econ industries GmbH
based in Starnberg, GERMANY
The mercury cell process is a formerly widely-used production technique for the production of chlorine and caustic soda. The liquid metal, mercury, acts as cathode (negative pole) in this process. In the past, the loss of mercury during the process (to air, soil and water) led to serious health and environmental problems. Therefore, most European chlorine producers have decided to phase out the mercury cell process by 2020. Nevertheless, even today, almost 6000 tons of mercury is used per year for chlorine production in Europe alone. As a result of this, yearly waste outputs contain around 1200 tons of mercury, which are stored on-site or sent off for disposal.