In a circular economy, organic halogen compounds such as Teflon are to be converted electrochemically into new materials and thus recycled. By using surplus electricity, the flexible process could help stabilize the power grid.
It is impossible to imagine modern applications without organic halogen compounds such as Teflon or PVC because they have certain unique properties. Until now, these halogen compounds have been incinerated after use. Recovery - if this is possible at all - only takes place from the flue gases. In the process, the carbon skeleton is lost and greenhouse gases are released to a considerable extent. In addition, the combustion processes must take place at very high temperatures in order to avoid, among other things, the formation of dangerous dioxins.
Halocycles follows a fundamentally different path here: electrochemically, the halogens are to be released as negatively charged ions (anions) or halogen-organic building blocks. The basic carbon skeleton is thereby preserved and can serve as a source of raw materials for chemical processes. The results are to form the basis for a circular economy of halogens involving organic halogen compounds. The process is to be designed so flexibly that surplus electricity can be used in the process and the power grid additionally stabilized.
The project thus addresses several current problems:
- Limited availability of fossil raw materials for organic halogen compounds
- Environmental hazards due to polyhalogenated organic wastes
- Release of large amounts of CO2 and destruction of the carbon skeleton during recovery from flue gases
- Excess electricity production from renewable energies