De Nora Permelec: First installation of compartment cell electrolysers

The first commercial installation of CECHLO® three compartment cell electrolysers. Photo credit: De Nora Permelec Ltd

De Nora Permelec Ltd achieved its first commercial installation of CECHLO® three compartment cell electrolysers in Japan on April 3rd, Monday. This unprecedented success smoothes the way for more sustainable and cost-efficient industrial wastewater recovery while establishing another form of revenue for its clients at the same time.

De Nora – the largest organisation in the water industry in regards to the three compartment cell design – was contracted by an East Asian chemical manufacturing company to upgrade and advance its treatment process, and for the last four months, has been operating at full capacity.

CECHLO® three compartment cell electrolyser’s raging success can be attributed to the ThyssenKrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers Ltd’s team who redeveloped the original dependable and proven membrane cell technology’s performances.

The new electrolysers are capable of recovering the prized chemical, Tetramethylammonium (TMA), from the wastewater emitted from the facility’s semi-conductor, allowing the organisation to resell the chemical as Tetramethylammonium Hydroxide (TMAH).

“De Nora has a long history in leading industry innovation in water treatment and electrolysis, and developing bespoke solutions for clients. This project is a great example of innovating and harnessing new technology to meet specific needs together with our clients,” Representative Managing Director of De Nora Permelec Ltd, Makoto Okura, said. “Our electrolysers are able to turn the issue of wastewater handling into an opportunity which provides an additional source of revenue for our clients, by using the electrochemical route to recover valuable chemicals and raw materials.”

Along with raising efficiency by being three times bigger than traditional electrolysers, the CECHLO® three compartment cell electrolyser’s one-of-a-kind middle chamber build allows the power consumption by the machine to be reduced by 20 per cent, thus also lowering the customer’s carbon footprint by a correlating 20 per cent.

“We are excited about the cost-saving and environmental benefits this technology presents for our clients – particularly as environmental legislation becomes stricter and industries face pressure for cost savings,” Okura continued.

As for the technology, De Nora Permelec Ltd has already taken in further enquiries, including that for the Lithium Hydroxide (LiOH) recovery process, and the salt splitting sodium sulphate (Na2SO4), for the battery and pulp and paper market respectively.

 There are two sizes of electrolyser offered by De Nora Permelec Ltd, facilitating flexible cell stack design that span the spectrum from larger units for an industrial capacity to smaller, more compact ones. Before the technology was scaled up to the commercial size, the electrolysers were already available on a pilot-scale for field tests, and laboratory tests were, and still are, provided for clients who wish to evaluate its performance.

“We provide clients with these options so that we can work with them to develop a tailored solution that not only [meets] their needs, but also maximises the financial returns from the process,” Okura added. “Alongside our expertise and proven track record in quality electrolysis and water treatment solutions, we are focussed on continuing to play a leading role in the industry.”