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Olin completes phase-out of mercury to make chlorine

Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 2:08 PM
Last updated 8:42 PM
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Olin Corp. has completed its multiyear plan to phase out chlorine production – and the use of mercury – at its Augusta plant.

According to the company’s third quarter earnings report filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, all chlorine processes ended Sept. 30 and the plant is being reconfigured for other purposes, including the distribution of caustic soda and manufacture of bleach.

The transition began after a December 2010 vote by Olin’s board to eliminate the now-controversial use of mercury cell technology to manufacture chlorine – a process that had been used in Augusta since the factory on Doug Barnard Parkway opened 47 years ago.

The company will continue to make chlorine in its Charleston, Tenn., plant, which has been converted to a more modern, and mercury-free, “membrane cell” technology.

According to the earnings statement, the first of the two new membrane cell rooms at the Charleston site began operations during the third quarter, with the second and final membrane cell room to be completed by the end of the year.

Although the use of mercury in chlorine manufacturing has ended in Augusta and other sites, the impact of its use could linger for decades.
The U.S. Department of Energy continues to evaluate options for a planned “national mercury repository” that would store 7,500 to 10,000 metric tons of mercury from nongovernmental sources – such as chlor alkali plants and mining facilities – in addition to large amounts of mercury already stored in government facilities.

Such a disposal site would help comply with a 2008 law known as the Mercury Export Ban, which prevents companies from shipping waste mercury to other countries, where it might eventually create new environmental hazards.

Savannah River Site was examined as one of seven possible sites for such a repository, but the DOE’s preferred choice is a private facility operated by Waste Control Specialists in west Texas.

The Augusta Olin plant, which once employed about 100 workers, will operate with just 21 in the future.

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Little Lamb
40052
Points
Little Lamb 11/05/12 - 03:41 pm
2
2

Abandon in Place

They could just leave the mercury where it is in the cells. It's not corrosive or anything. They could just put a sign on the door saying “Mercury Repository” and all would be right with the world.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 11/05/12 - 05:06 pm
2
1

Hokay

So, the Olin Corp. has completed its multiyear plan to phase out chlorine production — and the use of mercury — at its Augusta plant.

And now they are being reconfigured for other purposes, including the distribution of caustic soda and manufacture of bleach.

Yep, that is much better :o)

Riverman1
70306
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Riverman1 11/05/12 - 09:02 pm
1
0

Rob, you said Charleston, SC

Rob, you said Charleston, SC one time and Charleston, TN the other. Was that a typo?

Connor Threlkeld
488
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Connor Threlkeld 11/05/12 - 09:35 pm
1
0

Riverman, thanks for the good

Riverman, thanks for the good question. I'll talk to an editor to make sure we get it right.

Connor Threlkeld
488
Points
Connor Threlkeld 11/05/12 - 09:41 pm
2
0

Tennessee is correct, thanks

Tennessee is correct, thanks again Riverman1.

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 11/06/12 - 10:54 am
0
0

Government regulation reduces jobs?

Unpublished

No, this must be incorrect. Obama said, that every good and perfect gift comes from the father in Washington.

Just as Lenin demanded that the starving peasants produce bread from prayer. When none arrived, Lenin gave them bread and said he was the provider.

Just as Satan demanded that Jesus produce bread from stones.

Sounds like the same VOICE. Same accent. Same source.

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