Article | July 13, 2021
IT FEELS LIKE several lifetimes ago. If you recall, way back in November-December 2019 Asian variable cost integrated naphtha-based polyethylene (PE) margins turned negative because of the increase in US capacity.
Then in January the following year, deep Asian and Middle East operating rate cuts returned some order to the market. Then, bang, as we all know, the pandemic arrived and turned everything on its head.
The pandemic has, in my view, accentuated trends that were already well underway. I believe this means that the supply-driven downturn that started in late 2019 will not return.Long before coronavirus upended everyone’s lives, PE demand was becoming increasingly divorced from GDP growth because of the shifting nature of end-use demand.
Booming internet sales was, I believe, a major factor behind the split between the growth of the overall economies in the developed world plus China and PE demand.The average product bought online is dropped 17 times because of the large number of people involved in the logistics chain, according to Forbes.
This had led to a surge in demand for protective packaging made not from PE and other polymers such as polypropylene, expandable polystyrene and PET films (I will look at their demand growth prospects in later posts).Despite sustainability pressures, the scale of demand for stuff bought online translated to a lot more consumption of virgin polymers.
Article | June 6, 2022
Intelligent Operations can play a vital role in creating connected content environments, however, many companies – especially within oil and gas – having been slow on the uptake.
Businesses that implement digital transformation initiatives often gain a competitive advantage over their rivals, as they benefit from reductions in human error, increases in productivity and further support for compliance efforts.
This report, produced in collaboration with OpenText, dives into the results of our Intelligent Operations in Oil and Gas Survey 2020, revealing where the industry is in terms of its adoption of Intelligent Operations and the hurdles it needs to overcome to truly embrace digital platforms and solutions.
Article | July 20, 2022
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.
Article | August 8, 2022
Used to separate and analyze compounds into their various components— chromatography plays a crucial part not just in the food industry but in the realms of drug testing, forensics, and even quality control in our favourite alcoholic drinks as well.
Advanced Chromatography is an analytical technique introduced to the world by chromatography instrument companies to separate and analyze individual chemicals from complex compounds. Recent developments in the biotechnology and pharma industries have created a significant surge in the chromatography market.
Read on to find out five fascinating facts about the day-to-day applications of chromatography in various industries and why businesses are looking to invest more in OEM chromatography manufacturing.
Why are Industry-Decision Makers Adapting to Chromatography?
Liquid Chromatography; A Popular Choice in Drug Testing
Today, a lot of drug tests use liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry because it is easy to use, widely available, and gives quick results. LC and LC-MS can be done in almost any testing facility, which is different from other methods. It can be run by people with little training, so a testing facility can hire mostly technicians instead of highly trained scientists, who are harder to find. LC-MS is also very accurate, which means that there are fewer false positives.
With liquid chromatography, you can get results in about 10 to 30 minutes, which is very fast. This technology is used by many drug testing labs across the country. It is widely used and trusted for testing drug samples and many other things.
Businesses associated with the sports industry are leveraging chromatography to effectively and accurately test athletes for doping or performance-enhancing drugs.
Use of HPCL in Pharmaceutical Industries
Chromatography is used in the medical and pharmaceutical industries to create vaccines. In addition, chromatography can determine which antibodies best neutralize viruses and diseases.
Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc. used the chromatography technique to develop the experimental immunization Zmapp to counteract the deadly Ebola virus. And it is still being used today to fight the coronavirus.
The pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous success by exclusively using HPLC to obtain precise results during drug trials. The results can be used to analyze finished drug products and their ingredients quantitatively and qualitatively during manufacturing.
The Detector in Forensic Science
Chromatography methods are a well-established, powerful suite of methodologies in forensic science, from drug busts, murders, and robberies, to the identification of a plethora of chemical compounds that may be present in samples from terrorist incidents.
Forensics use gas chromatography to help solve crimes. It helps analyze blood and clothing samples, allowing forensic scientists to investigate who and what was present at a crime scene.
In particular instances, chromatography can even help forensic scientists pinpoint the exact whereabouts of the alleged perpetrator and victim before the crime happened. It’s an error-free process. Therefore, it is incredibly helpful in court.
Additionally, chromatography is extremely handy in arson investigations. Most fires have a virtual cocktail of different substances. Every compound and substance differs in size and weight. Chromatography helps break down these varying compounds and substances to help determine what exactly started the fire.
Liquid Chromatography in Food Industry
Liquid chromatography plays a vital role in the food industry nowadays. It absolves and permits the selective removal of a wide variety of flavor and non-flavor-active food ingredients.
The USDA, along with other countries, has prioritized rigorous testing of processed meat's contents. For example, in 2013, it was found that horsemeat was being sold as beef without anyone noticing. As a result, the food industry decided to change its analytical techniques.
Chromatography quickly became the best way to find out what was in processed meats. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and mass spectrometry were used to ensure that meat labeled beef was actually beef. In addition, it could tell if horse meat was mixed in with the beef, which helped keep people safe.
Bio-Rad Fast Acid Analysis Column in Beverage Testing
Not just food, many beverage manufacturers also use chromatography to ensure that each bottle of their product is the same. But, again, consistent taste is the main priority. And knowing the exact content of each bottle is the most proactive way to measure things.
The Bio-Rad fast acid analysis column has been successfully used by many companies to quantitatively determine vitamin C in juices, fresh drinks, and powdered drinks.
Chromatography Market is Opening New Dimensions in Various Businesses
Undoubtedly, technological advancement has created a vigorous need for chromatography devices. According to Verified Market Research, growing at a CAGR of 3.4% from 2020 to 2027, the chromatography market is projected to reach USD 4.73 billion by 2027.
The chromatography instrumentation market is currently witnessing huge advancements in the design of columns. This is raising the demand for development of better analytical reagents and resins. Increasing collaborations among the existing players, specifically in the Asian market is another propelling factor for this market. Additionally, emergence of green chromatography, increasing usage of chromatography instruments for monoclonal antibody purification, and usage of nanomaterial in chromatography are also fuelling the growth of this market. Plus, increased government funding in research and development activities is further driving the market growth.
With various pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, chemical, food and beverage, and other industries contributing to its market growth, one thing is for sure— the increase in the chromatography system market is here to stay.