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Chementator: A continuous route to HI generates less effluent

By Chemical Engineering |

Nippoh Chemicals Co. (Tokyo; edlinks.chemengonline.com/5830-539), is developing a continuous, vapor-phase process to produce hydroiodic acid as an alternative to the conventional liquid-phase batch process. Over the next few months, the company will test the new process in a 30-m.t./yr pilot plant, and a 300-m.t./yr commercial production plant is being planned for next year. Patents have been filed for the new process. HI is normally made by adding red phosphorous to an aqueous suspension of I2; the product HI acid is then distilled and purified. The problems with this conventional batch process are that it requires pure I2, and a large volume of phosphoric acid is generated as a waste stream. These problems are overcome with Nippoh Chemical’s process: the I2 used in the reaction is obtained by sublimation, so high-purity solid I2 is not required, and no H3PO4 is generated as a waste product. In the new process, I2 vapor reacts with H2 gas phase over a proprietary metal catalyst at a temperature between 200 and 500°C. HI yields of 98–99% have been observed in the laboratory.   Click here for a full pdf version of the Chementator Section  
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