India: Surya Pigment – phthalo blue

India: Surya Pigment – phthalo blue

FOCUS [In 2008] silver is no longer the most popular colour for new cars in the major industrialised countries. But, whereas white has displaced silve...

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FOCUS [In 2008] silver is no longer the most popular colour for new cars in the major industrialised countries. But, whereas white has displaced silver as the most popular colour in Canada, the US and Japan, European customers now prefer black.” Nevertheless, because of silver’s continued prominence in most emerging markets (including Brazil, China, India, South Korea and Russia) silver remained at the top of the world league in 2008. DuPont’s survey for 2009 shows that black has continued to become more popular in nearly all major markets. In North America, black now accounts for 17% of all new vehicle purchases, compared against only 11% in 2005. White remains the most popular colour, accounting for just under 18% of all new vehicle purchases, but on present trends, black is anticipated to overtake white in 2010 or 2011. Silver accounted for just under 17% of all new vehicle purchases in 2009, but its former predominance has again been eroded. Within Europe, black has steadily edged up from 17% of new vehicles in 2004 to 26% in 2008 and to 27% in 2009. Silver dropped from 30% in 2003 to 20% in 2008 and stayed at the 20% level in 2009. White remains a second-tier choice for European customers, accounting for only 10% of new vehicle purchases, though that is slightly better than the 8% recorded for 2003. In Japan, white remains the colour of choice, accounting for 28% of the market in 2009. White had doubled from 16% to 32% between 2004 and 2008, but its popularity declined last year. Silver also declined in popularity last year, from 28% to 23%. Meanwhile, there was a marked swing towards black, from 13% in 2008 to 23% in 2009. In Russia too, black increased in popularity from 14% to 17%, while silver declined in popularity from 30% to 23%. However, converse trends were reported for the flourishing Chinese automotive market. Here, black fell in popularity from 31% to 23%, while silver rose in popularity from 32% to 36%. Less than 10% of Indian customers choose black for their new vehicles. In India, silver displaced white as the most popular colour, though the popularity of both declined




– silver from 27% to 26%, white from 28% to 23%. The chromatic colours are becoming increasingly popular in India, notably red (up from 12% to 16%) and blue (up from 8% to 11%). All of the above data is sourced from DuPont, which also shows an overall global league table. Silver comes top at 25%, black is second at 23% and white is third at 16%. PPG also publishes a survey of colour preferences for the world’s new vehicle purchases. Broadly speaking, the league tables are similar, though there are some interesting differences too. DuPont rates the popularity of black higher than PPG – 23%, versus 18%. PPG rates the popularity of white and the chromatic colours higher than DuPont. The biggest difference is for grey – rated at 13% by DuPont, but only at 6% by PPG. New Vehicle Colours, World: 2009 DuPont Silver 25% Black 23% White 16% Grey 13% Blue 9% Red 8% Yellow & Brown 5% Green 1%

PPG 25% 18% 16% 6% 10% 11% 8% 4%

Press Release from: PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, PA 15272, USA, website: (5 Oct 2010) & DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report, 2009 (Website:

new pre-filters raise the throughput to the filter units, permitting more efficient supply to the downstream dryers. Press Release from: Lanxess AG, 51369 Leverkusen, Germany, website: (30 Sep 2010)

India: Huntsman – dyes Huntsman has announced plans to build a new reactive dyes plant, either at its Vadodara (India) site or at its Mahachai (Thailand) site. The new plant will use Huntsman’s fluorotriazine technology. Huntsman Textile Effects has manufacturing facilities in China, India, Thailand, Mexico, the US, Switzerland and Germany and the Asian sites have been the focus of recent investment studies. Chemical Weekly, 6 Apr 2010, 55 (34), 124

India: Rikin – leather dyes Rikin Industries is planning a major expansion of its capacity for manufacturing dyes at Vatva, on the southeastern outskirts of Ahmedabad (Gujarat province). Total capacity will be raised to 18,000 tonnes/y. The company specialises in the production of leather dyes and it exports to tanneries all over the world. It also produces acid, direct, basic and solvent dyes for various applications, as well as optical brighteners. Chemical Engineering World, Apr 2010, 45 (4), 93

India: SMI – PCC

PLANTS Germany: Lanxess – iron oxide pigments At a cost of €3 M, Lanxess recently installed new pre-filter units at its Bayferrox iron oxide pigments plant in Krefeld-Uerdingen. Installation of the pre-filter units has improved plant safety and reliability of production, as well as lowering overall energy consumption. The pre-filter units consist of two stainless steel tanks with peripheral attachments, which take up the liquid colour pigments from the synthesis reactors, operating in batchwise mode. The pigments are then separated off in the filter units, washed to remove the salt, dried, mixed, ground and packaged. The

Specialty Minerals Inc (SMI, part of the Minerals Technologies group) will build a 15,000 tonnes/y satellite precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) unit at the Sewa paper mill of Ballarpur Industries, near Gagnapur (about 150 km northwest of Vizakhapatnam). The plant will be operated by a newly registered company, SMI NewQuest India (Pvte) Ltd and its entire output of filler-grade PCC will be used at Ballarpur’s mill. Pulp and Paper International, Sep 2010, 52 (9), 43

India: Surya Pigment – phthalo blue Surya Pigment India Ltd is building a 4800 tonnes/y phthalocyanine blue (Pigment Blue 15:4) pigment plant at Karan Nagar (Gujarat province). San


FOCUS Envirotech is the consultant for this $4 M project, which should be completed by March 2011. Chemical Engineering World, Apr 2010, 45 (4), 93

Japan: Merck – effect pigments At its Onahama complex, Merck is poised to begin building work during October 2010 on a new plant for making Meoxal speciality effect pigments. The new plant should come on-stream during the second half of 2012. Meoxal pigments essentially consist of alumina flakes coated with iron oxide. They have excellent colour saturation and hiding properties and they are mainly used in cosmetics and automotive paints. Merck’s production of Xirallic pigments at Onahama will be unaffected by the new project. Japan Chemical Web, 8 Sep 2010 (Website:

South Korea: Solvay & Nepes – pigment pastes for electronics Iridos was established in South Korea as a joint venture company on 2 August 2010, specialising in the manufacture of pigment pastes for thin film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCDs). Ownership of Iridos is split 50:50 between Solvay (the Brussels-based chemical multinational) and Nepes (an electronics manufacturer, headquartered in Seoul). The two partners have transferred to Iridos productive assets located in South Korea, worth more than €12 M, including Solvay’s pigments plant at Onsan and Nepes’s plant at Ochang for manufacturing pigment pastes. The global market for TFT-LCD pigment pastes is valued at around €200 M and virtually all the suppliers are Japanese companies. Mr Paul Dandoy (of Solvay) said: “By bringing our organic pigment and molecular knowhow and our nanotechnology to the joint venture, Solvay offers the LCD and OLED producers in the Far East access to our hi-tech chemical products that will enable them to develop the next generation of their microelectronic devices.” Mr Byung-Koo Lee (of Nepes) said: “We expect that a new business model can be created through the joint promotion of this




electronic materials business, making the most of our prominent capabilities in developing various functional chemicals and promoting customeroriented electronic materials businesses.” The small LCDs used in hand-held calculators, for example, have directdriven image elements, allowing a voltage to be applied across one segment without interfering with other segments of the display. However, this approach would be impractical for a large display with lots of picture elements (pixels), since it would require millions of connections – top and bottom connections for each one of the three colours (red, green and blue) of every pixel. So, for a large display, the pixels are addressed in rows and columns, reducing the connection count from millions to thousands. The column and row wires attach to transistor switches, one for each pixel. The one-way current passing characteristic of the transistor prevents the charge applied to the pixel from draining between refreshes to the display image. In a TFT-LCD, each pixel is a small capacitor with a layer of insulating liquid crystal sandwiched between transparent conductive indium/tin oxide layers. TFT-LCDs are used in television sets, computer monitors, mobile phones, navigation systems, projectors, etc.

Ltd, both companies being headquartered in Taiwan.

Chimie Pharma Hebdo, 30 Aug 2010, (518), 8 (in French)

Benda Lutz celebrates hundredth anniversary

US: Continental Carbon – carbon black

Benda Lutz GmbH, the renowned manufacturer of aluminium, copper, bronze and other metallic pigments, celebrated its centenary on 19 September 2010 with a ceremony at the Nussdorf plant (25 km north of St Pölten, Austria). More than 300 people attended, including the Mayors of Nussdorf and Traismauer, and representatives of the company’s manufacturing subsidiaries, based at Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Volzhsky (near Volgograd, Russia), Skawina (southern Poland) and Independence (Kentucky, US). The company traces its origins back to the creation of Lutz & Schwarz GmbH (of Vienna) in 1902, which was absorbed into the company originally founded by Georg Benda in Nuremberg (Bavaria) in 1824. Benda Lutz pigments are used in several different end-use sectors, including automotive paints, cosmetics,

Contintental Carbon will spend more than $60 M on energy recovery projects at its three carbon black plants in the US – at Sunray, TX; Phoenix City, AL; and Ponca City, OK. Under a 10-year contract with Valero Energy Corp, Continental Carbon will supply up to 175,000 lbs/hour of steam from its Sunray plant to the nearby McKee oil refinery operated by Valero. The steam will be generated by recovering heat from the carbon black plant tail-gases. At Phoenix and Ponca, Continental Carbon will install power cogeneration facilities before the end of 2011, producing in total about 18 MW of electricity. Continental Carbon is owned 67% by China Synthetic Rubber Corp (CSRC) and 33% by Taiwan Cement

Rubber and Plastics News, 12 Jul 2010, 39 (25), 4

US: Horsehead – zinc oxide Horsehead Corp is determined to bring its zinc oxide plant at Monaca, PA, back into operation before the end of December 2010. The plant has been closed since a fatal accident on 22 July 2010, resulting from an explosion in one of the plant’s ten reactor columns. (See ‘Focus on Pigments’, Sep 2010, 4). Horsehead also plans to get back to normal production levels by December 2011. For full-year 2009, the Monaca plant produced 106,000 tonnes of zinc oxide. US zinc producer Horsehead Holding Corp is to recommission its zinc oxide refinery in Monaca in Pennsylvania by the end of 2010. By the end of 2011, output will return to pre-shutdown levels. The refinery had to be closed following an explosion. Some 106,000 tonnes were produced in 2009. Nachrichten fuer Aussenhandel, 6 Sep 2010 (Website: (in German)