is, therefore, essential in order to maintain market access. The CBA has copied its letter on regulatory costs and charges to the responsible Minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, the Chairman of the Health & Safety Executive, and the relevant Minister at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.



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Russel Argo, President Brenntag UK & Ireland

Brenntag goes from strength to strength with strategic acquisitions Growth of Brenntag UK & Ireland reflects the underlying optimism of the chemical industry as reported in the previous edition of Chemical Industry Journal. Following the series of interviews last year we speak to Russel Argo, President Brenntag UK & Ireland, on the 2018 outlook for this chemical distributor. WHEN WE SPOKE LAST SPRING YOU INDICATED THAT 2017 WAS TO BE A YEAR OF PROMISE FOR BRENNTAG UK & IRELAND. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE THE YEAR FOR YOUR COMPANY? 2017 has been an exciting year for Brenntag. We’ve had very successful twelve months with strong growth in our key areas, delivering on all our promises in terms of investment in people, infrastructure and acquisitions that we set out to achieve in the beginning of last year. The year has not been without challenges as there remains a degree of uncertainty in the industry about the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the impact these may bring. However the agility of Brenntag reach and strength of our relationships with suppliers allow us to quickly react to current changes and assist our customers to seize opportunities and foster innovation and efficiency.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER AN INNOVATION? WHAT INNOVATIONS HAS BRENNTAG UK & IRELAND BROUGHT TO THE MARKET RECENTLY? I recall having a discussion on the topic of innovations in the chemical industry over a decade ago with the CBA members, and I


continue to be fascinated both by the subject of innovation and also by the remarkable ability of our industry to innovate for sustainable growth. To answer your question, innovation for added value can take a number of forms. For instance, it may involve providing extensive technical and regulatory support through an experienced and focused team, developing bespoke projects with and for our customers in the laboratory or operational settings, enhancing customer service and customer experience, sharing a best practice in operational and product safety arena and many others. For instance, last October we hosted the first ever Brenntag UK Safety Day in Crewe. We hoped that this event, aimed at representatives of businesses across the chemical industry including suppliers, customers, industry associations and advisory bodies, would further facilitate the conversation of safety, quality, service and innovation, as together we strive to make the chemical industry a

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safe and enjoyable workplace for all. We were overwhelmed by the terrific response from the industry, whose engagement with regards to raising awareness and capacity building in the safety arena has been remarkable.


Absolutely. We are continuing to invest in digital technology to enhance our service offering and are currently rolling out the Brenntag Mobile Delivery Management Platform across our sites for “track and trace” benefits as well as considerable safety improvement opportunities deliverable through this innovative system. I give you an example: each year we make around 100k connections to bulk or semi bulk installations and transfer hazardous liquids into stock tanks from our road tankers or pressure bin systems. Due to our rigorous enforcement of the “Safety First” principles across Brenntag Group, the potential for something to go wrong is minimised; however having real-time tracking and transparency built into the Platform means that we can reduce that risk still further.

WE PREVIOUSLY SPOKE ABOUT BRENNTAG UK & IRELAND STRATEGY – COULD YOU GIVE US AN UPDATE? We continue to work towards the global Brenntag Group’s vision, which is to be the preferred distributor for specialty and industrial chemicals. Our strategy remains two-fold: organic growth and strategic acquisitions. We are making strides in each of the many environmental, life and material science applications Brenntag operates in, whether through investment in people and skills of our teams, or significant strategic projects to further build on the efficiency of our infrastructure and geographical reach. The Brenntag Solvents business has recently taken delivery of an additional 50 stainless steel IBCs to further support growth, whilst several sites including Manchester, Lutterworth, Bradford and Newcastle have seen significant investment in new liquid filling systems. Our Sodium Hypochlorite production facility at Thetford received an investment of circa £900k in various safety and infrastructure projects, with further investments planned for 2018. Work has started on the new multi-million pound distribution facility in the North East, due for completion by the end of 2018, which will be home for our Newcastle team. The multi-million pound industrial blending facility in Lutterworth (the latest addition to the UK & Ireland network of Brenntag Blending Services sites) came online in August last year, and the new Food Application Kitchen in Widnes is used extensively for recipes formulating projects, customer days and trials. Our expertise has been greatly strengthened by new high profile appointees to technical

Brenntag Industrial Blending Facility, Lutterworth and commercial teams, bringing further experience and strategy for growth to our focus areas. We are looking for opportunities to create additional added value in all focus market sectors whether by investing in new facilities or creating synergies available through our existing infrastructure, such as utilising our bespoke Brenntag Colours laboratory in Halifax for coatings and construction, paper and industrial cleaning formulating projects and trials. Bolstered by some well qualified additional new recruits who recently joined our regulatory team, we are launching the Brenntag Technical Services Hotline to provide our customers with an access to industry expertise. The Hotline is set up to deal with an increasing number and complexity of technical and regulatory queries coming in; speed and quality of response is vital, and we will be providing a twenty-four hour turnaround on customer queries.


We have further consolidated our position as a market leader in chemical distribution with two recent acquisitions completed in December 2017. Firstly, we have acquired the Water Solutions Business of CCP Gransden Ltd and CCP Gransden (Ireland) Ltd, which makes Brenntag the exclusive distribution partner for the BASF range of Zetag® and Magnafloc® polyelectrolytes throughout the UK and Ireland, giving our customers access to the full range of BASF polyelectrolyte flocculants across the entire territory. This is a great complementary fit to our significant Water Treatment business in UK & Ireland, and I am delighted to welcome experienced technical and commercial members of the former CCP team who now effectively moved to the Brenntag Group.


In addition to the expansion of our water treatment business, we also forged ahead in the food ingredients market by acquiring Kluman & Balter Limited and A1 Cake Mixes Limited. Food has been an incredible growth story for us over the last two years, and it was only right to support our team further with this massive strategic investment in the rapidly growing bakery sector. One of the largest independent bakery ingredient suppliers and specialty cake mix blenders in the UK & Ireland, Kluman & Balter is a family owned, fourth generation business which was established in 1923 with the fantastic reputation of a customer centric organisation. It is renowned for providing value-added services including new product development and technical competence, which perfectly complement Brenntag’s proposition to customers. I am excited about the opportunities arising from our partnership which will create a true step change in our product offering to the market place. These key acquisitions and strategic investments demonstrate Brenntag’s intent to deliver further growth in key focus areas we spoke about. Along with the expertise and dedication of our teams, this leaves us better capable than ever before to meet the needs of our customers and in a terrific place for achieving our aspirations in 2018 and into the future. www.brenntag.co.uk

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Is your Risk Management maturity fit for future purpose? As all best practice operators know, the effective implementation of risk management processes is critical to the achievement of shareholder value, customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and protection of health, safety and the environment. But, when considered collectively, are they delivering the optimum impact to directly support the future ambitions of the business? Risk identification, management controls, and emergency responsiveness are nothing new to chemical industry operators, who are compelled to function within a highly regulated environment (COMAH, DSEAR, REACH). However, in many organisations risk management is still considered and executed in silos. For example, financial and operational risks are often inadequately connected to strategy and business performance measurement. Coordinated governance is critical to successful risk management. With the continued emphasis on embedding risk management processes and a risk aware culture within an organisation, engineers and management should proactively verify that the organisation’s risk profile and appetite are integrated, current, and that the risk management response is robust, well managed and communicated. This will help ensure risks remain tolerable to the business and are operationally as low as reasonably practicable. Wider consideration of risk management will stimulate the typically robust safety management systems (OHSAS 18001 and similar) to fully support business resilience. (NB Safety and environmental regulators typically hold no remit to maintain or consider the operator’s business resilience). A well-considered risk transfer approach to suppliers and insurers is also critical, as is collaborating with these organisations to ensure risks are understood and responsibilities for control and response are clear. Any incidents occurring at a chemical facility or business are likely to be heavily scrutinised by the public, media, politicians, and regulators, irrespective of controls and transfer strategies being in place. Therefore, engineers and managers should work together to ensure plant, process, and people are resilient in the event of an incident in order to mitigate first and third party consequences and to be seen to behave in an ethical and socially responsible manner. A useful starting point to determine risk management effectiveness is by conducting a risk management maturity review. This will identify the gaps between the organisation’s current state and its optimum future state risk management practices. The resulting gaps identified for closure can then be



analysed, prioritised, and managed through to completion. Marsh has a well-developed approach to risk management maturity reviews, which we conduct in collaboration with clients using a systematic framework. This covers all the key elements of risk management practices, ranging from risk appetite and strategy, governance, and framework at one end of the scale, through to the specific processes and tools used to manage risk at the other. The scope of the framework covers the management of all risks in each organisation. Specific practices with regard to the management of operational, strategic, financial, and hazard risks are also considered in detail. The risk management maturity framework is assessed against a scale of five levels: 1.underdeveloped, 2. formalising, 3. established, 4. embedded, 5. optimised, based on the state of the policies, processes, and systems of the organisation within each part of the framework. The review allows the strong quality, safety, health, and environment (QSHE) culture in the chemical industry to drive the wider risk management strategy of the business. From the completed exercise (see graphic) Marsh makes recommendations, appropriate to each client’s existing structure, culture, and


management style, that will provide a basis for achieving the defined future state and highlights areas for improvement in the short (less than one year), medium (two years), and longer term (more than three years). The achievement of a chemical sector organisation’s business success necessitates a thorough appraisal of key areas of risk combining horizon scanning, resilience, stress testing, and insurance. A risk management maturity review will enable the formulation and testing of robust controls to support loss prevention and the sustainable return to business as usual following a significant or catastrophic event. David Stark is the UK Practice Leader of Enterprise Risk and Resilience at Marsh. To contact David, please email: david.stark@marsh.com Simon Thompson is the UK Chemical & Life Sciences Practice Leader at Marsh. To contact Simon, please email: simon.thompson@marsh.com COMAH (Control of major accident hazards) DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002) REACH (Registration, evaluation, authorisation, and restriction of chemicals) OHSAS (Occupational health and safety assessment series)


IS YOUR RISK MANAGEMENT MATURITY FIT FOR FUTURE PURPOSE? Marsh is a global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions. In 2016 we worked with over 1,000 chemical clients globally, and advised 40% of ICIS top 100 chemical companies. Marsh has a proven risk maturity methodology that will stimulate risk management improvements in support of your business objectives. For more information please contact: DAVID STARK david.stark@marsh.com +44 (0)20 7357 5033

SIMON THOMPSON simon.thompson@marsh.com +44 (0)20 7357 1031

Marsh Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Copyright Š 2017 Marsh Ltd All rights reserved

GRAPHICS NO. 17-1061



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Finding cause for optimism in an uncertain world These are troubling times for the UK chemicals sector and the ramifications of Brexit is something that is taking up more and more of Richard John Carter’s time. The Managing Director of BASF in the UK & Ireland says that the ‘business as usual’ approach taken by many companies could be masking very real concerns, unless British Government and European Union negotiators can bring rapidly clarity to the situation. As it is, he and his senior team, like many others across the business world, are heavily involved in drawing up potential scenarios that could impact on the company’s activities, work being carried out amid an atmosphere of uncertainty. Richard said: “I would say my state of mind at the moment is concerned. The level of uncertainty is very high.

things like the biggest regulatory development facing us in the form of REACH. “The result of all this uncertainty is that we are taking a lot of time on scenario planning and the Government is telling us that no deal is possible so that has been our baseline. “I do worry that, although our industry is stable at the moment, a lot of companies across many sectors are taking a ‘business as usual’ approach but that nothing has actually changed yet. We do not know what the effect of Brexit will be. “We are talking to our trade bodies and the Chemistry Growth Partnership to work out an industry response and looking at sectors like automotives and aviation to learn from what they have done. “From a personal point of view, I am consumed by Brexit. I am involved in scenario planning, talking to site managers, talking to trade bodies, ministers and civil servants and handling enquiries from people outside the UK, all of which are non- core activities.

“As we get nearer to March 2019, there are still many things we do not know. Are we looking at No Deal or will there be a deal with a transition period? If there is a transition period, how long will it be?

“We need to know that there will be a transition period and how long it will be. We appreciate that transition periods do not go on for ever but it will mean that we have stepped back from the cliff edge and can start planning with a degree of certainty. What we need is clarity.”

“That uncertainty is going to continue through to 2019 and beyond, into 2020 and 2021, and as a company we are already feeling the effects. Our business is two thirds import and one third export, so we are impacted negatively by the current exchange rates.

Brexit is not the only challenge on the horizon for Richard, who was born in Yorkshire and went on to study Economic and Business Administration at the Manchester Business School, the Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden and Middlesex University.

“One of the other concerns is whether or not we will end up paying tariffs because, if we do, we estimate that could cost us about £50 million a year and we will have to employ more people to manage the process, which is a ‘non-value-added’ expense.

He has enjoyed a long career with BASF and has worked in Germany, Malaysia, Portugal and the USA, holding a number of senior positions, including Global Procurement, Sales & Marketing and Managing Director of BASF Portuguesa.

“There is also concern about what happens to regulation, for example when it comes to

Prior to his current role, he was Vice President for Global Key Account


Management Europe and has been Managing Director BASF UK & Ireland since January 2016, responsible for developing the business and building relationships with key stakeholders, trade associations and Government departments. One of his roles is overseeing the way the company in the UK responds to Industry 4.0, which improves connections between pieces of equipment so that they are more efficient and productive. BASF is acknowledged as a key player in harnessing the potential and uses Industry 4.0 applications in its development of connected systems and advanced analytics models for predictive asset management, process management and control, and virtual plant commissioning. Richard believes that the technological revolution offers exciting opportunities, saying: “BASF is a leader in the implementation

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We need to know that there will be a transition period and how long it will be. We appreciate that transition periods do not go on for ever but it will mean that we have stepped back from the cliff edge and can start planning with a degree of certainty. What we need is clarity. Richard John Carter The Managing Director of BASF in the UK & Ireland

of Industry 4.0 and we are working very closely with our head office in Germany. “One of the things we are looking to do is increase productivity at our plants and Industry 4.0 has a role to play in what is a complex process. “Among the things we are looking to do is make greater use of sensors and automation in our processes. “ Also looking to the future, Richard focuses a lot of his attention on the need to bring in more young talent to ensure that BASF can weather concerns about a skills shortage. He was particularly pleased that BASF’s Bradford site recently won a Chemical Industry Award for the way it works with young people. The award was presented at a Chemical Industries Association dinner in Leeds where the Kids’ Lab at Bradford won the Reputation category.

BASF Kids’ Lab, which is run by 60 volunteers, works with children aged 9-11 to promote science and introduce them to the idea of working for BASF.

Richard is keen to ensure that the company is also able to hold onto its talent, arguing that BASF offers plenty of opportunity for advancement.

Richard said: “We have a certain demographic in the company and we need to ensure that enough young people are coming through to replace our experienced people when they retire.

The company has almost 1,400 employees in the UK, based at nine sites supplying raw materials to most industries in the UK, including agriculture, automotive, chemicals, construction, energy and pharmaceuticals.

“The Kids’ Lab is a good example. We want to enthuse young people from primary school age so that they go on to take STEM subjects at A level then pursue science and technology subjects at university.

Richard said: “The Gig economy is not our ethos. We want our talented people to stay with us.

“It is important that we have enough skilled young people coming through, which is why we are also committed to apprenticeships. We want to take young people on early, train them in working for BASF then give them jobs.”


“I have been with the company for twenty nine years because of the opportunities it has offered me. The depth and breadth of BASF and the opportunities it offers is a way of retaining our talent.” Despite the uncertainty of life in a post-Brexit world, there are, it would seem, reason to be optimistic.

COGENT SKILLS ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE WE HAVE NOW HELPED OVER 8500 DELEGATES CREATE A STRONG PROCESS SAFETY CULTURE WITHIN THEIR ORGANISATION. A proactive safety culture which is inclusive of all employees, fosters an environment where everybody feels responsible for safety. This is evident when employees seek improvements, remain aware of hazards on site and utilise systems and tools for continuous identification, monitoring, analysis and investigation. A safety culture reflects an organisation’s perceptions and beliefs regarding process safety and ‘the way things are done around here’ and therefore has the potential to strongly influence an employee’s behaviour. By focusing on your safety climate, and a tiered approach to training your employees, you will, in time, foster a positive process safety culture.

Whilst establishing a process safety culture will undoubtedly provide a great level of protection in managing hazards, monitoring its effectiveness is crucial Cogent Skills and the Process Safety Management Competence Programme Board are raising awareness and commitment in process safety through the adoption of the Process Safety Management Standards. These standards have been developed throughout a specifically designed Process Safety Management Programme of Courses and Consultancy for senior executives, managers, operators and technicians, and are relevant across all industry sectors with major accident hazard organisations. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recognised that the adoption of this standards-based approach, can help companies achieve and demonstrate effective process safety management. If you would like to find out more about how you can adopt a strong process safety culture in 2018 you can contact a member of the Cogent Skills team on 01325 740900 or email industry@cogentskills.com

Following on from the launch in 2012 of the PSM Competence Programme Board’s ‘UK Strategy for Skills in Process Safety Management’, practitioners and executives from industry, stakeholder and regulatory bodies will come together for the 3rd in a triennial series of PSM Summits taking place in 2018. The event will be led by the UK PSM Competence Programme Board, the Process Safety Forum and the COMAH Strategic Forum.

Confirmed speakers so far; > Dr Paul Logan, Director, Health & Safety Executive > Martyn Lyons, Chief Executive, Inter Terminals > Ken Rivers, Chair, COMAH Strategic Forum > Paul Thomas CB FREng, Chair, Process Safety Forum > Richard Roff, Chairman, PSM Competence Programme Board


As a Training Provider or Stakeholder you will have the opportunity to SPONSOR OR EXHIBIT AT THE SUMMIT DELIVER PRE- AND POST- CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

If you would like to book a place at the PSM Summit III you can follow the below link or book directly through Cogent Skills. If you would like to find out more information or to book a sponsorship/exhibition package you can contact a member of the team on 01325 740900 or email industry@cogentskills.com https://psmsummit.eventbrite.co.uk

WINTER 2017/18


A ‘Cracking’ future for commodity chemicals

North East England’s base and petrochemical cluster is one of the foremost in Europe. It is a vibrant collaborative community of companies with many global leaders represented and is quite simply thriving! The commodity chemical industry, predominately based on Teesside, stretches back over 170 years during which time there has been a continuous stream of world leading products and processes. This legacy and the continual business rejuvenation, driven by innovation and investment, has cemented the region as a leading location for the process industry. Teesside is hot-wired into the North Sea for the supply of oil and gas raw materials, whilst the port makes it a central point in the North Sea basin, giving access to both the European and wider global markets. The sector feeds into benefits from other industries in the region. Many of the plants are integrated through a network of pipelines ensuring that the end product of one company becomes the raw material of another.


Most recently, Teesside has seen a great deal of new activity and investment in the chemical sector including both new plants and facility upgrades. A successful multi-million-pound upgrade of SABIC’s Olefins 6 plant at Wilton was completed in the first quarter of 2017, after the largest single investment in the Teesside chemical industry in a generation. The 37-year-old Cracker underwent complex changes to allow it to process US-imported ethane gas as an alternative raw material. The plant will also continue to process propane, butane, naphtha and condensates as feedstocks, making it the most feed flexible cracker in Europe. The ambitious project, which took two years to complete, also involved the building of an extensive ethane terminal at SABIC’s North Tees site, including the construction of Europe’s largest cryogenic ethane tank. A pipeline will carry ethane from the new North Tees storage tank through a series of pipe trenches under the River Tees to connect to the cracker complex at Wilton. Two ships were commissioned, designed and built to transport the ethane from the US to Teesside, while the automation platform and software upgraded to ensure the operation worked from the control rooms. Work will continue over the coming months as the firm decommissions inherited and redundant


facilities at both Wilton and North Tees, clearing the way for the next big project! In addition, 2017 saw construction work formally commence on the long-awaited Sirius Minerals Potash mine. The mine, when it goes into production, will be the world’s largest potash mine – extracting polyhalite from a large underground area and conveying it by tunnel to a berth in the River Tees. By extracting polyhalite from deep beneath the North York Moors, this project is set to generate 2,000 direct jobs and pump billions into the economy. The polyhalite mine will be a world-first and the largest single investment in recent years in North East England. The mine, which will take 5 years to build and produce for 100 years, will operate processing facilities on Teesside. Furthermore, MGT Power are making great strides in the construction of their £650 million Teesside Renewable Energy Plant. Fuelled by wood chip and pellets, the plant will generate electricity for the equivalent of 600,000 homes, creating hundreds of construction jobs and then more than 100 full time roles. Growth of the biomass industry is being driven by the global shift to low-carbon fuel sources. The Teesport-based project, which will reach full operating capacity in 2020, will alter the landscape as we know it and include silos for biomass that stand at 36m high that will sit alongside a 75m high boiler and a 93m high flue.

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Situated on the banks of the River Tees, a joint venture between Eco2 Ltd and Temporis Capital LLP is also under construction. The Port Clarence Energy Project will provide 40MW of renewable energy to the UK energy market through the combustion of waste wood. The project will have the capacity to process 325,000 tonnes of waste wood per year from construction, demolition and civic amenity sites and packaging. Furthermore, SNF Oil and Gas - part of SNF Group, the world’s largest producer of water soluble polymers - have invested £150 million in a new polymer plant for the production of oilfield chemicals in Billingham. Australian firm, Peak Resources, have also named Wilton International as the preferred location for its £70m rare earth minerals processing plant. The refinery would process minerals for use in a range of products, including mobile phones, wind turbines and for the automotive sector. If the proposal gets the go-ahead, production is expected to start in 2019. In addition to the large-scale investment projects, growth is too being reported. CropEnergies Ensus, the company behind one of Europe's largest bioethanol plants, has recently reported its first profit after being plagued by market conditions that forced the site to be mothballed in 2014. Brought back on-line in July 2016, the facility has an annual capacity of 400,000 cubic metres of bioethanol, 350,000 tonnes of dried protein animal feed and supplies CO2 to neighbouring firm, Praxair.


Teesside’s commodity chemical industry is concentrated across a relatively small geographical area on both sides of the River Tees, approximately 12 miles from west to east, with three main sites - Wilton International, Billingham and Seal Sands-North Tees. The 2,000 acre Wilton International site is one of the UK’s principal manufacturing sites. Owned by Sembcorp Utilities, the site is home to Huntsman, Lotte Chemical UK, Biffa, Invista and International Power GDF Suez, along with the aforementioned SABIC UK Petrochemicals, CropEnergies Ensus and Praxiar. With a 60-year heritage and originally a cornerstone of the ICI business, today 3,000 people work on the site and some 50 companies, including suppliers of key maintenance and engineering services. The site has extensive existing infrastructure including power, steam and water and underpinned by one of the largest Crackers in Europe. There are also more than 120Km of corridor carrying pipelines, cables and distribution systems – important links saving investors time and money in getting new projects off the ground quickly. One of only a few sites in Western Europe with special development status for heavy industrial use, it sits alongside one of the largest research and development centres in Europe – the Wilton Centre.

Billingham’s chemical heritage began in the 1920s with the production of ammonia, fertiliser and plastic by then owners ICI. Today chemical, biotechnology and engineering companies continue to operate at the multicompany Billingham Chemical Park and include CF Fertilisers, Johnson Matthey and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. Lucite International’s Billingham-based plant is the powerhouse of the company’s methacrylates business and the largest methyl methacrylate production site in the Mitsubishi Chemical Lucite Group. Adjacent to this is the 62 acre Belasis Business Park - home to companies such as Cambridge Research Biochemicals, ABB and near-by water treatment specialists, Biochemica. Situated in the mouth of the River Tees on recovered land from the sea, an area of Seal Sands became an industrial park for the Chemical Industry in the 1960s. Operators here include Ineos, Fine Industries, SABIC, Vertellus, ConocoPhillips, Wood plc (operators of BP Cats Terminal), Inter Terminals, Navigator Terminals, Harvest Energy, Greenergy, px group, Victrex and Air Products. The ConocoPhillips Ekofisk oil pipeline & BP Cats natural gas pipeline both landfall here also - 20 per cent of the UK’s natural gas is brought in here before being transferred onto the national grid. Butane, ethylene and condensate are also supplied. Commodity Specialities are also made in this region such as PET by Lotte Chemicals, Perspex by Lucite International and Titanium Dioxide and polyurethane intermediates by Huntsman. Several new technologies, such as graphene applications, polylactic acid polymers and printable electronics, are also being developed here.


The message to the Global chemistry-using industries, that may be looking to invest, is that North East England has the infrastructure and supply chain capabilities to support your project and to help your business grow. Whatever process you want to operate, this region can help you to achieve it. NEPIC represents a world-class process industry


location with unprecedented levels of supply chain expertise and experience; come & join us.


NEPIC, the North East Process Industry Cluster, is a proactive membership organisation working on behalf of the chemical-processing sector and its associated supply chain in the North East of England. Owned by its member companies and guided by a strong team of industrial leaders, NEPIC are one of the most influential clusters in the UK. For more than a decade, NEPIC has delivered high quality business growth support, working with member companies of all shapes and sizes, with activities to date have generated more than £3 billion of GVA for the region. The NEPIC network includes member and partner companies that work within or would like to become involved in the region’s largest industrial sector. If your organisation is looking to grow or be part of the sector or supply chain, NEPIC have the network and expertise available to help you win new business and succeed. Membership of NEPIC offers immediate connectivity to a wide and diverse process industry incorporating petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, fine & speciality, biotechnology, polymers, bioresources & renewables and significant supply chain. As well as providing members with the tangible membership benefits, NEPIC are continually working on key projects and industry issues to ensure the long-term sustainability of the chemical-processing sector in North East England and creating a business environment in which firms can thrive. Find out more today and let NEPIC help you grow! www.nepic.co.uk/join-now

Fire Hazard and Mitigation analysis A New wAy to Look At Fires Many of the largest losses in industry have been the result of fires. While relatively rare, these incidents have the potential to be highly consequential in terms of loss of life, property damage, and environmental impact. Having appropriately designed, installed, and maintained fire protection systems are vital to preventing escalation and reducing the damage caused by fires. Fire protection professionals face the challenge of designing a system that provides the right level of protection while balancing the cost of installing and maintaining a system that ideally will never be used. Larger and more complex systems may be more susceptible to maintenance difficulties or inspire overconfidence in their ability to address all fires. Underprotection leads to a higher potential for escalation and loss when a fire occurs. The difficulty of this task is increased by the unpredictable nature of most fires and how small fires can escalate into large infernos.

process that evaluates the specific consequences and the emergency response plans for a fire event allows fire protection engineers and emergency responders to ensure that both passive and active fire protection measures are optimized to manage the potential fire exposures at their facility. To this end, BakerRisk has developed a unique approach for analysing fire hazards, called Fire Hazard and Mitigation Analysis (FHMA), which combines the real world experience of fire protection engineers with the proven rigor of quantitative fire modelling tools.

A BakerRisk FHMA includes a facilitated workshop approach that ensures operations, emergency responders, safety personnel, support staff, and management are involved in review of hazards, mitigations, and proposed improvements. BakerRisk Many design guidelines in use are based on spacing then couples the workshop with quantitative modelling tables or other rules of thumb. While these guidelines of fire and thermal radiation consequences, firewater are often useful as a starting point, they often offer a coverage, and firewater demands. This unique and one-size-fits all solution, which may not be suitable tested approach leverages the strength of both qualitative for many facilities. A more detailed assessment and quantitative techniques to provide a robust method of defining firewater demands, determining firewater coverage, identifying fire protection gaps, and facilitating the creation of optimized firefighting preplans.

Providing the right level of fire protection requires a delicate balance of several, often competing, factors.

One typical example is to use quantitative methods to model a credible fire event and the predicted water coverage that could be used during the event. Using graphics produced by this method (as shown in the image

Providing Solutions to Manage Hazards and Risk Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants is one of the world’s leading explosion analysis, structural design, and risk engineering companies. At BakerRisk our unique collaboration of scientists and engineers partners with you to keep your facility safe to operate now and in the future. BakerRisk provides a broad range of consulting, engineering, laboratory, and range testing services to government agencies and private companies who are involved with highly hazardous, reactive, or explosive materials. Contact us to learn more.

Key ServiceS below), a team of fire protection professionals could use experience-based techniques to analyse the potential propagation of the fire and the additional firefighting techniques that could be utilised. Firefighters could also use the analysis to create fire pre-plans to prepare and train for potential events, including creation of consistent emergency response documents.

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

BakerRisk's unique approach combines real-world experience with state-of-theart modelling to optimize fire hazard analysis and mitigation. Once developed, the FHMA model can be easily updated to include changes to process units, new fire protection equipment, or improved emergency response. Adding risk modelling to the analysis allows for the creation of a balanced design and allows cost-benefit analysis to be easily performed. These methodologies can help identify gaps and generate a balanced fire protection plan. Contact us to learn how BakerRisk can help you optimize the management of your fire hazards.

Thornton Science Park Pool Lane, Ince, CH2 4NU United Kingdom Tel. +44 1244 405 960

www.BakerRisk.com ContactUs@BakerRisk.com

WINTER 2017/18


Linking people and processes for successful safety management Policies are the backbone of any management system. They set out an organisation’s commitments and provide a benchmark for achievement. They are endorsed by senior management who must sign them to demonstrate their commitment to achieving their promises to implementing systems for better health and safety, environment management and major accident prevention. The importance of a signed policy seems clear, at least for the senior manager who is held accountable, but who are they signing it for? This might depend on who it is you ask. The site manager who has ultimate responsibility for a safe and efficient process might say that they sign it themselves on behalf of every one. After all, we all play a part in making sure these policies are achieved. On the other hand, they, or indeed any other team member from the wider workforce might regard it as just another piece of paper. What does the signature mean if the commitments in the policy are enforced by procedures and processes which must be followed anyway? If we could wind back to where it all began to develop a mutual understanding and appreciation of the principles that underlie policy making, the systems in place to achieve the commitments would be implemented with equal rigour across the organisation. A shared attitude will result in safety becoming a perceived normal practise rather than a reactive box ticking exercise, ultimately leading to better standards and an appetite for continuous improvement. To bridge this gap, a healthy safety culture is key. Guidance on safety culture suggests a number of different ways to achieve a positive

culture, but ultimately they all boil down to communication and engagement. Communicating why policies and management systems are in place instead of simply making people aware that they exist helps to build a mutual understanding and trust across the organisation due to increased visibility and demonstration that risk is being successfully managed. Within the organisation this can be achieved by creating channels for employees to communicate any concerns they might have, and demonstrating to them that this is taken seriously by publishing outcomes and safety performance. Within the wider industry, sharing and gathering information on best practise and previous incidents develops a reputation for high standards and commitments to safety, which will be reflected on site. When people are recognised for doing well, they are motivated to uphold their positive reputation and go beyond the basic requirements to demonstrate ongoing commitment. Active involvement demonstrates to the workforce that safety is a joint exercise. Enabling those on the ground to take part in exercises such as risk assessments, design and surveys both demonstrates that the organisation has a commitment to safety and develops a sense of ownership. Asking those with unique experience and knowledge in a process to get involved in safety management has a mutual benefit; senior managers gain a more representative picture of what goes on on the ground and where they should focus resources, and the workforce have the opportunity to experience first-hand what the arrangements for safety management are.


Ultimately this takes the feeling of ‘box ticking’ away and nurtures trust and confidence in the commitments to safety outlined in policies. A healthy safety culture creates morale and this perceived culture can have as big an influence on safety outcomes as the safety management system itself by linking the people to the processes. As an emphasis on safety climbs higher up the agenda, so does motivation to keep that momentum going and strive for ever improving standards. In order for the signature to have any value, the policy must have the endorsement of everybody who will play a role in making sure the commitments are met. By ensuring that the site has a healthy safety culture, and implementing the principles of successful safety cultures into policy making, this endorsement can be achieved. Consider involving others in creating policies and providing training in what they are and how they are achieved. Reiterate the importance of every role in achieving the commitments by making them visible on multiple platforms and communicating successes in both written form and verbally. With site wide endorsement, a signed policy becomes a tool to achieve a common goal of safety. Jenny Hill jennifer.hill@ras.ltd.uk Carolyn Nicholls carolyn.nicholls@ras.ltd.uk


Understanding and facilitating the effective management of risk is our core business. Our expertise covers the full range of risk assessment and management services across:

Safety Risk

Business Risk

Environment Risk

Only when the risk facing an organisation is well understood can it be effectively managed.

Key to the successful identification, assessment and management of risk is engagement with the right

people, using the right processes at the right time. We believe we are different to many of our competitors and our approach is distinctive, we don’t always walk the well-trodden path but look at each client’s particular risk context and develop a tailored solution, working in partnership with our client. We work across all aspects of risk, from Quantitative Risk Assessments and Predictive &

Consequence modelling, through to the ‘softer’ risks which may affect an organisation’s reputation.

+44 (0) 1244 674 612 • enquiries@ras.ltd.uk • www.ras.ltd.uk


WINTER 2017/18


Solvents Industry Association highlights the dangers of static electricity when handling flammable liquids A fatal accident at a US-based cosmetics company in November was a reminder that the potential to cause fire is a major hazard associated with the handling of solvents and flammable liquids, particularly when transferring these materials from one receptacle to another. This may involve bulk tanker loading or off-loading, drum or IBC filling or simple processes such as the cleaning and draining of transfer pipelines or sampling. However, before ignition can occur, there are certain conditions that must be met; 1. For a vapour ignition, the air and vapour must be present within certain concentrations and an ignition source be present. 2. For a liquid fire, the temperature must be high enough and sufficient air must to be present to ignite the liquid. The temperature aspect may arise from the ignition source such as a static spark or from the liquid itself being above its autoignition temperature. Auto-ignition Temperatures and Explosive Limits. Auto-ignition occurs when the solvent to air ratio is correct and the liquid is at an elevated temperature. This is usually well above the boiling point of the material. This type of incident can occur during manufacturing. For example the failure of a pump seal in a high temperature loop, resulting in loss of containment and almost instantaneous fire. Explosive limits When the vapour to air ratio is within certain limits, an ignition source would create an explosion rather than just a fire and after the explosion there will be an associated liquid fire. Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) When the concentration of the vapour is below this figure there is insufficient vapour present to cause an explosion i.e. too lean in vapour, too much air. Upper Explosive Limit (UEL) When the concentration of the vapour is above this figure there is insufficient air present to cause an explosion i.e. too rich in vapour, insufficient air. The Technical Committee [1] of the Solvents Industry Association (SIA) has produced a series of Guidance Notes and safety films to be used as a reference for all companies handling solvents, covering a variety of relevant subjects. The recent incident in New York [2] where a worker died as a result of an explosion involving static discharge igniting a

flammable liquid followed a similar incident earlier this year in Spain with a bulk tanker delivery. These have again raised awareness of the dangers posed. A hazard that is often underestimated, the SIA has recently reviewed and re-issued their publication, Guidance Note 47 – ‘Flammable Solvents and the Hazard of Static Electricity’, which emphasises the importance of considering static discharge as an ignition source for serious fires that can occur during everyday operations involving the handling and processing of flammable liquids.

process of filling a metal bucket via gravity fed 0.75” metal piping. In the case of toluene, an explosion will occur at normal storage temperatures if the vapour concentration above the liquid is between the lower (LEL) and upper explosive limits (UEL) and if an ignition source is present. A liquid fire will follow the initial explosion.

The document is supported by the accompanying short safety film, ‘Solvents and Static Electricity’, both of which are available to view via the SIA website www.solvents.org. uk/category/health-safety/ To further highlight the issue, the SIA has worked closely with one of their members, Newson Gale to compose the following case study which investigates the factors resulting in a real-life electrostatic ignition incident involving toluene. The incident occurred from what appeared to be the simple


Fig 1 – Metal bucket with wire bale hung over globe valve

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In this scenario, a plant operator opened a valve to draw toluene into a metal bucket with toluene from an overhead tank by gravity flow at approximately 20 litres per minute. The operator hung a metal bucket with a wire bale and plastic handle over a globe valve. The plastic handle on the bale isolated the metal bucket from ground. Upon opening the valve, the operator backed away from the bucket, allowing the toluene to flow as carried out previously on a number of occasions. Within a few moments the toluene had ignited, causing the operator to immediately leave the scene. Returning with a small fire extinguisher, this proved to be inadequate to put the fire out. The operator then left the scene returning with a larger fire extinguisher, however the fire was by now out of control. As a result, the operator was unable to access the valve to close it and prevent the flow of toluene into the bucket which was by now already overflowing. The subsequent investigation into the incident outlined that the operator had opened the valve and backed away from the metal bucket. The operator stated, ‘I was just standing there looking at it when it caught fire’. As a result, electrostatic discharge from the operator himself could be ruled out as a cause of the incident and the scenario of a streaming current was considered. A calculation based upon the flow rate, pipe diameter and the physical properties of the toluene and bucket proved that a static discharge of 150kV would have been present at the point of ignition A spark from the bucket at this voltage could easily jump across a gap of 50 mm, indicating that a discharge from the wire of the bale to the body of the globe valve is likely to have occurred. This would be sufficient to have ignited the flammable vapours produced by the toluene present in this process.


explosion caused by static electricity and it is fortunate that the incident hadn’t occurred sooner. The first place to start is to determine why electrostatic charge was “permitted” to accumulate on the bucket. In this case electrostatic charge accumulated on the bucket because it was electrically isolated from the general mass of earth. Had the bucket been connected to a true earth, ground charge would not have been accumulated on its surface. Instead excess electrostatic charges would simply have found their way to earth. So in accordance with industry guidelines like NFPA 77 and IEC 60079-32-1, the isolated bucket should have had a connection to a verified ground (in this case the process vessel) with a resistance of 10 ohms or less. Both IEC 60079-32-1 (13.4.1) and NFPA 77 ( & ( state, ‘Temporary connections can be made using bolts, pressure-type earth (ground) clamps, or other special clamps. Pressuretype clamps should have sufficient pressure to penetrate any protective coating, rust, or spilled material to ensure contact with the base metal with an interface resistance of less than 10 Ω.’ As can be seen from this scenario, when flammable liquids are being handled, certified earthing equipment is required to protect the safety of your employees and plant. Static grounding clamps and cables should be ATEX/FM certified to prevent any physical impedances such as paint coatings, product deposits and rust ensuring a good electrical connection has been made to the equipment’s base metal.

There have been a number of incidents, fires and even explosions which have occurred all over the world as a result of electrostatic discharge when handling solvents and flammable liquids. There are a number of handling procedures which can be adopted to negate the risk, enabling these to be handled safely. These include; • Apply tank and vessel earthing and bonding • Avoid splash filling by loading into the bottom of the receiving tank

• During the period of transfer or agitation, static charge will have built up within the tank, sufficient time must be allowed for this charge to dissipate (relaxation time) • Calculation of appropriate pumping flowrates for individual products and pipe diameters

• Use of the appropriate materials of construction for the receiving tank (i.e. metal rather than plastic, which can encourage static discharge by not dissipating charge sufficiently) • Addition of antistatic additives [3]

These measures are by no means exhaustive and in many cases should not be adopted in isolation. Risk Assessments for individual operations are advised. [1] The SIA Technical Committee is a group of technical experts from SIA member companies, sharing their specialist knowledge and experience to produce specific guidance for issues faced by the solvents industry. [2] Static discharge was cited as the cause of a recent explosion at a cosmetics production facility in New York in November 2017 [3] Antistatic additives are a range of products used to significantly increase the conductivity of the solvent or flammable liquid, increasing the rate of dissipation of static charge

For further information, visit the Solvents Industry Association website at www.solvents.org.uk


E-mail: info@solvents.org.uk

Newson Gale Limited are Associate members of the SIA.

As it was confirmed by the operator, this operation had been conducted multiple times without a visible incident involving electrostatic discharge taking place. It is likely that in previous operations, a flammable atmosphere wasn’t present in the spark gap when discharges occurred. This is a common feature of process operations that have suffered from the consequences of a fire or

References and further reading


Fig 2 – Earthing clips with grounding station

For further information visit the website at www.newson-gale.co.uk E-mail: groundit@newson-gale.co.uk

1 Guidance note 47 – ‘flammable solvents and the hazard of static electricity, published by the solvents industry association

4 Fire precautions at petroleum refineries and bulk storage installations published by the institute of petroleum.

7 Bs6651 code for protection of structures against lightning published by the british standards institute.

2 Solvents and static electricity safety film, published by the solvents industry association

5 Electrical safety code model code of practice published by the institute of petroleum.

8 The dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres regulations.

3 Pratt, t.H. And center for chemical process safety staff 919970. Electrostatic ignitions of fires and explosions. United states: american institute of chemical engineers, thomas h. Pratt 1997

6 Bs5958 part 1 & 2 code of practice for control of undesirable static electricity. Part 1 general considerations. Part 2. Recommendations for particular industrial situations published by the british standards institute.

9 European solvents industry group (esig) best practice guidelines no 4 version 3 june 2013 – flammability: a safety guide for users – safe working with industrial solvents.


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Meet the Study Director… Dr Fiona Bailey joined the XCellR8 team in October 2017 as Study Director. She looks after most of the non-GLP studies that the company conducts, focusing primarily on in vitro genotoxicity tests using the BlueScreenTM method, adapted to use animal-free reagents. We caught up with her recently to gain an insight into the typical working day of a Study Director. TELL US WHAT YOU DO IN THE LAB EACH DAY?

I’m responsible for overseeing tests on a variety of ingredients and formulations, that end up in cosmetics, industrial products and other personal care items. A lot of my work is in the area of genotoxicity – understanding how a compound can affect the DNA of a cell, in some cases increasing the risk of cancer. Our process starts when samples arrive from a client. I check the accompanying documentation is correct and schedule the test with the team in the lab. I often double check the safety information that accompanies the samples, so that when it comes to inhalation or exposure, we all know exactly what we’re working with and are appropriately protected. Sometimes, a client needs results to be turned around urgently and we’ll do our best to accommodate that in the schedule. It’s one of the joys of working for a more flexible CRO rather than having to battle bureaucracy. The next task is to check that the samples are soluble, and determine the right concentration to use in the assay. We need to be able to work with them, whilst using the highest concentration possible to deliver robust results. It’s a fine balance and can sometimes take a whole day to get right. After that, I write up the protocol for the test.


I make sure the lab scientists are happy with the compound and are clear on what they’re doing. They then conduct the experiment, incubating the cells for 48 hours and testing them to understand the genotoxicity. We check how many cells died and measure the cells’ stress responses to see how much the DNA of the cell been altered or damaged. I’m always on hand to troubleshoot if anything unexpected happens, for instance an unusual deviation.

Dr Fiona Bailey, Study Director at non-animal testing lab, XCellR8 My job is to then process the raw data from the experiment, check it against control samples, ensure its accuracy and finally write the study report. I’ll create the graphs that show how the compound reacted and draw a conclusion about its safety.


Fewer than 25% of the items that we test are flagged as being genotoxic. However, when this happens, we can re-test ingredients at concentrations akin to those used in the final product formulation or that have been adapted by the client to try and reduce the levels of genotoxicity, and often discover that these are now classified as non-genotoxic.


I’m currently training to conduct tests to GLP standards and I’m loving learning new


techniques and processes. Obviously, XCellR8 is an entirely animal-free lab so whilst I’m happy that our tests are ethical, the quality of the science is what excites me most. Labs that still rely on animal data just don’t produce results that are as representative of what happens to human cells as our studies. I’ve also enjoyed working with the rest of the XCellR8 team to develop a new assay for airway and inhalation toxicity. It’s satisfying to be able to offer that new assay to clients and take another step forward in protecting human health. To find out more about XCellR8’s regulatory and non-GLP safety tests, visit www.x-cellr8.com

Spiral wound plastic tanks: a quarter of a century—not out! Chem Resist’s Chairman, Seamus Quinn, talks about the development of spiral wound technology within the Company over the last 25 years: Back in the dark ages of the early 1990s, most British manufacturers still used welded sheet techniques for the majority of their storage tanks. But then, spiral-wound tanks produced on mandrels—a relatively unknown technology at the time—took hold and went from strength to strength; and Chem Resist was one of the innovators of this new technique. “Swapping notes with other European manufacturers was the lightbulb moment,” recalls Quinn; who at the time was sitting as a technical expert on the European Standards committee tasked with developing a standard for Thermoplastic Tank design, and who went on to pioneer the technology in the UK. “The odd thing was that spiral wound techniques were supposed to be the mainstay of the standard, but it was clear straight away that the UK were going to be left behind making tanks out of welded sheets.” The observation gave Quinn an idea: to introduce and develop spiral wound methods in the UK. In 1992, recognising it would represent a step change for British manufacturers; he set about putting the technique on firm footings. For three years, Chem Resist worked in partnership with Cambridge University to identify the best technique for spiral winding thermoplastic cylinders. In parallel, the West Yorkshire-based company put in place a dedicated industrial facility for their manufacture, along with the extrusion and winding equipment that would allow it to produce cylinders up to 3m in diameter and with wall thicknesses of over 75mm: a crucial factor, made possible by the development work. “In the early days most tanks were polypropylene, which was the industry’s material of choice back then,” Quinn remembers, “but that changed with time, and these days most tanks are produced in High Density Polyethylene (PE100), with Polypropylene generally reserved for high temperature applications.” For the first time, there was an alternative to GRP construction where chemical tanks of volumes between 20,000 and 130,000 litres were required. As thermoplastic tanks became more popular, and the adoption of the BS EN 12573 design standard increased engineers’ confidence in the technology, requests grew for larger vessels. These days tanks are commonly being manufactured with volumes approaching 150,000 litres and dimensions of the order of 4.3m diameter and 150mm thickness. The possibility of designing and manufacturing such heavy gauge tanks in Polypropylene and HDPE means that these tanks can be used safely for high-temperature-reaction applications, such as sulphuric acid dilution: a unique Chem Resist technology. As a result, the volume of corrosive chemicals stored in these types of tanks now runs into millions of metres cubed, and the units are being exported to every lead-acid battery manufacturing area of the world. What advice does Quinn have for manufacturers in the future? “I can summarise it in two words,” he says bluntly: “invest and export.” And Chem Resist has practised this mantra. Its UK operation has been underpinned by a ten-year planned investment programme that has seen new buildings, extruders, and stainless steel formers put in to extend the tank range. “We might be the oldest manufacturer of spiral wound tanks, but there’ll be no downward spirals on my watch!” jokes Quinn about the company’s latest project: installing a new 11,000m3 fabrication hall to improve work flow and meet increasing demand. And he’s right; the future looks bright for manufacturers in this segment: as a workhorse of chemical storage, new markets for spiral wound tanks are developing all the time. And with a more competitive pound, exporting is more attractive than it has been for a number of years. Chem Resist Group Ltd, Britannia House, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire WF13 3SX www.chemresist.com

Process Plant, Pumps and Pipework in Thermoplastics Chem Resist Group Ltd is an innovative engineering company with over 50 years of experience in the design, manufacture and installation of corrosion resistant process plant in thermoplastics

Tanks, Process Plant & Pipework

Chem Resist has the in house capability of producing the world’s largest corrosion resistant all thermoplastic spiral wound vertical cylindrical chemical storage tanks and vessels. The tanks are bespoke design, manufactured in High Density Polyethylene or Polypropylene and offer significant advantages

Pumps & Ancillaries

Chem Resist Fluid Transfer is a specialist pump division with over 30 years’ experience in fluid transfer. The Fluid Transfer division specialises in aggressive and corrosive applications for pumps, valves and level controls and pump technologies include mag drive, diaphragm, peristaltic and dosing plus many others


The ChemiGuard® range consists of innovative rotationally moulded cabinets in UV stable polyethylene and includes a range of tanker offload cabinets – pressurised and pumped and also a full range of dosing cabinets that can all be configured to specific needs.

Chem Resist Group Ltd, Britannia House, Lock Way, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, WF13 3SX

Tel: +44 (0) 1924 499 466

Email: enquiry@chemresist.com

Web: www.chemresist.com

WINTER 2017/18


New Degree Apprenticeship in Chemistry

The University of Bradford are offering a new degree apprenticeship in chemistry which levy paying companies can fund from their apprenticeship service account. To support employers with the Apprenticeship Levy introduced in April 2017, the University of Bradford have developed a BSc (level 6) chemistry apprenticeship. We will support you in creating a highly skilled graduate workforce through a work-based programme tailored to meet the needs of your company.

• elective modules designed to meet industry needs

Bradford’s chemistry courses are ranked 18th in the UK by the 2017 Guardian League Tables. To enhance our course offer we have worked closely with our industry partners to develop a four year part-time apprenticeship. The course is rigorous, flexible and responsive to employer needs and features:

• networking opportunities for partner companies

• Distance learning • a pace that considers working patterns • an annual summer school to teach chemistry practical skills • a structured framework for a work-place mentor and distance supervisors • training for the apprentices’ work-place mentor in our world-ranking Management School.

• support for companies wishing to develop their own module content • an annual review of programme with partner companies

The apprentice will spend 20% of their week on core topics: organic, inorganic, physical, analytical and practical chemistry. The degree will give apprentices a solid background in chemical sciences as well as the ability to apply chemistry in areas across science.  Tailored elective modules will link core learning back into the workplace. Chemistry at Bradford is part of a larger department that includes biosciences.  The team’s expertise has the advantage of interfacing across both areas.  We maintain research collaborations across academia and industry, both nationally and internationally, with research informing teaching. All our chemistry degree programmes are designed


to be industry facing. We have a HEFCE grant dedicated to developing an active and collaborative learning environment which has been recognised with a 2017 Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence from the Higher Education Academy. Apprenticeship Levy:  If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you will have paid the apprenticeship levy this year. These funds go into your company apprenticeship service account which you can use for apprenticeship training.  If you don’t use the money in your apprenticeship account within 2 years, you lose it. Be part of the first cohort of this exciting new chemistry apprenticeship by signing your staff up for September 2018 and helping to shape a better future for your employees and your organisation. www.bradford.ac.uk/apprenticeship

Degree Apprenticeship in Chemistry Distance learning BSc (level 6) apprenticeship in chemistry which levy paying companies can fund from their apprenticeship service account

Creating a highly-skilled graduate workforce through a work-based programme tailored to meet the needs of your company.

Our chemistry courses are ranked 18th in the UK by the 2017 Guardian League Tables We have a HEFCE grant dedicated to developing an active and collaborative learning environment


Our Faculty received a 2017 Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence from the Higher Education Academy

www.bradfordac.uk/ apprenticeship

Our 4 year degree apprenticeship in chemistry has been developed in partnership with industry to be rigorous, flexible and responsive. Degree Structure:







FHEQ level 4 resulting in a Certificate of Continuing Education

FHEQ level 4 and 5 resulting in Certificate of Higher Education

FHEQ level 5 and 6 resulting in a Diploma of Higher Education

FHEQ level 6 resulting in an BSc (Honours) Chemistry

Resulting in the award of BSc Apprenticeship in Chemistry

Organic chemistry 3 Polymer and colloid science Bio-organic and bioinorganic chemistry Molecular analysis Work based research project Apprentices must choose 3 of the first 4 options in this year

Review of professional development Vocational competence discussion

Organic chemistry 1 Inorganic chemistry 1 Practical chemistry 1 Study skills

Physical chemistry 1 Organic chemistry 2 Practical chemistry 2 Elective module

Physical chemistry 2 Inorganic chemistry 2 Practical chemistry 3 Elective module

01274 236143

APPRENTICESHIP LEVY: If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you will have paid the apprenticeship levy this year. These funds go into your company apprenticeship service account which you can use for apprenticeship training. If you don’t use the money in your apprenticeship account within 2 years, you lose it.




W W W. B R A D F O R D . A C . U K /A P P R E N T I C E S H I P

WINTER 2017/18


Polyisobutylene in the lubricants, polymers and associated industries The global demand for polyisobutylenes (PIB) was estimated at ca. USD $4.33bn (1 million tonnes) in 2015 and is predicted to grow to $7.71 bn (1.8 million tonnes) by 2024. Due to their unique set of properties, the demand for these versatile polymers is spread across multiple industries. This diversity of markets and commercial uses contributes to the healthy outlook for these uniquely adapted products. Low molecular weight PIBs are used as base oils in the manufacture of synthetic lubricants for their unique properties of good high temperature performance, clean burn-off, and being food safe. In cosmetics and personal care, they are widely used for their lipid thickening properties in lipstick, for the soft appearance and surface binding that they give to eye & face make up, and for their emollient properties in sun creams and skin care products. They are also used as the primary carrier in many caulks and sealants, due to their tackiness, ageing stability, and permanent pliability. They are also used as extenders in adhesives. Medium and high molecular weight PIBs are used in adhesives for their plasticising and tacky properties. When PIB is added to linear low density polyethylene, these properties also improve the cling, tear resistance, and low temperature flexibility of cling film. Similarly, these polymers are used as plastics, resins and rubber modifiers for improved flexibility, impact strength and tear resistance; their inherent electrical insulation properties mean that they are frequently used in wire manufacture. They have even been used to improve the cold crack resistance of asphalt road surfaces. Medium molecular weight PIBs are increasingly used for food and beverage packaging for their adhesive nature, hydrophobic stability, food safe status, and antibacterial performance.

Over the years, an occasional challenge for users of PIBs has been maintaining continuity of supply. However, some suppliers, such as Brad-Chem Ltd, can now supply all molecular weights and ensure ongoing supply chain security and quality to the UK and Ireland market. Christopher Brady, Managing Director of BradChem Ltd, explains, “Globally, the polyisobutene market is predicted to continue to grow by around 6.1% per year for the next 6 years. We have recently extended our portfolio to cover the full range of PIBs. We have also secured all of the necessary supply chain safeguards to ensure that we can meet that increased demand for UK and Ireland customers. Our long established excellent reputation for quality and reliability of supply, customer service, and highly qualified technical support all mean that we are now perfectly placed to advise and deliver long into the future.” Because the applications of PIBs are spread across so many different industries, suppliers must have expertise in dealing with diverse chemical industry applications in order to be able to accommodate and adapt to the predicted growth in demand. It is also very useful to already have a strong presence in many of the market areas in which the PIBs are used, in order to have a good technical and commercial understanding of the types of products and processes in which they are used.


For example, it is useful to understand the additive compositions of some of the products for which the PIB is proposed and how they interact. As an innovative manufacturer of lubricant additives, solid lubricant dispersions, and corrosion inhibitors and a supplier of products that are used in the synthetic lubricants, plastics, rubber, and coatings industries, BradChem has an unrivalled understanding of the PIB markets. Christopher Brady said “The low molecular weight PIBs complement our overall offering of synthetic lubricant base oils and speciality chain & compressor lubricants and we already use them in some of our products. We already offer synthetic esters and poly alpha olefins (PAO), as well as additive packages to similar lubricant applications and this extended range of PIBs completes our offering. We also use medium & high molecular weight PIBs in some our products. Now, with our unrivalled supply sources and continuity of supply secured, we can increase our offering to the plastic, rubber, and cosmetics markets.” The outlook for polyisobutenes looks very positive for the next six years, given both the growth forecast and the security of spread of risk across multiple markets in diverse industries. www.brad-chem.co.uk

Brad-Chem Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence • Water / glycol corrosion inhibitors • Tacky additives • Lubricant additives • Synthetic base oils • Solid lubricants • Multi-metal corrosion inhibitors • Polyisobutylene

BRAD-CHEM www.brad-chem.co.uk +44 (0)1942 261 024


WINTER 2017/18


Study shows that more support is needed for SMEs A study commissioned by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has shown that many SMEs face financial challenges when it comes to registering under the REACH regulations. The study of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) revealed uncertainties among some businesses regarding intentions to register substances by the 31 May 2018 deadline with their main concern being the cost of gathering the data that is required.

ECHA says that, although 95% of the respondents were aware of their duties under REACH, a sizeable number are worried about registration costs including the costs for letters of access and participating in the substance information exchange forums (SIEFs).

The study proposes actions by ECHA, European Member States and the European Commission to help SMEs register by the deadline, including more support for businesses and helping them to challenge the SIEF costs if necessary.

Researchers discovered that, although many suppliers have a good understanding of REACH and many have set aside resources for registration, a number are not still sure whether or not they have to register and some fear losing their businesses because they cannot afford to do so.

As a result, the study shows that a number of companies are finding alternative solutions, for example, reconsidering their production and import volumes to remain below the one tonne per year threshold that triggers registration obligations.

ECHA is discussing solutions with the Commission and the Directors’ Contact Group, which was set up in 2010 to identify and resolve issues of concern relevant to REACH registration.

Investigation into tattoo inks The growing popularity of tattoos has led the European Chemical Agency to reassess the nature of some of the chemicals included in inks. Due to the growing popularity of tattoos and the lack of a harmonised control in the EU on tattoo and permanent make-up inks, ECHA was asked by the European Commission to assess the chemical-related risks.

Only some of these substances have been found in tattoo inks but they are included in the proposal to prevent their potential use as substitutes in the future. Most of the substances are also covered by the recommendation by the Council of Europe on tattoo inks on which seven Member States have based their national legislation.

ECHA worked with the authorities in Denmark, Italy, Norway and Germany, out of which emerged a proposal for restrictions. The aim of the proposal is not to ban tattoo inks or tattooing. Instead, the intention is to better regulate specific hazardous substances in inks so that they are safe for people. The proposal covers 4,000 substances, including those already banned in cosmetic products or subject to certain restrictions, such as carcinogens or skin sensitisers.

It is expected that the restriction will significantly reduce the potential health risks for people getting tattoos, such as allergic reactions and possible longterm effects from exposure to hazardous substances injected under the skin. ECHA plans to launch a six-month public consultation on the proposed restriction in mid-December with conclusions due by the end of 2018. A draft decision by the European Commission is expected after that.

REACH ‘has a role to play in brand recognition’ A study by ECHA has shown that compliance with REACH is seen as important when it comes to strengthening a chemical company’s brand. However, according to the study, many companies see compliance with chemicals legislation as the baseline that provides ‘licence to operate’ but do not link it directly to their sustainability strategies. The survey showed that good quality information in companies’ REACH

registration dossiers was not considered a commercial asset; the 19 companies participating in this study did not have specific key performance indicators relating to the quality of dossiers. However, REACH was seen as contributing to profitability and benefitting companies’ brand values and a way of enhancing their reputation at a time when there is a growing market demand for more sustainable products and production processes.


The Candidate List in particular, which provides information about substances of very high concern, is often used as a measure for investors to benchmark companies’ sustainability performance, according to the survey. The study makes a number of recommendations, including encouraging companies to include good chemicals management in their corporate sustainability strategies.

WINTER 2017/18





WINTER 2017/18


Will you REACH your goal?

the countdown to the REACH deadline is on… With the final REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) deadline looming at the end of May this year, the race is on to complete testing and prepare dossiers in time. This last deadline affects chemicals manufactured or imported in the EU from 1-100 tonnes per annum. As this Phase 3 deadline is relevant to low production volume substances it means many more SME’s are involved in the regulatory process compared with the previous phases in 2010 and 2013. Many of these organisations may not have had previous experience of registering substances with ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) and many may need assistance from expert regulatory consultants and experienced CRO’s. With only a few months to go ECHA have stated that the number of substances registered to date is far less than they had expected. It was estimated there would be around 25,000 substances registered by the end of May and at the current pace of registrations it is looking to fall short of this number. If you haven’t yet embarked on your REACH journey, there could be trouble ahead! Don’t be caught out, there is much work to be done – including assessing the requirements, laboratory testing, dossier completion and submission. CRO’s such as ourselves have seen a significant increase in the level of REACH work, especially in the last year. With many new requests still appearing and pressure to try to achieve results before the deadline of 31 May. Unfortunately, the length of time taken to complete just the laboratory testing phase is being underestimated, given the volume of work being placed with CRO’s and the finite capacity of the industry. Identifying appropriate partners to work with to assist in navigating the complex regulatory system is key for those with little or no experience of REACH. Swift assessment of

costs and timescales will allow you to decide on the viable options for the business to move forward with. To assist with the REACH process, the ECHA website provides lots of useful information to help you understand more about the REACH process and your potential obligations: https:// echa.europa.eu/reach-2018. It is not clear at this stage what will happen if all this work is not completed by the deadline, but many hope that as long as they have tests placed with labs or partially completed packages, they may be given longer to complete the full package of work required and make their final submissions. As a well-respected, GLP Compliant Ecotoxicology Laboratory Chemex offers high quality laboratory services to a range of industries worldwide. Our services cover a broad spectrum and include both Freshwater Ecotoxicology (required for REACH) and Marine Ecotoxicology (suitable for OSPAR/OCNS registrations) testing against a range of species. A wide selection of Environmental Fate studies are also on offer. In addition, many Physico-Chemical properties can be determined, as required for REACH registrations. We also have a range of instrumentation in-house, available to provide GLP compliant analytical support for studies. Chemex works to internationally recognised guidelines including OECD, OPPTS, PARCOM, ISO and JMAFF with studies performed in support of new chemical registrations, REACH, data gap filling and other non-regulatory purposes. Chemex has been an associate member of EOSCA (European Oilfield Speciality


Chemicals Association) for many years, we therefore have considerable experience in dealing with chemicals for the Oilfield sector. Should you require any assistance with the testing of substances in this area for OSPAR/ OCNS purposes, please contact us for further information on costs and timescales. We have built our reputation by providing a competitively priced, reliable service and believe that we offer a personal approach that can be lost with larger organisations. At Chemex, we know that good communication is key and our staff are encouraged to work closely with clients at every stage of a project to ensure we are meeting their requirements. Our Study Directors are available to assist with technical queries regarding studies at any stage and we believe that a high level of client contact is crucial. Having gained a wealth of experience over the years, our team are able to assist with your REACH testing requirements. We can help you to achieve your goals in a timely manner and partner you through your regulatory journey. For further details on Chemex capabilities and how we can help you to move forward with your testing plans, please visit our website www.chemex.co.uk or contact us on enquiries@chemex.co.uk for a competitive quotation. Visitors to our site near Cambridge, UK are always welcome, please call to arrange a meeting today on +44 (0)1954-252519.


WINTER 2017/18


Fresh start to 2018 for harmonized chemicals legislation in Turkey Turkey makes a fresh start to 2018 with a new chemicals management plan in place for the industry. Companies putting chemicals on the Turkish market must comply with the Turkish chemicals regulations in line with the European Union (EU). Turkish CLP, By-Law on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Hazardous Substances abbreviated as SEA, was already implemented in the country in 2013 and transition periods are over. The year 2018 is engraved on our minds with the last registration deadline for EU REACH Regulation. Meanwhile, 2018 is also the beginning of a new regulatory experience, full of preparations and decisions to make for companies to comply with Turkish REACH, abbreviated as KKDIK, not only for the Turkish industry, but also for those who import chemicals to Turkey. By the end of 2023, all substances on the Turkish market have to be registered. After several draft regulations, consultations with stakeholders and hard work put into the EU REACH implementation, KKDIK was published on 23rd of June 2017. The regulation and the guidance documents released by the national authority during the course of the second semester are basically translations of the EU REACH Regulation itself and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) guidance documents. This new regulation officially entered into force on 23rd of December 2017 with the purpose of aligning Turkish chemicals regulatory management to that of the EU. Although there are some changes to embody the correlated Turkish laws into

the regulation and to adapt the regulation to the current regulatory conditions in Turkey, the data requirements to register a substance according to KKDIK remains the same as in the EU. However, the registration dossier must be in Turkish prepared via the online system KKS (Kimyasal KayÄąt Sistemi) , implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (MoEU) as a hybrid of REACH-IT and an older version of IUCLID. KKS online system is being used for CL Notifications by the industry according to the SEA regulation in Turkey since 2015. MOEU is planning to upgrade KKS system content to the latest version of IUCLID before registrations start. Meanwhile, Turkish By-Law on Inventory and Control of Chemicals (CICR) which enabled MoEU to prepare a general inventory of chemicals put on the Turkish market was repealed the day KKDIK was published and some provisions of the KKDIK regulation came into force on the 23rd December 2017, just 6 months after the date it was published. An outstanding aspect of KKDIK under discussion is the obligation for Chemical Safety Reports (CSR) to be prepared by experts who must go through a tough training course of 64 hours and get certified through an examination. Turkish CSR issue has led to quite a few discussions in the regulatory environment for various reasons. The Only Representative (OR) role and definition (KKDIK - Article 9) in the regulation


is identical with the EU REACH Regulation (Article 8). Non-Turkish companies putting chemicals on the Turkish market must appoint an OR to comply with the obligation to (pre)register. RGS recommends companies to take a meticulous decision when appointing their OR since there are several local environmental consultancy companies with no REACH experience at all, planning to give undervalued local OR services. Despite the fact that the deadline for (pre)-registration is the end of 2020, companies with intentions to register substances must join the pre-SIEFs to get ready for registration and be involved in the establishment of consortia. OR plays a key role as incorrect interpretation of the Turkish regulation and misleading information as well as wrong advice on actions to take at the Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs) may lead to loss of money and waste of time. RGS celebrates 10 years of EU Chemicals Regulatory Compliance servicing with hundreds of clients all over the world. Do not hesitate to contact RGS, if you need compliance with Turkish Chemicals Laws or more details on our services and the status of your substances.

Dr. Yaprak Yuzak Kucukvar RGS Turkey Branch Manager

EUROPEAN UNION • TURKEY • JAPAN • CHINA • KOREA • TAIWAN RGS S.A. - Belgium Head Office + 32 (2) 234 77 77

RGS A.Ş. - Turkey Subsidiary + 90 (212) 454 09 93




WINTER 2017/18


Safety Data Sheets: Ensure your Supply Chain remains compliant By Dr Mark Earnshaw

Yordas Group (formerly The REACH Centre) Safety data sheets (SDS), a requirement under the REACH Regulation (EC) 1907/2006, are one of the primary means for chemical manufacturers and suppliers to communicate information on hazards and safe use through the supply chain. According to the REACH Regulation the SDS must follow a specified 16 section format and also be provided in any official EU language(s) where the product is placed on the market. Also, since June 2015, all new products must be classified according to the CLP Regulation (EC) 1272/2008. This has led to some mixtures being upgraded from non-hazardous to hazardous, or mild hazards upgraded to more severe classifications, due to the change in criteria compared to the outgoing system. As a result, more and more SDS are needed with the burden for authoring these documents lying on the supplier. The CLP Regulation is the European implementation of the United Nations Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling (GHS). Whilst this means that the classification and labelling of products will become harmonised, the format and content of SDS remains under the jurisdiction of national or regional authorities.


The first step of authoring an SDS is the actual hazard classification process. Performed by assessing the hazards of the individual components, either one by one or collectively, against the classification criteria laid out in the CLP Regulation, this may be an easy process for some formulators with EU based suppliers, however, those with suppliers based in nonEU countries may receive very poor quality documentation in a non-EU format missing crucial information required for classification. Non-EU suppliers do not have an obligation to supply EU customers with a REACH Compliant SDS in instances where they are not responsible for placing on the EU market - this responsibility lies with the Importer.


Hazard classifications for each substance can be found in a suppliers SDS, Harmonised classifications listed in CLP Annex VI and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) website. In January 2016, ECHA updated their chemical search function result with a “Substance Infocard” summarising the substance information and hazard classification according to the Classification and Labelling Inventory. On first glance, the Infocard appears to be a useful snapshot of information, but

this data is generated automatically from several sources, which in some cases may create confusion. The data is drawn from the list of Harmonised classifications, REACH Registration dossiers and the Classification and Labelling Inventory (CLI). REACH Registration data may contradict Harmonised classifications (see sodium hydroxide as an example). Anyone familiar with the CLI will note that it can often contain many differing classifications from different companies, and may include notifications as CMR Category 1 hazards. As no data is submitted as part of a CLI notification it is impossible to actually verify each classification. In the case where CLI data is presented on the Infocard, this is given as an aggregation of all notified classifications without any consideration of reliability and will likely be an over-classification where CMR Category 1 hazards are included. There are just over 120,000 substances notified to the CLI, a far greater number than substances with a Harmonised classification or REACH Registration. By the next REACH Registration deadline (31st May 2018) substances manufactured in, or imported to, the EEA between 1 and 100 tonnes/year will need to be registered. These registrations will provide valuable hazard datasets for large number of substances, although there are fewer endpoints required for the lower tonnage bands and some gaps will not be fulfilled.


Interpreting the information within an SDS and applying the recommendations in the workplace can also pose challenges. In the UK, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulation applies to any users of hazardous materials including dusts and substances with a Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL). Employers must carry out a risk assessment to ensure that employees are not exposed to hazardous substances and where exposure cannot be excluded implement suitable protective equipment and control measures. The Chemical Safety Assessment performed for a REACH Registration


identifies a Derived No-Effect Level (DNEL) for a substance. The DNEL is a benchmark, rather than an exposure limit, above which humans should not be exposed. The REACH Registrant can then use the DNEL to identify the appropriate Risk Management Measures (RMM) to minimise or eliminate exposure. By complying with ‘good control practice’ under COSHH, employers are likely to comply with any WELs, DNELs and RMMs associated with a substance. However, there may be cases for registered substances where the RMMs do not apply to a particular use and the employer should provide feedback to the supplier and request that their use be evaluated.


Suppliers of substances and mixtures that require an SDS must ensure compliance with the Regulations before any documents are distributed. Following this they have ongoing obligations under REACH Article 31(9), such as updating the SDS when: i) new hazard information or information that may affect the risk management measures becomes available; ii) a REACH Authorisation for a substance has been granted or refused; iii) a REACH Restriction has been imposed. When any one of these instances occurs, suppliers must update their SDS (and labels where appropriate) and issue to all the former recipients to whom they have supplied the substance or mixture within the last 12 months. Users should also assess incoming SDS for compliance and in particular ensure that their uses are covered in the SDS. Ultimately, each actor in the supply chain is responsible for ensuring the SDS they supply are compliant and up to date. There is currently a wealth of resources and tools freely available to companies involved in authoring SDS and this will only continue to grow as more and more substances are registered. www.yordasgroup.com

yordas Group

Business through Science

Your Experts.

ScientiďŹ c, environmental, health, risk and global regulatory consultancy services.

Your Partners.

International capability with oďŹƒces and representation across the globe.

Yordas Group

Formerly The REACH Centre www.yordasgroup.com


WINTER 2017/18


Modules unveiled

Sun Chemical and its parent company, the DIC Corporation, have unveiled two new additions to its Separel portfolio of membrane degassing modules. The new SEPAREL EF-040-P-Q is the first SEPAREL module designed specifically for the removal of carbon dioxide and is ideal for ultrapure water treatment.

Scientists recognised for outstanding contributions DowDuPont Specialty Products Division named three scientists as 2017 Pedersen Award Medalists, the award named in honour of DuPont’s Nobel Laureate Charles J. Pedersen to recognise those who have made outstanding technical contributions. Awards went to: Paul J. Fagan (Wilmington, Delaware, US) for his technical leadership in the application of chemistry to the development of renewably sourced materials Arthur C. Ouwehand (Ingå, Finland) for technical contributions in the fields of

microbiome sciences and probiotics for applications such as animal and human nutrition David J. Rodini (Richmond, Virginia, US) for expertise in the areas of aramid monomer and polymer production, as well as fibre functionalization and modification.

Shoichiro Kitahara, Deputy General Manager, Product Planning Division, said the device had to be durable enough to withstand daily use and repeated dishwasher cycles.

He said: “Glass was the standard for blender jars for many years but the risk of shattering and the excess weight made glass impractical for a family blender. Tritan gives us a shatterresistant polymer with the quality feel and clarity of glass. Reducing weight became even more critical as we moved to a larger one-litre size.”

Growth for BASF Group BASF Group recorded significant sales and earnings growth in the third quarter of 2017. Group sales rose by 9% to €15.3 billion which the company said was primarily attributable to good volumes development as well as significantly higher sales prices in the chemicals segment.

Company announces investment

Japanese company Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd is to invest ¥20 billion to further strengthen its cellulose derivatives business in the face of increasing demand. The new investment will be put into effect at two of Shin-Etsu’s cellulose manufacturing bases – Shin-Etsu Chemical’s Naoetsu Plant in Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, and SE Tylose GmbH & Co. KG in Wiesbaden, Germany, a 100%-owned subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical.

Chemicals confidence remains strong

Blender breakthrough Japan-based MH Enterprise has used a jar made with Eastman Tritan copolyester for its Vitantonio Greenwiz smoothie blender.

Designed specifically for applications with smaller flow rates, such as analytical devices, the new SEPAREL EF-W5 module is the smallest SEPAREL module for water treatment to date and ideal for flow rates ranging from 100 to 1,500 milliliters per minute.

The strong contribution from the segment lifted income from operations before special items by €244 million to €1.8 billion. Net income rose by €448 million to €1.3 billion.


EU Commission Business Survey data showed that chemical business trading conditions became more favourable in the third quarter of 2017, compared to the previous quarter of the same year. Company confidence was still above the long-term average and chemicals output rose by 3.3% during first seven months of 2017 year on year.

Is your next regulatory deadline within REACH?

Your Product, Our Priority The next REACH registration deadline is in May 2018 and there is expected to be over 70,000 registrations covering 30,000 substances*. It is anticipated that there will be a significant increase in demand for testing and analytical services in the CRO industry. Let Smithers Viscient be your partner throughout this process, providing expert advice and testing services to meet your submissions needs.

Call us now on:

01423 532 710 info@smithersviscient.com | www.smithersviscient.com

*ECHA registration Directorate

europium p

calcium carbonate nanoparticles

dielectrics catalog:americanelements.com

carbon nanopartic

palladium nanoparticles



zinc nanoparticles



2 1





2 8 1



Beryllium 12




Mg Magnesium


2 8 8 1




2 8 18 8 1

2 8 8 2

iron nanoparticles





Calcium 38

2 8 9 2





2 8 2





2 8 18 9 2






2 8 18 18 8 1





2 8 18 32 18 8 1




2 8 18 18 9 2





thin film

Ac (227)






2 8 18 32 18 9 2


Rf (267)


Db (268)






2 8 18 32 11 2



2 8 18 32 12 2


Sg (271)



2 8 18 19 9 2



2 8 18 21 8 2


2 8 18 13 2






2 8 18 32 18 10 2



2 8 18 32 20 9 2




ten carbide



Bh (272)



Np (237)



2 8 18 32 22 9 2

2 8 18 32 32 13 2



Hs (270)

2 8 18 24 8 2




nano ribbons


2 8 18 32 14 2



2 8 18 16 1



2 8 18 32 15 2



Mt (276)

2 8 18 18





Ds (281)





2 8 18 18 1



2 8 3



Rg (280)



2 8 18 32 18 1









Cn (285)

2 8 18 18 3



Uut (284)


2 8 18 32 18 3









2 8 18 32 25 8 2






2 8 18 27 8 2



Am Cm (243)

2 8 18 25 9 2


Bk (247)



2 8 18 28 8 2




2 8 18 32 25 9 2


2 8 18 32 32 18 3


Fl (289)


Cf (251)


2 8 18 32 28 8 2



Es (252)

Er 167.259


Erbium 2 8 18 32 29 8 2



Fm (257)


2 8 18 18 4












2 8 18 32 32 18 5




Uup (288)



2 8 18 32 8 2

alternative energy

2 8 18 18 6




2 8 18 32 32 18 6





2 8 18 32 18 7



2 8 18 18 8




2 8 18 8

Krypton 2 8 18 18 7


2 8 18 32 18 6







cone sit

2 8 18 32 18 8


Lv (293)



Uus (294)


Uuo titanium

2 8 18 32 32 18 7




2 8 18 32 32 18 8


nickel nanopartic Lu

2 8 18 32 9 2

cerium polishing powder 168.93421



2 8 18 32 30 8 2


Md (258)



2 8 18 32 31 8 2



No (259)


2 8 18 32 32 8 2



Lr (262)

2 8 18 32 32 8 3



nano gels

gadolinium wires

atomic layer deposition

anti-ballistic ceramics

Now Invent. dielectrics






2 8 18 7

2 8 8

Po At Rn electrochemistry



advanced polymers




2 8 18 31 8 2



Bismuth 2 8 18 32 32 18 4

2 8 18 6





Tellurium 2 8 18 32 18 5


2 8 7



2 8 18 18 5




Antimony 2 8 18 32 18 4





2 8 18 30 8 2

2 8 18 5

2 8 6

2 8








Dysprosium 2 8 18 32 27 8 2


2 8 18 29 8 2



aluminum nanoparticles

2 8 18 25 8 2





2 8 18 4






Thallium 2 8 18 32 32 18 2



2 7



2 8 5








Mercury 2 8 18 32 32 18 1




Indium 2 8 18 32 18 2

2 8 4


He 4.002602

2 6








2 8 18 3

2 5




2 8 18 18 2










2 8 18 32 32 17 1




2 8 18 32 17 1

2 8 18 2

2 4









Platinum 2 8 18 32 32 15 2

2 8 18 1







Iridium 2 8 18 32 32 14 2




single crystal silicon

rbium doped fiber optics


2 8 16 2



Europium 2 8 18 32 24 8 2

Pu (244)



Samarium 94

2 8 18 15 1










2 8 15 2




Promethium 2 8 18 32 21 9 2



2 8 18 23 8 2



Nd Pm Sm


refractory metals 232.03806



Ruthenium 2 8 18 32 13 2


2 8 14 2




2 8 18 22 8 2


Rhenium 2 8 18 32 32 11 2




silver nanoparticles







Tungsten 2 8 18 32 32 12 2

2 8 13 2


2 8 18 13 1

2 3


quantum dots Cerium

ttering targets






diamond micropowder 90


2 8 18 12 1

Tantalum 2 8 18 32 32 10 2




2 8 18 32 10 2


2 8 13 1






2 8 18 10 2


Lanthanum 2 8 18 32 18 8 2





Fr Ra tantalum (223)

2 8 18 18 8 2



2 8 11 2





Cesium 87





Rb Sr Y Zr rhodium sponges Rubidium

2 8 10 2


Scandium 2 8 18 8 2


surface functionalized nanoparticles





2 2

silicon nanoparticles

copper nanoparticles

99.999% ruthenium spheres


Hydrogen 3


ultra high purity ma

europium phosphors

platinum ink solar energy

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Chemical Industry 9  

The magazine connecting all those who work in the UK Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry 9  

The magazine connecting all those who work in the UK Chemical Industry