Mercury conversion project in Tessenderlo, Belgium

thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers looks back on around two decades of plant conversions from outdated mercury electrolysis-based facilities to the latest membrane electrolysis plants.

As one of our key projects, thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers successfully started up a state-of-the-art chlor-alkali membrane electrolysis plant after conversion from the outdated mercury electrolysis technology. The basis was a lump sum turnkey contract awarded to thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers by Tessenderlo Chemie (now Vynova) in Tessenderlo, Belgium in 2006.

The converted plant with an annual capacity of 270,000 metric tons of chlorine and 300,000 tons of caustic soda is operating successfully as planned. The conversion of mercury electrolysis plants is an important step toward achieving environment-friendly chlorine and caustic soda production. It avoids the use of toxic mercury for the production of these important base chemicals, reduces electrical power consumption and thus significantly lowers carbon dioxide emissions.

Ten years later, looking to continue the success of the first project, Vynova contracted thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers for a second project in 2016, this time converting an existing mercury-based potassium hydroxide electrolysis plant at the same site. The converted facility with an annual capacity of up to 100,000 tons of chlorine and 150,000 tons of potassium hydroxide solution will be engineered, supplied, constructed and commissioned on a lump sum turnkey basis by thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers.

Our long-standing and close relationship with our customer and the continuous development of our technology were the key to repeating the earlier success.

Mecury conversion, Tessenderlo