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Key Commercial Electrochemical Processes

By Department Editor: Scott Jenkins |

Industrial electrochemical processes are critical to a host of chemical products across many industry sectors. Modern products of electrochemical processes include chlorine gas, sodium hydroxide, sodium chlorate, hydrogen, oxygen, aluminum, copper, magnesium, zinc, adiponitrile and others. This one-page reference provides information about four key electrochemical processes. Chlor-alkali The chlor-alkali process involves applying a direct electric current to a brine solution to produce Cl2 gas, NaOH solution and hydrogen gas (see figure). Saturated brine solution is introduced into an electrochemical cell, where chloride ions react at the anode to form Cl2. Sodium ions pass through an ion-exchange membrane to the other side of the cell, which contains dilute NaOH. At the cathode, water is electrolyzed to produce H2 and hydroxide ions. A more concentrated NaOH solution is removed as product. The separator membrane allows for higher-purity products and lower energy consumption than chlor-alkali technologies, such as the diaphragm cell and mercury cell, which is being phased out. Chlor-alkali is among the most important chemical processes worldwide, because Cl2 and NaOH are indispensable commodities for a wide range of applications.…
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