Chlorine & Derivatives

Modern production process and new value creation

The Chlorine & Derivatives segment is divided into the business areas of chlorine, chlorine derivatives, MCAA and phosphorus and naphthalene derivatives. 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.

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.

Phosphorus derivatives of PCC and their applications

Our range of phosphorus derivatives is based on the in-house production of phosphorus trichloride and phosphorus oxychloride. These are used in plastics and paints as plasticizers and flame retardants; in the surface treatment of metals hey show, among other things, a corrosion-inhibiting effect; and they are also used as additives for hydraulic oils. The conveyor belts used in mining, for example, contain phosphorus-based plasticizers and flame-retardant substances, and our plasticizers give floor coverings the flexibility they need. Our phosphorus derivatives are used in the following industries:

  • Polyurethane industry (manufacture of rigid and flexible foams)
  • Automotive industry
  • Furniture industry
  • Plastics, paints and coatings
  • Mining industry
  • Pharmaceuticals industry
  • Chemicals industry

Applications of PCC’s naphthalene derivatives

Our naphthalene derivatives are used in the construction industry as well as in the plastics and textile sectors. In the construction industry, they serve as additives to improve the laying properties of fresh concrete as well as the facilitating the manufacture of plasterboard. They are particularly important as superplasticizers for ready-mix concrete. In these applications, they help to reduce the water requirement, thus significantly reducing the transport costs of the fresh concrete. They also increase the final strength of the concrete once cured. They improve the flow behavior of the concrete without the otherwise necessary addition of excess water to facilitate the workability of the cement-sand-aggregate-water mixture, which would otherwise adversely affect strength. The use of such plasticizing additives also saves water and energy in the production of plasterboard used for interior lining work. Naphthalene derivates are likewise employed in the plastics and textile industries as additives for the manufacture of synthetic rubber (elastomers) and to facilitate dyeing and coloring processes.

For more information on our products, please visit PCC’s extensive product portal on containing more than 1,200 products and chemical formulations for numerous industrial applications.