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Energy transition in chlorine production

Energy transition in chlorine production

New process reduces energy consumption by up to 45 percent

Chlorine is a key basic material in the chemical industry. Around 70 percent of all chemical products are manufactured by methods using chlorine or its compounds: They include polymers, drugs, and chemicals for the treatment of drinking water. Global demand for chlorine is 70 to 80 million tons per year. But chlorine production is an extremely energy-intensive process.

Global demand for chlorine is 70 to 80 million tons per year

Cross-company collaboration

Cross-company collaboration

The advantages of cross-sector collaboration with other companies are demonstrated by our cooperation with Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience. Together we have developed a process that reduces energy consumption in chlorine production by up to 45 percent.

The new process replaces the hydrogen-evolving electrodes previously used in chlor-alkali electrolysis with so-called oxygen-depolarized cathodes. If this process were used around the world, it would save 35 million megawatt hours per year.

Improved energy efficiency

Improved energy efficiency

The project was funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the “Research for Sustainability” (FONA) program. FONA supports initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency and raw material productivity. The funded projects make an active contribution to combating the effects of climate change.

Project members also included RWTH Aachen University, Technical University Clausthal, and Dortmund University. The first plant of this new type has already been sold to China. Upon completion it will have a capacity of 100,000 tons per year.

The first plant of this new type has already been sold to China. Upon completion it will have a capacity of 100,000 tons per year.

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