Heteroatom doped Carbon Nanostructures for Electrocatalytic Chlorine and Bromine Production

The Need

Chlorine is used in production of many products, such as many polymers like polyvinyl chloride, polyurethanes and chloroaromatics. It is also used extensively in pharmaceuticals, pesticides, fiber optics, hypochlorite bleaches, and other commodities. However, the current method of producing chlorine is very energy intensive. Bromine is used in manufacture of products such as flame retardants, dyes, pharmaceuticals, photographic chemicals, paper, fumigants and biocides. Bromine is also used in other applications such as water treatment. However, current bromine production methods require the use of chlorine gas, which presents a significant safety hazard, or requires signifiant energy input, much like the production of chlorine. Additionally, some advancements in reducing the energy requirement of chlorine and bromine production require the use of catalysts that become poisoned easily or are extremely high in cost. There is a need for a method of chlorine and bromine production that decreases energy costs, improves process safety, and decreases catalyst cost.

The Technology

A team of researchers, led by Ohio State's Dr. Umit Ozkan has developed a method of halogens such as chlorine and bromine using an O2 consuming gas diffusion electrode which reduces the power consumption by almost 30%, improves process safety in bromine production, and reduces the cost of the catalystsused in production.

Commercial Applications

  • Electrocatalytic chlorine and bromine gas production
  • Electrocatalytic wastewater treatment
  • Energy storage applications using hydrogen bromide electrolysis
  • Selective removal of chloride or bromide ions from aqueous solutions


  • Elimination of use of hazardous gases like chlorine during bromine production, thus improving process safety
  • Reduction in electricity cost in chlorine and bromine production
  • Reduction in catalyst cost
  • Reduction of the need to concentrate solutions before electrolysis
  • Selective bromide and/or chloride removal from aqueous solutions by controlling the applied voltage
  • Halide poisioning resistance in the catalyst

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