A New Membrane Process for Air Pollution Minimization in Chlor-Alkali PlantsEPA Contract Number: 68D40070
Title: A New Membrane Process for Air Pollution Minimization in Chlor-Alkali Plants
Investigators: Lokhandwala, K. A.
Small Business: Membrane Technology and Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1994 through November 1, 1997
Project Amount: $165,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1994) 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. Chlorine manufacture produces a number of chlorine-contaminated vent gas streams from which the chlorine must be removed before the vent gases can be discharged. The current treatment technology is scrubbing with carbon tetrachloride, which is estimated to release 8.8X106 lb of carbon tetrachloride annually. As a result of the legislation arising from the Montreal Protocol, carbon tetrachloride use is scheduled for rapid phase-out.
This SBIR Phase II proposal covers the development of an alternative chlorine vent-gas treatment technology based on permselective membranes. In the Phase I program, membranes and laboratory-scale membrane modules were developed and shown to have adequate selectivity and flux for this separation and to be stable for 65 days in a pure chlorine gas environment. Based on these membrane properties, a membrane system design was prepared; it appears that the membrane process could be easily integrated into the existing chlorine vent-gas treatment process. The operating cost of the membrane process is significantly lower than both the existing carbon tetrachloride scrubbers and the alternative gas treatment technologies being considered by the industry.
In the Phase II program, MTR will build a test system and demonstrate the process in the laboratory and at a field site. Two chlorine manufacturers are willing to provide field sites. If the results are successful, industry adoption would be rapid, because the industry must replace the existing equipment, and MTR has already produced membrane separation systems for other applications.