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Caustic concentration system by evaporation.

The main objective of this system is to concentrate the caustic coming out from electrolyzers up to 50% as caustic is usually produced as 50% water based solution. Usually high purity caustic can be directly produced from mercury and membrane cell process. Normally output concentration of mercury cell process can be adjusted to 50% by controlling the rate of addition of water to the amalgam decomposer. So it is only needed to remove the residual mercury by filtration. But when dealing with membrane and diaphragm cell processes, it is required to concentrate the output caustic by evaporation. Effluent concentrations of Diaphragm cell process are 10-12% of caustic, 13-16% Sodium chloride, 0.25% Sodium sulfate and 0.15% Sodium chlorate. As output of Diaphragm cell contain high amount water, high amount of heat energy is required for evaporation. Also Sodium chloride is tends to crystallized when caustic concentration is 50%. Also Sodium sulfate is crystallized at later stage of evaporation. For the evaporation of Diaphragm cell effluent, solid separation equipments are needed to separate crystallized salts and slurry as effluent contain high amount of impurities than other two methods. Evaporation of Membrane cell effluent is easier than Diaphragm cell effluent as it presents low amount of Sodium chloride and trace amount of impurities. Membrane cell effluent has caustic concentration of 30-35% and when it concentrating by evaporation up to 50% remaining Sodium chloride can be removed as it Sodium chloride tends to crystallize. The strength of the caustic produced in membrane cells depends on the type of membrane chosen. Evaporation is done by exchanging the heat in evaporators to evaporate water using steam. Usually triple or quadruple multi effect evaporators are used for this purpose. Normally evaporators are operated counter currently, counter currently or as mixed feed stream. Feed can be introduced either to the second evaporator of first evaporator according to process design. Also heat available in the outlet of final evaporator can be used to pre-heat the feed stream for first and second evaporators. Also vapor from final evaporator can be used for pre-heating. Sodium borohydride is commonly added to evaporation system to reduce corrosion of the equipment and to reduce the nickel content in the finished product. Cooling of concentrated caustic from evaporators is done by giving heat to caustic feeds for evaporators and finally cools down by using cooling water. When considering storage substantial intermediate storage for cell effluent is established to uncouple the electrolysis and evaporation processes. Liquid caustic soda is store in steel cans or drums. For the transportation of a large quantity of liquid caustic soda, tank trucks, rail tanks, or tankers are used.