The North America Acetic Acid Market is Estimated to Grow to $1,753.7 Million by 2018 PDF Print E-mail

Monday, November 10th 2014

Acid Market driven by demand from growing chemical and petrochemical industry in the region

(PRWEB) November 10, 2014

The North America acetic acid market report defines and segments the concerned market in North America with analysis and forecast of revenue. This market is estimated to grow to $1,753.7 million by 2018 at a CAGR of 4.7% from 2013 to 2018.

Browse through the TOC of the North America acetic acid market report, to get an idea of the in-depth analysis provided. This also provides a glimpse of the segmentation in the market, and is supported by various tables and figures.

Acetic acid is an organic compound and one of the carboxylic acids, which is majorly obtained from methanol by employing various processes such as methanol carbonylation. The acetic acid market is experiencing strong growth, and the market is expected to become stronger in the future. This is majorly due to the growing demand for acetic acid derivatives that include vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), purified terephthalic acid (PTA), ester solvents, and acetic anhydride. VAM is the single largest end-use application of acetic acid and is mainly used in paints, adhesives, and coatings. PTA is mainly used in the manufacture of polyester and fibers. An upcoming trend of acetate esters being used mainly as solvents for inks, paints, and coatings has also been observed in the last few years.


Hydrogen fuel cell cars to rule the roost in future PDF Print E-mail

 ET Auto

Hydrogen fuel cell cars to rule the roost in future

By IANS | 27 Oct, 2014, 08.44AM IST



Automakers sold 139,632 cars in India last month, according to data from SIAM, with demand dropping for the eighth straight month.

LONDON: They may be exorbitantly expensive at the moment, but cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells have the potential to challenge the dominance of petrol and diesel cars in the near future, said a researcher from Loughborough University in Britain.

"They have significant advantages over traditional cars," said
 Michael Whiteley, who is three years into a four-year project on hydrogen fuel cell technology.

In these cars, the fuel tank is filled with hydrogen instead of petrol or diesel and the fuel cell converts this to electricity, which powers the car.

South Korea's
 Hyundai has become the first manufacturer to release a mass-produced fuel cell car, the ix35 FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle), which has just gone on sale and Toyota will be coming out with their version next year.

Hydrogen fuel cell cars have all the advantages of cars powered by batteries and an internal combustion engine, but none of the disadvantages, Michael said.

"I think they are bound to take off. There is a lot of money being invested in this area," he added.

As hydrogen-powered cars tend to be rather expensive at present, much of the research work is aimed at cost reduction.

Michael, a student in Loughborough's department of aeronautical and automotive engineering said hydrogen fuel cells do not currently power sports cars, because of the size of the fuel cell stack needed, but it is fine for an average family car at the moment.

However, as technology develops, power density will increase and supercar-paced fuel cell vehicles could be possible in the coming years, he concluded.


Carmakers prepare to shift to hydrogen fuel cells PDF Print E-mail

By CHARLES FLEMINGcontact the reporter

Automotive IndustryBusinessElectric and Hybrid VehiclesAuto ReviewsEnvironmental PollutionAir PollutionTesla Motors

'Toyota actually favors fuel cells over other zero-emission vehicles,' a Toyota manager says

Toyota will launch a fuel cell sedan in Japan early next year and in the U.S. by the summer

Honda is preparing to launch a new fuel cell car next year

Concerned about slow sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids, automakers are increasingly betting the future of green cars on hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Even Toyota Motor Corp., maker of the popular Prius gas-electric hybrid, will use hydrogen instead of batteries to power its next generation of green vehicles.

"Today, Toyota actually favors fuel cells over other zero-emission vehicles, like pure battery electric vehicles," said Craig Scott, the company's national manager of advanced technologies. "We would like to be still selling cars when there's no more gas. And no one is coming to our door asking us to build a new electric car."

But even hydrogen's most ardent proponents agree the technology faces enormous hurdles. Like electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are expensive. So is the infrastructure to refuel them.

Car companies have been slow to put hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the market in part because of the lack of fueling stations. Operators of fueling stations, in turn, won't build more retail outlets unless they see more fuel cell car sales.

Dan Poppe is among the few early investors in hydrogen stations. Wearing a hard hat and coveralls at his Burbank hydrogen station, Poppe chews on the edges of his mustache and worries about his future.

"In 2004, we were told we'd have 10,000 cars on the road [in California] by 2009 — but it was more like 200 cars," said Poppe, whose company, H2 Frontier, builds and operates stations in California. "Today, we still only have about 250. That's not going to do it."

Hydrogen fuel cell car makers and station operators like Poppe are subsidized by the state of California, which has set a goal of having 1.5 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2025. By the same year, the state wants 15% of all new cars sold to be zero-emission vehicles.

The category includes plug-in hybrids — which can travel a few miles on battery power alone before a gas engine kicks in — but it doesn't include traditional hybrids, which sell at lower cost and in much higher volumes.

Automakers are still working on electric car technology, and sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are up 30% this year over 2013. Still, total sales for zero-emission vehicles represent less than 1% of all cars nationally.

They are more popular in California than anywhere else. The state's drivers own 40% of the nation's zero-emission vehicles, almost all of them plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. With automakers still struggling to produce a mass-market electric car, fuel cells increasingly look like the ascendant platform.

We would like to be still selling cars when there's no more gas. And no one is coming to our door asking us to build a new electric car.- Craig Scott, Toyota's national manager of advanced technologies

Hydrogen fuel cells are designed to power electric motors much the way batteries do. But instead of storing their energy in a battery pack that takes hours to recharge, the fuel-cell vehicles store hydrogen gas in an onboard tank that can be refilled in minutes, just like a gasoline tank.

The state subsidizes hydrogen-powered cars the same way it does battery-powered cars, with the same $5,000 rebate it offered buyers of electric cars in the early days. (Electric car buyers now are eligible for a $2,500 state rebate.) New fuel cell car buyers also qualify, at least until the end of 2014, for a $4,000 federal rebate — down from as much as $12,000 for cars that hit the road in earlier years.

The state will also award automakers environmental credits for building them, which they can use to comply with California clean air mandates or sell to other automakers who need the credits to comply. Automakers get more credits for fuel cell cars than most battery electrics or plug-in hybrids.

Hydrogen refueling station operators like Poppe also get money from the state and other agencies, among them the California Energy Commission, California Air Resources Board and South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Poppe received $3 million from the state to build a station in Chino. He got $500,000 from the energy commission and the air quality district to operate his station in Burbank.

The district says it has spent $11.4 million so far on the construction, operation and maintenance of nine Southern California stations, with "considerably more funds" having been spent by the energy commission and the air resources board, agency spokesman Sam Atwood said.

To qualify for a $1-million grant, Poppe had to invest $250,000 to $300,000 of his own money. To receive grants to cover operational expenses, he has had to hit specific performance goals — a certain number of pumps open, operating at certain capacities, by certain dates — or face being disqualified.

hicle at a hydrogen fuel station in Burbank operated by her husband, Dan Poppe, an early investor in such stations. (Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times)

Despite the risks to entrepreneurs, Poppe believes the future is hydrogen, because fuel cell vehicles address the two main shortcomings of today's battery-powered cars: short driving range and long recharging times.

Car companies agree.

Toyota will launch a fuel cell sedan in Japan early next year and in the U.S. by the summer. Hyundai Motor Co. started leasing a hydrogen fuel cell version of its Tucson sport utility vehicle this year. Honda Motor Co., which has spent years testing and leasing its FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, is preparing to launch a new fuel cell car sometime next year.

Ford Motor Co., which has put 1.3 million test miles on a fleet of 300 fuel cell vehicles over the last several years, recently cut a deal with Daimler, Renault and Nissan to develop a joint fuel cell technology that all four companies would share.

General Motors Co., which holds more patents for hydrogen fuel cell technology than any other carmaker, has similarly tested its HydroGen4 car. GM has partnered with Honda, its rival for the number of new fuel cell patents each year, to co-develop new automotive fuel cell applications.

The cars, when they arrive, won't come cheap. Toyota hasn't set a price for its car here, but when it's launched in Japan it will have a $68,000 sticker price — though buyers will qualify for a $20,000 government rebate.

Fuel cell cars have about the same range as many gas-powered vehicles — as much as 300 miles between fueling stops.

Most electric cars have a range of about 80 miles, though more expensive battery-powered cars — namely, the Tesla Model S — offer more than 200 miles of driving range. The Tesla Model S starts at $72,000 and can cost upward of $100,000 with the largest battery and luxury options.

In addition, fuel cell advocates point out that there are multiple sources of hydrogen, including hydro-electric or wind generators, nuclear power plants and natural gas.

Elon Musk, chairman of the battery-electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc., derides hydrogen-powered cars and calls the science behind them overcomplicated.

"I usually call them 'fool cells,'" Musk told shareholders in June, having earlier dismissed the technology as "a load of rubbish."

Musk did not elaborate on specific weaknesses of hydrogen power or why he believes batteries will remain the dominant power source for zero-emission cars. A Tesla spokesperson declined requests for interviews with Musk or other executives.

Some observers caution that the appearance of competing technologies can be misleading. They say the need for clean transportation won't necessarily be found in a single system.

"If you have a fuel cell car, you have a longer range between visits to the gas station; but if you plug in at home, you never have to go to the gas station at all," said Don Anair of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "It's not an either-or proposition. It's a both-and proposition."

California is at the leading edge of subsidizing the fuel cell movement. The state Legislature passed AB 8 late last year, dedicating $20 million a year through 2023 to finance the construction of as many as 100 hydrogen fueling stations.

There are only 11 such stations in California now, though that number could increase to 40 stations within a year.

Automakers and station owners have little incentive to invest without government subsidies to develop cars and stations.

"Without government support, this is not a viable business," Poppe said.

Until the nascent technology goes mainstream, hydrogen station operators like Poppe — who's such a believer in the technology that he and his wife both drive Mercedes-Benz B-Class fuel cell cars — must wait for their businesses to become profitable. His Burbank station serves 10 or

20 cars a day; he needs at least 30 to recoup his investment.

Experts put the price of building a single hydrogen fueling station, excluding the cost of the real estate, at about $2 million. A single nozzle at his Burbank station costs $12,000, Poppe said.

That's expensive, but so are gasoline stations — along with the drilling and refining operations that feed them.

"We could put in a nationwide network of [hydrogen] stations for less than the cost of building the Alaska pipeline," said Charlie Freese, head of the fuel cell vehicle program for GM. "There are a lot of other hidden costs too, like the cost of keeping the [Strait] of Hormuz open."

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

by Taboola


Construction on $1B Beaumont methanol plant to start Nov. 1 PDF Print E-mail

Construction on $1B Beaumont methanol plant to start Nov. 1

By Eric Besson | October 16, 2014

Natgasoline Methanol, a subsidiary of OCI, will operate a plant which will be the largest methanol producing plant in the country. The plant will be built on the more than 500 acres of land on the south end of Beaumont that OCI purchased roughly a year ago. Official site preparation will begin November 1, and the project is slated to take nearly 30 months to complete. The plant will continue leasing to the Martin plant that has been on the property for nearly 15 years, and they will also be building up the docks along the Neches River to accommodate barge traffic needed to ship in the large building materials. Photo taken Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Kim Brent/@kimbpix Photo: KIM BRENT / Beaumont Enterprise

Having cleared a significant hurdle, Natgasoline is set to begin "full-blown" construction of its $1 billion-plus methanol plant on Nov. 1, a company executive said.

The company has received its greenhouse gas permit from the Environmental Protection Agency, the final stamp ahead of a massive Beaumont project expected to require thousands of construction workers and carry a more than $20 million annual payroll once it begins producing methanol at the end of 2016, company Vice President Bashir Lebada said.

Natgasoline is a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based company OCI N.V. The parent company, specializing in the production of natural-gas based chemicals like fertilizer and methanol, employs more than 72,000 people in 35 countries.

The Natgasoline plant, a two-phase project at Sulphur Plant Road, could cost up to $1.5 billion before it is complete, Lebada said.

The first segment will use natural gas as a source to produce methanol, a foundational product in household materials and wood adhesive used in home construction.

Natgasoline's second phase, which Lebada said is not scheduled to begin until years afterward, would use methanol to produce fuel.

This segment would make the site one of the first natural gas-to-gasoline plants in the United States.

Booming shale gas plays across the United States have driven down the cost for methanol's primary raw source. A rebounding U.S. home construction market, coupled with high international demand, is driving up the value of the end product, Lebada said.

"Since we've announced this project, the shale gas economy has only grown stronger," Lebada said. "It's only reaffirmed our faith in these gas prices staying low."

The EPA gave license to Natgasoline to emit up to 1.2 million tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere each year, according to the company's permit application. Carbon-dioxide equivalent is a standard measure to gauge the anticipated global-warming impact of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Compared to the 656 million tons of carbon Texas emitted in 2011, the plant's output represents one-tenth of 1 percent. But Texas by far has the largest output of greenhouse gases: In about 30 other states, the Natgasoline discharge would exceed 1 percent of the carbon output share, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

"We need to be aggressively moving toward reducing emissions, certainly not increasing them," said Luke Metzger, director of the advocacy group Environment Texas. "Even though it is a small fraction overall, it is still a significant increase and is worrisome."

Industrial sources of carbon emissions are not targeted in the proposed rule the EPA announced earlier this year. The proposal instead seeks to limit emissions of power plants, which contribute 40 percent of the nation's carbon discharge, Metzger said.

Greenhouse gas permits are required for emitters of more than 100,000 tons of carbon per year.

"The Texas economy continues to grow and add jobs, and energy projects like Natgasoline's are an important part of that growth," EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry said in a prepared statement. "EPA will continue to work with businesses to ensure they have to (SIC) permits they need to operate."

Work to clear the site and set up temporary offices and electricity has already begun, Lebada said. The EPA permit allows the company to begin constructing its process equipment.

The Beaumont project will require between 1,600 and 3,000 construction workers and once complete will create 240 permanent jobs, Lebada said.

Construction alone will generate $3.7 billion in economic activity, according to a study conducted by the Austin-based research and consulting firm Impact DataSource.

To capture the economic benefits, state and local governments offered OCI incentives to purchase and develop the 514-acre tract of property.

OCI will receive $2.1 million from the governor-controlled Texas Enterprise Fund.

Local taxing agencies agreed to waive 100 percent of taxes attributable to property improvements for a 10-year period. In return for the local abatement, the company must make efforts to hire local contractors for construction.

"With the small amount of work so far, about 90 percent has been done by Beaumont companies," Lebada said.

Impact DataSource projected the company's land improvements will total $25 million.

Eastman Chemical Co. had originally planned to use the property for a $1 billion-plus project but balked as the national recession took root.

Natgasoline's methanol production should reach 1.75 million tons per year. Two similarly sized plants are planned for construction in Louisiana by separate companies.

Should the current U.S. need for 6 million tons per year be met, Natgasoline will export its product. China, which allows fuel producers to blend gasoline with methanol, is a major player in the international market, Lebada said. 

This Is How You Know Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are Readying for the Big Time PDF Print E-mail

This Is How You Know Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are Readying for the Big Time

By Reuben Brewer | More Articles 
October 1, 2014 | Comments (5)

Hydrogen fuel cells represent a fantastic technology that has great promise, but so far hasn't delivered on many of the biggest dreams of its proponents. However, that may be slowly changing. Niche applications like Plug Power's (NASDAQ: PLUG  ) fuel-cell powered fork lifts and FuelCell Energy's (NASDAQ: FCEL  ) small industrial installations are still huge opportunities. But the push toward utility scale projects, which is starting to gain traction, is the key area for taking the technology mainstream.

Clean, reliable, and in the background
While some hydrogen fuel cell optimists have long looked at the consumer auto market and seen a potential goldmine, the technology still hasn't hit the mainstream. That's why Plug Power's niche approach has been such a winner, offering industrial customers a better mouse trap—or in this case fork lift.

It's a boring market, but one in which hydrogen cells offer enough advantages to make converts of major corporations around the world, like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) , Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , and BMW, among many others. Plug Power is even breaking into new industrial niches, including refrigerated trucks with Sysco (NYSE: SYY  ) and airport equipment with FedEx (NYSE: FDX  ) .


These are all huge opportunities, but ones that sit in the background. They are easily overlooked by the populace that they benefit. Even FuelCell's systems have so far largely been limited to the background. For example, FuelCell installed a 600 kilowatt hydrogen system at an onion farm. It runs off of onion waste and, thus, is a great benefit to the environment and Gills Onions, but it's hardly front-page news.

The big leagues
Bringing the technology closer to the mainstream, Sprint (NYSE: S  )  has made an effort to use hydrogen systems as power backups for its cell towers. And, perhaps even more impressive, Verizon (NYSE: VZ  )  has been using Bloom Energy hydrogen power cells to provide electricity to three of its facilities in California.

Even these types of projects, however, don't have the same impact of working at the utility scale, though they show the potential. And that potential is starting to gain traction. For example, Bloom Energy has signed a deal with Exelon (NYSE: EXC  ) in which the utility will help finance 75 installations of Bloom's technology at industrial sites on the East and West Coasts. Clearly, utilities are starting to see some value in getting more involved in the hydrogen fuel cell market.

Bloom has also signed a deal with WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL  ) to build a 2.6 megawatt project in California. The power will be sold to Santa Clara County under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Essentially, Bloom is working with WGL to build a utility scale hydrogen fuel cell power plant. Only it's still a relatively tiny project. For comparison, Duke Energy's(NYSE: DUK  ) Edwardsport coal plant, completed last year, has a capacity in excess of 600 megawatts.


That said, South Korean POSCO Energy has a fuel cell plant with a capacity of 59 megawatts. Still just a fraction of Duke's Edwardsport plant, but proving that the technology can be scaled up. Cost, of course, plays a big part in that. South Korea imports nearly 100% of the fuels used to power its economy. Fuel cells, which can be powered with such things as onion waste, make a lot of sense in that situation. However, with natural gas still historically cheap in the United States, they are a harder sell domestically.

Fuel cells: Big time or not?
The answer to the "big or not" question depends on your view. Plug Power and FuelCell are exploiting niche markets with great success. It's hard to call that a failure, even though most people don't realize that it's happening. That said, utility scale projects are still not ready to replace large power plants—POSCO's 59 megawatt plant, the largest in the world, is impressive, but still relatively small. But, as more and more utilities dabble with fuel cells, the more likely it will be that the technology starts to take off at the utility level. So are they ready for the big time? Not just yet, but it looks increasingly like they will be sooner rather than later.

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