Earlier this year, NSR Technologies (Decatur, Ill.; www.nsr-tech.com) commercialized its patented process for producing potassium hydroxide (45–50 wt.%) and dilute hydrochloric acid via a membrane separations technology. The company’s flagship production facility in Decatur, Ill. is the first commercial application of this process says Dr. Kris Mani, NSR’s president and CEO.
Current producers of commercial strength KOH manufacture it via the chlor-alkali route. NSR uses a membrane electrodialysis (ED) process to convert salt to value-added chemicals. Sodium chloride and potassium chloride are converted to the corresponding acid and alkalis: HCl; and sodium hydroxide and KOH (caustic potash). The process, which occurs in an aqueous medium, uses ion exchange membranes and an electrical driving force to effect the separation and rearrangement of the raw material into the acid and alkali products. The requisite membranes are assembled in NSR’s proprietary IonSel cell stacks.
Additional processing steps, such as ion exchange, chromatography and evaporative concentration, are used as required to obtain products of commercial strength and purity.
NSR’s production process is more energy efficient than the chlor-alkali…