Modern production process and new value creation

Chlorine is one of the most important feedstocks for the chemicals industry. And because of its disinfecting action, it is also used for water treatment applications. We manufacture chlorine for industrial customers in sectors such as petrochemicals, water management and the food industry, and also for commercial uses such as in swimming pools and other sports facilities. PCC Rokita SA is not only an important supplier of chlorine as a basic input material; we also develop new applications and have extended our chlorine value chain, for example, through the construction of a production plant for monochloroacetic acid (MCAA). We have switched over our chlorine production systems entirely to modern and environmentally friendly membrane technology. The Chlorine segment is divided into the three business units Chlorine, MCAA (monochloroacetic acid) and Other Chlorine Downstream Products.

Chlorine (Cl) is a chemical element with an atomic number of 17. Chlorine does not occur in nature in its elementary form; it is only present in compounds such as chlorides in which it occurs in the form of the anion Cl-. The best known chloride is sodium chloride (common or cooking salt). Chlorine is generally manufactured using the chlor-alkali electrolysis process in which the starting material is an aqueous sodium chloride solution. Since April 2015, chlorine production at PCC Rokita SA has switched over completely to the membrane electrolysis process. In this technology, the end products, in particular chlorine, are obtained with the same degree of purity as with the conventional amalgam process. However, the amount of energy input required is significantly lower – and as a result, PCC Rokita SA is able to reduce its CO2 emissions by 750 kilograms per produced metric ton of caustic soda lye.

Chlorine is not just one of the most used feedstocks in the chemicals industry, it is also a constant presence in our every-day life. Because of its disinfecting affect, for example, chlorine is now regarded as indispensible in swimming pools as a means of effectively protecting bathers from germs. The Chlorine production unit of PCC Rokita also manufactures chlorobenzene, hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide and caustic soda (the aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide).

Hydraulic acid is used, for example, in the production of sugar. Caustic soda serves, among other things, as a degreasing agent and also as a rinsing agent for bottles, equipment and apparatus. Sodium hypochlorite is employed as an antiseptic to boost the antibacterial properties of disinfectants. Chlorine is also used within PCC Rokita in the manufacture of propylene oxide (PO) for the production of polyols, and in the Phosphorus and Naphthalene Derivatives business unit of our Specialty Chemicals segment. There, phosphorus trichloride and phosphorus oxychloride are manufactured with the aid of chlorine.

At the end of 2016, we have also commissioned our production plant for monochloroacetic acid (MCAA) at our chemicals site in Brzeg Dolny. MCAA is used in the food and beverage industries and also for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, body care products, cosmetics, dyestuffs and crop protection products.

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