a global voice for the industry -- The world Chlorine Council is a global network of national and regional trade association and their member companies representing the chlorine and chlorinated products industries.
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Chlorine Products & Benefits

Chlorine, one of the most abundant and ubiquitous chemical elements on Earth, is also one of the most important building blocks of modern industry. Whether present in the final product, or used in an intermediate process and absent from the final product, chlorine is essential to producing countless items we rely on everyday.

Seawater is a huge reservoir of dissolved chlorine weathered from the continents and transported to the oceans by Earth's rivers. Sodium chloride--one of the salts of geologic deposits formed from the slow evaporation of ancient seawater--is used to produce chlorine industrially.

Chlorine and chlorinated products help deliver safe water safely. They are used to produce life-saving drugs and medical equipment; protective gear for police, firefighters, astronauts and race-car drivers; micro-processing chips for the Information Age; and crop protection chemicals that help ensure a safe and plentiful food supply. From meeting critical needs to making everyday life just a little easier, the products of chlorine chemistry touch peoples' lives in many positive ways.

Around the world, chlorine and its essential co-product, caustic soda, are fundamental building blocks of the chemical industry. There are more than 500 chlor-alkali producers at over 650 sites around the globe, with a total annual production capacity of over 55 million tonnes of chlorine. The industry directly employs an estimated 136,000 people and creates many more jobs in downstream and closely related industries. For example, although the European chlorine industry directly employs 39,000 people, almost 2,000,000 downstream jobs are related to chlorine chemistry. And in the U.S. alone, the total economic contribution of the industry is estimated to be over $2 billion.

Chlorine chemistry is used in over 50 percent of all industrial chemical processes, including 90 percent of pharmaceuticals and 96 percent of crop protection chemicals. It is a basic manufacturing chemical and thus affects numerous other industries, making it truly difficult to capture the breadth of its total economic contribution in terms of job and wealth creation.

In addition, chlorine's co-product, caustic soda, is also fully integrated into the economy through a wide variety of industrial applications. It is valued for its neutralizing power and as an absorbent. It is used directly in the production of pulp and paper, aluminum, petroleum and natural gas refining and processing. It is used for pollution control to remove acid contaminants from gases prior to discharge to the atmosphere. And like chlorine, it is also used as an intermediate to produce other products, such as sodium phenolate used in antiseptics and in producing aspirin and amyl alcohol used in the production of pharmaceuticals. It also plays a significant role in the textile industry and in the manufacture of powder soaps, bar soaps and detergents. Developing countries in particular have a high demand for caustic soda.

Chlorine chemistry not only is important for today's economy, but also plays a key role in enabling future innovations, thus contributing to economic growth. Innovative uses of chlorine chemistry include producing:

  • ultra-pure silicon, the basic material of the photovoltaic cell, used to trap solar energy;
  • super-strength polyaramide fibres, used to replace asbestos in brake linings and to reinforce fiber optic cables, the infrastructure of high-speed Internet communications;
  • silicon chips, essential to microprocessors that drive computers, personal digital assistants, mobile telephones and many "smart" appliances;
  • titanium metal and aluminum for lightweight aircraft fuselages, jet engines and spacecraft; and
  • epoxy resins used in satellites, cars and planes.

*based on 2002 consumption data

*based on 2005 consumption data

Find out more about our products:

Chlor-Alkali Manufacturing Processes
Chlor-Alkali Manufacturing Processes

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Chlorine Chemistry's Role in Our Daily Lives
Chlorine Chemistry's Role
in Our Daily Lives

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Visit the Chlorine Tree

Chlorine's Important Co-product: Caustic Soda
Chlorine's Important
Co-product: Caustic Soda

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