By David Reed, UT EditorLeverkusen, Germany-For the first time since 1999, the American Electrochemical Society (ECS) has awarded its major prize for outstanding achievements in the field of industrial electrochemistry.The Industrial Electrolysis and Electrochemical Engineering award was made to Bayer MaterialScience AG’s Inorganic Basic Chemicals (IBC) business unit, and its research partners from DeNora, for developing the oxygen-depolarised cathode (ODC) used for the electrolysis of hydrochloric acid.The defining feature of this technology is that up to 30 percent less energy is required for the electrolysis of hydrochloric acid to chlorine than with the conventional diaphragm method, a statement from Bayer explained.An ODC facility with an annual capacity of 20 000 tonnes of chlorine came into operation at Bayer’s Brunsbüttel, Germany, site back in 2003, the statement added. Amongst its myriad uses, chlorine is a key raw material in the production of the isocyanates used in polyurethane manufacture.The ECS last awarded this prize in 1999. Fritz Gestermann, who recently retired following a lengthy period in charge of inorganic basic chemicals research with Bayer, and Hans Dieter Pinter, head of the Technology / Process Innovation development laboratory at IBC, received the prize at the ECS spring meeting in Quebec, Canada.”
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