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The Life Cycle of Chlorine, Part II: Conversion Processes and Use in the European Chemical Industry

The Life Cycle of Chlorine, Part II: Conversion Processes and Use in the European Chemical Industry
Robert Ayres
Journal Article
Journal of Industrial Ecology, Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 65–89

The major purpose of this article is to construct a plausible emissions profile for the European chemical industry from process data and mass balance considerations.' In it we describe this industry and its major conversion processes and emissions. Four major process chains, beginning with methane, ethylene, propylene, and benzene are analyzed, along with five important stand‐alone processes. A self‐consistent version of the industry is constructed for 1992, based on data from a variety of sources.

In 1992 Europe consumed 9,297 metric kilotons as measured by weight of chlorine (kMT[CI]) of salt and 2 I I kMT(CI) of recycled hydrochloric acid (HCI) to produce 86 I0 kMT of virgin elemental chlorine, plus 278 kMT(CI) of virgin by‐product HCI. Total chlorine input to the industry was 8,689 kMT including I2 kMT(CI) of recycled chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHCs) and (net) 79 kMT(CI) of HCI. Shipments of chlorine and HCI to other sectors was 1,367 kMT(CI), while 7,322 kMT(CI) was embodied in products or lost within the sector: Of this subtotal, 350 kMT(CI) was used to manufacture identified inorganic chemicals, 5,694 kMT(CI) for identified organic chemicals, and 1,278 kMT(CI) for “other unspecified” chemicals.

We estimate that products account for 41.6% of inputs (measured at the “fence”), while wastes account for 24.7%

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