Chlor-alkali Electrolysis in Use
Professor Park Joo-yang (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
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Professor Park Joo-yang of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is an expert in the field of engineering. His paper, “SWRO brine reuse by diaphragm-type chlor-alkali electrolysis to produce alkali-activated slag” discusses a novel method of breaking down the brine after the desalination process.
After the desalination process, what is left over is the brine (salt water with twice the concentration) and fresh water. Letting the brine out back into the ocean would cause a destruction of the ocean life cycle because thousands of tons of water is desalinated everyday and the concentration of salt would cause trouble for ocean farms. Through electrolysis process of the brine, chlorine gas and hydrogen gas are produced and this would be reused in diverse ways such as tap water.
Electrolysis process would leave chlor-alkali which would be used to produce alkali-activated slag used for pavements. Through the activation process of the alkali with the slag, it would turn into hard substance which is then processed to make pavement blocks. Since it is produced out of what should be discarded, it is economically efficient and is very durable, and also environmentally friendly.
Some of the problems that Park is facing is that the research studies regarding this plant is almost reaching the developed level but has difficulty in terms of industrialization. Since brine has been let out into the ocean until nowadays which resulted in low handling expenses. For Park’s team to collect the brine and run the electrolysis process costs way too much even considering the fact that the slags would be produced at a reasonable cost. Handling costs outweigh the expenses of economic and environmental costs which makes it reluctant for companies to invest in producing such power plants.
Park is continuously working to produce more environmentally friendly and cost efficient products through electrolysis processes although it may be a hard task to implement it. “I believe that continuously working in a field of expertise would open the doors for many opportunities,” concluded Park.
Kim Seung-jun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Choi Min-ju
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