Leverkusen, May 31, 2012 – The Bayer MaterialScience sustainability strategy is reaching another milestone this month with the global conversion of its chemical plants to the state-of-the art membrane process for the production of chlorine. The membrane process uses significantly less energy than older processes. In addition, the company is also at the halfway point of a test phase for another pioneering process – known as the oxygen depolarized cathode process – that would further reduce energy consumption for the production of chlorine.
Chlorine is a widely used reagent – a substance added to a process to effect a chemical reaction – in the chemical industry. With an annual capacity of roughly 1.9 million metric tons, Bayer MaterialScience is one of the world’s largest chlorine producers. Bayer produces chlorine at four sites in Germany, one in the United States and one in China.
At its Krefeld-Uerdingen site in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany, the plant is now executing this conversion completely to the more eco-friendly membrane process. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of June. With this step, the company will have already met the voluntary agreement of the European chlorine producers to discontinue the outdated mercury process by 2020.
“The modernization of chlorine production is another milestone in a series of innovative, energy-efficient production processes that we are using within the context of our sustainability strategy,” says Dr. Tony Van Osselaer, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer MaterialScience. “At the same time, we are contributing to safeguard the future of Chempark Krefeld-Uerdingen as a key German production site.”
Since May 2011, the company has operated a demonstration plant there in which the innovative ODC technology is being tested. Compared with the conventional process, it can reduce the energy consumption of chlorine electrolysis on the basis of common salt by atleast 30 percent. The technology was developed by Bayer MaterialScience in collaboration with ThyssenKrupp Uhde. It is planned to offer it to other companies. “If the new method were used everywhere in Germany, for instance, the energy consumption of the entire country could be reduced by one percentage point,” adds Osselaer.
About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2011 sales of EUR 10.8 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 2011, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,800 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.
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Bayer er en international virksomhed med kernekompetencer inden for sundhed, ernæring og højteknologiske materialer. Vores produkter og serviceydelser har til formål at gavne mennesker og forbedre deres livskvalitet. Samtidig arbejder vi for at skabe værdi gennem innovation, vækst og en høj indtjeningsevne. I 2011 havde Bayer 111.800 ansatte og en omsætning på 36,5 mia. euro og investerede 2,9 mia. euro i forskning og udvikling, svarende til 8 % af koncernens omsætning. Bayer koncernen har forpligtet sig til at følge principperne om bæredygtig udvikling og til at agere som en social og etisk ansvarlig virksomhed. Derfor vægter vi økonomisk, miljømæssig og social ansvarlighed lige højt i vores virksomhedspolitik.