Nafion™ Membranes for the Chlor-Alkali Industry

Sustainable Membranes That Improve Chlor-Alkali Processes

Chlor-alkali processing technologies have evolved significantly over the years, in large part due to environmental and safety concerns. For years, chlor-alkali manufacturers only had two unsustainable and unsafe choices for processing: mercury or diaphragm cell.

Today, almost all newly installed chlor-alkali units use sustainable and safe membrane technology. Each chlor-alkali environment differs depending on the use-case, with variables including brine source and quality, electrical costs, available capital, and the labor force's experience level. Yet, one thing remains constant across chlor-alkali facilities: a demand for more consistent performance and energy savings.

Consistency and energy savings are crucial when scaling the production of commodities. Chlor-alkali membranes offer an environmentally sound solution for producing the two most widely used commodity inorganic chemicals, chlorine and sodium hydroxide (lye/caustic soda), through the industrialized electrolysis of sodium chloride.

These chemicals are also used in:

  • Production of propylene oxide, epichlorohydrin, polycarbonate, and chlorinated intermediates
  • Feedstock for vinyl used in construction
  • Pulp and paper processing
  • Water treatment

The process also produces hydrogen, which is finding expanded use in many applications.

Features and Benefits

Nafion™ membranes are ionomer based, meaning they selectively conduct ions over a wide range of operating conditions. This unique property enables membranes to create higher quality sustainable electrochemical separations, even in harsh environments.

Additionally, Nafion™ chlor-alkali membranes offer consistent voltage performance, current efficiency, mechanical durability, and high impurity resistance over the lifetime of the membrane.

This means:

  • Fewer process interruptions
  • Limited maintenance downtime
  • Reduced lifetime costs/total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • Consistent production quantities
  • Reduced lifetime energy consumption