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Technology Profile: Ethylene Dichloride Production

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Ethylene Dichloride from Ethylene and Chlorine,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/edc-e11a. Ethylene dichloride (also known as 1,2-dichloroethane, as well as EDC and DCE) is by far the most widely produced chlorinated hydrocarbon. The vast majority (~95%) of EDC is employed in the manufacture of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), which is in turn mostly used as the starting material for the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC). EDC can also be used as an intermediate in the production of chlorinated solvents, such as trichloroethylene, ethylene amines, vinylidene chloride and trichloroethane. Figure 1. The process diagram shown here illustrates the production of ethylene dichloride from ethylene and chlorine[/caption] The process The following describes a process for EDC production from ethylene and chlorine. Figure 1 presents a simplified flow diagram of the process. Direct chlorination. In the direct chlorination step, chlorine and ethylene are fed to a high-temperature chlorination (HTC) reactor filled with liquid EDC as the reaction medium. Heat from the highly exothermic reaction is removed by boiling off EDC, and by the circulation of EDC, which is recycled…
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