A Long-Life, Low-Cost Sorbent for the Conversion of HCl to Chlorine

EPA Contract Number: 68D98158
Title: A Long-Life, Low-Cost Sorbent for the Conversion of HCl to Chlorine
Investigators: Copeland, Robert
Current Investigators: Copeland, Robert , Cesario, M. , Dubovik, Margarita , Gebhard, Steven , Gershanovich, Yevgenia
Small Business: TDA Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1998 through September 1, 2000
Project Amount: $225,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1998) Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The U.S. demand for chlorinated hydrocarbons exceeds 15 million tons annually. The production of these chemicals requires elemental chlorine and unavoidably produces HCl as a byproduct (35 to 50% of input Cl2). A consortium of major chemical companies is developing a sorbent-based process to concentrate the waste HCl and then oxidize it with oxygen via the Deacon reaction to produce Cl2 that can be recycled and reused.

During Phase I TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) produced HCl sorbents that had very high loadings of the chemically active material (CuO). The sorbent pellets were produced from low-cost, commercially available precursors, that selectively absorbed HCl in the presence of large amounts of steam and could be regenerated with much less energy than previous sorbents. The best sorbent developed was tested for several cycles, and demonstrated a cyclic HCl capacity 5 to 10 times better than previous sorbents used by the consortium.

In Phase II, TDA will refine the sorbent formulation and production processes. Breakthrough tests will be conducted at the conditions under which the improved Deacon process will be run. These tests will subject the best pellets to a minimum of 50 absorption/regeneration cycles. The sorbent cost will be estimated and its anticipated lifetime calculated.

Preliminary economics indicate that when the improved sorbent is used in the Deacon process, HCl can be recovered and converted to Cl2 for less than half the cost of fresh chlorine.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, pollution prevention, engineering, chemistry, EPA., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Waste, Water, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Chemistry, HAPS, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Hazardous Waste, New/Innovative technologies, Chemistry and Materials Science, Drinking Water, Engineering, EPCRA, Hazardous, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, in-process changes, chemical use efficiency, cleaner production, Hydrogen chloride, Chlorine, chemical byproducts, recovery, clean technology, in process recycling, chemical contaminants, chlorinated hydrocarbons, Deacon reaction, treatment, in process treatment, process modification, sorbents, chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHCs), sorbent based process, chlorine recovery, long-life sorbent, drinking water treatment, hydrogen chlorine, pollution prevention, CuO sorbent, other - risk management, chlorinated solvents

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report

  • SBIR Phase I:

    A Long-Life, Low-Cost Sorbent for the Conversion of HCl to Chlorine