The chlorine industry is facing significant challenges such as rising energy costs, tighter regulations aiming at the reduction of CO2 emissions and the recovery of chlorine from hydrochloric acid. ThyssenKrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers/Uhdenora is meeting those challenges by both improving its present BM2.7 membrane cell technology and commercializing the oxygen depolarized cathode (ODC) technology for chlor-alkali as well as for hydrochloric acid electrolysis.
The development of the NaCl-ODC technology is a joint project between BayerMaterialScience and ThyssenKrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers/Uhdenora and goes back to the ‘90s starting with first laboratory scale tests. In 2011 the worldwide first full size industrial NaCl-ODC electrolyzer with a daily capacity of 53 metric tons of caustic was successfully commissioned at the Bayer Uerdingen chlorine plant and has proven stable operation since its initial start-up. The commercialization of this exciting new technology, which offers power savings and reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 30 percent, was started in summer 2013. The first commercial contract was signed in January 2014 for a NaCl-ODC plant with 4 electrolyzers and a capacity of 240 metric tons of caustic per day.
The HCl-ODC is an already proven technology and on the market since 2008. The energy efficiency of this process and the rising demand for chlorine recovery from hydrochloric acid especially from the growing polyurethanes industry makes this technology an integral component of the chlorine industry.