The Phase-Transfer Catalysis Tip of the Month


Phase-Transfer Catalysis:
A Grossly Underutilized Strategic Solution to China/India/Emerging Market Competition

The Threat and A Solution

The #1 threat to the viability of organic chemical manufacturers in the US, Europe, Japan and even in the emerging markets themselves, is the growing strength of high quality organic chemicals produced at low cost in China, India and other emerging markets. A necessary component of an organic manufacturers’ strategic plan to overcome this threat is to reduce the cost of manufacture. It is simply a fact that Phase-Transfer Catalysis (PTC) technology delivers significant cost savings for thousands of reactions in nearly 40 reaction categories.

To be blunt, most companies are currently not taking full advantage of PTC technology, for a variety of partially justified and mostly unjustified reasons, and are
literally converting significant profit into waste (some of which actually ends up in their waste treatment facilities). As these companies (your company?) continue to burn this easily recoverable profit, they should be exploring a low-resistance path for rapidly achieving high-performance low-cost processes using Phase-Transfer Catalysis. This is a key strategic decision which must be initiated and executed by effective R&D management, plant management and the executives responsible for profit and loss.

If you have doubts (unlikely) that this threat is real, consider the fact that last month at Informex (January 2004), we were surprised when a veteran Indian manufacturer approached us to help reduce the cost of manufacture for a 2000 MT/yr organic chemical process because a Chinese producer was starting to beat them on price and quality.

Is your company unnecessarily burning profit at this very moment? Is your company using Phase-Transfer Catalysis to its fullest extent to realize easily recoverable profit from existing processes or processes in development? If you think that this is marketing hype, then your company should continue to treat phase-transfer catalysis technology as it always has and continue to expect the same results. On the other hand, if you think that there is a remote possibility that opportunities to significantly improve performance using PTC technology have not been exhausted, then take some sort of initiative, for the health of your employer.

Marc Halpern
Editor, "Industrial Phase-Transfer Catalysis"
President, PTC Organics, Inc.

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Before performing any PTC reactions read this important message
Organic chemical reactions are inherently dangerous. Moreover, phase-transfer catalysis may provide rate and other enhancements which can intensify associated hazards. Under no circumstances should anyone perform any procedure on any scale based in whole or in part on any of the contents of this information provided here before thoroughly establishing safe operating procedures and performing a full and competent hazardous operations analysis with the participation of qualified technical personal trained in chemical, engineering, safety, industrial hygiene and environmental disciplines and sciences.

The list of PTC Tip of the Month subscribers will not be sold, rented or transferred and will be used only by PTC Communications, Inc. and PTC Organics, Inc. to provide information related to Phase-Transfer Catalysis. PTC Communications, Inc. reserves the right to distribute the PTC Tip of the Month to selected industrial chemists, engineers and managers.

Copyright 2004 PTC Communications, Inc.

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