On-site Disinfection Systems Provide Alternative to Bleach

Electrolytic Technologies' Klorigen™ systems will be on display at WEFTEC. The systems have been used by several municipal water treatment facilities and are under consideration by many more, in part because of the rising cost of bleach.

Sep 1st, 2008
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Electrolytic Technologies' Klorigen™ systems will be on display at WEFTEC. The systems have been used by several municipal water treatment facilities and are under consideration by many more, in part because of the rising cost of bleach.

Bleach is made from chlorine, caustic soda and water. Electricity is needed to produce chlorine and caustic soda, and power prices have increased dramatically in the last few years. Also, because bleach is 90% water, the cost to transport the active chemical is multiplied by a factor of ten.

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Now that the economy has slowed one would expect the prices for bleach to come down. In fact the reverse has happened. Why is this? The answer has to do with caustic soda.

For each pound of chlorine that is produced, 1.1 pounds of caustic soda is also produced. Chlorine demand has declined due to slowing in the U.S. housing, automotive and durable goods markets. As a result chlorine production is lower which has resulted in less caustic soda being produced. Caustic soda demand is more diverse and is not as affected by these factors. As the market grapples with limited availability, the shortage has resulted in product allocations and much higher prices for caustic soda which directly increases the cost to produce bleach.

With the Klorigen system, high strength sodium hypochlorite or chlorine gas is produced on-site using an inherently safe technology using food grade salt, softened water and electricity.

Plants in operation produce 12.5% sodium hypochlorite for less than $0.60 per gallon including all labor and capital expenses. For those who prefer the safe use of chlorine gas and have a use for the caustic soda produced by the process, the operating cost approaches and in some cases is now less than zero.

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