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Ashta Chemicals will spend $60 million to convert its chlor-alkali facility in Ashtabula, Ohio, from mercury-cell to membrane technology that will be supplied by Ineos Technologies. The project will take 24–30 months, Ashta says. The plant electrolytically converts potassium chloride into chlorine and potassium hydroxide. Axiall, in Natrium, W.Va., is the only other U.S. chlor-alkali maker to use mercury technology. Olin ended mercury-based chlor-alkali production at two sites in 2012, saying customers were increasingly unwilling to accept product made in mercury cells.
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