Eliminating harmful substances from production processes
The mercury -cell process is one of the three manufacturing processes used by the chlor-alkali sector to produce chlorine and caustic soda, which are both essential building blocks for a number of other chemicals and applications. However, this process leads to the release of mercury, exposure to which can be harmful to human health and the environment.
The EU chlor-alkali industry had recognized the need to control the mercury emissions long before any government regulations were put in place. The European industry has been monitoring and developing methods to reduce emissions and shift to other production methods since 1970s, which has resulted in a considerable reduction of mercury emissions over time. The European chlor-alkali industry also made a public voluntary commitment to phase out mercury by 2020 at the latest by converting all operations to mercury-free technologies. In 2016, the mercury-emitting technology accounted for only 17% of the EU chlorine production capacity.