Technip Links with Chemetry on EDC
French engineering contractor Technip has signed an exclusive cooperation agreement with US-based technology start-up Chemetry. The deal relates to Chemetry’s eShuttle process for producing ethylene dichloride (EDC), a key feedstock for making PVC.
The eShuttle technology uses a unique metal halide ion process to produce high-purity EDC without generating chlorine. The process is said to significantly reduce electricity consumption compared to the latest generation chlor-alkali technologies. According to Technip, power costs can be reduced by nearly half versus older diaphragm or mercury-based processes.
In addition, the process is compatible with German engineering plastics producer Covestro’s oxygen depolarized cathode (ODC) technology, in which the hydrogen-generating electrode normally used in the membrane process is replaced by an oxygen-depolarized cathode. Supplying the cathode with oxygen suppresses the formation of hydrogen, producing only chlorine and caustic soda. The process claims to use up to 30% less electricity than conventional technology.
Technip said the agreement leverages Chemetry’s expertise in electrolyzer design and halide chemistry with its own strength in technology licensing, process scale-up, engineering and procurement. The contractor’s operating center in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, will manage the agreement, supported by Technip’s office in Lyon, France, as the companies work to bring the technology to full commercialization. Chemetry developed the process in its laboratory and integrated pilot demonstration facilities in Moss Landing, California, USA.
Chemetry’s process can also be retrofitted into existing chlor-alkali/EDC plants, particularly those where electricity costs are high, as it uses the same feedstocks and produces the same products – EDC, caustic soda and hydrogen – as conventional processes. It also offers EDC producers the ability to expand production within the same cell room and with the same power requirements.