Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach)

Sodium hypochlorite, also known as bleach, is a yellowish liquid, a strong base and an oxidizing chemical.

Olin Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls is the leading producer of industrial bleach in North America.1 The company makes bleach in a variety of concentrations ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent. The product has a wide variety of uses.

For example, bleach is used in municipal water and waste water disinfection, household cleaners, laundry, hospital surface disinfection, swimming pool sanitation, food processing, and the manufacture of pulp and paper, textiles and semiconductors.

According to a study by the American Chemistry Council, about 57,000 water treatment facilities and 9,000 waste water treatment facilities in the U.S. and Canada rely on chlorine chemistry. Elemental chlorine is widely accepted for water purification and disinfection because the technology required for its use is simple, highly reliable, and can be employed in systems that range in size from those serving small communities to those serving the largest metropolitan areas.

Low Cost, Easy to Use, Highly Effective
Chlorine is also low in cost, easy to use and, most importantly, has been shown to be extremely effective in protecting and preserving public health by destroying the water-borne pathogens that cause a range of diseases.  In addition to being effective in the primary water treatment facility, only chlorine-based disinfectants provide residual disinfectant levels to help protect treated water as it journeys from the treatment plant to the tap.

Some water-treatment facilities, however, are considering a change from traditional chlorine gas systems. Some are experiencing public pressure from citizens concerned about the possible accidental release of chlorine gas. Others are hearing from legislators, regulators or advocacy groups that their chlorine supplies could be subject to terrorist attacks.

Olin takes these concerns seriously and constantly works to minimize these risks both at our own sites and at customer locations. We have an excellent safety record, and we demonstrate every day that it is possible to work with chlorine safely and to handle it carefully and with respect. For customers who are contemplating alternative systems, however, Olin has a solution that will allow water-treatment facilities to continue to benefit from the many advantages of the chlorine molecule.

A Simple Solution Using Delivered Bleach
As North America’s largest producer of industrial bleach, Olin has technical resources to work with water-treatment facilities and convert them from a chlorine gas system to chlorine bleach from Olin. In doing so, Olin can help provide an easy solution that is safe, effective, reliable, easy to implement, easily expandable, cost-effective and operator friendly.

Equally important, the bleach we supply for use in water disinfection is registered by the U.S. EPA under FIFRAand by Health Canada under PCPAcertified to the quality standards of NSF/ANSI Standard 60, and meets the requirements of AWWA B300.

Water-treatment operations can continue to realize the many benefits of the chlorine molecule for disinfection and purification.

If you’re considering ultraviolet, ozone or onsite bleach generation systems, you’ve probably learned that the initial capital investment is substantial. If you use ozone or ultraviolet, you can’t eliminate chlorine for drinking water; you still need it to protect the water as it travels through pipes to your customers.

Onsite bleach generation may sound good. But you need to know that onsite systems aren’t the simple, turnkey operations they’re depicted to be.

With onsite systems, you need to think about the following:

Cost issues.

  • Your upfront capital costs will be considerable.
  • Your electricity bill will rise substantially.
  • The process requires you to keep large quantities of high-purity salt and softened water on site.

Safety risks.

  • The hydrogen you create through the process can create an explosion hazard.
  • If the bleach generated isn’t produced to strict standards, it might not meet health and safety standards to fully disinfect and purify your drinking water or wastewater.

Performance and reliability concerns.

  • Onsite systems can be temperamental and require lots of your attention.
  • You’ll have to monitor the system diligently to make sure your pH and temperature levels are always within the correct ranges.
  • During cold times of the year, the water may require additional heating.
  • You’ll need generators and diesel fuel on site to be prepared for power failures.
  • Anode coatings will fail in time and are costly to replace. Unexpected coating failures will most likely create extended periods of equipment down time and loss of disinfection capabilities.

Delivered bleach from Olin is your economical, reliable, worry-free solution.

Olin has created an extensive bleach distribution network capable of delivering bleach from 10 plants in North America. We have a fleet of 300 rail cars and growing. Our proprietary rail-car technology enables us to deliver high quality bleach in a cost-effective manner to customer locations coast to coast. If you’re unable to accept delivery by rail at your facility, we’ll ship bleach to you by truck.

Our plants have the combined capacity to produce more than 300 million gallons of bleach annually, and we can expand as demand increases. Our economics are good now, and they’ll be even better as we phase in our new low-salt, high-strength technology that will allow us to deliver more active ingredient in each gallon of solution.

The bottom line is this:

Regardless of where you are located, chances are that Olin can provide you a reliable supply of all the bleach you need for water treatment and disinfection. We can make it easy for you to make the transition, and we can do so at rates that are competitive and cost effective when compared with any other water disinfection or purification technology.

No, but they achieve disinfection in much the same way.

Elemental chlorine is chlorine in its pure form, although by its very nature, chlorine never exists in this state for long. It is always looking to bond with other substances. This tendency is what gives chlorine its power of disinfection. When it bonds with enzymes in bacteria and other cells, the enzymes stop functioning properly, and the bacteria and other cells die.

There are several chemical compounds that are referred to as bleach, but the most common is sodium hypochlorite. Its chemical formula is NaOCl, sometimes written as NaClO. Bleach molecules have chlorine locked inside them, which means that bleach can be transported without some of the extra regulatory requirements governing the transport of chlorine.

Sodium hypochlorite disinfects in a way similar to chlorine. When bleach is introduced to water, hypochlorus acid is formed. This acid is divided into hydrochloric acid and oxygen. (The oxygen atom is a strong oxidizer.) These substances are what makes sodium hypochlorite effective against bacteria, viruses and fungi.

12012 CEH Marketing Research Report

  • Household cleaners
  • Laundry bleaching
  • Swimming pool sanitizers
  • Semiconductors
  • Water treatment
  • Textiles
  • Pulp and paper
  • Food processing
  • Augusta, GA
  • Becancour, QC
  • Charleston, TN
  • Henderson, NV
  • McIntosh, AL
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • Santa Fe Springs, CA
  • Tracy, CA
  • September 26-30, 2015: 88th Annual Water Environmental Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois
  • October 20-21, 2015: American Water Summit Conference, Hyatt Regency Tech Center, Denver, Colorado
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