Shin-Etsu PVC B.V. is part of Shin-Etsu Chemical Ltd., world leader in the production of PVC. Production in the Netherlands takes place at two modern plants. The Botlek Business Park plant produces vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), which is then transported to Pernis via a pipeline. Here we convert the VCM to PVC.
The production takes place in two stages. During the first stage, ethene and chlorine are mixed to produce ethylene dichloride (EDC). This is direct chlorination. After purification, the EDC is ready for the second stage of the production process: cracking.
Cracking takes place in ovens: at high temperature, more than half of the EDC molecules break (crack) thus producing vinyl chloride, hydrogen chloride (HCl) and a number of by-products. Distillation then results in pure vinyl chloride. The EDC is not cracked in the process and, after purification, returns for the next passage.
By making use of a parallel process to make EDC, the HCl that was produced by cracking EDC can be sent back into the process. We call this oxychlorination. In this way, HCl from other companies in the region can be recycled.
Waste gases containing chlorinated hydrocarbons are burned while waste water is treated in the central water purification installation at Botlek.
At the plant in Pernis we convert vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) into PVC. In a small number of reactors, the VCM is converted into different sorts of PVC using a polymerization reaction. During this process, the reactor contains water, VCM and catalysts. After the reaction has taken place, a mixture of PVC, VCM and water remain. The remaining VCM is removed from the water-PVC mixture using steam and is then re-used.
After removing VCM, the water-PVC mixture is dehydrated in three steps to produce PVC powder. This powder is stored in silos and then transported as a bulk product (in containers or silos) to the customer.
Waste water from the PVC plant goes to the central water purification installation in Pernis where the residues in the water are broken down by bacteria.