Public sector Assam Petrochemicals Limited is set to introduce – in a first in India – methanol as cleaner, cheaper alternative to liquefied petroleum gas. The pilot project involving 500 burners and stoves, each fuelled by a 1.2-litre canister of methanol, will be launched on October 5. The company hopes to go for commercial production after almost two months of monitoring the project at its headquarters in eastern Assam’s Namrup town.The methanol cooking fuel project is expected to a game-changer for APL, India’s first natural gas-based petrochemicals company, which has undertaken a ₹1,337 crore expansion project to produce 600 tonnes of methanol and 325 tonnes of formaldehyde per day by September 2019.At current plant utilisation of 95%, APL hopes to be the number one methanol producer in the country after expansion. This, for the 47-year-old company, has been a massive turnaround from five years ago when its balance sheet showed a loss of ₹28 crore.“We made a profit of ₹12.29 crore during 2017-18, which was 262.26% more than the previous fiscal. But more importantly, we have taken some innovative steps for sustaining the growth,” APL chairperson Jagadish Bhuyan said after the 47th annual general meeting of the company on Friday.These steps include the alternative fuel project set up with Swedish technology.“Countries such as China and Israel are going big on methanol as cooking fuel besides powering trains and vehicles. Methanol is clean and green fuel besides being 30% cheaper than LPG,” Mr. Bhuyan said.APL gets its methanol feedstock from Oil India Limited, which owns 49% stakes of the company where the Assam government is the major player. But 75% of the methanol consumed in India is importedexported.“We are looking at municipal waste and gasification of India’s vast coal reserves to cut down on imports. There are some positive signs in this direction,” APL managing director Ratul Bordoloi said.The production cost of methanol is currently ₹22 per kg. Expansion of APL’s plant is likely to bring down the cost to ₹14-15 per kg.A 1.2-litre canister of methanol would last less than five hours on full flame, and eight hours on low to medium-intensity flame. In terms of heat value, a 14 kg LPG cylinder is equivalent to about 20 kg of methanol, officials said.
Anuj Puri is Chairman of ANAROCK Property Consultants. Views are personal. The above graph confirms that a large chunk (67 percent) of unsold inventory to be completed in 2018 will be added in National Capital Region (NCR), Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Bangalore.· Over the past few years, NCR – largely an investor-driven market – has been a front-runner a mong the top 7 cities in terms of churning out new residential launches. However, developers’ focus on completions has been minimal. Now, the entire new launch activity seems to have shifted to a slow track due to the combined effect of demonetization, RERA and GST. Among NCR’s many developers, those that had been relying of deceit and misinformation are now having a rough time as the real estate business as a whole re-orients itself to the rebooted market conditions where focus on project execution has become a paramount consideration.· MMR’s real estate market is driven by a good mix of investors and end-users, and has also been flooded with new launches over the past few years. While the many structural changes and policy reforms in the recent past have taken the sheen off the high-end and luxury real estate segment, mid-range and affordable housing projects will remain in focus in MMR for the foreseeable future. With massive growth potential and huge latent demand in the suburbs and peripheral areas, housing requirements in these regions will make a comeback sooner than in other parts of the city.· Bangalore, largely an end-user driven market, has always adjusted as per market guiding circumstances and developers have accordingly restricted new launches to align with realistic absorption potential in such a market. This time around too, Bangalore’s developers are concentrating on completing existing projects rather than adding new ones to the market.In terms of affordability, buyers scouting for ready-to-move-in homes priced below Rs 80 lakh will have a bracing spread of options across the top 7 cities. Overall, buying ready-to-move-in properties in a buyer-favouring markets is always beneficial:· No execution delay· Attractive pricing· Buyers can relocate immediately to save on additional rentals· WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)The major disruptive structural changes and policy reforms are now behind us. As 2018 begins on the right note of transparency and the right approach by developers, ready-to-move-in homes are indeed the flavour of the season. If Union Budget 2018-19 takes the right direction for the Great Indian Middle-Class, the sales uptick of these properties could be very significant indeed.Anuj Puri Real estate [Representational Image]A whopping 7 lakh residential units had remained unsold across top 7 cities of India at the end of December 2017. Add to this around 1.7 lakh unsold apartments that will be completed in 2018. Does that invoke grim concerns for the Indian real estate sector? Or, is there light at the end of the tunnel? Is the return of a bullish buyer market round the corner? More importantly, how will the upcoming Union Budget 2018 help the expected realty resurgence? The Indian real estate market is waiting with bated breath to see how it can benefit as the year 2018 unfolds. In fact, it has never been a better time for aspiring homebuyers, as there is a more than generous stock of ready-to-move housing options across most Indian cities.Ready properties are the pièce de résistance of 2018, not least of all because they are the most de-risked purchase proposition, do not attract GST and offer instant gratification. After all, owning a house is the culmination of almost every Indian’s lifetime efforts and aspirations.The sense of security, achievement and social stature linked to home ownership is what has for long been driving the demand for – and supply of – residential developments across India. All major roads, railway stations and airports are flanked by hoardings that advertise real estate projects.With a massive urbanization rate of more than 30 percent (estimated to reach 40 percent by 2030), the demand for homes in India is an assured long-term story in which chapters will continue to unfold. However, due to wavering economic growth, an uncertain job market and rising property prices, residential real estate demand has remained largely subdued over the last few years.Paradoxically, developers continued their protracted project launch spree – leading to a huge unsold inventory pile-up.Due to the structural changes and policy reforms such as demonetization, Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Bill and Goods and Services Tax (GST), the new launch activity slowed down in 2017. Nevertheless, December 2017 saw more than 7 lakh units remaining unsold across top 7 cities of India.Under the RERA regime, stringent guidelines and financial discipline have now been force-fed into the systems and processes governing the real estate business in India. Unsurprisingly, developers are now focusing on completing existing projects to avoid being entrapped in compliance hassles.This sharp focus on project completion is a blessing for homebuyers. The mammoth unsold inventory has already turned the Indian real estate arena into a strongly buyer-favouring market.Now, at the beginning of 2018, there is a huge opportunity to cherry-pick ready-to-move-in house as around 1.7 lakh unsold units are likely to get completed in this year. With the right kind of boosts to the Indian consumption story, we could see a massive return of buyers who are hoping to snap up ready-to-move homes but need that last decisive ‘last-mile’ incentive push.
(Phys.org) —The market for thin, flexible, printed electronic circuits is potentially huge. Although tremendous advances have been made in printing organic semiconductors like thin-film transistors (TFTs), one of their present limitations is a relatively high operating voltage requirement. 3D printed lithium-ion batteries with acceptable single-cell potentials (~3V) have been previously demonstrated, at least on small scales. The main concerns though, are that even with hermetic packaging, the raw materials for these cells still pose inherent safety and reliability risks. For wearable devices, which are a major application for flexible printed devices, a more versatile technology has been sought. A new study in Applied Physics Letters describes recent experiments with a different battery chemistry—Zn-MnO2. Using special fabrication techniques, a 10-cell series configuration of the battery was able to generate peak voltages of 14 volts, and a capacity of up to 0.8 mA h. © 2013 Phys.org The main incentive to developing printed thin-film batteries is that they would be able to be fabricated on the same production line as the rest of a printed electronic device. Much research has gone into reducing the relatively high potential (10-30V) of solution-phase printed organic TFTs. The fact remains that a lot of the traditional problems of these devices like low mobility, large channel lengths, drain-source shorting, and thick dielectric layers, go away when higher voltages are used. The ability to now make high-potential batteries based on alkaline chemistry, like the Zn-MnO2, removes many of the traditional concerns with lithium batteries.Alkaline batteries are generally less expensive than lithium batteries, and their environmentally friendly raw materials do not need to be hermetically sealed. The cells are printed on commercially available polyvivyl alcohol/cellulose(PAC) membranes. The 100um thick membrane also serves as a separator and a substrate for the Zn and MnO2 electrodes. A hydrophobic fluoropolymer solution (Teflon AF) is printed between the electrodes to reduce electrolyte migration and conduction between neighboring electrodes of different cells. The anode and cathode are printed from solution-based inks composed of conductive additives and binder materials. The cells were connected with a printed silver-based ink.The anode and cathode footprint of the battery, as well as their separation distance, is 1 cm2. The open circuit potential of 14 V is limited mainly by self-discharge of the MnO2 electrode during processing, particularly as a result of the multiple baking steps needed to evaporate solvents. The battery was tested by discharging through a 100 kΩ resistive load. After 7.5 hours, the potential dropped to 10V, which was what was used for the conservatively-set 0.8 mA h capacity.To further characterize their battery, a technique known as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to determine the ohmic resistance (1.20 Ω), and the charge transfer resistance (0.8 Ω). These values are low enough for the individual cells that they do not cause major impedance losses when assembled into a 10-cell device. The researchers also gave the battery a real-word test to demonstrate its performance within an actual printed circuit. They used a ring oscillator circuit made from five simple inverting gates connected head-to-tail. The frequency of an output tap on this circuit depends on supply voltage and delay through the circuit. The ring oscillator test circuit only drew a very low current and the resulting waveform peaked at 13 V on each 10 ms cycle. After 20 minutes of use, no changes in the open circuit potential were detectable, suggesting that simple circuits could be powered for an extended duration. More complex circuits may likely draw much more power than a ring oscillator, but the new Zn-MnO2 battery looks like it will be a good alternative to lithium for many foreseable printed device applications. Journal information: Applied Physics Letters Citation: Physicists develop flexible multicell Zn-MnO2 battery for printed electronics (2013, June 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-physicists-flexible-multicell-zn-mno2-battery.html Explore further Printed Flexible Zn-Mno2 Battery. Credit: A. Gaikwad et. al. Applied Physics Letters Vol 102 Issue 23 More information: A flexible high potential printed battery for powering printed electronics, Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 233302 (2013); dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4810974 AbstractMechanically flexible arrays of alkaline electrochemical cells fabricated using stencil printing onto fibrous substrates are shown to provide the necessary performance characteristics for driving ink-jet printed circuits. Due to the dimensions and material set currently required for reliable low-temperature print processing of electronic devices, a battery potential greater than that sourced by single cells is typically needed. The developed battery is a series interconnected array of 10 low resistance Zn-MnO2 alkaline cells, giving an open circuit potential of 14 V. This flexible battery is used to power an ink-jet printed 5-stage complementary ring oscillator based on organic semiconductors. 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