prices of its Satintone and Ultrexcalcined kaolin pigments were raisedby $30 per tonne; and the price of itsTranslink surface-treated kaolin wasincreased by $34 per tonne. ThieleKaolin has posted price increases ofup to 20% on its US kaolin grades,with effect from 1 November 2005.Industrial Minerals, Oct 2005, (457), 71
North American prices for GCC & PCCraised by up to 15%
Specialty Minerals Inc (SMI, asubsidiary of Mineral TechnologiesInc) raised its US prices for talc,ground calcium carbonate (GCC) andprecipitated calcium carbonate (PCC),effective 1 September 2005. Theincreases ranged from 5% to 15%. Ina new development, SMI stated thatas from 26 September 2005, it wouldadd an energy surcharge on its pricefor all paper pigments, the amount ofthe surcharge to be based onindustry-accepted indices for crudeoil and natural gas prices. SMI hasalso decided to quote ex-terminalprices only and it will no longer quoteprices on a delivered basis, mainlybecause of uncertainties over freightcosts and new freight indusryregulations in the US.
Imerys raised US prices for itsGCC and PCC grades by up to 15%,effective 1 October 2005. Omyaposted price rises for GCC deliveredto its customers in North America,effective 1 November 2005. Prices offine and ultrafine GCC will increase by8%; prices for steep PSD (particlesize distribution) engineered GCCproducts will increase by 10%.Press Release from: Minerals Technologies Inc, TheChrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, New York,NY 10174-1901, USA, Website:http://www.mineralstech.com (4 Oct 2005) &Chemical Week, 26 Oct 2005, 167 (35), 40
Chemtura announces policy changeson antimony oxide pricing
Chemtura the new entity formed bythe merger of Great Lakes Chemicalwith Crompton earlier this year hasannounced some major policychanges for its antimony oxideproducts, due to come into effect asfrom 28 October 2005. The changesare necessary to restore Chemturasbusiness to profitability.
The company has established abase price of $0.55 per pound overthe average published price forantimony metal, based on theantimony content of the finishedproduct. The current published pricefor antimony metal is $38.50 pertonne (or $1.75 per pound). HenceChemturas new base price forantimony oxide is $2.00 per pound.The company will continue to chargepremiums for speciality grades andspecial services at unchanged rates.Chemtura is also eliminating allcontract terms allowing extendedpayment periods. It is also eliminatingall price protection clauses extendingbeyond 30 days.Press Release from: Chemtura, Middlebury,Connecticut, USA, Website: http://www.chemtura.com(6 October 2005)
World PCC demand growth forecast at4.2% per annum
According to a recent multiclient studyby Research & Markets (of Dublin),world demand for precipitated calciumcarbonate (PCC) is forecast toincrease by 4.2% per annum from 7.5M tonnes in 2004 to 9.6 M tonnes by2010. The study authors note thatover the past 10-15 years the switchfrom acid to alkaline papermakingsystems has spurred the replacementof kaolin by calcium carbonate.However, over the next 5-10 years,the higher price of PCC comparedto ground calcium carbonate (GCC) will probably limit its use as a pigmentin plastics, paints, and adhesives.Chemical Week, 24/31 Aug 2005, 167 (28), 42
World plastics industry uses 15 Mtonnes of functional fillers
World consumption of functional fillersin the plastics industry amounted toabout 15 M tonnes in 2005, wortharound 6 bn. The breakdown byweight, by type of material isestimated at: 50% for elastomers;35% for thermoplastics and 15% forthermoset plastics. In WesternEurope, consumption of functionalfillers is estimated at around 3.65 Mtonnes/y, of which carbon blackaccounts for 36% and calciumcarbonate for 30%.Kunststoffe, Oct 2005, 95 (10), 187-192 (in German)
Cement industrys demand for ironsulfate ex-TiO2 poised for upsurge
New EU legislation on the chromiumcontent of cement is expected to haveimportant knock-on effects for TiO2pigment producers employing sulfate-route technology, with plants usingilmenite (rather than slag) feedstock.At present, there are seven suchplants in the EU, with a total TiO2capacity of about 420,000 tonnes/y,generating a potential 1.5 M tonnes/yof ferrous sulfate.
The legislation has been adoptedbecause of the prevalence of contacteczema (caused by hexavalentchromium) among workers in theconstruction industry and workers atcement factories and storage depots.EU Directive 2003/53/EC, effective asfrom 17 January 2005, makes itmandatory on all participants in thecement value-chain to control levelsof chromium (VI) in the productshandled. The simplest method ofensuring this is to add a reducingagent, such as ferrous sulfate or tinsulfate, which effectively convertschromium (VI) to the less harmfulchromium (III) form. Cementproducers now have to ensure thatreducing agents are added as earlyas possible in the production process,limiting the levels of soluble chromiumin the cement to below 2 ppm.Cement producers also now have todeclare a maximum storage period orshelf-life for their products.
Dr G Fortunati wrote a verydetailed article for P & V on theefficiency of cement additives forreducing hexavalent chromium levels.Tin sulfate has a number ofadvantages: the dosage is lower, it isless hygroscopic and it can be usedas a fine powder without upsetting therheology of the cement product andwithout risking red rust stainsappearing on the surface. However,tin sulfate is substantially moreexpensive than ferrous sulfate andpotential supplies are much lessplentiful. The ideal additive, in termsof value for money, is freshheptahydrate ferrous sulfate. But, thismaterial is prone to oxidation(converting to ferric sulfate),especially in moist and humidenvironments, and prone todehydration (converting tomonohydrate) at temperatures above60C. Ferric sulfate and monohydrate
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