A New Membrane Process for Air Pollution Minimization in Chlor-Alkali Plants

EPA Contract Number: 68D30106
Title: A New Membrane Process for Air Pollution Minimization in Chlor-Alkali Plants
Investigators: Pinnau, Ingo
Small Business: Membrane Technology and Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1993 through March 1, 1994
Project Amount: $50,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1993) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Chlorine ranks among the ten most important commodity chemicals. Approximately 54% of the total U.S. chlorine production is liquefied for sale or for in-plant transport. Tail gas produced from the chlorine liquefaction process is the principal source of chlorine-containing waste gas streams produced by chlor-alkali plants. Currently, such streams are treated by absorption in carbon tetrachloride; however, carbon tetrachloride has a high ozone depletion potential. It is estimated that at least 8.8 x 10 6 lb/yr of carbon tetrachloride are emitted by chlorine liquefaction tail gas treatment. Because of the serious environmental threat of carbon tetrachloride emissions the Environmental Protection Agency had mandated that these emissions be eliminated; carbon tetrachloride production will cease after 1995. Therefore, the chlor-alkali industry must find an alternative treatment technology.

Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. (MTR), proposes to develop a new membrane process to recover chlorine from tail gas streams in the chlor-alkali industry that will eliminate the use of carbon tetrachloride. The chlorine recovery will be recycled back to the plant. Preliminary studies at MTR have demonstrated that rubbery membranes are highly selective for chlorine. In the Phase I program, a laboratory system using these membranes will be tested for its chlorine removal efficiency. An application study will be performed to identify the most efficient methods to capture chlorine from liquefaction tail gas.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, air toxics, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Chemistry, HAPS, Technology for Sustainable Environment, New/Innovative technologies, tropospheric ozone, Engineering, 33/50, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, carbon tetrachloride, stratospheric ozone, air pollutants, chlorinated alkanes, Chlorine, emission control technologies, ozone, membrane technology , ozone depletion, pollution control technologies, recovery, air pollution control, tropospheric ozone destruction, emissions, air pollution, emission controls, ozone depleting chemicals, gas treatment, emissions control, treatment, recycling, innovative technology, innovative technologies, air emissions, pollution prevention, removal

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final
  • SBIR Phase II:

    A New Membrane Process for Air Pollution Minimization in Chlor-Alkali Plants