Mercury cell chlor-alkali production is a significant user of mercury and a Mercury source of mercury releases to the environment. The mercury used in this process acts as a catalyst in the chlorine production process. Best practices, such as proper waste management, can minimize the release of mercury. Mercury-free technologies are also available in chlor-alkali production.
According to data compiled by the Global Mercury Partnership, some 100 facilities in 44 nations today have some industrial mercury cell chlorine capacity. After accounting for pledges and plans for future closure in the European Union, India and the United States of America, 55 plants will remain in 24 countries.
Mercury cell production facilities that close or convert to mercury-free technologies require environmentally sound management of mercury surplus and waste.
This video, produced by Euro Chlor, the Federation of the European chlor-alkali industry, explains how mercury is used in chlor-alkali facilities. It demonstrates the safe handling of mercury during normal operation and during decommissioning of mercury-cell facilities and the handling of mercury-containing waste, including environmentally sound storage and disposal of mercury.
Partnership Area Lead
US Environmental Agency Protection
Ms. Marianne Bailey