A new technology could help to significantly cut energy consumption of chlorine productions, Bayer states. CEO Thomas calls upon politicians to foster the development of energy-saving process technology.
Leverkusen/Germany – By combining state of the art oxygen depolarized cathode technology with Uhde's new electrolysis methods, Bayer MaterialScience claims to have significantly reduced the energy consumption of its Krefeld-Uerdingen 20,000 tons/year chlorine production. This application is the result of about eight years of research, Bayer officials say. If a planned two-years long time test prooves succesful, Bayer plans to gradually switch its chlorine production to the new process but also market the new technology globally.
"Improving energy efficiency in chemical production processes can considerably reduce electricity consumption in Germany and elsewhere in the world," said Patrick Thomas, Chief Executive Officer Bayer MaterialScience.
The energy savings of this new technology are quite impressive: experts have concluded that, if the new method was used throughout Germany, it would save enough electricity to supply a city as large as Cologne, with its more than one million inhabitants. Chlorine producers from both Germany and the Asian/Pacific region already announced their interest in the new technology. Although chlorine is a basic feedstock for the chemical industry, its production is very energy-intensive.
Call on Politicians to Foster Development of Energy Saving Production Methods
Also Uhde Executive Alfred Hoffmann sees great chances in the use of this new technology: "As a technology-driven company we are always on the lookout for solutions that provide our customers and the market with economic and ecological benefits. This first-class, future-oriented technology has the potential to offer such a solution." Bayer MaterialScience's CEO Thomas calls on the politicians to foster the development of new, energy saving technologies: "In the present-day debate, the subject of energy efficiency is not being given enough air-time. Politicians should focus their attention not only on generating electricity but also on how to significantly lower electricity consumption with comparatively little effort."
"With the right incentives, enormous energy savings would be possible here within a short period of time", Thomas belives. "As a pioneer in this field, Germany could send out a clear signal in matters of energy efficiency." Apart from environmental issues, the continuous increase of energy prices is seen as a serious problem of today's process industry. Girgio Squinzi, President of the European Chemical Industry Council Cefic, even described "energy prices as an Achilles heel of EU industry" in an address earlier this month.