As Living Organisms Take Over the Role of Fertilization, Chemical R&D Needs to Diversify

| November 9, 2017

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The days of chemical fertilizers may be numbered. A growing number of labs are actively investigating the use of microbial inoculants bacteria and fungi that promote plant growth as alternatives. Various teams have recently demonstrated that microbial inoculants increase biodiversity throughout the food chain, boost crop yields, and improve the effectiveness of “green roofs” in urban environments.

Spotlight

Pilot Chemical Company

Pilot Chemical is a privately owned and independent global specialty chemical company providing high quality products and services to the household and industrial detergent, personal care, lubricant, oilfield, emulsion polymerization, textile and agriculture industries. Pilot, an industry leader in chemical innovation and safety, owns the most state-of-the-art continuous sulfation process in North America and is the world’s largest manufacturer of disulfonates. Pilot Chemical Company is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

OTHER ARTICLES

PROCUREMENT CHALLENGES IN THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY : WHAT CPOS’ MUST STRIVE TO COMBAT

Article | February 25, 2020

The global chemical industry currently represents one of the largest worldwide interacting sectors delivering essential materials to several major industries including pharmaceuticals, agriculture, manufacturing and construction, and automotive. This is an indicator of the fact that any major changes in the chemical industry could also significantly affect these related sectors. Procurement is an unceasing challenge for companies across various sectors, and procurement in the chemical industry is no exception.

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Applications of Scratch Testing on Polymers

Article | March 5, 2020

Polymers have been used in many consumer and industrial areas for many years. They have several advantage compared to metals such as low density, chemical resistance and easy production. However, polymers have generally lower wear and scratch resistance than other materials and therefore these properties must be carefully controlled. Since the beginning of the 20th century polymers found their place in many applications in daily life and industry. Their production is relatively simple and they can be formed into many different shapes. The market of polymers is developing fast and new polymers appear very frequently.

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Petrochemicals markets complexity is only going to grow and grow

Article | May 13, 2021

NICE WORK, if you get can get it. A trucking company in Fort Worth, Texas, is offering to pay experienced drivers $14,000 a week – $728,000 a year – as the US struggles with a nationwide shortage of truckers or lorry drivers. This reminds me of perhaps an apocryphal tale, from the height of the last Australian mining boom. Before iron ore prices collapsed in late 2014, there was a story about workers at mining site road junctions who operated manual “Stop and Go” signs. They were said to be earning more than Australian dollar (A$) 200,000 a year. Before you pack in your job as, say, a petrochemicals sales manager and head to Texas or mine sites in Western Australia, there is the risk that when you arrive at the door of your new prospective employer, the bubble might have already burst. This is assuming we are in bubble conditions.The pressure is clearly building in petrochemicals and other commodity markets as prices in some regions remain at record highs or continue to rise. Today’s prices are the results of shortages of commodities supply (for example in petrochemicals, an outcome of the US winter storms), very strong demand and supply chain disruptions.I am beginning to believe that the latter is the biggest reason for commodity price inflation which is feeding through into sharp rises in the cost of finished goods – and a lack of goods availability. It is delivering and manufacturing enough stuff that seems to be at the heart of today’s problems due to shortages of everything from container freight space and semiconductors to wooden pallets, tin cans, metal drums, cardboard – and US truck drivers.

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Demographics are reshaping petrochemicals trade flows, investment patterns and demand

Article | May 23, 2021

TEN YEARS AGO, fellowblogger Paul Hodgesand Ifirst highlighted the leading rolethat changing demographics would play in reshaping petrochemicals supply and demand. We have been emphasising the importance of demographics ever since. Demographics have, of course, always been a critical shaper of economies throughout human history. But during the last 70 years, there have been such major changes in demographics that the study of demographics must be at the very heart of your company’s strategy. The Babyboomer generation in the West led to a surge in demand as the rapid increase in babies born in the 1950s and early 1960s joined the workforce from the 1970s onwards. This helps explain high levels of inflation during that decade because too much demand was chasing too little supply. Another driver of inflation was the Middle East embargos against oil exports to the West because of the West’s support for Israel. Then came the 1990s and first the integration of Eastern Europe into the global economy. This helped dampen inflationary pressures because of the plentiful supply of workers in the east willing to work for low wages in export-focused factories. This reduced the cost of finished goods in the West. Next came Deng Xiaoping’s critically important“southern tour”in the early 1990s and China’s gradual integration into the global economy. China increasingly leveraged its very youthful population to again make cheap goods to export to the West. Hundreds of millions of young people were willing to migrate from the countryside to China’s coastal cities to work in export-focused manufacturing plants. The world began to talk about the “China price” and how it was further depressing global inflation.

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Spotlight

Pilot Chemical Company

Pilot Chemical is a privately owned and independent global specialty chemical company providing high quality products and services to the household and industrial detergent, personal care, lubricant, oilfield, emulsion polymerization, textile and agriculture industries. Pilot, an industry leader in chemical innovation and safety, owns the most state-of-the-art continuous sulfation process in North America and is the world’s largest manufacturer of disulfonates. Pilot Chemical Company is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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