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AGC’s Insights from the 2019 Chlorine Institute Tech Expo in Houston

fluorinated ion exchange membranes in high-quality caustic soda and caustic potash production

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Our chlor-alkali experts recently participated in the Chlorine Institute’s annual technology symposium and expo. We had the opportunity to learn from professionals about the industry’s latest advances and challenges. We also discussed the unique advantages of our line of FORBLUE® FLEMION fluorinated ion exchange membranes in high-quality caustic soda and caustic potash production.

The Chlorine Institute supports the chlor-alkali industry in advancing safe, secure, environmentally compatible, and sustainable production, distribution and use of its chemicals. CI’s member companies represent the complete value chain—from chlorine producers to packagers, distributors and users.

Previewing the New Jack Rabbit Project Video

One of the most well-received presentations was the preview of a video that CI is developing to demonstrate chlorine’s properties using footage from the Jack Rabbit Project large-scale chlorine releases. The video provides valuable information on public chlorine safety. It also visually demonstrates how large amounts of chlorine and ammonia gas behave when released.

2019 Chlorine Institute technology symposium and expo

The Jack Rabbit Project was a series of experiments undertaken in 2015 and 2016 by subject matter experts (SMEs) in hazardous materials emergency response in the Utah desert at Dugway Proving Ground. The project was part of the Department of Homeland Security’s research on catastrophic releases of chlorine. The overall objective for the SMEs was to answer questions from the emergency planning and response community regarding planning for, tactical and operational considerations of, and public protection actions during a catastrophic chlorine release.

In August 2017, key contributors to the Jack Rabbit Project—environmental systems researchers, plume modelers, Hazmat SMEs and atmospheric scientists—were invited to Utah Valley University to formulate conclusions based on the data. The team found that the application and use of a risked-based response process is critical to each chlorine release incident considering the container, stress/breach release, wind, exposures and environmental conditions. The Jack Rabbit Project was impactful for the emergency planning and response communities because it provided a basis for scientific validation of hazmat strategies and tactics.

Exchanging Chlorine Technology Ideas and Information

AGC kicked off the event by hosting a reception, where we had the opportunity to spend quality time with our regional customers, chemical distribution experts, leaders in water and wastewater treatment, and decision makers in caustic soda and caustic potash production.

At the expo, we discussed how FLEMION fluorinated ion exchange membranes use a reduced electrical current to decompose purified brine. FLEMION membranes enable manufacturers to maintain 97–98% electrical current efficiency, thanks to a fluorinated carboxylic polymer layer in the membrane. In addition to saving energy, FLEMION membranes minimize the influence of brine impurities like Ca and Mg, which allows the membranes to perform better and remain stable longer.

2019 Chlorine Institute technology symposium and expo

We also informed attendees about our chlor-alkali lab, where we provide technical services for ion exchange membranes. Services include analysis of brine and raw salt and as complete extractions from used membranes.

Next-Generation Ion Exchange Membranes

After years of development and testing under real conditions, AGC recently launched FLEMION F-9010. This new membrane is built upon the proven performance of FLEMION F-8080 and will give users significant cost-performance benefits. FLEMION-9010 has 50 mV lower voltage than F-8080 and F-8080A. It also demonstrates a higher current efficiency in more hydrated and more dehydrated states. In addition, FLEMION F-9010 provides better durability against impurities and has improved robustness.

Other Chlorine Industry Applications for Fluoropolymers

We also had the opportunity to educate chlorine professionals about full material science solutions we provide beyond FLEMION. Because the market is demanding longer-lasting equipment components, we demonstrated our AFLAS® FEPM fluoroelastomer grades, which improve performance of hardworking seals and gaskets operating in harsh environments.

About the Author

Kristin Carlin is AGC's inside sales & marketing leader and part of the business development group. She has been with AGC Chemicals Americas for over 20 years and holds an MBA from Penn State University.

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