Did you say water, salt and electrons?
The laws of physico-chemics tell us that if you put electricity (= electrons) through this brine under controlled circumstances, an electrochemical reaction takes place. We call this reaction electrolysis. The salt (which is sodiumchloride) and the water molecules are recombined into three products: chlorine gas (Cl2), caustic soda (NaOH or sodium hydroxide) and hydrogen gas (H2)
It is clear that the cost of electricity will be a very important factor in the total cost of chlorine: energy cost adds up to around 50% of total production cost!
All three obtained substances are highly reactive, and technologies have been developed to separate them and keep them apart.
Caustic soda is an alkali and widely-used in many industries, including the food industry, textile production, soap and other cleaning agents, water treatment and effluent control.
Hydrogen is a combustible gas used in various processes including the production of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia as well as the removal of sulphur from petroleum derivatives.
- Read about the three different technologies to produce chlorine
- See the uses of caustic soda page on the Euro Chlor website