Global Printing Toners Market: Resins Derived from Soybean Replace Petroleum-based Resins in Printing Toners

Growth of digital printing market has pushed the demand for printing toners. Shifting consumer preference has led printing inks to give way for toners. With a wide range of applications of digital printing, the global market for printing toners is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.8% during the period between 2014 and 2020. The demand for printing toners across the globe was around 216.0 kilo tons in 2013. The overall market stood at a valuation of US$2.91 billion in 2013 and is estimated to be worth US$4.33 billion by 2020. 

Though the demand for printing toners is increasing, so is the adverse impact on the environment as the printing toners are usually polyester resin-based or styrene-acrylic based. The presence of chemicals such as naptha, which is derived from petroleum, along with other polymers and resins increases the carbon footprint of the global printing toners market. Bio-based toners have emerged as the potential answer to lessen the negative impact on the environment.

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Bio-based Toners:  Global Printing Toners Market Goes Green

In 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published guidelines for printer toner bio-content. According to the USDA, a printer toner manufactured with at least 32% renewable raw materials can be qualified as bio-based. Petroleum-based resins constitute around 70% of toner resins. Various bio-based materials such as cottonseed, soy, and corn can be substituted with the petroleum-based resins. Bio-based toners increase energy dependence by reducing the need for petroleum-based toners. Increasing demand for existing agricultural products such as soy will also spur the economic development. Following are some of the bio-based toners recently introduced in the market:

  • AgriTone: A bio-based toner created with resins derived from soybean has been developed by an independent research and development organization Battelle and its partners, Advanced Image Resources, and the Ohio Soybean Council. Advanced Image Resources Inc. manufactures BioRez, a soy-based resin that is a vital constituent in the production of the bio-based toner. Battelle was awarded the 2008 Greener Synthetic Pathways Award for the development of this bio-based toner.

  • BioBlack: Developed by Mitsubishi Kagaku Imaging Corporation, the bio-based toner is made with a bio-based resin that substitutes for up to 34% of the petroleum-based resin. The toner has been also certified as bio-based by the USDA. 

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Bio-based Toner Developed by Eastman Kodak Wins Innovation in Bio plastics Award

Manufacturers are increasingly focusing on creating environmentally sustainable printing toners. In March this year, Eastman Kodak won the Innovation in Bioplastics 2015 award at the NPE Plastics Trade Show in Florida. The company won the award for creating a bio-based toner designed for the electro-photographic printing industry. The toner contains more than 90% bio-based and biodegradable materials. The resin used in the toner comprises of polylactic acid and has been derived from renewable and naturally abundant resources. 

Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) Makes Case for Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages to Curb Diabetes

The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) wants the government to take a cue from countries such as Mexico and France and levy a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The Association has cited several recent studies evidencing the direct link between such beverages and diabetes. Representatives of the CDA said that a tax would deter consumers from purchasing sugar-sweetened beverages and thus curb the soaring number of diabetes cases reported in Canada.

To build a case for the imposition of a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks such as sports drinks, colas, soda, and other fruit flavored drinks, the CDA cited the example of other countries such as Mexico, France, Finland, and Hungary that have taken a concrete step in this direction. In its appeal, the CDA stated the example of Mexico, where a 10% tax has been levied on beverages containing sugar. Since the nationwide tax was imposed in January 2014, Mexico has reported a 6% dip in purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages. This has inspired confidence in the CDA about the efficacy of a tax on beverages that contain loads of sugar.

The CDA states that besides containing damagingly high levels of sugar, several beverages on the market today are poor in other nutrients. As a result, they do more harm than good to consumers. Interestingly, it is not just Mexico that has seen positive results in deterring consumers from buying high-sugar beverages. France saw a 3.1% decline in purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages whereas Hungary reported an impressive 6% decline in the same. Finland, on the other hand, reported a 3.1% dip in beverages sweetened by adding sugar.

However, the stand of Canadian government officials on such a campaign is not yet clear. As the campaign develops over the coming weeks, it will become evident whether the Canadian government is willing to consider imposing a tax on sweetened beverages. But one this is clear: Considering that about 10 million Canadians are diabetic, translating to healthcare costs of about 14 billion dollars, the government will have to answer a barrage of questions if it decides against enforcing such a tax.

Massive Global Pet Coke Market to Grow Even Bigger while Conflict over Environmental Safety Continues

The global petroleum coke market is growing at a CAGR of 8.5% from 2014 to 2020. Its value in 2013 was US$13.288 billion and it is expected to reach US$24.117 billion by 2020. The market is in the midst of an interesting migration of sorts. Most of the demand from the global petroleum coke market is now arriving from the East and the Middle East, while the demand for the same is reducing in the West.

The global petroleum coke market can be segregated into two types: calcined pet coke and fuel grade pet coke. Of the two, fuel grade pet coke is vastly more useful than calcined pet coke, allowing it to maintain market dominance over a long time. Fuel grade pet coke has been considered as a cheaper alternative to coal and natural gas with a higher calorific value return. The downside, however, is the massive emissions of carbon dioxide on burning pet coke.

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Niche Uses of Petroleum Coke 
The key end users of petroleum coke include manufacturers of paints and colorings, fertilizers, and paper, along with blast furnaces, concrete kilns, and power plants. Of these, concrete kilns and power plants are the fastest growing segments in the global petroleum coke market. Calcined coke is predominantly used in manufacturing anodes in titanium, steel, and aluminum smelters. Green coke, as raw pet coke is often called, possesses a significantly low amount of sulfur and metals, and thus can be used to produce anodes. The other form of green coke contains a high amount of sulfur and metals and is used for burning.

The Rise of the Pet Coke Market in the East
The key regions in the global petroleum coke market are currently Asia Pacific and the Middle East. For instance, Indian buyers in the global petroleum coke market are currently being approached by Saudi petroleum manufacturers that are selling pet coke at a lower price than their U.S. counterparts. The end users of pet coke in India are currently riddled with offers of high-sulfur pet coke from Saudi pet coke makers. The India market for imported fuel, on the other hand, remains largely lackluster and is growing at a sluggish pace. One of the key reasons the market in India is not growing as quickly as possible is the high price expectations of pet coke makers in selling the raw materials.

Pet Coke Gasification and its Advantages
The single greatest disadvantage that the global petroleum coke market has to show is the environmental impact pet coke has when burned. Although there is little to no ash formed upon combustion, the quantities of carbon dioxide formed are classified as dangerous. The EPA, for instance, has made it tougher to gain permits for the use of pet coke since 2013. Statistically speaking, large refineries in the U.S. can provide more than 7,000 tons of pet coke in a day. To solve the issue of using this vast quantity of pet coke without gravely affecting the environment, pet coke gasification is considered as a popular choice. The process effectively cuts down the carbon dioxide emissions while burning pet coke and should therefore be added as an integral step in the value chain of the global petroleum coke market.

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While the uses of pet coke remain the same, we can see that there is a great need for changing the method of use of pet coke. Eastern markets will still show a heavier use of the global petroleum coke market, only with the added precautions in tow.

Medical Polymers Market to Grow owing to Suppliers Expanding Product Lines Expeditiously

Polymers have achieved a lot of traction in the medical industry in recent years due to their favorable properties. Owing to the fact that the medical polymer market is predicted to experience sustained growth, prime polymer manufacturers have shown an interest in establishing themselves as medical polymer manufacturers. 

Medical polymers are broadly utilized in three key domains, namely devices and implants, diagnostic systems, and hospital accessories, namely microbiological, pathological, clinical labware, and surgical. Each of these applications will see immense growth on the basis of volume and size due to the fact that people all over the world want and increasingly can afford advanced medical treatments. TMR, a market intelligence company, highlights the key innovations and developments of the key manufacturers operating in the medical polymers market and states how this market is developing exponentially.

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  • Royal DSM: DSM is a multinational organization active primarily in nutrition, health, and materials. DSM has been delivering unique solutions that protect, nourish, and enhance the performance of global markets such as personal care, food and dietary supplements, feed, automotive, medical devices, electronics and electrical, biobased materials, and paints. In June 2012, DSM invested $360 million for purchasing Kensey Nash, an Exton Pa-based manufacturer of materials including hernia tissue repair patches and resorbable collagen-based vascular closure. In 2009, DSM had deployed a biomedical business that was based on the high-molecular polyethylene fiber, Dyneema, utilized in medical sutures. DSM expects that its biobased chemicals and medical polymer and fuel businesses will result in combined sales of around $1 billion till 2020.

  • Evonik Industries AG: Evonik is amongst the world’s top specialty chemicals companies. The main focus of the company is nutrition, health, globalization, and resource efficiency. Evonik widened its interest in medical polymers in 2011. At the start of 2011, Evonik took over Boehringer Ingelheim’s line of glycolic acid biodegradable polymers and lactic acid utilized for making surgical nails, plates, and screws. This acquisition added to their portfolio of resins utilized for medical purposes. These resins included ether ketone (PEEK) in orthopedic implants, methacrylic polymers utilized in contact lenses, and nylons for catheters. This company is additionally beefing up research and development channels in polymers for medical utilization along with biomaterials made to assist in repairing soft tissue, bones, and skin.

  • Biomimedica: This company is based in South San Francisco and is a medical device company involved in the pioneering of new approaches for joint repair via its proprietary technology for synthetic cartilage. Biomimedica is also involved in earlier intervention solutions for the treatment of osteoarthritis that allows patients to maintain an active and pain-free lifestyle. Biomimedica has also developed a reparative polymer and has made a polyurethane composite that impersonates human cartilage.
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Some other prime manufacturers operating in the global market for medical polymers are Celanese Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, Victrex plc, and Formosa Plastics Corporation USA.

Global Flame-resistant Fabrics Market Rising due to Great Demand from Manufacturing Sector

The global flame retardant fabrics market is growing at a CAGR of 67% from 2013 to 2020. The market’s value in 2012 was US$3.12 billion and this number will expand to US$4.87 billion in 2020. The global flame retardant fabrics market has gained a much larger reach in comparison to its initial end-use segments.

Growing Health Concerns Push Governments to Increase Regulations
Perhaps one of the biggest growth factors for the global flame retardant fabrics market is the rise in the number of restrictions and regulations that governing bodies are imposing to protect both civilians and government workers. For example, suits meant to be worn by firefighters are inherently flame retardant and thus have to be approved by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Another body that can regulate the usage and standards of the global flame retardant fabrics market is Technical Textile and Nonwoven Association (TTNA). Each organization has a certain amount of control over the global flame retardant fabrics market in order to maintain quality control.

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How Top Players are Moving Ahead in Global Flame Retardant Fabrics Market
In the list of key companies that operate in the global flame retardant fabrics market, we have Toyobo Co., Ltd., Teijin Aramid BV, Solvay S.A., Lenzing AG, Kaneka Corporation, Huntsman Corporation, Gun Ei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., PBI Performance Products, TenCate, Milliken & Company, and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.

Another name that is setting trends in the global flame retardant fabrics market is Alexium International, an Australian company with its headquarters in Perth. The company has a trademarked fire retardant finish that it has named “Alexiflam”. The company has proven its worth by becoming one of the best performers in the Australian Securities Exchange after displaying a meteoric rise in the past year. The company shares in August 2015 closed on a new high of 98¢, making it a top ranking company in the global flame retardant fabrics market. Alexium operates out of the U.S. and is now well-known for its environment-friendly flame retardant chemicals for textiles.

The Few Problems that the Global Flame Retardant Fabrics Market Faces
Not all textiles that are flame retardant are washable. However, inherently, flame retardant textiles are washable, as their flame retardant property lies in the fiber itself. On the other hand, textiles on which flame retardant finishing agents have been applied are meant to be dry-cleaned, using non-liquid means only. Using liquids aid in the fading of the finishing agent, as most of them are soluble in liquids.

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Although it is a market for necessary goods, the global flame retardant fabrics market is still met with a few obstacles. The greatest restraint on this market is the high cost of flame retardant materials. It is difficult to incorporate such textiles and finishing agents wherever required, due to either budget constraints or a plain lack of awareness. The market’s growth was not as fast as previously expected. All in all, the market’s growth prospects in law enforcement and firefighting have currently slowed down, while it is picking up steam in the transport sector due to the availability of a broader range of flame retardant products.

Asia Pacific Condiments Sauces Market to Amount to US$8,629.7 Million by 2020: Demand for Fast Food Driving Market

The Asia Pacific condiments sauces market is expected to grow at a 5.85% CAGR for a period between 2014 and 2020. The Asia Pacific condiments sauces market was valued at US$6,137.01 million in 2014 and is poised to be valued at US$8,629.7 million by 2020. The condiments sauces market in Asia Pacific is forecast to grow fast in the coming few years because of the increase in consumption of fast food and the fast-paced lifestyle of modern consumers. 

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Considering their fast-paced lifestyle, people have started giving preference to fast food, which saves cooking time. With increase in the variety of available fast food in Asia Pacific countries, a wide variety of condiments sauces has been introduced in the market over the past few years. Condiments sauces are not only used in recipes as an added ingredient, but also as table dips for fast foods. The Asia Pacific condiments sauces market, based on type, is segmented into tomato ketchup, soy sauce, brown sauce, national specialty sauces, chili sauce, and mustard sauce. 

A variety of condiment sauces are sold across all countries in the Asia Pacific region through various distribution channels such as supermarkets, food and drink stores, general merchandize, convenience stores, dollar stores, and retailers. In 2014, supermarkets and convenience stores led the distribution channel segmentation of the condiments sauces market. 

Variety of Condiments Sauces to Drive Market in Asia Pacific

By geography, the Asia Pacific condiments sauces market is segmented into national markets such as India, Japan, Singapore, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, and others. A large variety of sauces are being introduced in countries in the Asia Pacific region to match the changing trends in fast food. Every country is known for its preferred type of condiments sauces. 

Chili sauce is the most favored table dip for fast food in Indonesia. A new chili sauce, ‘sambal’, was recently introduced in Indonesia. Sambal is a bright red paste sauce made from red chilies and fish sauce, garlic, spring onions, ginger, shrimp paste, lime, rice vinegar, and sugar. Sambal is expected to be used as a table dip sauce for fast food and also as an ingredient for more than 300 recipes in Indonesia. 

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Sambal is expected to attract millions of food lovers, not only in the Asia Pacific region but also in other regions across the globe. Mandy Yin, a popular Malaysian cook, offers many recipes with sambal chili sauce through her street food stall, ‘Sambal Shiok’, in the U.K. Sambal chili sauce has become a traditional sauce in Indonesia and is used to add flavor in many recipes. While Sambal is enjoyed by the people in U.K. with many street-food recipes, it is slowly entering the fast food markets in countries in Asia Pacific. This will propel the Asia Pacific condiments sauces market in the coming years, with chili sauce leading the charge.

Global High-Performance Ceramic Coatings Market: Electronics Industry Pushes Demand for Ceramic Coatings

The wide range of applications of high-performance ceramic coatings across sectors such as aviation, automotive, chemical equipment, medical and healthcare, and others including power generation and electronics have boosted the growth of the global high-performance ceramic coatings market. Rising demand for consumer electronics is particularly driving the demand from the global high-performance ceramic coatings market as ceramic coatings help electronics equipment to achieve desirable performance. The overall market was worth US$5.68 billion in 2013 and is estimated to reach a valuation of US$9.07 billion by 2020, developing at a CAGR of 7.0% during the period between 2014 and 2020.

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High- Performance Ceramic Coatings in Electronics Industry: Thickness and Uniformity Depend on Coating Methods

The usage of ceramics in the semiconductor industry has increased owing to the desirable mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of ceramics. With the manufacturers of integrated circuit (IC) chips striving to make their chips smaller and less expensive, the companies dealing with semiconductor fabrication equipment are becoming increasingly dependent on advanced ceramic components. In the semiconductor industry, very high purity of ceramic is required with tight control over electrical properties. Oxide ceramics, carbide ceramics, nitride ceramics, and ceramic coatings are commonly used in the industry for diverse applications. 

High-performance ceramic coatings on a variety of substrates are used in wafer fabrication equipment.  For creating high-performance ceramic coatings on substrates, methods such as thermal spray coating, physical vapor deposition (PVD), and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) are commonly used. However, the thickness and uniformity of high-performance ceramic coatings depend on the type of coating method. For example, thermal spray coating method leads to porous microstructure of the high-performance ceramic coating. Though CVD method yields dense and high-purity ceramic coating, it is expensive and slow. The high-performance ceramic coating produced through PVD method is high in purity but has a slow deposition rate. 

Plasma Spraying: The Economical Way to Deposit High-Performance Ceramic Coatings for Use in Electronics

 For Si wafer and liquid-crystal-display (LCD) manufacturing equipment, plasma treatment of ceramic coatings is done for micro fabrication. Plasma intensely erodes the chamber parts of the equipment, usually made up of aluminum or stainless steel, hence necessitating frequent maintenance. This also leads to low yield ratio of the Si wafer and LCD manufacturing devices and increases the overall cost. Utilization of high-performance ceramic coatings prepared by plasma spraying enhances the performance and lifetime of the devices. 

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Plasma sprayed ceramic coatings have a unique microstructure that provides thermal, mechanical, and chemical properties to the components they are protecting from erosion. The coatings are able to withstand high thermal gradients and offer larger flexibility to produce required thickness or surface texture needed for the application. 

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