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Bayer MaterialScience to build industrial-scale facility for eco-friendly chlorine production

Tue, 03/30/2010 - 2:21am
Bayer
Leverkusen, March 30, 2010 – Bayer MaterialScience has signed a contract with plant engineering company Uhde to build a new plant for chlorine production based on common salt. The plant, which will have an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons and be built at Chempark Krefeld-Uerdingen in Germany, is scheduled to start operating in the first half of 2011.

It will be the first time that chlorine has been produced on an industrial scale using the innovative oxygen depolarized cathode specially developed by Bayer MaterialScience in electrolysis cells from UHDENORA. Electricity consumption will be up to 30 percent lower than in standard membrane technology, resulting in an indirect reduction of up to 10,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions each year.

“Our oxygen depolarized cathode is yet another example of our focus on developing new solutions for tackling climate change. It is important to us to adopt a holistic approach – and that is why we are also offering the oxygen depolarized cathode to other companies for eco-friendly chlorine production. The more CO2 emissions we can prevent across the globe, the better,” says Dr. Tony Van Osselaer, a member of the Bayer MaterialScience Board of Management.

Bayer MaterialScience and Uhde initiated the project in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University, Clausthal University of Technology and Dortmund University. Funding has been obtained from the BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) under the FONA (Research for Sustainability) program. FONA supports initiatives for improved energy efficiency and higher raw material productivity. The projects receiving funding actively help counter the impact of climate change.

Uhde, one of the world’s leading electrolysis cell manufacturers and chlorine plant suppliers, is an established partner of Bayer MaterialScience. Sami Pelkonen, head of the Electrolysis Division at Uhde, says, “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Bayer MaterialScience. As a technology company, we are always looking for solutions that offer our customers economic and ecological benefits. NaCl oxygen depolarized cathode technology has the potential to offer just such a solution.”

Electrochemical chlorine production is currently one of the most energy-intensive processes in the chemical industry. Large quantities of chlorine are used for the production of plastics in particular and also for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. Currently, chlorine is mainly produced using the membrane process. By feeding in gaseous oxygen, the new technology enables electrolysis to be performed at a lower voltage. This also reduces CO2 emissions. Bayer MaterialScience has been using its oxygen depolarized cathode technology based on hydrochloric acid electrolysis on a large industrial scale at the Bayer Integrated Site Shanghai (BISS) in China and in Brunsbuettel, Germany.

About Bayer MaterialScience:

With 2009 sales of EUR 7.5 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2009, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,300 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

About Uhde:

Uhde has a workforce of more than 4,500 employees worldwide and is a company in the Plant Technology business area of the ThyssenKrupp Group. The company's activities focus on the engineering and construction of chemical and other industrial plants in the following fields: fertilisers; electrolysis; gas technologies; oil, coal and residue gasification; refining technologies; organic intermediates, polymers and synthetic fibres; and also coke plant and high-pressure technologies. We also provide our customers with professional services and comprehensive solutions in all areas of industrial plant operation. Details are available at www.uhde.eu.

About UHDENORA S.p.A.:

UHDENORA S.p.A. is a joint company of Uhde/ Germany and Industrie De Nora/Italy, and has a workforce of 70 employees worldwide. The company's activities focus on the design and construction of chemical and other industrial plants mainly in the following fields: chlor-alkali electrolysis, hydrochloric acid electrolysis and bleaching chemicals. Details are available at www.uhdenora.com

Find more information at www.bayermaterialscience.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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