AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands - AkzoNobel and Evonik Industries have joined forces to build and operate a new membrane electrolysis facility for potassium hydroxide solution and chlorine in Germany, with start-up expected by the end of 2017.
The 50-50 joint venture involves the construction and operation of a dedicated plant at AkzoNobel's existing site in Ibbenbüren, Germany. It will have an annual nameplate capacity of around 130,000 metric tons of potassium hydroxide solution and 82,000 metric tons of chlorine.
AkzoNobel will take over commercialization of chlorine and hydrogen at the new plant, and will process these products directly at the Ibbenbüren site. Evonik will take over the potassium hydroxide solution for commercialization and processing at its own site in Lülsdorf. This is where Evonik processes potassium hydroxide solution into potassium carbonate (potash).
All production of chlorine, potassium hydroxide and caustic lye using mercury-based amalgam electrolysis has to stop by the end of 2017 due to legislative requirements. The planned new membrane electrolysis plant will use a sustainable process that has a more positive environmental profile.