New Membrane Electrolysis Plant

Chlorine Enters a New Dimension

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Uhde’s zero–gap technology is the latest development in membrane technology and the first to be installed in Europe. The company claims that mounting the membranes without gaps reduces energy consumption by 30 % per tonne of production and cuts water consumption by 20 %. Work has been underway in Frankfurt since 2012 and the installation team is now adding the final touches.

Fully automated processes

During the tour of the industrial park, the visitors were told that placement of the membranes is a delicate task and has to be done on site. A new salt storage area located next to the cell room eliminates salt emissions. 1000 tonnes of ultra–pure common salt per day (425,000 tonnes per year) are fed into the 8 electrolyzers.

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The process is fully automated and there is no need for manual intervention. The Dutch company has five other chloralkali plants which are located in Rotterdam, Delfzii, Bitterfeld and Ibbenbüren. All are based on membrane technology. The traditional amalgam process is only used in Ibbenbüren. Total European chlorine production is an impressive 1.2 million t/a. Akzo Nobel supplies 10 % of total European demand (12.3 million tonnes). The company claims to be number one in Europe.

* The author is PROCESS Managing Editor.