Chlor-alkali chemistry is helping us build the future.
Large sporting venues and office towers have one major thing in common, their use of PVC or polyvinyl chloride. This versatile material allows strong, yet stylish structures to be built. PVC is found in sidings, guttering and pipes which have both functional yet attractive features. This same PVC is found in sturdy, low maintenance windows which have good insulation performance in double-glazed windows.
Another key construction material that is thanks to chlor-alkali chemistry is aluminium. Caustic soda (‘alkali’) helps to separate alumina from the bauxite, an alumina rich ore. This alumina is then converted into aluminium which is essential in construction. This accounts for over ¼ of all aluminium used in Europe, for example in attractive decorative panels at the Rotterdam Market Hall and in the protective dome covering at San Gioacchino’s church in Rome.
Chlor-alkali chemicals also help in the production of other building materials such as:
- In the purification of titanium dioxide to make brilliant white paints;
- Polyurethane thermal insulation for our homes;