more imagesdownloadManufacturing chlorine with less energy – view of the ODC demonstration plant in Krefeld-Uerdingen
Leverkusen, March 17, 2014 – A very environmentally friendly chemical production process developed by Bayer put the company in the final round of the competition for the German Industry Innovation Prize, which is sponsored by the German Federal government. At the official prize ceremony held over the weekend in Frankfurt, Bayer was honored as a finalist for the prestigious award. The innovation that made it into the final round is the new oxygen depolarized cathode (ODC) technology, which reduces the amount of power needed for the very energy-intensive production of the basic chemical chlorine by up to 30 percent. The new process, which was developed in collaboration with ThyssenKrupp, can make a big contribution to boosting energy efficiency and to the sustainable transformation of energy systems for industry.
Bayer MaterialScience submitted its Innovation Prize entry in the “large companies” category. The prize is under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The prize has now been presented for the 33rd time. In all, 320 applications were submitted for the 2014 competition.
“The Innovation Prize is an event with a long and successful tradition and is the oldest such award in Germany. All major German companies have submitted entries to this prize in recent years,“ stated Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka in her welcome address. “An award like this one provides impetus and encouragement. We're doing well at the moment. For this to remain so we need further joint efforts.”
“We are delighted to have made it into the final round for this important prize,” said Dr. Tony Van Osselaer, head of Industrial Operations at Bayer MaterialScience. “Once again, we see a recognition of the innovative strength of the Bayer Group, which has brought forth numerous pioneering inventions in its more than 150 years of company history. With the new production process we are again succeeding in our mission — ‘Bayer: Science For A Better Life’.”
Supporting the energy revolution
“The ODC technology can offer ecological and economic benefit because it can increase energy efficiency significantly in a production process that is essential to the chemical industry,” stated Hans-Theo Kühr, CEO of the Process Technologies Business Unit of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions. Along with UHDENORA, the company is a development partner of Bayer MaterialScience for the new process.
If all chlorine producers in Germany adopted the technology, which has now reached market maturity, the country's overall energy consumption could be reduced by around one percent. That is roughly equivalent to the energy consumed annually by the large city of Cologne. The ODC process could therefore play a key role in Germany’s energy revolution, which is particularly aimed at increasing energy efficiency. This consequently aids climate protection because the energy savings go hand in hand with a CO2 emissions reduction of up to 30 percent.
Major order from China
In terms of marketing the technology, the development partners envisage sales worth hundreds of millions of euros in the coming years. Companies in Germany and abroad have already expressed strong interest in the new process. A first large-scale order for an ODC plant, with an annual production capacity of 80,000 metric tons, was recently submitted by Befar, a Chinese chemical company.
The global marketing of the ODC technology is being handled by ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions / UHDENORA, while Bayer MaterialScience is supplying the oxygen depolarized cathodes as part of the non-exclusive collaboration. Bayer MaterialScience is providing this special type of electrode, and the design of the electrolysis cell is from partner ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions / UHDENORA.
Important basic chemical
The new technology is based on the membrane process used in chlorine alkali electrolysis, which is now the standard for the production of chlorine. In this process, chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen are normally produced from table salt and water. Chlorine is a primary base material needed for around two thirds of all chemical products, including plastics, medicines and crop protection agents.
With the ODC technology, the electrode normally used to produce hydrogen in the membrane process is replaced by an oxygen depolarized cathode. The addition of oxygen suppresses the formation of hydrogen at the cathode, which is the negative pole. The only products are chlorine and caustic soda. This reduces energy consumption by up to 30 percent.
About Bayer MaterialScience: With 2013 sales of EUR 11.2 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2013, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,300 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.
About ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions: A full range of specialist engineering and construction services and a shipbuilding history stretching back centuries are the strengths of the ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions business area. High-quality engineering is at the center of our success. Global project management skills, first-class system integration expertise, reliable procurement and supplier management, and a service offering meeting the highest standards form the basis for lasting customer satisfaction. Around 19,000 employees at over 70 locations form a global network with a technology portfolio that guarantees maximum productivity and cost efficiency.
UHDENORA S.p.A. is a joint company of ThyssenKrupp Electrolysis GmbH/Germany and Industrie De Nora/Italy, and has a workforce of 70 employees. The company's activities focus on the design and construction of chemical and other industrial plants mainly in the following fields: chlor-alkali electrolysis, hydrochloric acid electrolysis and bleaching chemicals. More information at: www.uhdenora.com
This news release is available for download from the Bayer MaterialScience press server at www.press.bayerbms.com. Photos and a video clip (only in German) are available there for download as well. Please mind the source of the pictures.
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