Bayer Climate Program

Oxygen depolarized cathode technology for energy-efficient chlorine production

Chlorine is an important basic substance in the chemical industry and is absolutely indispensable in the manufacture of plastics and medicines, for example. However, chlorine production is also one of the world’s most energy-intensive chemical processes. Electric power accounts for around 50 percent of the costs incurred during chlorine production.

Betriebsassistent Jörg Bäther in der Anlage in Brunsbüttel

Plant assistant Jörg Bäther at the facility in Brunsbüttel, Germany

A new method of manufacturing chlorine developed by us and our partners is based on the fuel cell principle and recycles chlorine from hydrochloric acid in a closed cycle. Known as oxygen depolarized cathode technology, this method of chlorine production functions according to the fuel cell principle, and reduces electricity consumption and thus CO2 emissions by around 30 percent. Bayer already applies this acid-based technology to produce chlorine on an industrial scale at its sites in Caojing near Shanghai in China and in Brunsbüttel in Germany.

Oxygen depolarized cathode technology has been developed for salt-based chlorine production. Our experts are confident that this method too will consume 30 percent less energy than conventional processes.

The first industrial-scale facility has been put into operation at the Krefeld site by spring 2011. Were 15 percent of salt-based chlorine manufacturing facilities owned by all market players to be converted to this technology, it would be possible to cut global CO2 emissions in chlorine production by 5 million metric tons per year. This is three times the volume of carbon dioxide saved each year in Germany by newly registered cars that satisfy the EU standard for CO2 emissions. Bayer intends to offer this innovative technology to other companies in the chemical industry around the world.

Last updated: February 11, 2015 Copyright © Bayer AG