Use of New Technologies

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.

This was revealed in a test run at a demonstration plant with an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons of chlorine. The plant has been operating successfully at the Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany for almost four years. The process is marketed globally by MaterialScience and our development partner Thyssen Krupp Electrolysis. If ODC technology were introduced throughout Germany’s chlorine industry, for example, it would cut the country’s total electricity consumption by 1percent.

Last updated: June 18, 2015 Copyright © Bayer AG