The safety objections to the large scale production and transportation of chlorine gas is one of the things that drives most of the supporters of mandating inherently safer technology process changes as part of chemical security regulations. While other toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) chemicals are also targeted, it is safe to say that chlorine is the major target, mainly because of the huge volumes in commerce.
While there are economical alternatives to chlorine for many users, there are a number of places where chlorine gas just cannot be economically replaced with safer chemicals. A recent article at ICIS.com highlights another potential alternative for many of these facilities, on-site chlorine generation.
This article is not a theoretical discussion of potential techniques. Instead it looks at a variety of commercially available technologies and the companies that produce them. Nothing really new in the article, but it is valuable in that it provides contact links for further information on the individual commercial processes that provide chlorine generation (both as chlorine gas and as sodium hypochlorite) on-site. These links make it easier for chlorine users to start the process of looking for potential alternatives to receiving rail cars of liquefied chlorine gas.
These commercial systems will not completely eliminate the shipping of chlorine; the economics of the systems just won’t make sense in every application. A number of facilities will have quality standards that probably would not be met by these systems. But, for a large number of potential chlorine users, these options will certainly be worth considering.
I spent 15 years in the US Army as an Infantry NCO. After getting out of the Army I started working in the chemical industry, getting my BSc Chemistry degree while working as a technician. I spent 12 years working as a process chemist in a specialty chemical company. I'm now working as a QA Manager in a specialty chemical manufacturing facility.