econ industries services GmbH

Mercury conversion - a challenge for the chlor alkali industry in Europe

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Source: econ industries services GmbH

The phasing out of the mercury cell technology by the end of 2017. the export ban of mercury outside of the EU and the European regulations regarding the safe disposal of the surplus mercury are challenging the European Chlor Alkali industry. Interim solutions, such as the temporary storage of mercury are very costly because of special landfill regulations. Because of irregularities in the past the whole process is under intense scrutiny from regulators and the public. Compliance to existing regulations is a must for the affected companies and decision makers.

An estimated 6,000 tons of elemental mercury require disposal in the near future. The disposal has to follow clear and stringent rules:

  • All mercury must be converted to mercury sulphide (HgS)
  • The converted HgS must be disposed of in certified salt mines or other solid rock formations underground or solidified for special landfill disposal
  • The whole process (storage, transport, conversion and disposal) must be documented and reported. This procedure is a clear obligation to each Chlor Alkali company
  • From the 1st of January 2018 temporary storage is allowed for maximum of five years. The temporary storage must comply with the Landfill Directive EU 1999/31 EC. The requirements for that storage are strict and expensive. For example, mercury has to be of 99% purity and has to be stored in special containers within collection pans for the total amount of mercury
  • The mercury is not allowed to leave the European Union. In that respect, existing disposal options in Switzerland cannot be utilized, as Switzerland is not a part of the EU.

econ industries has developed a safe, reliable and mobile system for the conversion of Hg to HgS for the Chlor Alkali industry all over Europe. We offer this as a complete service which also includes the notification logistics of the HgS and the safe disposal as well. Our service makes the conversion process safe, easy and compliant with all European regulations and provide complete piece of mind for our valued clients.

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