Uhde and the internationally active Brussels-based Solvay group have agreed to collaborate in the field of brine preparation for chlor-alkali electrolysis plants.
"The aim of our partnership is to offer our customers all-round more efficient production processes for chlorine and caustic soda solution which at the same time protect the environment by reducing emissions," explained Dr. Benno Lüke, Head of Uhde's Electrolysis division.
"The partnership with Uhde creates a win-win situation", says Jean-François Serrier, Head of Solvay's Intellectual Assets Management. "Granting a non-exclusive license to use our more energy-efficient and environment friendly Solvay-patented technologies is good for both companies and Uhde can now implement our technology on a wide scale and so help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the chlor-alkali industry."
The two field-tested Solvay-patented technologies which Uhde will in future offer its customers concern the respective removal of iodine and chlorate from the brine (NaCl or KCl salt solution), the main feedstock for chlor-alkali electrolysis. If the original brine has a gram-per-litre chlorate concentration in a single-figure range, the chlorate removal process reduces this by means of a catalytic process to a level of less than 20 milligrams per litre.
Salt deposits which contain large amounts of iodine, such as those found in China, India and the USA, also hinder the achievement of optimum production results. "It was therefore important for us to be in a position to offer our customers available technologies to counter this problem," said Dr. Lüke.
Uhde is one of the leading suppliers of membrane electrolysis plants for the chlor-alkali industry and has built plants of this kind with a cumulative caustic soda production capacity of 13 million tonnes per year worldwide.