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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 8194674, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8194674
Research Article

Simultaneous Recovery of Hydrogen and Chlorine from Industrial Waste Dilute Hydrochloric Acid

1Department of Chemical Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Pilani, Rajasthan 333031, India
2Chemical Engineering Division, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, Telangana 500007, India

Received 30 December 2015; Accepted 23 March 2016

Academic Editor: Donald L. Feke

Copyright © 2016 N. Paidimarri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Recovery of chlorine from byproduct HCl has inevitable commercial importance in industries lately because of insufficient purity or too low concentration to recycle it. Instead it is being neutralized in industries before disposing to meet stringent environmental conditions. Although recovery through catalytic oxidation processes is studied since the 19th century, their high operating conditions combined with sluggish reaction kinetics and low single pass conversions make electrolysis a better alternative. The present motive of this work is to develop a novel electrolysis process which in contrast to traditional processes effectively recovers both hydrogen and chlorine from dilute HCl. For this, an electrolytic cell with an Anionic Exchange Membrane has been designed which only allows the passage of chlorine anions from catholyte to anolyte separating the gasses in a single step. The catholyte can be as low as 3.59 wt% because of fixed anolyte concentration of 1.99 wt% which minimizes oxygen formation. Preliminary results show that the simultaneous recovery of hydrogen and chlorine is possible with high conversion up to 98%. The maximum current density value for 4.96 cm2 membrane surface area (70% active surface area) is 2.54 kAm−2, which is comparable with reported commercial processes. This study is expected to be useful for process intensification of the same in a continuous process environment.