Leverkusen, Germany - Bayer MaterialScience's new industrial process for chlorine manufacture, aimed at reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, has gone on stream in Germany.
The demonstration plant, with capacity of 20 kilotonnes of chlorine per annum, has started up at BMS's Chempark Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany, Bayer MaterialScience said in a 29 July statement.
The oxygen-depolarised-cathode technology used for the plant has been incorporated into the new electrolysis technology from Uhde/Uhdenora. The combination of the two technologies was developed at Bayer in Leverkusen over the past eight years, BMS said.
Bayer added that if the two-year large-scale trial is successful then the company will gradually switch its chlorine production to the new process. Bayer and Uhde will also offer the new technology to the global market. Bayer said that large German chlorine producers have already announced their interest, as have a number of companies in the Asia/Pacific region.
"Improving energy efficiency in chemical production processes can considerably reduce electricity consumption in Germany and elsewhere in the world," said Patrick Thomas, ceo of Bayer MaterialScience.
He added that he thought the subject of energy efficiency was not "being given enough air-time," and that politicians should focus their attention on how to significantly lower electricity consumption with comparatively little effort.
Bayer said in the statement that in calculations, it has been claimed that if Bayer with Uhde technology was used throughout Germany, it would save enough electricity to supply a city as large as Cologne, a city with more than one million inhabitants.
Electrochemical chlorine production is, however, one of the most energy-intensive processes in the chemical industry, says BMS.
Chlorine is used for the production of plastics, including polyurethane, where it is used in the phosgenation process to make isocyanate. It is also used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals.