2017 was a crucial year for the Spanish chlorine industry, with the coming into force of the European regulations prohibiting the use of mercury in the anti-mercury chloralkali sector. In this context, the company EQO (Electroquímica Onubense) is committed to promoting its activity, and consequently employment, in the Chemical hotspot that is Huelva, transforming its centre to adapt this to new production technology.
To do this, it entrusted Ayesa with the detailed engineering of the new membrane plant, which has replaced the old mercury system. Amongst other elements, the factory has incorporated two electrolysers. Its maximum capacity is now 43,000 tonnes a year.
Specifically, EQO obtains chlorine gas, caustic soda and hydrogen through the electrolysis of sodium chloride, producing sodium hypochlorite and hydrochloric acid as by-products, in addition to other chlorine salts. These primary products are used in the production of EDC, PVC, water disinfectant and the pharmaceutical, textile, paper and soap industries, amongst others.
The new membrane plant needs to prepare the brine with new quality specifications and quality requirements, for which modifications are required to the water treatment and preparation section.
A project of this type requires multidisciplinary engineers like those who work for Ayesa, with strong skills in the design of pipes, electrical engineering, mechanics and civil works.