PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) has announced that it will invest nearly $6 million to install a new acid burner unit at its Natrium, W.Va., plant. The new unit, which is expected to be operational by late 2009, will help the company better meet regional demand for higher-quality hydrochloric acid, or HCl, a chlorine derivative. This burner adds to PPG's existing HCl capacity at Natrium and Beauharnois, Quebec, Canada.
"This project is an example of our commitment to the Natrium chlor-alkali and derivatives plant," said Michael H. McGarry, PPG senior vice president, commodity chemicals. "Through this investment, we will be able to serve our customers with better, more consistent HCl, and secure a long-term outlet for chlorine produced at Natrium."
HCl, which is also known as muriatic acid, is produced with chlorine and hydrogen. Both of these elements are currently produced at Natrium as part of the chlor-alkali process, which also produces caustic soda. HCl is used in a host of end-market applications, including steel, oil and food production, as well as general water treatment in industrial applications.
In operation since 1943, PPG's Natrium plant, north of New Martinsville, W.Va., employs about 540 people.