Page 1



ISthe future of commercial bio-based chemicals now?

UK AND WORLD NEWS • cyber security • chemuk2020 • CBA • big interview • chemicalsupply chain

palladium catalysts

nickel foam

thin film

perovskite crystals glassy carbon III-IV semiconducto europium phosphors Nd:YAG

buckyballs 1


Li Na

2 1




2 8 1


Mg 24.305




Ca 40.078

2 8 18 8 1







Fr (223)

2 8 18 8 2



2 8 18 18 8 2






2 8 18 9 2



Ac (227)


2 8 18 10 2



2 8 18 18 9 2









2 8 18 32 10 2






Rf (267)


Cr 51.9961

2 8 18 12 1


Db (268)



2 8 13 2




2 8 14 2



2 8 18 13 1



2 8 18 32 11 2



gallium lump

quantum dots


2 8 18 19 9 2


Th 232.03806



2 8 18 21 8 2


Cerium 90




Sg (271)

2 8 18 13 2



2 8 18 32 12 2




Praseodymium 2 8 18 32 18 10 2


Pa 231.03588

2 8 18 32 20 9 2


transparent ceramics refractory metals


2 8 18 22 8 2



2 8 18 32 32 12 2


Bh (272)

2 8 18 15 1



2 8 18 32 13 2




2 8 18 23 8 2






2 8 18 32 32 13 2






2 8 18 32 14 2



Np (237)




2 8 18 24 8 2


2 8 18 16 1


Mt (276)









Ds (281)





2 8 18 18 2




Rg (280)



Cn (285)





2 8 18 18 3




Nh (284)







2 8 18 25 9 2




Gadolinium 96


2 8 18 27 8 2

2 8 18 28 8 2











2 8 18 32 25 8 2



2 8 18 32 25 9 2



2 8 18 32 27 8 2



2 8 18 32 28 8 2








Fl (289)












2 8 18 32 18 6






Ts (294)


2 8 18 8


Krypton 2 8 18 18 7


2 8 18 32 18 7


2 8 18 32 32 18 7



2 8 18 18 8





2 8 8


Rn Radon

Og (294)

Invar GDC


2 8 18 32 18 8





2 8 18 31 8 2



Md (258)


2 8 18 32 8 2




2 8 18 32 30 8 2


Lu 174.9668

Ytterbium 2 8 18 32 31 8 2



No (259)

2 8 18 32 9 2

Lutetium 2 8 18 32 32 8 2

2 8 18 32 32 18 8





Lr (262)


2 8 18 32 32 8 3




biosynthetics rare earth metals CVD precursors deposition slugs

flexible electronics

platinum ink superconductors

state-of-the-art Research Center. Printable GHS-compliant Safety Data Sheets. Thousands of new products. And much more. All on a secure multi-language "Mobile Responsive� platform.

InGaAs zeolites

optical glass pyrolitic graphite Ti-6Al-4V

American Elements opens a world of possibilities so you can


mesoporus silica 99.99999% mercury



Over 15,000 certified high purity laboratory chemicals, metals, & advanced materials and a

carbon nanotubes





2 8 18 32 32 18 6


The Next Generation of Material Science Catalogs

graphene oxide ultra high purity materials

2 8 18 7

2 8




Now Invent. laser crystals



2 8 18 32 32 18 5


Bromine 2 8 18 18 6


scandium powder

rhodium sponge





2 8 18 6


2 8 18 32 18 5

2 8 7




Bismuth 2 8 18 32 32 18 4






Selenium 2 8 18 18 5





2 8 18 32 18 4

2 8 6



2 7

silver nanoparticles ITO 2 8 18 30 8 2

Erbium 2 8 18 32 29 8 2













Holmium 99


2 8 18 18 4


2 8 18 32 32 18 3

2 8 18 5





Dysprosium 98


2 8 18 29 8 2





2 8 18 32 18 3

2 8 5




2 8 18 32 32 18 2





2 8 18 4






Pu Amstabilized Cm Bk zirconia Cf Es Fm yttrium





macromolecules 2 8 18 25 8 2

Europium 2 8 18 32 24 8 2




2 8 18 32 32 18 1


Indium 2 8 18 32 18 2

2 8 4

2 6




2 8 18 3















2 8 18 32 32 17 1

2 8 18 2

Cadmium 2 8 18 32 18 1

2 8 3

2 5






Platinum 2 8 18 32 32 15 2

2 8 18 18 1







2 8 18 32 17 1




2 8 18 18

Palladium 2 8 18 32 15 2




Iridium 2 8 18 32 32 14 2






2 8 18 32 22 9 2

gold nanocubes OLED lighting


2 8 18 1


2 4


endohedral fullerenes




cerium oxide polishing powder

sputtering targets

tungsten carbide

2 8 16 2





Promethium 2 8 18 32 21 9 2




Nd Pm Sm U






Neodymium 92

2 8 15 2


InAs wafers epitaxial crystal growth 58




Tungsten 2 8 18 32 32 11 2








Tantalum 2 8 18 32 32 10 2

2 8 13 1



3D graphene foam

ultralight aerospace alloys


Hafnium 2 8 18 32 18 9 2

2 8 11 2



Lanthanum 2 8 18 32 18 8 2




Barium 88


2 8 10 2





2 8 18 32 18 8 1




2 8 18 18 8 1


2 8 9 2







Rubidium 55

2 8 8 2


2 3


Boron 13



Potassium 37

2 8 2

Magnesium 2 8 8 1


surface functionalized nanoparticles





2 2





99.999% ruthenium spheres





Lithium 11

metamaterials 2



alternative energy additive manufacturing


Hydrogen 3

diamond micropowder

Now Invent! metallocenes

li-ion battery electrolytes

solar energy

Š 2001-2019. American Elements is a U.S.Registered Trademark



| foreword |

Welcome Trapped in Act 3 of Hamlet? Ellen Rossiter Editor in chief

Editor Ellen Rossiter ellen.rossiter@distinctivepublishing.co.uk

Design Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 580 5990 www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk

Advertising Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 5805990 Helen Flintoff Business Development Manager email: helen.flintoff@distinctivegroup.co.uk www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk

Distinctive Publishing or BioScience Today 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 BioScience Today.

Is it to be or not to be? With a deal or without? Brexit has made its presence felt in many issues over the last three years and this one follows suit. Peter Newport, Chief Executive of the Chemical Business Association (CBA), harnesses the power of The Bard to illustrate the uncertainties faced by the UK chemical industry in the face of Brexit. Given 60% of the UK’s chemical exports are destined for the EU, we at the Chemical Industry Journal can only wonder how damaging is this continued uncertainty. When will the industry receive the definitive answers it needs? Important as data protection is, in the chemical industry, cyber security breaches may reach beyond issues of privacy, potentially impacting on operational integrity too. In this issue, Ian Elsby looks at the challenges brought about by the linking of our physical infrastructures to digital networks. As chemical plants become digitally connected to the internet and the outside world, they may be exposed to cyber-attacks or hacking, highlighting the critical need to have robust cyber security measures in place. Find out why cyber security is the most important element of digitalisation and why it is an ongoing process that requires continuous auditing and monitoring. With winter almost upon us, we take a look at how best to reduce the risk of spills and what to do if one happens. Karl Jones provides advice on mitigating risk in facets of the chemical industry, including the supply chain. We learn how a seemingly innocuous incident at a supplier of a single component could have a catastrophic impact on the ongoing viability of a business. How has the industry’s attitude to risk changed over the years? What is the key to the industrywide progress that’s been made in managing risks? Carolyn Nicholls discusses the role of communication in ensuring everyone is


working together to make their environment safe. We learn how industry associations have helped make expertise more accessible and about the role of leaders in establishing process safety. Whilst Maura Jolliffe discusses the evolution of business relationships within the chemical industry and how the role of the speciality chemical distributor has evolved. Chemical manufacturers now expect more from their channel partners and end customers demand greater technical, regulatory and formulation support. Are new chemical supply-chains derived from non-fossil feedstocks hype or commercial reality? Is it time the chemical industry broke free of traditional thinking? Five industry experts provide insights into how this might be possible. We discover how the world of industrial chemicals is expanding and learn about the new toolbox at the industry’s disposal. Building on the event’s success this year, CHEMUK will be back in 2020. The expo and speaker programme brings together the UK’s chemical processing and chemical product formulation industries. CHEMUK will provide an intensive 2-day supply chain sourcing, business networking, intelligence gathering, best-practice and strategy development experience. Will you be in Manchester on 13th or 14th May 2020? We hope to see you there. But first, dip into our ‘elementary’ section to find out what’s been happening in the industry, turn the pages to discover more.

| contents |


We speak to Karl Jones of OAMPS Hazardous Industries, a specialist commercial insurance broker founded in 1986



24 Why cyber attack threats should not hinder digitalisation in the chemical industry? Brexit – too many questions in search of definitive answers



| contents |

contents www.chemicalindustryjournal.co.uk








Industry Contributors




cyber security


issue 16

Why cyber attack threats should not hinder digitalisation in the chemical industry?



chemuk Chemuk back in 2020 – bigger and better. We look forward to next years Expo


CBA Brexit – too many questions in search of definitive answers


big interview We speak to Karl Jones of OAMPS Hazardous Industries, a specialist commercial insurance broker founded in 1986


chemical supply chain BioVale asks if the future of commercial bio-based chemicals is now?

We discuss the evolution of business relationships within the chemical industry

Time to define your role in the supply chain for Turkey


Q&A Communication is key to industry wide success in managing risks


Nepic Establishing a high performing manufacturing environment


Establishing a high performing manufacturing environment



| elementary |



Supercharged fluorescent dyes Rice University lab discovers simple technique to make biocompatible ‘turn-on’ dyes. It only took the replacement of one atom for Rice University scientists to give new powers to biocompatible fluorescent molecules.

$10.7 Billion Market Opportunity Metamaterial devices are poised to grow to $10.7 billion by 2030 in 5G networks, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and more. The team at Lux Research analysed the market landscape to understand where and how this technology will drive future growth in their new report, “Metamaterials Market Forecast.” The report reveals how metamaterial designs enable devices that achieve much higher performance and efficiency than conventional offerings. Metamaterials are being deployed for telecommunication antennas, electromagnetic sensors like radar and lidar, vibration damping, energy harvesting, and wireless charging. Critically, these metamaterial devices all use combinations of standard, existing materials. Moreover, advances in manufacturing technologies, from 3D printing to lithography, now enable startups to costeffectively manufacture these devices at scale.

Highlighting the impact photonics has on mega markets and application areas, the survey shows light technologies are now an inextricable part of Personalised Healthcare, Industry 4.0., Smart Farming, and Secure Digital Society. The results come from a survey Exploration of Photonics Markets and published by the Photonics21 group.

The technique will enable highresolution imaging and dynamic tracking of biological processes in living cells, tissues and animals.

Successful research at catalysis lab BASF and the University of Heidelberg will jointly continue operating their Catalysis Research Laboratory (CaRLa) for a further three years. The partners signed the appropriate contract to extend the research cooperation until 2022. At CaRLa, researchers work on issues relating to homogeneous catalysis.

Photonics: Indispensable technology A new report by Tematys has confirmed the vital role photonics plays in innovation. Assessing 794 Horizon 2020 projects from 2014 to April 2019 for their photonics content, Tematys has demonstrated the enormous impact on innovation photonics is having in important sectors, like Automotive, Agro-food, Security & Defense, and Biomedical industries.

The Rice lab of chemist Han Xiao reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society it has developed a single-atom switch to turn fluorescent dyes used in biological imaging on and off at will.

NEXT-GEN LITHIUM BATTERIES A new partnership between Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and Japanese specialist chemical manufacturer, Piotrek, will see Australian-developed battery technologies commercialised globally within the next five years. The collaboration will enable the next generation of lithium battery technologies for portable electronic devices, drones and automotive vehicles, as well as address a critical safety need with lithium batteries by helping prevent battery fires.


HSE’s new CEO takes the reins Sarah Albon, the new chief executive of Britain’s workplace health and safety regulator has taken up her post. Ms Albon has vacated her post as inspector general and CEO of the Insolvency Service, where she has been since 2015 to take charge of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). She replaces acting chief executive David Snowball who has held the post since June 2018 and will be retiring from HSE at the end of the year.


| elementary |


Global Chemicals expertise Alantra, the independent global mid-market investment banking and asset management firm, has announced it has hired Aamit Joshi as Managing Director and Co-Head of Chemicals. Mr. Joshi, who will be based in London, will join Alantra’s Chemicals Group to support global origination and execution of M&A transactions in the sector.

Electric charge points increasing Scotland now has over 1000 publicly available electric vehicle charge points. This is a milestone moment in the continued development of one of the most comprehensive electric vehicle charging networks in Europe. The average distance between any given location to the nearest public charging point is just 2.78 miles in Scotland – compared to 3.77 miles in England. ChargePlace Scotland will continue to develop and it was announced earlier this year that 800 more public charging points are planned through the Switched on Towns and Cities Challenge Fund and the Local Authority Installation Programme. This far exceeds the 2018 Programme for Government commitment to deliver 150 new public charge points and demonstrates the Scottish Government’s determination to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

INEOS completes acquisition INEOS Enterprises has announced the completion of the acquisition of the entire composites business from Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ASH). The acquisition also includes a BDO facility in Germany.

Global pigments business acquisition BASF and the fine chemical company DIC have reached an agreement on the acquisition of BASF’s global pigments business. The purchase price on a cash and debt-free basis is €1.15 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020. The divestiture is subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities.

The businesses included in the transaction have combined sales of more than $1.1 billion per year. They employ 1,250 employees across 19 sites in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Middle East. Ashley Reed, CEO INEOS Enterprises said, “We are very pleased to have completed the deal to acquire the Composites business from Ashland. We have a strong track record of manufacturing excellence, running businesses safely and reliably and working closely with customers to meet their growth aspirations.”


A Quantum Leap UC Santa Barbara, US, has been selected as the site of the nation’s first NSF-funded Quantum Foundry, a centre for the development of materials and devices for quantum informationbased technologies. Researchers around the world are racing to understand these materials and harness their unique qualities to develop revolutionary quantum technologies for quantum computing, communications, sensing, simulation and other quantum technologies not yet imaginable.

Short story or article to share? Send them to our Editor, Ellen Rossiter, at ellen.rossiter@distinctivepublishing.co.uk

| contributors biodigestables | |

Peter Newport Chief Executive of the Chemical Business Association (CBA)


Ian Elsby Head of Chemicals, Siemens UK & Ireland

Dr Maura Jolliffe Commercial Director, Material Science and Specialty Chemicals, Brenntag UK & Ireland,

With almost 20 years’ experience gained within the process sector & automation business, Ian holds a wealth of chemical industry-specific knowledge. As Head of Chemical Industry, Siemens UK & Ireland, Ian’s current role sees him responsible for liaising directly with the Global Chemical Sector HQ advising on the industry challenges faced by UK manufacturers, OEMs and engineering businesses to ensure Siemens develops value-based solutions and technologies for its clients.

Maura’s career spans 25 years in the chemical industry. Starting as a research chemist for coatings applications focusing on anti-corrosive pigments, Maura progressed into senior commercial roles selling surfactants into a variety of life and material science applications for companies such as Solvay (Rhodia) and Huntsman, before joining Brenntag over 6 years ago in a key strategic role across material science and speciality chemicals.

Dr Sarah Hickingbottom CEO, BioVale

Karl Jones OAMPS Hazardous Industries

Carolyn Nicholls Operations Director of RAS Ltd

BioVale appointed Dr Sarah Hickingbottom as CEO in 2018. A PhD organic chemist, Sarah has spent over a decade advising the global bioeconomy on the economics of feedstocks, biofuels, oleochemicals and bio-based chemical commercialisation. The ideal background from which to build today’s bioeconomy as it tackles the world’s challenges.

Karl has spent the past 30 years working with businesses to design and implement successful insurance and risk management strategies across a variety of high-risk sectors; following proven methods devised to lead to fewer, less expensive claims, enhanced operational resilience and improved insurance protection.

A director of RAS Limited, Carolyn leads a team of risk and hazard management consultants and has been instrumental in creating the company’s assessment methodologies. Carolyn has experience of working with a large number of UK COMAH sites to develop safety reports and provide support in all aspects of risk management.

CBA is a not-for-profit business organisation representing the independent chemical supply chain in the UK. Its member companies distribute, pack, and blend over four million tonnes of chemicals each year with a market value of almost three billion euros. Peter is a key industry advocate to governmental and regulatory authorities in the UK and Europe. He is also a board member and current Treasurer of the European Association for Chemical Distributors (Fecc) and a board member of the International Chemical Trade Association (ICTA).

Subscribe for free! Simply use the link below and get all the latest chemical industry news – either digitally or in print. www.chemicalindustryjournal.co.uk/subscribe


The power of professional development To be in the best position for success, employers should always look to recruit and retain the best talent. As the UK’s professional body for the chemical sciences, the Royal Society of Chemistry is here to help practising scientists, and their employers, recognise the value of ongoing professional development for a successful chemistry career. Highly skilled individuals are in demand, and, increasingly, employers are recognising the value of employing chemical scientists who are committed to continuing professional development (CPD). While the skills and experience gained through education are vital, equally vital is the knowledge developed over time in the working environment. Professional skills like team working, application of knowledge, problem solving, project management and communication skills build continually dayto-day. By working through a clearly defined professional development framework that recognises those skills, chemical scientists can show their abilities more prominently, and employers can ensure consistent high standards – as well as recognition for high-performing employees. Championing the chemistry profession As the UK’s professional body for chemists, we set and maintain professional standards, enrich the teaching and learning of chemistry, and offer a wide range of support to practising chemists in all areas of academia and industry. As well as ensuring that everyone entering a chemistry-related role has the appropriate skills to succeed, we provide a number of routes to follow to help build knowledge and maximise potential at every stage of working life. Supporting individuals For science to flourish, everyone needs an equal chance to develop and apply their talents. We are increasing our influence on education practice and policy, particularly promoting the crucial importance of technical skills, and working to put apprenticeships on an equal footing with academic routes into chemistry. For a degree programme to gain our accreditation, it must include a focus on transferable professional skills, based on the learning outcomes that are usually embedded throughout the course. After formal education, we support a dedicated framework of professional recognition that includes the awards of Registered Scientist (RSci) and Registered Science Technician (RSciTech), through to chartered status (CChem, CSci). The awards are internationally recognised as a mark of the well-developed skills, knowledge and professionalism of those working within the chemical sciences. Supporting employers

The company accreditation we offer maps to existing training programmes, and offers an expedited route to achieving professional awards. As well as giving employees a clear development framework, it also helps employers to recruit and retain skilled individuals. This type of programme is well known in other sectors such as engineering, and our accreditation gives real parity for chemists. We also partner with colleges and training providers to entrench the value of apprenticeships and technical skills, raising their profile and helping organisations to offer opportunities for the next generation of talent. The Royal Society of Chemistry is committed to supporting everyone in the scientific community as they continue to build professional skills and use them to shape the future of the chemical sciences. To find out more about our work, visit rsc.org/about-us

| news |


Removing barriers to low carbon transport Researchers from the University of Sheffield’s new Energy Institute are set to play a key role in two new initiatives that are removing the barriers to low-carbon transport. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the new initiatives will help to tackle climate change by removing barriers to low carbon transport in the UK, ranging from electric airplanes and decarbonised freight transport to hydrogen-fuelled cars. The initiatives, which are part of the Decarbonising Transport Network+, will see researchers from the University’s Energy Institute focus on developing new, low-carbon liquid fuels as well as electric and hybrid aircraft technologies that are crucial to the future of the aviation industry. Aviation and aerospace is a vital sector in the UK, contributing more than £22bn a year to the economy, but it is responsible for 12 per cent of CO2 emissions from transport sources, globally. Medium to long haul flights account for 97 per cent of the UK’s aviation emissions and require a low carbon liquid fuel to decarbonise. Working as part of the network on a project named NewJet Network+, University of Sheffield researchers will explore the barriers that face the adoption of low carbon, synthetic fuel and the benefits that its adoption enables for commercial aviation beyond a reduction in CO2. Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Head of the University of Sheffield Energy Institute and project CoInvestigator of NewJet Network+ said: “Decarbonisation of the aviation industry is a top priority for the world. Engineers at the University of Sheffield are working collaboratively with industry and other academic institutes to find solutions to the barriers that face the adoption of low carbon, synthetic fuel to enable commercial aviation to achieve the industry’s climate goals from sustainable alternative aviation fuels.”

Aside from aviation, researchers from the University’s Energy Institute are also part of a second project named DecarboN8, which is working closely with industry and government to design solutions that can help to decarbonise the transport industry. With a focus on surface transport, the project is looking to answer questions on how different places can be rapidly switched to low carbon transport systems and how this transformation can be managed. It will facilitate new collaborations and test solutions. Dr Danielle Densley Tingley from the University’s Urban Flows Observatory and Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, said: “The network is a really exciting opportunity to bring together academia and industry to tackle the challenge of decarbonising transport. Key to our approach will be considering the whole life impact of different solutions – which will include emissions from the material and maintenance demands of different infrastructure solutions as well as the direct emissions from operation.” The Urban Flows Observatory at the University of Sheffield, which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), conducts research to understand how the physical metabolism of cities - such as energy and resources - can be effectively measured and understood. To do this, the research team has deployed fixed and mobile sensors around the city of Sheffield to discover insights into air quality, local weather conditions and energy use. The University of Sheffield’s newly launched Energy Institute is home to more than 300 of the best minds in energy research from around the world. Researchers in the Energy Institute work with industry partners to find solutions to the biggest challenges facing the energy industry. Its research is interdisciplinary with innovation and collaboration at its heart. This enables researchers in the institute to provide sustainable solutions and advice for governments and the energy industry. The two new initiatives are funded by the EPSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).


| news |


ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies ICIS has announced its annual ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies listing of global producers ranked by 2018 sales. This year, China’s Sinopec vaulted into the number one spot as the world’s leading chemical company with sales of $79.5bn in 2018, a 25% increase from 2017. The break-up of last year’s top company, US-based DowDuPont, into three separate firms paved the way for the new leader. Germany-based BASF came in second with 2018 sales of $71.8bn, followed by US-based Dow with $60.3bn. Saudi Arabia-based SABIC took the number four slot with $42.2bn in revenue, and US-based LyondellBasell was in fifth with $39.0bn. “There were dynamic shifts in the ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies ranking, with capacity additions, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), spinoffs and currency playing major roles,” said Joseph Chang, Global Editor of ICIS Chemical Business. 2018 saw sales growth but profit gains were hard to come by, especially with US-China trade war headwinds emerging in the latter part of the year, which contributed to massive destocking in the fourth quarter. “Sales growth was certainly healthy, but the average de­cline in operating profit of 8% illustrates the margin pressure encountered by many produc­ers in the difficult second half,” said Nigel Davis, ICIS Insight Editor.

The companies in the ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies listing generated combined sales of $1.2 trillion in 2018, up by 10% from a year earlier. The ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies ranking is available for download as a PDF at www.icis.com/pages/icis-top100-chemical-companies

The Global Labelling Experts We supply the UK, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, US, Italy, Spain, France & India

Dura-ID Chemicals Division provides the full solution for identification purposes; from labels, printers, consumables, software and our technical support. Our products are BS5609 approved ensuring sustainability within the transportation of your products and keeping them identified throughout. ideal applications include IBC’S, chemical drums, cans, kegs, tubes and more.


Dura-ID selects the best solutions for printing labelling

Contact us for more information: +44 (0) 114 2422 111 chemicals@dura-id.com www.dura-id.com

| news |


Pattern metals: greener, faster, cheaper An innovative way to pattern metals has been discovered by scientists in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick, which could make the next generation of solar panels more sustainable and cheaper. Silver and copper are the most widely used electrical conductors in modern electronics and solar cells. However, conventional methods of patterning these metals to make the desired pattern of conducting lines are based on selectively removing metal from a film by etching using harmful chemicals or printing from costly metal inks. Scientists from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick, have developed a way of patterning these metals that is likely to prove much more sustainable and cheaper for large scale production, because there is no metal waste or use of toxic chemicals, and the fabrication method is compatible with continuous roll-to-roll processing. The work is reported in the paper ‘Selective deposition of silver and copper films by condensation coefficient modulation’ published as an advanced article in the journal Materials Horizons. Thanks to £1.15m funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Dr Ross Hatton and Dr Silvia Varagnolo have discovered that silver and copper do not condense onto extremely thin films of certain highly fluorinated organic compounds when the metal is deposited by simple thermal evaporation. Thermal evaporation is already widely used on a large scale to make the thin metal film on the inside of crisp packets,

and organofluorine compounds are already common place as the basis of non-stick cooking pans. The researchers have shown that the organofluorine layer need only be 10 billionths of a metre thick to be effective, and so only tiny amounts are needed. This unconventional approach also leaves the metal surface uncontaminated, which Hatton believes will be particularly important for the next generation sensors, which often require uncontaminated patterned films of these metals as platforms onto which sensing molecules can be attached. To help address the challenges posed by climate change, there is a need for colour tuneable, flexible and light weight solar cells that can be produced at low cost, particularly for applications where conventional rigid silicon solar cells are unsuitable such as in electric cars and semi-transparent solar cells for buildings. Solar cells based on thin films of organic, perovskite or nano-crystal semiconductors all have potential to meet this need, although they all require a low cost, flexible transparent electrode. Hatton and his team have used their method to fabricate semi-transparent organic solar cells in which the top silver electrode is patterned with millions of tiny apertures per square centimetre, which cannot be achieved by any other scalable means directly on top of an organic electronic device. Dr Hatton from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick comments: “This innovation enables us to realise the dream of truly flexible, transparent electrodes matched to needs of the emerging generation of thin film solar cells, as well as having numerous other potential applications ranging from sensors to lowemissivity glass.”

“This innovation enables us to realise the dream of truly flexible, transparent electrodes matched to needs of the emerging generation of thin film solar cells, as well as having numerous other potential applications ranging from sensors to low-emissivity glass.” 12

| news |


New mineral discovered Discovery of unusual new mineral called goldschmidtite poses curious questions about Earth’s mantle A new and curious mineral has been discovered by University of Alberta PhD student Nicole Meyer. The mineral – named goldschmidtite in honour of the founder of modern geochemistry Victor Moritz Goldschmidt – has an unusual chemical signature for a mineral from Earth’s mantle. “Goldschmidtite has high concentrations of niobium, potassium, and the rare earth elements lanthanum and cerium, whereas the rest of the mantle is dominated by other elements, such as magnesium and iron,” explained Meyer, graduate student in the Diamond Exploration Research and Training School, part of NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience. “For potassium and niobium to constitute a major proportion of this mineral, it must have formed under exceptional processes that concentrated these unusual elements.” Because it is so difficult to access the mantle, scientists rely on tiny mineral inclusions within diamonds to learn more about Earth’s chemistry deep beneath the surface. “This discovery is the result of a lot of patient and meticulous work by Nicole and the research team,” said Graham Pearson, Meyer’s co-supervisor. “Goldschmidtite is highly unusual for an inclusion captured by diamond and gives us a snap-shot of fluid-processes that affect the deep roots of continents during diamond formation. There

have been several attempts to name new minerals after Goldschmidt, but previous ones have been discredited. This one is here to stay.” Meyer is studying under the supervision of Thomas Stachel, professor and Canada Research Chair in diamonds and Pearson, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Henry Marshall Tory Chair, and Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate. “The work that goes into finding a new mineral is not done by one person,” said Meyer. “It has been an interdisciplinary collaboration with a mineralogist Andrew Locock, crystallographers from Northwestern University, my advisors Thomas and Graham, and technicians.” The paper, “Goldschmidtite, (K,REE,Sr)(Nb,Cr)O3: a new perovskite supergroup mineral found in diamond from Koffiefontein, South Africa,” was published in American Mineralogist (doi: 10.2138/am-2019-6937).

www.mht-technology.co.uk sales@mht-technology.co.uk

IMPROVE OPERATIONAL SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY Transform vulnerable paper-based checklists to a simple smartphone app. Safe Ops harnesses existing data to track and optimise your safety procedures with confidence.


| news |


New test facility welcomed The University of Sheffield has welcomed the announcement of a new £22 million fusion energy research facility in Rotherham next year, which will work with research and industry partners to put the UK in a strong position to commercialise nuclear fusion as a major source of low-carbon electricity in the years ahead. The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) facility will be located at the heart of the UK’s advanced manufacturing region - the Advanced Manufacturing Park - and will bring 40 highly skilled jobs to the South Yorkshire area, as well as work with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) It will be sited at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, whose existing occupiers include Rolls-Royce, McLaren Automotive and both the University of Sheffield AMRC and Nuclear AMRC. The new facility will be funded as part of the Government’s Nuclear Sector Deal delivered through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with £2 million of the investment coming from Sheffield City Region’s Local Growth Fund. The key role of the facility will be to develop and test joining technologies for fusion materials and components – for example novel metals and ceramics. These will then be tested and evaluated under conditions simulating the inside of a fusion reactor - including high heat flux, in-vacuum, and strong magnetic fields. Andrew Storer, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Sheffield Nuclear AMRC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome UKAEA to the Advanced Manufacturing Park, and to the Sheffield region’s world-leading cluster of applied innovation. We look forward to working with UKAEA at their new facility to develop manufacturing techniques for fusion power plants, and help UK manufacturers win work in this growing global market.

“This development has the potential to create many jobs in the local supply chain as fusion technology matures. This is a huge deal for Sheffield and the North, and we are really pleased to have played a part in this and to be working with UKAEA.” The site will help UK companies win contracts as part of ITER - the key international fusion project being built in the south of France. Looking further ahead, it will enable technology development for the first nuclear fusion power plants, which are already being designed. The planned 25,000 sq ft facility will require regular supplies of specialist metals and materials – providing further opportunities for regional companies in the UK. Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “This is a hugely significant and transformative announcement for our city, region and the north of England. “Researchers at the University, our Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre are looking forward to working with UKAEA on cutting edge research into fusion energy – a potentially world-changing future source of low-carbon electricity, which could be critical in responding to the climate emergency. “This will also complement the work of the Energy Institute at the University of Sheffield, which aims to develop an affordable and clean energy future that is safe, secure and sustainable.”


Precision powder dosing and handling.

Not all screw feeders are the same... Innovation matters...

+44 (0) 1282 777566 sales@trantec.net www.trantec.net

| news |


Flexible solar cells a step closer Solar cells that use mixtures of organic molecules to absorb sunlight and convert it to electricity, that can be applied to curved surfaces such as the body of a car, could be a step closer thanks to a discovery that challenges conventional thinking about one of the key components of these devices. A basic organic solar cell consists of a thin film of organic semiconductors sandwiched between two electrodes which extract charges generated in the organic semiconductor layer to the external circuit. It has long been assumed that 100% of the surface of each electrode should be electrically conductive to maximise the efficiency of charge extraction. Scientists at the University of Warwick have discovered that the electrodes in organic solar cells actually only need >1% of their surface area to be electrically conductive to be fully effective, which opens the door to using a range of composite materials at the interface between the electrodes and the light harvesting organic semiconductor layers to improve device performance and reduce cost. The discovery is reported in Advanced Functional Materials. The academic lead, Dr Ross Hatton from the University’s Department of Chemistry, said: “It’s widely assumed that if you want to optimise the performance of organic solar cells you need to maximize the area of the interface between the electrodes and the organic semiconductors. We asked whether that was really true.” The researchers developed a model electrode that they could systematically change the surface area of, and found that when as much as 99% of its surface was electrically insulating the electrode still performs as well as if 100% of the surface was conducting, provided the conducting regions aren’t too far apart. High performance organic solar cells have additional transparent layers at the interfaces between the electrodes and the light harvesting organic semiconductor layer that are essential for optimising the light distribution in the device and improving its stability, but must also be able to conduct charges to the electrodes. This is a tall order and not many materials meet all of these requirements.

finding means composites of insulators and conducting nano-particles such as carbon nanotubes, graphene fragments or metal nanoparticles, could have great potential for this purpose, offering enhanced device performance or lower cost. “Organic solar cells are very close to being commercialised but they’re not quite there yet, so anything that allows you to further reduce cost whilst also improving performance is going to help enable that.” Dr Hatton, who will be interviewed by Serena Bashal of the UK Youth Climate Coalition at the British Science Festival this week, explains: “What we’ve done is to demonstrate a design rule for this type of solar cell, which opens up much greater possibilities for materials choice in the device and so could help to enable their realisation commercially.’’ Organic solar cells are potentially very environmentally friendly, because they contain no toxic elements and can be processed at low temperature using roll-to-roll deposition, so can have an extremely low carbon footprint and a short energy payback time. Dr Hatton explains: “There is a fast growing need for solar cells that can be supported on flexible substrates that are lightweight and colour-tuneable. Conventional silicon solar cells are fantastic for large scale electricity generation in solar farms and on the roofs of buildings, but they are poorly matched to the needs of electric vehicles and for integration into windows on buildings, which are no longer niche applications. Organic solar cells can sit on curved surfaces, and are very lightweight and low profile. “This discovery may help enable these new types of flexible solar cells to become a commercial reality sooner because it will give the designers of this class of solar cells more choice in the materials they can use.”

Dr Dinesha Dabera, the post-doctoral researcher on this Leverhulme Trust funded project, explains:“This new


| cyber security |



| cyber security |


Why Cyber Attack Threats Should not Hinder Digitalisation in the Chemical Industry? The UK’s chemical industry has made rapid strides in using digitalization for enhancing the productivity of its physical assets, as part of efforts to keep pace with the Industry 4.0 revolution. Many plants have succeeded in linking physical infrastructures to digital networks and there are ongoing efforts to intensify this inter-connectivity. These technological advances, such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) have in the process brought in some serious challenges. As these systems are vulnerable to attacks and hackings, every industry is challenged to put in place multiple measures for ensuring cybersecurity. Ian Elsby

Siemens Digital Industries Head of Chemical Industry The current situation at several chemical plants and their process machines or their processes is that they are not necessarily inter-connected. They are facing what is referred to as a ‘business silo’, a situation where each department works independently, without sharing information with others. This is where digitalisation comes in. We start bridging those business silos and link them to the outside world, enabling remote access and visualisation for users in all parts of the world at different sites. As the plants get digitally connected to the internet and the outside world, they are exposed to cyber-attacks or hackings. This highlights the need to ensure cyber security, a whole new and critical area. Cyber security is an inclusive process that complies with globally accepted security standards. Effective protection against cyber-attacks


cannot be achieved through one-time implementation of measures; it is rather an ongoing process. The risks may vary depending on individual plant’s systems that are not connected to each other and are having two or three different machines or processes running simultaneously. This would involve plant-by-plant and machine-bymachine discussions pertaining to the inter-linking of the assets. What needs to be borne in mind in a chemical plant is that there is a chemical or biological transformation and/ or separation of materials, which may be hazardous. This underlines the need for utmost caution in preventing cyberattacks, as part of smooth functioning of a chemical plant. In the UK there are many plants that are fully digitalised, but there are many others that have yet to adopt digitalisation. Each of these plants have different levels of complexity in terms of processes, the number of products they manufacture, the number of recipes they have, and the number of mixing vessels used. Perhaps, these are some factors that hinder the adoption of new technologies. However, one of the main factors that prevent the  p20

| cyber security |


 industry from fully accepting digitalisation is concerns of cybersecurity. It does not have to be the case. At the Siemens’ Digital Talks conference held in Liverpool earlier this year, there was a healthy debate exploring the challenges and opportunity that digitalisation brings to the sector. These conversations with industry peers only helped underline the sector’s need for adopting robust cybersecurity systems. Digitalisation and IoT have been identified by the UK’s Chemistry Council as two of the key strategy levers to accelerate innovation-led growth in the chemical industry. Cyber threats fall into the bracket of risks and vulnerabilities. They come in various forms, such as viruses, malware, ransomware and hackings. Hackers are employed by rogue companies to infect with either a worm or ransom ware. They identify the weaknesses in any system and if you have a legacy plant with older Windows operating systems that are not patched or updated, the hackers find routes to break into the network. What chemical companies are doing today is something called airgap, which effectively means they remove the ability of a process to remain fixed to the internet, which solves part of the problem. It just means that there is no physical connection between the asset and the internet. But this is not enough. There is much more that needs to be done by plant owners. What is highly recommended is an advanced in-depth approach by conducting a cybersecurity gap analysis survey. This involves a thorough infrastructure assessment of the different technology layers. Based on the outcome of the report, a list of vulnerabilities is then identified. It is a step in the direction to nullify the risks by installing latest technologies, firewalls and managed cybersecurity services. Global industry standards, such as the IEC 62443, then come into play. This should be implemented both at hardware and software levels, or else the adoption of digitalisation could be left open to cyber threats. Additionally, complying with the UK’s ISO standard 27001 is equally important. The industry takes cyber security very seriously and in line with this, Siemens initiated the Charter of Trust at the 2018 Munich Security Conference. This was created with eight other partners and called for greater cybersecurity, as it stands now it has grown to 16 members with the first Asian company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed up in February 2019. Signatories include AES, Airbus, Allianz, Atos, Cisco, Daimler, Dell Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, IBM, NXP, SGS, Total and TÜV Süd. In addition, the charter has attracted the German Federal Office for Information Security, the CCN National Cryptologic Center of Spain and the Graz University of Technology in Austria as associate members. But beyond this, it is important that a stringent and strategic assessment of the chemical plant adopting digitalisation

Ian Elsby will help identify the plant owner’s individual problems. It will pinpoint the plant’s requirements, including installation of multiple levels of security, firewalls, managed security and latest technology. This process is called defence-indepth approach to cybersecurity, rather than a single solution. While we discuss cybersecurity, we cannot ignore cloud based IoT control systems. These are now becoming an industry norm and will continue to be the driving force and an integral part of digitalisation. The advanced cloud-based solutions are excellent tools for analytical investigation and monitoring. So, within the cloud, the condition of industrial motors, drives or other assets can be monitored remotely. The algorithms can give the customer insights into how those assets are performing or where they may fail, leading to preventive maintenance, which helps in identifying a breakdown before it happens. Prevention, as everyone knows, is the best form of defence. In cybersecurity, installing the best technology to monitor and asses any external inference is the most critical step. Another newly developed solution that allows seamless digitalisation is the setting up of a digital twin. It allows the team to work both online and offline on a plant. Cybersecurity forms the key element of digitalisation. It is a comprehensive process that affects all parts of the plant and requires continuous auditing and monitoring. The plant owner is always responsible for IT security. Even if the operation is outsourced in whole or in part, the plant owner is the one who finally remains accountable. Therefore, ensuring cyber security by adopting advanced technology is in the best interests of all stakeholders.

“The industry takes cyber security very seriously and in line with this, Siemens initiated the Charter of Trust at the 2018 Munich Security Conference. This was created with eight other partners and called for greater cybersecurity, as it stands now it has grown to 16 members with the first Asian company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed up in February 2019. Signatories include AES, Airbus, Allianz, Atos, Cisco, Daimler, Dell Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, IBM, NXP, SGS, Total and TÜV Süd.” 20

| chemuk2020 |


chemuk back in 2020 – bigger and better The CHEMUK 2020 supply-chain expo and speaker programme returns on the 13th & 14th May 2020 at EventCity in Manchester. CHEMUK 2020 will bring together the UK’s chemical processing and chemical product formulation industries, providing an intensive 2-day supply chain sourcing, business networking, intelligence gathering, best-practice and strategy development experience. NEW FOR 2020 will be the ‘CHEMSOURCE’ Zones that will see an expansion of the exhibits space and speaker programme coverage, relating to Specialty Chemicals, Ingredients & Raw Materials supply chain & sourcing.

2-Day Chemicals Industry Supply Chain Expo CHEMUK 2020 will provide visitor groups with a diverse and impressive showcase of 250+ specialist exhibitors showcasing latest plant, equipment, materials and services supporting the chemicals industries, driving product innovation, plant & process performance, future-proofing, supply-chain fulfilment, safety, compliance and more.

Speaker Programme The 2-day speaker programme will deliver some 30+ hours of free to attend expert intelligence, case studies, best practice and tech-insight ‘snapshots’, to inspire and assist next level investment and operational strategies for attending industry groups across the UK chemicals & chemical product sectors.

Centre stage will be critical themes such as process innovation, improvement & intensification, sustainability & responsible care, digitisation, new technology, plant & supply chain management, process safety & regulatory landscape, global trade, sector skills, Brexit and more.



| chemuk2020 |

Who should visit? CHEMUK 2020 reaches out to all key chemicals/ chemical product & chemical using industries, targeting Chemical Process Engineers, Operational, HS&E, Control & Instrumentation, Test & Inspection, Manufacturing, Formulation, Logistics, Procurement & Supply Chain, R&D & Scientific professionals plus Chemical industry business teams. Organisers are anticipating attendee groups from across the broad industrial chemicals manufacturing & distribution sectors, from petrochemicals & base chemicals, to fine & speciality, intermediates & additives, polymers, inorganics, dyes, pigments, green chemicals, process chemicals and more.

Sectors in Focus Programmes will address the needs of the diverse industrial chemicals development, processing & distribution sectors, from commodity to fine & speciality chemicals, intermediates, dyestuffs, additives, bio-based chemicals etc. Downstream formulated-product sector focus will include Cosmetics & Personal Care, HI&I Cleaning & Biocidal Products, Adhesives & Sealants, Polymers & Resins, Lubricants, Pharma & Healthcare, Paints, Inks & Coatings and more, as well as key ’breaking markets’.

Equally, the event provides chemical-based formulated product industries, from the cosmetics & personal care industries to paints & coatings, household & industrial cleaning, pharmaceuticals, water treatment, plastics and others, with crucial access to supply chain raw materials, chemical product processing plant, technologies & support services.

EventCity, Manchester Hosted at the largest exhibition space in the North, EventCity, CHEMUK 2020 is located in the heart of the UK’s largest chemical region whilst providing excellent connectivity for the rest of the UK and Europe. With FREE ENTRY into all exhibits, features & presentations, plus on-site FREE PARKING, as well as easy access by rail and air, the venue provides an easy experience for all visitor groups.

here’s what they said...

Dates for the Diary

“Given the importance of the chemical sector to the UK economy, it is vital that the sector is represented by one integrated, supply chain event which is why CHEMUK is so key to the way in which we present our industry and engage with our regulators, suppliers and distributors.”

CHEMUK 2020 takes place on Wed 13th & Thu 14th May, 2020

David Wright, Director General, UK Lubricants Association UKLA “Exciting new event that gives companies the tools to ensure they are complaint with the regulations. A fantastic line up of speakers who provide such valuable insight into the regulations. Caroline Raine, Consultancy, Chairman, British Association of Dangerous Goods Professionals “A standout UK chemical event in particular for the quantity, quality and variety of the speaker program which resulted in an informative and inspiring two days.” Paul Spencer, Product Development Manager, Gurit UK. “An excellent event to meet potential new suppliers & customers, and catch up with friends and contacts” Miles Smith, Contracts Manager, Counter Corrosion


Venue: ‘EventCity’, Phoenix Way, Off Barton Dock Road, TRAFFORDCITY, Manchester. M41 7TB (Sat Nav: M17 8AS) Opening Times: Day 1: 9.00am – 5.00pm Day 2: 9.00am – 4.00pm FREE PARKING for all visitors Register for your FREE entry badge at www.chemicalukexpo.com

| cba |



| cba |


BREXIT – TOO MANY QUESTIONS IN SEARCH OF DEFINITIVE ANSWERS Peter Newport, Chief Executive of the Chemical Business Association (CBA) reviews Brexit and the uncertainties faced by the UK chemical industry. For the last three years, it has felt like the UK has been trapped in Act 3 of Hamlet. Leave or Remain? Deal or No Deal? Backstop or no Backstop? To be, or not to be? The profound uncertainty at the heart of that play has been shared by the UK’s chemical industry and, worryingly, definitive answers remain a distant prospect. In countless meetings with Ministers and officials, organisations such as CBA, have highlighted this damaging uncertainty. As the result of the continuing political impasse, businesses have implemented contingency plans – to protect themselves and ensure that they can continue to supply products to their customers. The political impasse of the last three years has resulted in a significant number of supply chain companies creating subsidiaries in EU member states – with premises and employees – a permanent loss to the UK exchequer and to UK employment. In moves that share much the same consequences, other companies have transferred key products to EU-based companies to guarantee continued regulatory compliance and market access. Similarly, we are aware of European-owned chemical companies repatriating products.


Here are the key issues for the UK’s chemical industry.

EUROPEAN MARKET The UK chemical supply chain supplies chemicals to thousands of UK manufacturing and service businesses. It is the key link in an integrated and highly regulated supply chain that has become increasingly sophisticated during the forty years that the UK has been a member of the EU. The industry’s regulatory framework has a distinctive relationship with trade. Compliance is the key to market access. In terms of Brexit, the EU alone determines the nature and extent of the compliance required for products entering its markets (the destination of 60% of the UK’s chemical exports). Its requirements are non-negotiable. Failure to comply is a barrier to market access. Without market access there can be no trade. UK businesses were promised ‘frictionless access’ to EU markets. To date, there is little or no evidence that this is a realistic prospect.

 p26

| cba |


UK REACH CBA has repeatedly advised Ministers and officials that a blanket transposition of EU REACH into UK law represented by the REACH Statutory Instrument is unworkable, unrealistic in terms of timescale, costly, and is almost certain to result in higher levels of animal testing. Testing Data – To function, UK REACH requires a database of registered chemicals similar to that held by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). This requires access to the chemical testing data summaries, assessments, and reports used to support the registration of substances under EU REACH. Most UK companies do not own or have access to this data. They pay a fee to its owner(s) for Letters of Access generating an electronic token that enables the company to rely on the data set held by ECHA (but only for EU markets). The majority of chemical testing data is owned by consortia of European companies – not by UK businesses. CBA survey evidence confirms that 75% of test data is overseas owned. Selling access to this data to the UK as a third country remains a commercial decision for its current owner(s) and will not be governed by the EU’s data-sharing rules. There is anecdotal evidence that some EU-based chemical manufacturers will not make their data available, as the UK market is too small to be of economic interest.

A CBA SOLUTION CBA has proposed a solution that will make UK REACH workable by solving the crucial issue of access to testing data. It would also ensure that UK companies have continued frictionless access to the EU market post-Brexit as well as EU companies enjoying a similar level of access to the UK Market. CBA has proposed that European Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs), holding the majority of chemical test data supporting EU REACH registrations, are allowed to submit a full registration dossier to the UK’s Health & Safety Executive. This would apply equally to lead registrants and SIEFs whether they are based in the EU or the UK. CBA has recommended that this process is free of charge.

Peter Newport A further benefit of this approach is that the UK should be able to complete the registrations for the substances within the two-year timescale proposed by the Government. We believe this timescale is impractical without adopting a solution of this kind. Animal Testing - If existing test data is unavailable, or permission for its use cannot be secured, a significant amount of animal testing would be required to recreate acceptable standards of data. Alternative forms of testing may be available, but higher levels of animal testing are inevitable and will be a direct consequence of the UK Government failing to resolve the test data issue. Additional animal testing contradicts the previously stated policies of EU REACH and UK Government. Cost - The cost of establishing UK REACH is considerable. UK firms now hold over 12,000 EU REACH registrations covering almost 6,000 chemical substances. The registration fees and data-sharing contributions funding this process total many millions of pounds. UK firms simply cannot afford the further costs of creating a stand-alone UK REACH regime Timescale - The two-year target for the UK REACH to acquire all the relevant testing data on UK products is unrealistic. To put the UK Government’s target into context, the EU’s REACH regime took ten years to implement – from 2008 when pre-registration began to the final REACH deadline in 2018.

This proposal solves two problems. Companies registering substances under UK REACH that do not own or have access to testing data can rely on the same testing data that supports their EU REACH registrations. It also means that the IT system’s data content underpinning both the UK and EU regulatory systems are identical therefore ensuring continued and consistent high standards of chemical safety.


New UK REACH registrants would notify the HSE and be directed to the European SIEF to obtain access to the data package in the same way as EU REACH currently operates. If a European SIEF elected to perform new tests or gather further data, they would then update both ECHA (EU REACH) and HSE (UK REACH), so ensuring future consistency.

As we all know, in business some things are urgent; other things are important. But very few issues are simultaneously urgent and important. For the continued growth of the UK’s chemical sector and the downstream sectors it supports, Brexit and the questions it raises is an exception to this rule. The industry awaits definitive answers. It is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

“CBA has proposed that European Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs), holding the majority of chemical test data supporting EU REACH registrations, are allowed to submit a full registration dossier to the UK’s Health & Safety Executive. This would apply equally to lead registrants and SIEFs whether they are based in the EU or the UK. CBA has recommended that this process is free of charge.” 26

Next-generation Breathability, Comfort and Simplicity Introducing the 3MTM Secure ClickTM Respirator Platform Featuring the world’s first quad flow cartridge system designed for easier breathing. Hear It

Check It

Work with the confidence, provided by the all new Secure Click connection, that filters/cartridges are installed properly. Simply align the connections and push to hear a click.

Increase worker confidence that the respirator is being worn properly with the easy, one-touch, user seal check.

Feel It

Say It

Greater breathability and comfort provided by the world’s first quad-flow cartridge system.

Speaking diaphragm designed to help provide easier communication while working.

Request a demo at 3M.co.uk/SecureClick


| news |


Used car batteries to power farms? As part of a Circular Economy for electric vehicle battery systems, as the number of such vehicles increases rapidly, the need to find the best way to reuse and recycle vehicle batteries becomes just as intense. Now researchers at WMG, University of Warwick, have found a way not just to recycle those used batteries, but repurpose them as small energy storage systems (ESS) for off grid locations in developing countries or isolated communities. The repurposed units, each containing approximately 2kWh of energy capacity, will be able to power a small shop, a farm holding, or multiple residential homes. WMG’s Professor James Marco who was lead researcher on the project said: “When an electric vehicle’s battery reaches the end of its useful life it is by no means massively depleted. It has simply reached the end of its useful life in a vehicle. It is generally accepted that an EV battery has reached end of life when its capacity drops to 80% of a fresh battery. While this is no longer enough to satisfy drivers, it remains immensely useful for anyone who seeks to use the battery in a static situation.” While such partially depleted batteries remain potentially very useful to other users there are still challenges to overcome, particularly to ensure that they can be used reliably, sustainably, and cheaply in remote locations. These challenges include: How to protect the lithium-ion cells from over-charge and discharge Can the ESS be made compatible with a variety of other used battery cells and modules from other manufacturers How to keep it low cost and easy maintenance, while providing an interface that is easy to use and understand

The WMG team, at the University of Warwick, set about overcoming these challenges with the help of the WMG HVM Catapult and Jaguar Land Rover who supplied batteries and components from the Jaguar I-PACE, their first all-electric performance SUV. The team designed a new Battery Management System (BMS) and packaging that allowed them to create a working and easily portable prototype ESS which included: The use of standard low cost components for control, communication and safety functions. All parts were either sourced from the JLR service department or were low cost components purchased from any electrical retailer. The ability to use different modules that could be interchanged within the 2nd-life system without having to recalibrate the whole BMS Enough energy for a small shop, farm holding or multiple residential homes Multiple 12V DC sockets and 5V USB charge ports The ability to have the 2nd –life module charged via reclaimed laptop chargers Simplified control system for easy integration and deployment Professor James Marco continues: “This is a great result that not only provides a highly efficient repurposing solution for automotive batteries but which could also change lives in remote communities. We are now looking for support to allow these new units to be further developed and tested in remote or off grid locations.” The research project was part of the Innovate UK funded Project: 2nd hEVen (2nd-Life Energy Storage Systems) and is supported by the WMG High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.

Credit © WMG, University of Warwick



Industry knowledge


— Safe, reliable, efficient delivery, for your chemical projects With over 5 decades of experience in the delivery of complex projects within the chemical and refining industry, ABB provides products, solutions and services that enhance the productivity and energy efficiency of a broad range of chemical processes. Our work has covered the smallest batch plant to the world’s largest continuous petrochemical complex Sadara in Saudi Arabia. Whether you need chemical process consultants, batch control, modular systems, automation, electrical or telecommunication experts, ABB will support you and address your needs. Our integrated solutions offer the industry’s best availability, quality, risk reduction and information flow. For further information please visit: abb.com/chemicals

| advertorial |


Key Investment in the UK’s Chemical HeartlanD The northwest of England is home to many of the UK’s exporters of chemical products, both within Europe and globally. To strengthen its operation in the Northern region, DACHSER UK have opened a new, purpose-built logistics centre in Rochdale, the company aims to further improve its transport and distribution services to this key sector of British industry. Dachser’s brand new 5,175 square metre logistics centre in Rochdale, which replaces its existing distribution facility, is now fully operational. The development of the 3.7 hectare (9.2 acre) site represents a EUR 16 million (GBP 14.4 million) investment by the company and demonstrates both commitment to local industry and confidence in the continued growth of exports from the area. Since establishing operations in the northwest in 2010, Dachser’s business there has grown considerably. Much of this growth derives from providing a professional service to the chemical sector. With Dachser Chem Logistics offering a personalised industry solution for chemical shippers by transporting, storing and distributing packaged chemical products for various industries such as plastics, automotive, textiles, agriculture and construction. Experienced logisticians develop transport and warehousing solutions that are tailored to clients’ individual needs for all types of chemical products including hazardous goods. Dachser’s Chem-Logistics solution combines Dachser’s standardised logistics services with specific knowledge of the chemical industry. The Dachser standard includes a fully-integrated European distribution network providing comprehensive, high quality service of freight solutions supported by the latest technology. In addition to its highly successful export services, the core services in the northwest and throughout the United Kingdom also comprise European import, UK pallet distribution, contract logistics, value added services and international air and sea freight forwarding. More than 200 regional dangerous goods safety advisors worldwide combined with a central team at Dachser’s headquarters ensure that the hazardous goods are handled safely throughout the whole logistics network. “The new Rochdale facility represents a significant investment and is evidence of our optimistic view on the future of both import and export trade with the rest of Europe,” commented Mark Rollinson, Dachser’s MD in the UK. “The development also shows how we have grown in the UK in tandem with our customers. With this extended resource we will be able to satisfy the demands of our customers’ global integrated supply chains as well as service a sustained increase in UK exports through our extensive European distribution network.” Located on the Kingsway Business Park adjacent to junction 21 on the M62, the Trans-Pennine motorway, the new facility has 49 dock loading doors and additional four level access doors. There will be an internal area of nearly 7,000 square metres, including office space. It was important to DACHSER that the new facility remained within Rochdale, to accommodate the local workforce and the considerable number of chemical manufacturers based in close proximity to the location. The site is also optimally situated

from a logistics viewpoint on an important artery of the UK’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

CHEMICAL TRANSPORT EXPERTS Readers will be only too aware of the need for expert knowledge in transporting different types of chemicals. Therefore Dachser, through its Chem-Logistics solution offering, is always working with customers to design appropriate recommendations to any logistics situation. It is vital to remain in compliance with regulations for handling of dangerous goods as the legal specifications can be extensive. This ensures not just safety but also sustainably protects the environment. Accomplishing this task requires a well-tuned dangerous goods system for transport and handling, as well as chemical industry expertise. The Dachser branches throughout Europe handle and transport specialist products daily. Their expertise and experience has enabled them to refine the tracking and tracing process to add additional assurance, as they all belong to the same corporate network, working from the same coordinated IT systems. This tracking accuracy is vital to any exporter supplying its goods across international borders, but perhaps more critical when complex dangerous chemical products are involved. Delivery scheduling at a receiver’s depot or plant is very precise. Providing great customer experience in this regard is essential in maintaining on-going suppliercustomer relations. The company understands the importance of details and delivers effective communication with all stakeholders within the supply chain. Dachser ensures that the UK chemical exporters using their service can be assured of reliable delivery to all their international customers. www.dachser.co.uk



Your advantages with DACHSER Chem-Logistics: n Specialized chemical logistics expertise and standardized logistics solutions n Automated processes with consistent electronic interface documentation n High standards of safety and quality for the chemical industry, assessed according to SQAS n Complete transparency with innovative IT systems n Access to our global network n A high degree of expertise in handling dangerous goods n Cooperation with the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) and other associations in Europe

DACHSER Ltd. • Regional Office UK • Marion Simpson Thomas Dachser Way • Brackmills • Northampton • NN4 7HT Phone: +44 1706 758015 • Mobile: +44 7718 580425 marion.simpson@dachser.com


| big interview |


Mitigating risk In this issue, we speak to Karl Jones of OAMPS Hazardous Industries, a specialist commercial insurance broker founded in 1986. Hazardous industries are their area of expertise, and since their foundation, they’ve worked with trade associations in the chemicals sector, as well as chemical businesses of all sizes.

In addition to providing insurance and handling claims, OAMPS also provide environmental consultancy services via their partners. As Karl explains, “Our appreciation of the potential harm that can be done to the environment and the challenges inherent in the storage, processing or transportation of chemicals, led to the broadening of our services to include environmental consultancy, helping our clients to reduce risk.”

PPG documents have officially been withdrawn in England and Wales, they remain available at www.netregs.org.uk/ environmental-topics/pollution-prevention-guidelinesppgs-and-replacement-series/guidance-for-pollutionprevention-gpps-full-list/). PPG 21 has a template plan to follow. For example, providing contact details for the main stakeholders, including sources of specialist advice and clean-up.



Since their foundation, through it’s partners, OAMPS has handled more than 18,000 spillage claims for their clients, none of which have resulted in an environment agency prosecution, reflecting their expertise in consulting with their clients to mitigate risk. “Having a robust spill response plan is vital,” observes Karl.

WHAT DOES SUCH A PLAN TYPICALLY CONTAIN? Pollution Prevention Guidance documents 21 and 22 cover writing the plan and spill response respectively. Although

“In terms of managing or mitigating the consequences of a spill, our experience shows that getting the right help quickly keeps the incident under control and limits both the costs and any potential damage to the environment.” “Much of our risk management advice is around strategies to prevent incidents (which could in turn harm the environment), but should a spill occur, we’re there with our partners to support our clients in dealing with any



| big interview |

resulting physical damage and to assess the environmental impact. Our policies also offer professional PR help to assist with crisis communications, helping to manage the messages portrayed in the media and to protect a business’s reputation.”

COMMERCIAL INSURANCE CONCERNS “Commercial property insurance is more complex than it might at first appear where it pertains to hazardous industries. Insurers are becoming increasingly concerned at the potential for losses at sites where chemicals are stored, processed or manufactured, and so ensuring best practice is followed in managing the risks inherent to such sites will give businesses a better chance of securing better than average responses from their insurers, both in terms of coverage and premiums. Product Liability is also a challenge for underwriters; claims costs continue to increase and underwriters increasingly want to have a more in-depth understanding of where materials are sourced and where they will end up, as well as the more obvious issue of the potential for injury and damage to property that are associated with potentially hazardous products. Traceability is therefore of critical importance to insurers when trying to obtain the best terms, and businesses need to look further their supply chain (both upstream and downstream) than ever before.”

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO SAY ABOUT THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SUPPLY CHAINS? As was demonstrated with the fire at a factory in Albuquerque producing mobile ‘phone chips back in 2000 (which saw Ericsson report a $200m operating loss in the following quarter and ultimately concluded with a merger with Sony), a seemingly innocuous incident at a supplier of a single component can have catastrophic impact on the ongoing viability of a business at the end of the upstream supply chain.

“Significant harm could be caused to the environment or to peoples’ health or safety if a cyber incursion resulted in safety controls being overridden, for example.” PREVENTING CYBER CRIME “Cyber crime and cyber threats are increasing. Through a series of events we’re organising, we’re looking to help our clients to understand the risks inherent in connected systems and how these risks could impact their businesses. Using a variety of scenarios, we’re bringing the reality of these risks to life. “Preventing cyber crime is a priority for all businesses, especially with the advent of GDPR, but for those of us working within the hazardous industries, the risks go beyond issues of data protection to encompass concerns about operational integrity and the consequences of system breaches. “Significant harm could be caused to the environment or to peoples’ health or safety if a cyber incursion resulted in safety controls being overridden, for example. “Having the right cyber protection in place, as well as robust processes for managing cyber security, is also important given the updates being made to legislation. The Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulations are being revised to include the management of cyber risks, following on from updates to the Network and Information Systems Directive.


It’s therefore vital that businesses understand the potential threats within their supply chain, and have a plan in place to manage any issues arising from suppliers.

Have a Cyber security policy which deals with the various exposures your business has and clearly communicates the role of your employees in helping protect your business, whilst also engaging expert advice on Cyber security.

Carrying out a Business Impact Analysis will help identify any potential weaknesses within your supply chain, and also shape how your Business Continuity Plan will respond.

The National Cyber Security Centre has published guides for businesses with up to 250 employees which is a useful starting point.



“Another focus of our work is the impact of introducing new technology into a business. The implementation of industrial digital technology can deliver huge benefits for businesses, helping to increase efficiency and profits. However, with new technologies come emerging risks.

“Whatever insurance cover is arranged, what’s vital is that it’s fit for purpose. Unfortunately, too many companies only discover the insurance they’ve bought is inappropriate when they need it most.

“New technology raises questions about the security of a company’s electronic systems. The principle issue is that some of the hardware and software businesses use today was created and installed without much thought being given to the risks attached to them being connected with other systems.

“As a specialist commercial insurance broker, with wideranging experience in the chemical sector, this is exactly what we work to avoid. The needs of the industry are quite specific and over 30 years of experience helps us focus on areas of coverage that provide the most relevant benefits to businesses operating in the chemicals sector – keeping them in business.

“Legacy systems can be very effective operationally, but they may contain a weakness which could be exploited to allow unauthorised entry into the system. Businesses need to look for the weak links in their systems and have robust security processes in place. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) does present more challenges security-wise for businesses.”


“Our work is focused on continuing the great levels of service we’ve historically delivered, to be innovative around the cover we provide for our clients and using our collective experience and expertise to try to help them to make fewer, costly claims.” www.oamps.co.uk

| advertorial |


more speed, more flexibility, more expertise, more reliability Labtex supplies leading laboratory products including HUBER liquid temperature control systems, DIEHM glass reaction systems to 100 litres, PREMEX and JUCCHEIM high pressure reactors, POPE wiped film or short path distillation systems, Nutsche filter dryers, BOLA labware in PTFE and other technical plastics, Vacuubrand vacuum pumps, ASECOS storage solutions for hazardous materials to BS EN 14470-1 and SICCO desiccators. We also work with LLG Germany, the 3rd largest lab supplies distributor in Europe and have a catalogue of 20,000 items from over 200 respected brands. We provide scale up equipment for process R & D in the chemical, pharmaceutical, defence, aerospace, biochemical and other industries. We offer a wide range of general laboratory equipment which includes balances, heating mantles, ovens, refrigerators and desiccators, as well as standard laboratory glassware and consumables. Labtex manufactures a Laboratory Scale Spray Dryer, for the production of freeflowing powders, and Buchner rings which aid safe and efficient vacuum filtration. Labtex design and supply stainless steel fabrications for the process industries. Our work ranges from simple fabrications and machining to high specification bespoke projects for the pharmaceutical, food processing, water, paper and chemical industries. Working in conjunction with skilled fabricators and finishers, Labtex ensures that work is completed to the highest standard and is in accordance with relevant EU directives. In particular, the pressure equipment, ATEX and machinery directives. With over 30 years’ experience in the scientific and laboratory equipment supplies industry, Labtex can provide a complete maintenance and technical support service that is second to none. Our qualified and professional support personnel and service engineers will provide you with a fast, efficient response to your technical queries, ‘return-to-base’ repairs or on-site maintenance and servicing needs. We are able to service and repair all of the products we carry. Our expertise in low-temperature refrigeration maintenance enables our engineers to service most brands of heaters and chillers, including Huber, Julabo, Haake and Lauda.

PRODUCTS Huber is one of the leading manufacturers of high precision thermoregulation solutions in research and industry. Their products ensure precise temperature control in laboratories,

pilot plants and production processes across the globe, offering temperature control solutions for applications ranging from -125C to +425C. Huber has been driving technological development and continuous innovation in the field of liquid temperature control since 1968. The introduction of Unistat technology in 1989 was a revolution in temperature control, setting industry standards for thermodynamics and accuracy. In addition to dynamic temperature control systems, Huber’s product range includes immersion coolers, heated and/or refrigerated baths and circulators, and chillers. DIEHM offers plain and jacketed glass reaction systems with capacities up to 150 litres with up to DN450 technical Flanges. Plain and jacketed vessels in either flat or round bottom designs are offered with a comprehensive range of accessories. Reactors are supplied with graduations as standard and zero dead space bottom outlet valves can be specified from a number of different designs and materials. Bottom valves are available for pneumatic operation and with integral Pt100 if required Labtex provides a wide range of accessories in glass, stainless steel, PTFE and other materials and, in addition to standard products, Labtex welcomes enquiries for bespoke manufacturing to customer designs and specifications. Labtex provides complete systems including automation, temperature control, stirring and vacuum using many leading brands etc. Pope Scientific Short Path/Wiped-Film Stills (WFS) and Wiped-Film Evaporators (WFE) successfully separate volatile from less volatile components for Oils, Fats, Chemicals, Polymers, Nutraceuticals and Fragrances etc. with a gentle process utilizing the thin-film wiping action of feed liquid through a heated cylindrical vacuum chamber with high vacuum (i.e. vacuum distillation/evaporation). The brief (seconds) exposure of feed liquid to heated walls is due in part to the slotted wiper design which forces the liquid downward with strict control of residence time, film thickness, and flow characteristics. Efficient thermal separation with minimum product decomposition and maximum product quality result when using the Wiped Film-Short Path process for distillation. The Wiped Film process offers far superior performance to flash evaporators, falling film stills, rotary evaporators and similar equipment in any processing application where heat-sensitivity is a factor. www.labtex.co.uk







ALL THE MORE REASON TO CONTACT US TODAY! 01484 600200 | info@labtex.co.uk | labtex.co.uk

| chemical supply chain |


BioVale asks if the future of commercial bio-based chemicals is now?



| chemical supply chain |

New chemical supply-chains derived from non-fossil feedstocks have been touted as the future for the past 20 years, but how much of this hype is commercial reality? How much pipedream? BioVale – Yorkshire and the Humber’s circular bioeconomy cluster – asked this question of their industry panel at this years’ inaugural ChemUK Supply Chain Expo (www.chemicalukexpo.com). Dr Sarah Hickingbottom BioVale CEO

BioVale selected five experts along the innovation and commercial supply chain: Dr Thomas Farmer (University of York’s Green Chemicals Centre of Excellence) Professor Martin Akins (Green Lizard Technologies) Dr Mark Gronnow (Biorenewables Development Centre) Lucy Nattrass (Nouryon) Richard Lambert (Braskem) Chaired by BioVale’s CEO Dr Sarah Hickingbottom, herself a global bio-based chemical and feedstock expert, kicked off the conversation by answering the title question: yes, commercial bio-based chemicals are here now and at scale. (And we’re not talking oleochemicals, such as fatty alcohol ethoxylates or fatty acids, which are outside the scope of this discussion.) But does today’s market size reflect its potential? “We’ve barely scraped the surface,” says Sarah. “Industrial biotechnology combined with chemical engineering has given the chemicals industry a toolbox never before available in history. That sounds hyperbole, but this toolbox verges on being limited only by our chemical imaginations – and the hard facts of the marketplace.” We’ll return to the marketplace but first, exactly how good is this toolbox? Dr Farmer and his team at the University of York are at the forefront of research. “The world of industrial chemicals is expanding”, Thomas said. “Today’s industrial synthesis can – at scale – fully access oxygen. We’ve built an industry on carbon but tomorrow’s supply chains needn’t be confined to hydrocarbons. That’s a limit imposed by fossil feedstocks.” Today the chemicals industry can choose to break free of traditional thinking. Return to basics and imagine the ideal solvent, catalyst, reaction. The Green Chemicals Centre of Excellence has done exactly this in collaboration with the Australian start-up, Circa Sustainable Chemicals. Collaboratively they have developed an industrial solvent not confined by yesterday’s thinking.

Using a cellulose feedstock (e.g. waste agricultural residues) and non-biological processes, their novel solvent Cyrene is a technical replacement for dipolar aprotic solvents, e.g. DMF. The manufacturing process is energy neutral and environmentally benign. Cyrene represents new possibility: novel non-fossil, safe solvents that out-perform traditional counterparts. Circa’s UK-arm is co-located with BioVale and the Biorenewables Development Centre outside of York. Another SME making waves is Professor Akin’s Green Lizard Technologies (GLT). A spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast, GLT specialises in identifying innovative technologies and accelerating their commercialisation. Having not only research specialties but an in-house strategy to bring innovation to the marketplace. It is a compelling offering. But whilst the bio-based industry has a grassroots of emerging companies commercialising University-led innovation, unsurprisingly multinationals dominate at scale. Many of these are chemical companies – e.g. BASF, Dow, DuPont – but others have become chemical manufacturers in a move that a decade ago may have been laughed out of the boardroom. Today they leverage their previously unconceivable strategic advantage, namely bio-based feedstocks. Examples include Roquette, UPM, Corbion, Stora Enzo and Tate & Lyle. JVs frequently facilitate market entry and these new players are reshaping supply chains. Other new chemical manufacturers include the world’s dominant agri-conglomerates who had previously cut their teeth on biofuels. After all, as was said frequently a few years ago, “why produce a $1 fuel when you can have a $5 chemical?” Braskem is the world’s largest bio-based chemicals producer. An almost unique example of a petrochemical megacorp owned by a conglomerate with a huge agricultural division producing sugar and bio-ethanol for biofuels. The ideal vertical integration to enable entry into the commodity chemical landscape. Braskem’s Brazilian bio-based ethylene and polyethylene plant produces 200,000 mt annually and their Green Plastic is present in more than 150 brands globally. You may even have some in your own home via brands such as Lego. A different strategy is that of Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals). A specialty chemicals company with a sustainability heritage, including the use of bio-based  p38


| chemical supply chain |


panel session green chemistry at commercial scale: is the future now?

Dr Sarah Hickingbottom CEO BioVale

Dr Thomas Farmer

Prof. Martin Akins

Dr Mark Gronnow

Lucy Nattrass

Richard Lambert

University of York’s Green Chemicals Centre of Excellence

Green Lizard Technologies

Biorenewables Development Centre



 raw materials. Their market-driven innovation and strong collaboration with start-ups propels new product launches and ensures they remain ahead of the curve. Given world-class innovation, what’s holding the biobased chemicals industry back? There’s the usual factors: scale-up failure; investment need; long led times; lack of early adopters; and the requirement of new supply chains. Professor Akins exposed another key issue when he told the ChemUK audience, “we are dependent on the availability of feedstocks and the economies of scale”. This is the defining challenge for bio-based chemicals: how to compete headon with petrochemical plants built at a scale that will dwarf bio-based chemical plants even once mature? Multinationals have an advantage (if not the final answer). They can adapt existing supply chains by working directly with end-users without needing them to invest themselves. End-user relationships will be vital to bio-based chemical success – creating bio-based market demand while simultaneously rejecting fossil. To achieve this, there are two diverging pathways: drop-in vs. novel. Circa, GLT and Nouryon are predominately developing new process technologies and/or industrial chemicals. Their end-users will have had no prior experience with their novel bio-based chemicals. In contrast, drop-in bio-based chemicals are established petrochemicals but made from non-fossil feedstocks. As the name suggests, by producing the identical molecule, we can literally ‘drop’ the bio-based chemical into existing supply chains. This is how Braskem exploded onto the market. There are no new technologies in the production of bio-polyethylene. Though as Richard Lambert told ChemUK, “Even at the scale we operate at, it’s difficult to compete on price because there is no green premium.” What would help? An audience member fueled discussion when they said, “we need government help to develop greener chemicals. We need policy changes.” The bio-based industry agrees. We need policy changes to spur demand, reward circularity and promote sustainability. Arguably, only policy can resolve petrochemical scale-disparity.

To bolster policy, we need investment to support innovation and commercialisation. And success will come from solving problems the chemicals industry tolerates because there is nothing better. Tell us your ideal solution and challenge us to achieve it. Thirdly, perhaps controversially, we would be significantly further advanced if SMEs had access to a managed bridge-fund-of-last-resort. Since 2015, notable market-driven, technologically-sound, feedstock-savvy SMEs have gone into administration for reasons of cashflow. Commercial-scale plants left half built. Without change, this cycle will repeat. To accelerate commercialisation, the industry needs scaleup support. Equipment costs are prohibitive, so openaccess centres with facilities and expertise are fundamental. The UK has four pilot-scale centres (https://biopilotsuk. com) but crucially demonstration-scale remains wanting and this gap holds back domestic development. Yet, it is not all about equipment, Dr Mark Gronnow of the Biorenewables Development Centre highlighted why we need facilitated collaboration. “For green chemicals to become the future, we need a multidisciplinary team of people, chemists, biologists, engineers and more. We won’t solve this issue alone.” The bio-based sector may serve the chemical industry, but it is the result of merging disciplines and asking the question, what if? What if the bio-based chemicals future isn’t now? Lucy Nattress sums it up starkly. “The future has to be now. Today’s global challenges mean we no longer have a choice.” We have done the incredible work of creating a new chemical toolbox fit for a non-fossil, sustainable future, now it is up to us to use it without caution. With a focus on circularity, innovation and commercialisation in the bioeconomy, BioVale is a non-profit organisation supported by EU/UK grants and industry generosity. We are a key partner of ChemUK and are working towards next year’s Expo. www.biovale.org #biovale_cluster

“Industrial biotechnology combined with chemical engineering has given the chemicals industry a toolbox never before available in history. That sounds hyperbole, but this toolbox verges on being limited only by our chemical imaginations – and the hard facts of the marketplace.” 38

Clever Compliance

Take control of your chemical compliance with Yordas Hive. The wealth of accurate regulatory information, actively maintained by the experts at Yordas Group, works seamlessly with your own information to provide a powerful compliance software solution.

Hive Software Features Updates emailed directly to you and your team, as frequently as you want

Create your own in-house database of products to manage your compliance

Access to our active database of over 260,000 substances

SDS audit support with our customisable built-in checklist

Concise information on more than 1,000 global regulations

Adaptable API solution for customised data integration of your in-house systems

Manage risk of non-compliance for your articles using our materials database

Onboarding support providing data assessment, data gap analysis and remote set up

For all customers starting a Hive trial before 31st December 2019, we will provide one hour's free personalised Regulatory Advice from The Yordas Data Management Service. yordasgroup.com/hive hive@yordasgroup.com

Yordas Hive makes chemical compliance easy!

| chemical supply chain |




| chemical supply chain |

the arrival of the new era Chemical Industry Journal met with Dr Maura Jolliffe, Commercial Director for Material Science and Specialty Chemicals at Brenntag UK & Ireland, to discuss the evolution of business relationships within the chemical industry. WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN IN THE CHEMICAL DISTRIBUTION MARKET DURING YOUR CAREER? During my time in the chemical industry, the role of the speciality chemical distributor has continuously evolved with chemical manufacturers now expecting more from their channel partners and end customers demanding greater technical, regulatory and formulation support. Central to the key requirements are excellent logistic services and strong customer service coupled with deep market knowledge and technical know-how. This is particularly true for specialty chemicals distribution. Moreover, underpinning all distributor operations and procedures, suppliers and customers alike expect a genuine commitment to ensuring the health and safety of all employees and the protection of the environment.

HOW HAS BRENNTAG EVOLVED ITS APPROACH TO THE SPECIALTIES SECTOR? Over five years ago, Brenntag created a harmonised business group structure that was mirrored across all continents so that pan-regional suppliers and customers operating in different countries would be able to recognise the roles and approach to market of the different business groups within the company. Since then, Brenntag UK & Ireland has significantly increased the number of technical, business development and sales personnel working within the different market sectors including Brenntag Food and Nutrition, Pharma, Personal Care, Animal Nutrition, Coatings and Construction, Paper, Cleaning, Rubber and Polymer, Water Treatment, and Oil and Gas. This was done to increase our inherent technical and sales capability. Additionally, investment in specialist application labs and development centres has helped the Brenntag technical teams develop new tailor-made formulations for customers across a range of key industries. Chemical manufacturers and customers now expect distributors to generate greater value by removing complexity from their manufacturing processes by offering

Dr Maura Jolliffe services such as mixing and blending, filling and repacking. Greater technical and regulatory support around REACH, CLP and BPR regulations and FDA approval etc. is now critical to generate increased speciality sales to end users. Distributors are expected to understand impending legislative drivers and be able to identify and articulate new trends within a market-place. Indeed, deep market insight and knowledge is a prerequisite for speciality distribution. Where exclusive, supplier-distributor partnerships are undertaken, the distributor can become an integral part of the supplier’s channel strategy through the undertaking of additional tasks such as forecasting advance product demand for the purpose of optimising a manufacturer’s production planning process. Similarly, on the customer side, Brenntag can forge closer, collaborative relationships with customers wanting to implement innovative supply  p42


| chemical supply chain |

 chain solutions to add value and reduce cost through their supply chain. Indeed, Brenntag’s European key account team already provide single points of contact and a coordinated approach to multi-national businesses working across all geographies.

HOW HAS BRENNTAG SOUGHT TO ADDRESS LOGISTICAL AND SERVICE EXCELLENCE? Brenntag, as the largest chemical and ingredients distributor both globally and in the UK and Ireland, has an unrivalled depot network structure that provides local storage of specialty and industrial products. Over the past two years, Brenntag has embarked upon an investment programme that has seen the opening of a new £multimillion facility in the North East of England together with extensive investment in mixing and blending facilities at this site and at our Midlands depot in Lutterworth. Moreover, the company has installed a new state of the art application centre laboratory in Widnes, funded the expansion of warehousing for life science products to cater for our customers’ needs across our sites. These major investments underscore the company’s strategic intent to further enhance the efficiency of our overall infrastructure, geographical reach and added value capabilities in all of the core markets we serve. Central to our Service Excellence programme is the ability to ensure that our customer base can easily access the full range of products and services that they would expect from Brenntag as the the leading chemical and ingredients distributor.


of key dates. As a major global distributor, we are well equipped to make the necessary financial and logistical arrangements to support our UK customer-base.

HOW WILL DISTRIBUTION CONTINUE TO EVOLVE? The future is already upon us… Brenntag has made a substantial investment in digitisation with the establishment of DigiB B.V. which is the digital hub of Brenntag located in Amsterdam. The team based there is already developing a leading e-commerce, knowledge and self-service platform to drive digital transformation of the chemical distribution industry. This also encompasses the creation of internal tools to facilitate the purchasing decisions and intercompany business within Brenntag. Business and Corporate sustainability is another topic that is becoming increasingly important for companies and in particular those in the chemical industry. As the global market leader in chemical and ingredients distribution, Brenntag has been involved in the chemical industry’s “Together for Sustainability” initiative (TfS) since October 2014 and we have achieved EcoVadis gold status, scores increasing year on year. Not wishing to stand still, the company has developed defined sustainability targets around safety and the environment. Current activities are focused upon energy saving, packaging circularity and environmentally friendly products such as recycled plastics. www.brenntag.co.uk

Our large warehouse capability has been particularly important during the course of this year in meeting the demands of both suppliers and customers to have an increased stock-holding position in the UK and Ireland in order to mitigate the risks associated with Brexit in advance


Find an outsourcing partner for your chemical projects R&D




ISO 9001


ISO 14001




Whether you are searching for companies to help with formulating new products, blending, tolling, filling, repacking from bulk, export packing – or handling your storage & distribution – there is bound to be a BCMPA member who can help. Search our database of members and the services they provide on bcmpa.org.uk

The BCMPA is a Founder Supporter of CHEMUK Come and visit us on the stand next year

| chemical supply chain |


TIME TO DEFINE YOUR ROLE IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN FOR TURKEY Global companies around the world are currently investigating various supply chains for their chemicals ending up in the Turkish market to determine each of their legal entity’s position. While one legal entity may have several roles in a supply chain even for the same substance according to the definitions in KKDIK (manufacturer, importer etc.), a single solution may radically ensure successful regulatory compliance for the company. Many companies are after this single and painless solution especially when complex supply chains exist and toll manufacturers are also involved. In any case, it is highly important to determine the role of your legal entity in the supply chain for each product you place on the market. Just like in the EU REACH, KKDIK also gives the responsibility to the industry to demonstrate safe use of the chemicals and articles manufactured and comply with the obligations. It is envisaged that if there is a subsidiary or Turkish legal entity (TR LE) of a global company, then compliance can easily be achieved. However, that is not always the case. While this seems like an easy solution for regulatory compliance in some scenarios, having a Turkish legal entity does not totally resolve the whole issue. Human resources qualified in the regulatory field and IT systems to track both direct and indirect imports into the market are a few of the hurdles companies face when they want to leave this compliance burden to the TR LE. Every little detail needs to be considered. Especially in complex supply chains, direct and indirect imports come into the picture. If you are manufacturing outside of Turkey, there may be several Turkish importers of your chemicals independent from one another, seeking for KKDIK compliance. The formulations placed on the Turkish market by an actor in your supply chain might consist of substances that your company manufacture. This will not change the fact that the manufacturer of a substance must (pre-)register, unless the Turkish importer takes on the responsibility for compliance. On the other hand, the manufacturer may have no interest in the Turkish market and compliance of its customers. Meanwhile, Turkish importers are at the stage of investigating their suppliers for KKDIK compliance. Increasing demand for KKDIK pre-registered substances is a result of awareness seminars and the reality that large global companies have already complied with the current obligations. The rest are still in preparation. If a non-Turkish manufacturer appoints an Only Representative(OR), downstream user (DU) and volume tracking for the (pre-)registered substances automatically becomes the duty of the OR. Problematic cases where the indirect exporters to Turkey do not want to share any customer information and volumes with the manufacturer for coverage will be easily eliminated when a third party, OR is responsible for this information. Moreover, the TR LE importing the substances benefits from the advantages of being defined as a DU and instead of (pre)-registering, they will have to communicate information down the supply chain. It is OR’s responsibility to represent the substances to the Turkish Authority, the MoEU. On the other hand, traders and distributors are also part of the supply chain and have communication duties according to KKDIK. The Distributor is defined as “any natural or legal person established within the EU, including a retailer, who only stores and places on the market a substance, on its own or in a mixture, for third parties”. However, distributor outside of Turkey is not mentioned in the KKDIK Regulation and therefore, can not appoint an OR according

to the Article 9 of KKDIK regulation as clearly mentioned in the MoEU Guidance on Registration. This triggers the manufacturer of the substance outside of Turkey to decide and initiate the relevant strategy for KKDIK compliance to release the importers in Turkey from the obligation to (pre-) register and benefit from being defined as a downstream user. Companies with global presence who already represented their substances in SIEFs and Consortia in the EU will work in harmony with their ORs. Some of these companies will also be involved in the SIEF activities through their ORs or local subsidiary offices. They may act fast in some SIEFs, encouraging other members for the registration preparations. Other SIEFs might still be waiting for an initiation from a member. However, there is only 3 years time frame to register all substances regardless of the tonnage band and this time frame should be used efficiently. RGS celebrates 11 years of Regulatory Compliance Services with several hundreds of clients all over the world. Do not hesitate to contact RGS, if you need compliance with Turkish Chemicals Laws or have any questions or reference requests about this article. Dr.Yaprak Yüzak Küçükvar REACH Global Services Group Turkey Branch Manager www.reach-gs.eu


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




consulting Safety Sustainability Profitability

Supporting sustainably safe and profitable operations. Most would agree that good business performance is linked to good operational and process safety performance, built on sound practices and procedures. At HFL Consulting, we provide a unique blend of leadership, management, consulting, engineering and training services, that makes us the natural partner of choice for businesses of all sizes across the hazardous process industries. Find out more about how we can help improve your performance. T 0161 304 5902 E info@hflconsulting.uk W hflconsulting.uk

People Plant Process Productivity


| q&a |

communication is key to industry wide success in managing risks risk management and compliance with COMAH. This involves expertise in functional safety, consequence modelling, permitting and consents for planning and safety management systems, for example.

HOW HAS YOUR LINE OF WORK CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED AT RAS 13 YEARS AGO? There have been some key regulatory changes in that time, most prominently the update to the COMAH Regulations in 2015. One of the bigger changes I have observed amongst our clients though is the attitude towards safety. I think that health and safety used to have a bad reputation as a barrier to efficient operation, but it really does feel like there has been a shift in attitudes in the past few years. Operators once thought that low frequency, high consequence events would ‘never happen here’, but there is a great deal more awareness and willingness to invest resources to understanding and managing these risks.


Carolyn Nicholls

Operations Director of RAS Ltd

WHAT KEY AREAS OF RISK DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS TO MANAGE? We specialise in understanding complicated risk, and in particular that from major accident hazards. We approach risk understanding from three key perspectives, safety risk, environmental risk and business risk, though when we look at these it is from the perspective of major accident hazards. It’s high consequence low frequency events like spills and fires that have the potential to harm people or the environment that we work with our clients to manage. The impact on business and reputation as a by-product of these incidents is something that we hope to help prevent by equipping business leaders with the skills to understand risk and manage their resources from the outset so they can do their best to make sure such incidents don’t happen.

IS YOUR CLIENT BASE MADE OF SOLELY COMAH SITES? The principles of risk and hazard management are the same, no matter what the industry or the scale of operation is, so while COMAH compliance is a larger proportion of our work, we find ourselves in a range of industries and locations helping organisations to deal with their challenges. For example, over the past few years we have found ourselves working on cross country pipelines, sugar factories, and even a tea plantation in Kenya. Although the COMAH Regulations don’t span all hazardous industries and locations, applying the same key principles in understanding and managing risk can assure our clients that they are taking an appropriate and comprehensive approach.

SO, WHAT ELSE DOES RAS LTD DO? We have a team with a wide variety of expertise, from engineering to maths, chemistry, biology and environmental sciences. With such a diverse range of interests we have been lucky enough to develop expertise in a wide range of the components required for effective


I think one reason is that major accidents are now more visible. When something happens, the public only have to pick up their phones and check on news sites and social media to find out what is happening. The fallout reaches more people and gives the impression that these incidents are occurring at higher rates than they were before, and when the consequences are widely publicised, they hit home and lessons are rapidly learnt. The level of interest and the increasing impact of public opinion on reputation is a huge motivator for operators to invest in the right places. Another reason is that there seems to be more communication now between operators and the regulator via trade and industry associations. These organisations are helping to make expertise more accessible by allowing operators to share experiences and also to challenge the regulator. It all helps build a more inclusive and proportionate approach to managing risk, which is of benefit to everyone.

IT SOUNDS LIKE COMMUNICATION IS KEY TO INDUSTRY WIDE SUCCESS IN MANAGING RISKS… Yes, definitely. Communication within the organisation is crucial in order to make sure everyone is working together to make their environment safe. There is a clear focus on leadership in process safety at the moment, particularly from the regulator. This includes making sure that the leadership team are conversant in risk and provide the right resources to build the right culture and secure engagement with those in the field. Communication between organisations and their peers is also just as important. There is a wealth of knowledge out there that we are just beginning to share. We all have the same goal when it comes to safety, and so it pays to listen to one another and to consider how the experiences of others can be used to improve our own operations. For more information about RAS Ltd, visit www.ras.ltd.uk or contact enquiries@ras.ltd.uk.

| advertorial |


When is the right time to assess risk? It is well understood that risk is a two-dimensional concept. We cannot understand risk if we do not have the means to predict the consequences of an incident, or the likelihood at which it might occur. What is not quite as well considered, however, is when exactly in the hazard assessment process we should be trying to put a number on these parameters. Hazard identification exercises, including HAZOP studies, are designed to determine where there is potential in a design or operation for an issue to occur. It sounds obvious that the purpose is for identifying hazards, but often the lines get blurred and these studies include some sort of assessment of the ‘how bad’ and ‘how often’. Although there is no requirement to assess each of the hazards identified by these studies, some sort of prioritisation will often be carried out, as even high-level risk assessments at this stage can allow operators to understand what hazards they should focus their attention on. How accurate can we really be when assessing risks at this stage?

ignore the end result. So, when is the right time to carry out a risk assessment?

A lot of the time, a risk matrix is used to determine the severity and frequency of the events identified during the HAZOP or HAZID. While severity is a relatively easy concept to perceive and to assign broad categories to, frequency is a more abstract concept and the more unlikely the event, the more that any judgements become a ‘guestimation’. It would be considered reasonable to make a judgement on the frequency of events where we have personal experience, most likely the higher frequency incidents such as slips and trips. How can we begin to make a reasonable judgement for low frequency events such as major hazards, though? Thankfully, very few of us will experience these in our lifetimes, but lack of experience can result in wildly different subjective judgements about their likelihood.

Depending on the magnitude of the severity, a semiquantified method might be employed. Techniques such as LOPA can use a set of rules to allow an estimate of frequency to be made.

No matter how fine or coarse the categories on a risk matrix are, they will always require an estimation, which could be orders of magnitude out. The consequence of this could mean that the risk is either underestimated, with insufficient control measures being implemented, or overestimated, leading to resources being focussed in the wrong places.

Rather than employ a one-size fits all approach during the HAZID or HAZOP to each hazard that has been identified, they can be screened by taking a tiered approach, and resource can be more appropriately allocated to risk assessments. By starting at a high level, using judgements made on severity alone, the low risks can be identified with some confidence, and the list of events requiring assessment outside of the HAZID or HAZOP can be refined.

For the events with the highest magnitude consequences, it is appropriate to carry out a fully quantified assessment in order for us to understand detailed risk. Predicting frequency is complex and based on databases of historical failures and complex calculations which also comprise of conservative assumptions. It is worth carrying out this screening phase to avoid spending any unnecessary time and resource on the wrong events. In using this approach, the HAZID and HAZOP study remains used for its purpose, and little time is wasted quantifying events where it would be considered disproportionate. Carolyn Nicholls & Jenny Hill enquiries@ras.ltd.uk

This isn’t a new idea, and often it is the case that we don’t consider any kind of frequency prediction for the sake of action prioritisation. Consider how long you have deliberated over the likelihood of low frequency events that have been identified in HAZID or HAZOP studies, only to



“No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.” Voltaire

Safety Risk

Business Risk

Environment Risk

Safety Risk Our safety risk assessment and management expertise covers risk identification techniques such as HAZIDs and HAZOP, predictive modelling advice and the facilitation of risk management techniques, particularly in the demonstration of ‘ALARP’. The area of Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) is a particular specialism within the company. We support over 70 of the Upper Tier and Lower Tier sites in the UK, and have developed the Pre Construction Safety Reports for the majority of the new large industrial developments in the UK over the last 10 years. We have the full range of expertise to develop Safety Reports for new developments or revisions for existing sites. We also provide training and development in process safety and COMAH, which is tailored to suit individual organisations’ needs.

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

| nepic |


Establishing a high performing manufacturing environment One thing is clear when you visit a high performing, mature manufacturing environment – there exists an unwavering focus on keeping the product flowing across the various processes, systems and machines. Mature manufacturers place asset reliability as one of the central pillars within their manufacturing system as they know that this will ensure the product leaves the factory on time and in full and at the best possible price. The process industry is becoming progressively dependent on the reliability and predictability of fewer more sophisticated machines and processes, meaning our focus and attention is placed on equipment operating performance. The overall effectiveness of our machines, equipment and processes is necessary to ensure the consistency of product quality and supply at a realistic and competitive price. Manufacturers are also now managing the impact of the emerging technologies that form part of the 4th Industrial Revolution. This technology which provides better visibility and connectivity with both our customers and the wider operational system will impact how we manufacture, and how we work. Over 30 years ago a number of ‘world class’ companies recognised that the effective application of modern technology can only be achieved through people, starting with the operators and maintainers of that applied technology, and not through systems alone. Hence the emergence of Total Productive Maintenance as the enabling tool to maximise the effectiveness of their equipment by setting and maintaining the optimum relationship between people and their machines. The problem with the traditional definitions of TPM is that it implies the maintenance function sits outside of the manufacturing function, but it doesn’t and can’t. TPM is a fundamental system within Manufacturing & Operations. It is no longer appropriate to say ‘I operate, you fix’ and ‘I add value, you cost money’. What an effective TPM system promotes and can deliver in the right hands is a mind-set that says ‘We are both responsible for this machine, process or equipment asset and, between us, we will determine the best way of operating and maintaining this asset in the firm belief

that if you ask our opinion about that ‘best way’ and then incorporate it in our future ways of working, then we will stick with it because it’s our idea ! In our new book TPM: The Foundation of Operational Excellence we argue that there is a better way of describing TPM and that is to consider it to be Total Productive Manufacturing. By making this simple descriptive change we hope to change mindsets and encourage those deploying TPM to focus on: ownership by all within the manufacturing process, team-work and culture-change. Changing behaviours will have a powerful impact on the sustainability of the TPM programme as well as its effectiveness. The new TPM book outlines the 11 Step model which was developed by the S A Partners and sets out a proven methodology for delivering an excellent TPM programme. The steps are: 1 Review performance criteria and history 2 Measurement & opportunity analysis of KPI’s (incl. OEE) 3 Assess hidden losses, wastes and set improvement priorities 4 Equipment criticality assessment 5 Condition appraisal and restoration plan 6 Develop future total asset care 7 Root cause analysis & problem resolution 8 Best practice & standard work 9 Individual & team skill development 10 Leadership & behaviours 11 Audit & review process



| nepic |

Through the case studies within TPM: A Foundation for Operational Excellence we observed that companies that not only successfully deployed TPM but also sustained the improvement demonstrated a number of further mind-sets which were: They enrolled and secured the visible and consistent commitment of the corporate and site leadership team. TPM was seen to be led by manufacturing as a key enabler to deliver the company’s continuous improvement and operational excellence programme. They achieved operational excellence aspirations as they had the operational basics in place. TPM was regarded as a practical and hands-on empowerment process which gave shared responsibility and ownership to all employees. TPM should be a foundational system of work within your operational excellence programme in the sense that it is a practical application of team working which allows you to take the company’s vision and values and say with


conviction: “Here you are then, TPM will allow you to make a difference, leading to a trouble-free shift by working smarter, not harder” A new book TPM: A Foundation of Operational Excellence was released on 25 July 2019. For further information please contact: Phillip Spooner, SA Partners LLP, Phil.Spooner@sapartners.com or visit www.sapartners.com To hear more about Total Productive Manufacturing from the SA Partners team, along with a host of industry leading experts, join us at the NEPIC Best Practice in Industrial Asset Management Conference on Wednesday 20 November 2019 at Hardwick Hall, Teesside. Visit www.nepic.co.uk/events for further information.

| advertorial |


Protecting Your Business

Although it’s not being shouted from the rooftops as loudly as some other insurance “trends” are, the gradual hardening of property underwriters attitude to providing cover at sites where chemicals are stored, manufactured or processed means that choices are becoming more limited as insurers become much more selective about the risks they are prepared to underwrite, the rates being charged and the levels of self-insurance being imposed. Although not exclusive to the sector, Insurers have been hit with a number of large property damage claims (along with the associated business interruption costs) in recent years, and when set against a general market-wide appetite for property-led business (which kept rates low and acceptance levels high) and the withdrawal of some insurers from the chemicals sector, a correction had to happen at some point. From a property loss control perspective, it’s important that you are able to differentiate yourselves from the pack if you expect to achieve better than average terms. This isn’t just about sprinklers – but about pre-loss prevention where possible. Static protection where low-flash point products are used, up to date electrical inspections (with thermo-graphic testing where appropriate) of fixed electrical installations and any extraction systems, along with being able to demonstrate a robust system for managing contractors or in-house maintenance teams, especially around the use of heat. Unattended processes are largely a no-no for all but the most benign of operations (and the boldest of underwriters). Despite the very best planning, the unexpected can happen, so the importance of correct values for your property (including any independent valuations for buildings and bespoke plant) when you’re looking for a full settlement from insurers (rather than having to dip into your hardearned cash reserves to fund the shortfall). Sales invariably stall in the aftermath of a significant incident, and so it’s also important that any indemnity periods for business interruption are calculated as accurately as possible. The reality is that they are often put together with a rose-tinted view of how quickly normal trading can resume, and anyone who has ever managed a planned site or office move knows how often unexpected

delays crop up. Imagine having to manage this in the midst of an unexpected disaster! If you have any bespoke plant or machinery (especially if this item is effectively a single point of failure in your process) with a long lead time, then this need to be taken into account when calculating the appropriate indemnity period, as well as factors such as local planning, re-building (including potential changes or improvements that you would want to incorporate) and any seasonality in your income. Having knowledge of your supply chains sounds like it’s manufacturing 101, but many businesses do not have an in-depth understanding of the potential issues that some of their suppliers have, and the impact that a failure in the chain can have, especially at the most critical times in their own business. A sound Business Continuity Plan is therefore more than just a box ticking exercise; in many cases the plan unearths previously unidentified issues, and the BCP can also double as a sales tool – many of your potential clients want to know that you will be able to meet your contractual obligations, even if your own site is a smouldering ruin. Pollution following an incident at your site is also something to consider; the test case was Bartoline Adhesives back in 2003, and whilst many policies now provide some level of cover for Statutory Clean Up Costs, given the increasingly high-profile nature of Environmental incidents, and the fact that 16 years on, the same Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) are still being used means this is a real risk, and ensuring that the level of cover you have is adequate (and preferably, at least matches your primary indemnity limit for Public Liability). www.oamps.co.uk






OAMPS is part of Pen Underwriting Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA number 314493). Registered Office: The Walbrook Building, 25 Walbrook, London EC4N SAW. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number: 5172311.

| news |


Scientia Fellowship allows Rona to show her true colourS Dr Rona Chandrawati’s work on colourimetric nanosensors aims to make testing for chemical compounds in food, health and the environment cheap, scalable and accessible. With more than 4 million tonnes and $8 billion worth of edible food being thrown out every year in Australia, a more accurate system to determine food freshness could go some way to reducing this waste.

being championed by partners in the food industry, Dr Chandrawati speculates that paper strips measuring freshness could also be used at the primary producer end of the supply chain.

UNSW Sydney Scientia Fellow, Dr Rona Chandrawati is working on simple and cheap technology that could one day empower consumers to make more informed decisions about the freshness of the food in their fridges, regardless of the mandated use-by or best-before date stamps.

“Farmers and distributors may want to know which batch has to sell first, regardless of the indication of the best before date, just by looking at whether any of the strips of paper have changed colour to show how long a product has before it spoils.”

Dr Chandrawati, who is a researcher in UNSW’s School of Chemical Engineering, is exploring with her team the world of colourimetric nanosensors. Using paper coated with stimuli-responsive polymeric nanomaterials, Dr Chandrawati can determine the concentration of a particular chemical element or compound in a food sample through the colour transition of the polymers.

Dr Chandrawati is also looking at the application of colourimetric sensing in the areas of health, water contamination and herbicides such as glyphosate. She says the principles of colourimetric sensing remains the same.

“The idea is we want to develop a technology like a paper strip that can change colour if the food is contaminated,” Dr Chandrawati says.

“So we look to see if the paper strip changes colour if we dip it in river water that may be contaminated, or in the case of health, in urine, saliva or blood to test for illnesses.”

“So for example, we have run tests on milk packaging where we induced spoilage by leaving the milk at aboverecommended temperature for a few days. When this happens, the polymer nanoparticles in the strip can specifically capture bacteria by-products, and they change colour to detect spoiled milk without having to open the container.”

CHEAP AND ACCESSIBLE The benefit of this technology is it’s cheap to produce and the results are obvious to the naked eye. It also makes the technology incredibly accessible, able to be observed in situ by a consumer rather than in a lab by a scientist using expensive equipment. While still a way off from

“The idea is we are developing particles with specific molecules that can capture what it is that we’re looking for in a sample,” she says.

MEDICAL USE She says when the human body is sick, there are chemical signals in different levels of protein or hormones that may indicate a medical condition. However, as with the testing with food, work at the moment is being carried out in the lab rather than with clinical samples. Looking ahead, Dr Chandrawati would like to see the technology she is developing in the lab to be one day used by consumers to help them make decisions in everyday life. “In particular, I think colourimetric sensing technology could be especially useful in developing countries where they don’t necessarily have expensive equipment to analyse a substance for chemical markers.”




| news |


Greenhouse gas to liquid fuel Lab’s ‘green’ invention reduces carbon dioxide into valuable fuels A common greenhouse gas could be repurposed in an efficient and environmentally friendly way with an electrolyzer that uses renewable electricity to produce pure liquid fuels. The catalytic reactor developed by the Rice University lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Haotian Wang uses carbon dioxide as its feedstock and, in its latest prototype, produces highly purified and high concentrations of formic acid. Formic acid produced by traditional carbon dioxide devices needs costly and energy-intensive purification steps, Wang said. The direct production of pure formic acid solutions will help to promote commercial carbon dioxide conversion technologies. The method is detailed in Nature Energy. Wang, who joined Rice’s Brown School of Engineering in January, and his group pursue technologies that turn greenhouse gases into useful products. In tests, the new electrocatalyst reached an energy conversion efficiency of about 42%. That means nearly half of the electrical energy can be stored in formic acid as liquid fuel.

This schematic shows the electrolyzer developed at Rice University to reduce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to valuable fuels. At left is a catalyst that selects for carbon dioxide and reduces it to a negatively charged formate, which is pulled through a gas diffusion layer (GDL) and the anion exchange membrane (AEM) into the central electrolyte. At the right, an oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalyst generates positive protons from water and sends them through the cation exchange membrane (CEM). The ions recombine into formic acid or other products that are carried out of the system by deionized (DI) water and gas. (Credit: Illustration by Chuan Xia and Demin Liu/Rice University)

“Formic acid is an energy carrier,” Wang said. “It’s a fuel-cell fuel that can generate electricity and emit carbon dioxide — which you can grab and recycle again. “It’s also fundamental in the chemical engineering industry as a feedstock for other chemicals, and a storage material for hydrogen that can hold nearly 1,000 times the energy of the same volume of hydrogen gas, which is difficult to compress,” he said. “That’s currently a big challenge for hydrogen fuel-cell cars.” Two advances made the new device possible, said lead author and Rice postdoctoral researcher Chuan Xia. The first was his development of a robust, two-dimensional bismuth catalyst and the second a solid-state electrolyte that eliminates the need for salt as part of the reaction. “Bismuth is a very heavy atom, compared to transition metals like copper, iron or cobalt,” Wang said. “Its mobility is much lower, particularly under reaction conditions. So that stabilizes the catalyst.” He noted the reactor is structured to keep water from contacting the catalyst, which also helps preserve it. Xia can make the nanomaterials in bulk. “Currently, people produce catalysts on the milligram or gram scales,” he said. “We developed a way to produce them at the kilogram scale. That will make our process easier to scale up for industry.” The polymer-based solid electrolyte is coated with sulfonic acid ligands to conduct positive charge or amino functional groups to conduct negative ions. “Usually people reduce carbon dioxide in a traditional liquid electrolyte like salty water,” Wang said. “You want the electricity to be conducted, but pure water electrolyte is too resistant. You need to add salts like sodium chloride or potassium bicarbonate so that ions can move freely in water. “But when you generate formic acid that way, it mixes with the salts,” he said. “For a majority of applications you have to remove the salts from the end product, which takes a lot of energy and cost. So we employed solid electrolytes that conduct protons and can be made of insoluble polymers or inorganic compounds, eliminating the need for salts.”




The rate at which water flows through the product chamber determines the concentration of the solution. Slow throughput with the current setup produces a solution that is nearly 30% formic acid by weight, while faster flows allow the concentration to be customized. The researchers expect to achieve higher concentrations from next-generation reactors that accept gas flow to bring out pure formic acid vapors. The Rice lab worked with Brookhaven National Laboratory to view the process in progress. “X-ray absorption spectroscopy, a powerful technique available at the Inner Shell Spectroscopy (ISS) beamline at Brookhaven Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source II, enables us to probe the electronic structure of electrocatalysts in operando — that is, during the actual chemical process,” said co-author Eli Stavitski, lead beamline scientist at ISS. “In this work, we followed bismuth’s oxidation states at different potentials and were able to identify the catalyst’s active state during carbon dioxide reduction.” With its current reactor, the lab generated formic acid continuously for 100 hours with negligible degradation of the reactor’s components, including the nanoscale catalysts. Wang suggested the reactor could be easily retooled to produce such higher-value products as acetic acid, ethanol or propanol fuels. “The big picture is that carbon dioxide reduction is very important for its effect on global warming as well as for green chemical synthesis,” Wang said. “If the electricity comes from renewable sources like the sun or wind, we can create a loop that turns carbon dioxide into something important without emitting more of it.” Co-authors are Rice graduate student Peng Zhu; graduate student Qiu Jiang and Husam Alshareef, a professor of material science and engineering, at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia (KAUST); postdoctoral researcher Ying Pan of Harvard University; and staff scientist Wentao Liang of Northeastern University. Wang is the William Marsh Rice Trustee Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Xia is a J. Evans Attwell-Welch Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice.







We’ve got it covered

Environmental Fate

Plant & Animal Metabolism

Residue Chemistry

Analytical & Product Chemistry

Aquatic Ecotoxicology

Terrestrial Ecotoxicology

Avian Toxicology

Risk Assessment & Modelling

Global Chemical Notification

Endocrine Testing

Regulatory Services




| news |


Hydrogen-powered distillery First-ever gin distillery to use hydrogen from renewables to produce environmentally friendly gin. An environmentally friendly gin distillery could use hydrogen power to produce sustainable gin as part of £390 million government investment to reduce emissions from industry. The HySpirits project will explore the possibility of converting a craft gin distillery in Orkney in Scotland from using liquid petroleum gas - currently used in gas barbecues and outdoor heaters - to hydrogen to make the process more environmentally friendly. Funding for the pilot project is part of £390 million government funding announced today to help industry cut emissions. This includes a: £40 million Hydrogen and Fuel Switching Innovation Fund to explore how the technology can be rolled out across the UK to help cut emissions £100 million competition to enable greater supply of low carbon hydrogen for use across the economy to help businesses decarbonise

Another pilot project aims to use floating wind turbines to produce hydrogen. The Dolphyn project will mount electrolysers – electrical devices to split water into hydrogen and oxygen – onto platforms to produce hydrogen. One wind turbine alone has the potential to produce enough low carbon hydrogen to heat around 2,500 homes, fuel over 120 to 240 buses, or run 8 to 12 trains. HySpirits and the Dolphyn projects are just 2 out of 20 companies that have secured a share of up to £40 million of government funding to explore how the use of hydrogen can be rolled out across the UK – a crucial step towards the end of the UK’s contribution to global warming. Out of these, a further 7 projects have been selected to develop their concepts covering a range of sectors including steel, food and drinks, nickel, cement, and glass. The best of these will be awarded up to £7.5 million to move their technologies towards commercialisation. Moving to a cleaner, greener economy could help the UK seize the benefits of clean growth, with the potential of 2 million jobs and £170 billion of annual exports by 2030, which hydrogen could be a part of. The announcement follows sustained support for low-carbon technologies from the government, which includes recently investing £26 million into 9 carbon capture schemes. One of these, in Cheshire, will soon become the UK’s largest CCUS project, with the captured chemicals potentially being used to make a range of products, from beer and eye drops to instant noodles.

£250 million Clean Steel Fund to support the iron and steel industry, which currently accounts for 15% of industry emissions, to transition to a low carbon future, including using hydrogen Climate Change Minister Lord Duncan, said: “It’s great to know we can all enjoy an environmentally friendly tipple while helping our planet as we press towards a net zero emissions economy by 2050. “Developing hydrogen technology has the potential to not only reduce emissions from industry, but could also help us seize the opportunities of the global shift to cleaner economies – with the prize of up 2 million jobs and £170 billion of annual exports by 2030.” Working with the European Marine Energy Centre’s plant – which uses wind and tidal technology to produce hydrogen – the HySpirits project would use this locallyproduced ‘green’ hydrogen to supply zero-carbon heat for the gin distillation process. If successful, this would reduce emissions from the plant by around 86 tonnes of CO2 every year – the equivalent annual emissions from 10 homes or 18 cars – and show how the UK’s growing craft brewing industry can switch from using fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives.

The government’s Clean Growth Strategy similarly highlights the need for industry to begin to switch from fossil fuel use to low carbon fuels such as biomass, hydrogen and clean electricity. Energy-intensive industries currently produce approximately 24% of global emissions and account for around 10% of emissions in the UK. Low carbon hydrogen could play an important role in decarbonising heavy industries including cement and glass as well as power, heat and transport. To reach this goal, beyond 2030, the switch to low carbon fuels will need to substantially increase in scale, and hydrogen could be used to power our factories, fuel our vehicles and heat our homes. The funding places the UK at the forefront of this clean-tech roll-out to meet the challenge of scaling up hydrogen production for use in fuel cells and electrolysis, the automotive and rail sectors, as well as boiler manufacture.


IChemE Forms of Contract

An internationally acclaimed series of model forms of agreement, developed to reflect best practice for project delivery in the process industries. Drafted by a team of legal and industry professionals, these contracts address the complex way in which the purchaser, contractor and subcontractor divide responsibility for creating new process plants and working on existing structures. The Red Book – Lump Sum Contract The Green Book – Reimbursable Contract The Burgundy Book – Target Cost Contract The Yellow Book – Subcontract

The Brown Book – Subcontract for Civil Engineering Works The Orange Book – Minor Works The Silver Book – Professional Services Contract

Available in hard copy, PDF and editable word document formats. www.icheme.org/shop

New Edition The Pink Book, Arbitration Rules The latest addition to IChemE’s highly acclaimed suite of contracts is an updated version of its Pink Book (Arbitration Rules). This first update since 2005 presents a set of arbitration procedures covering the appointment, duties and actions of an arbitrator for engineers and arbitrators engaged in disputes.


Available in hard copy, printable PDF and view-only PDF. www.icheme.org/shop

Advance your career in science

with professional recognition that showcases your experience, expertise and dedication Stand out from the crowd

Prove your commitment to attaining excellence in your field

Gain the recognition you deserve

Achieve a professional qualification that inspires confidence and trust

Unlock your career potential

Apply for our professional registers (RSci, RSciTech) or chartered status (CChem, CSci, CEnv)

Apply now rsc.li/professional-development Registered charity number: 207890

Profile for Distinctive Publishing

Chemical Industry Journal 16  

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

Chemical Industry Journal 16  

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