24 September 2001 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Akzo Zout Chemie has just completed a 1000-hour small scale trial at its Hegelo research department in the Netherlands of a new energy saving vinyl chloride process. The new process, which has been patented by Akzo, in contrast to the conventional technique, does not require the production of chlorine gas by electrolysis.
E. van Andel, AZC scientific manager and the inventor of the process, told ECN that results from the preliminary trials were very promising. He said that the firm was yet to make a decision on whether to build a pilot plant to test the new process further. A pilot plant could be operating by 1983 if the project gets the green light. Van Andel said that two-three years' operation of the pilot plant would be necessary before the decision to build a commercial scale plant could be taken. However, the company could be using the process on a commercial scale by the end of the decade.
The process is energy saving since it uses a redox system containing trimethylamine hydrochloride, cupric chloride and iodine to chlorinate ethylene to ethylene dichloride. Trimethylamine hydrochloride and sodium hydroxide are obtained in high yield when trimethylamine is reacted with salt. The ethylene dichloride made by the new process is removed by stripping off with low pressure steam and is converted to vinyl chloride.
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