ERCO serves many industries with reliable supply of chemicals and technical support. Chlor-alkali products – chlorine, hydrochloric acid, caustic soda, caustic potash – are some of the basic building blocks of chemistry and, as such, find diversified applications. ERCO-supplied chemicals are constituents of, or are used in the processing of, an enormous variety of products - from foam seating in vehicles. to vitamins and cancer treatments, from paint production and metal processing, all the way to tents and surfboards.


Chlorine is used to synthesize chemicals that are, in turn, used to create a myriad of materials and products which are used daily throughout society for health, safety, nutrition, security, transportation, and high-tech innovation. In fact, chlorine products of all kinds and chlorine-derived products make up a large percentage of the GDP of all industrialized countries.

While there is an endless list of Chlorine applications, some of the key end uses of Chlorine are in:

  • Poly vinyl chloride (PVC) production;
  • Water treatment; and
  • Food processing and manufacturing.
Chemical and Industrial Manufacturers

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is used in a variety of ways including as a catalyst in synthesis and regeneration, recovery of semiprecious metals from used catalysts, pH control, regeneration of ion exchange resins used in wastewater treatment and electric utilities, neutralization of alkaline products or waste materials, and in brine acidification for use in the production of chlorine and caustic soda.

HCl is also used in many other production processes for organic chemicals. It can be used in the production of p-phenylenediamine, polycarbonate resins, bisphenol A, polyvinyl chloride resins, and ethanol (from ethylene).

If you are part of the pharmaceutical industry, you likely consume HCl as a catalyst in synthesis, for pH control, for deionization of water, and as a reduction agent (e.g., in the production of ascorbic acid and para-aminobenzoic acid).

Other uses of HCl include:

  • Manufacture of dyes and pigments;
  • Removal of sludge and scale from industrial equipment;
  • Deliming, tanning and dying of hides by the leather industry;
  • Manufacture of permanent wave lotion;
  • Carbonizing of wool;
  • Assisting in bleaching and dyeing in the textiles industry; and
  • Purification of sand and clay.
Steel Industry

As a steel producer, you likely rely on hydrochloric acid (HCl) (then scroll down to the section on HCl) in pickling operations to produce carbon, alloy, and stainless steels. If you are a specialty metals producer, you may use HCl for aluminum etching, metal prefixing for galvanizing and soldering, and metal cleaning. ERCO is your reliable global supplier of HCl, with two manufacturing facilities having production capabilities for the continuous production of HCl. ERCO can provide the acidic strengths you need, consistent quality, and safe shipping to any location you require.

Mining Industry

If you’re mining base or precious metals, potash or rare earth metals, your operations are very likely to depend on HCl. Ore treatment, extraction, separation and purification, and water treatment are just some of the key uses of this important commodity, which ERCO can supply in significant quantities.

Significant quantities of HCl are used in molybdenum and gold mining. HCl is also used to convert high-grade scheelite concentrate calcium tungstate (CaWO4) to tungstic acid which, in turn, is used to produce tungsten metal and compounds. HCl is also used in uranium and zirconium processing, solution mining of borate ores, as a pH regulator in the froth flotation of potash ores, and in rare earth extraction from bastnäsite.

ERCO has been a proud partner to the mining industry for many decades.

Caustic soda

Caustic soda has a wide variety of uses in many industrial applications such as aluminum refining, soaps and detergent manufacturing and other cleaning products. The cleaning products market includes a large number of uses for caustic soda, either as a reactant to produce chemical compounds employed in these applications, such as sodium salts of organic sulfonic acids and sodium hypochlorite, or as a direct component of products such as drain pipe and oven cleaners.

Potassium hydroxide

Potassium hydroxide (then scroll down to the section on potassium hydroxide) is used in numerous industrial applications, the main ones being in the production of airport runway deicers, potassium phosphates, liquid fertilizers, and potassium soaps and detergents. ERCO is one of four caustic potash producers in North America.

Potassium hydroxide is also a critical component in the production of potassium carbonate. Potassium carbonate is used primarily in the manufacture of specialty glasses; however, it has many other downstream uses, including: the production or processing of food, soaps, dyes and pigments, boiler compounds, electroplating baths, extraction of carbon dioxide from industrial gas streams, dehydrating agents, titanium enamels, vat dyeing and textile printing, and fire extinguishing powders.

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