What’s up with glycerine?

My article on oils and fats-based chemicals (also called oleochemicals) is now out on ICIS Chemical Business (ICB). According to consultants and industry players, the global oleochemicals market has been very turbulent in 2008 as the first half of the year saw high feedstock costs and high demand, while during the second part of the year, prices tumbled down and there was oversupply especially for glycerine and fatty acids.

Industry players in the US, however, are cautiously optimistic that the glycerin and fatty acids markets could see a revival in 2009, according to ICIS Pricing.

One major producer noted continuous efforts in finding long term solutions for the oversupply of glycerine. Maybe these South Korean scientists can help as they said they were able to successfully develop glycerol carbonate (GC) and 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) from glycerol.

GC is said to be a new kind of solvent used for industrial and medical purposes that could replace conventional propylene carbonate, while 3-HP is a water-soluble compound used in the industrial production of various chemicals such as acrylates.

You can find recent developments in new glycerine uses at the Soap and Detergent Association’s oleochemical website. The SDA is celebrating its 83rd annual meeting in January 27-31 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Florida, and the green blogger will be in attendance (sunny weather whoo-hoo!). Stay tune for future posts about the green cleaning market.

Speaking of green cleaning. another interesting article to note in ICB’s soap and detergent issue this Monday is the shift of detergent builders to greener alternatives. The article says that phosphates have been losing favor in emerging markets such as China, with alternatives such as zeolites, sodium carbonate and citric acid taking their place.

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