Most chlorine is manufactured electrolytically by the mercury, diaphragm or membrane cell technologies. In each process, sodium chloride solution is electrolyzed by the action of direct electric current, which converts chloride ions to elemental chlorine.
Chlorine is also produced in a number of other ways, for example, by electrolysis of potassium chloride brine in membrane and mercury cells with co-production of potassium hydroxide; by electrolysis of molten sodium or magnesium chloride to make elemental sodium or magnesium metal; by electrolysis of hydrochloric acid; and by non- electrolytic processes.
The use of chlorine as a purifying agent to disinfect water for drinking and swimming purposes is well known. However chlorine is an essential building block in the chemicals’ industry, leading to a myriad of materials that are used to make the products we use every day for health, safety, nutrition, security, transportation, lifestyle and high-tech innovation. In fact, chlorine products of all kinds and chlorine derivative products comprise 45% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The list of chlorine applications include:
- Automotive, e.g. dashboards, foam seating, automotive paints, fabric
- Construction, e.g. pipes, flooring, indoor and outdoor paints, siding
- Transportation, e.g. jet engines, missiles, parachutes, titanium aircraft
- Electronics, e.g. semiconductors, computer discs, wire insulation
- Food Manufacturing, e.g. vitamins, cleaners, disinfectants sterile packaging
- Health Care, e.g. surgical equipment, laboratory reagents, electronic instruments, sterile packaging
- Medicines, antibiotics, cancer treatment, pain relievers, decongestants, antihistamines
- Metal Production, e.g. Magnesium, Nickel, Titanium, Zinc, Zirconium
- Outdoor Recreation, e.g. Tents, Coats, Backpacks, Waterproof clothing, surf boards, golf grip