Evonik and AkzoNobel recently broke ground on a new membrane electrolysis plant in Ibbenburen, Germany. The new facility is due to come on stream by Q4 2017, with a nameplate capacity of around 130,000-MT of potassium hydroxide solution and approximately 82,000-MT of chlorine. The two chemical companies had established a production up this facility at the AkzoNobel site in Ibbenburen.
“This joint venture will secure our future position in the potassium derivatives business,” remarked Mr. Ralph Seven Kaufmann, Member of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG and Chief Operating Officer, at the ground breaking ceremony.
“The state of the art plant we are building will set a new benchmark for the production of chlorine and potassium hydroxide solution,” noted Mr. Werner Fuhrmann, member of AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee responsible for specialty chemicals. “It will improve the ecological footprint of every ton of chlorine we produce in Ibbenburen by 25-30%. This will result in less energy use and fewer CO2emissions, while there will also be clear benefits for the local chemicals cluster,” he added. After the completion of the membrane electrolysis, Evonik will take the new plants Potassium hydroxide solution for processing at its own site in lulsdorf (Germany), where it processes potassium hydroxide solution into potassium carbonate (potash). AkzoNobel will commercialize the chlorine and hydrogen produced as a result of electrolysis at the new plant, or will Process these products directly at the Ibbenburen site. All previous production of chlorine lye using mercury-based amalgam electrolysis has to be discontinued by the end of 2017 due to legislative requirements.