Molecule of the Month October 2019

written at 10.10.2019

Molecule of the Month


Date:               October 2019

Subject:          Phosgene

If a member of the public has ever heard of the chemical “phosgene”, it is likely to have been in connection with a negative connotation: phosgene was responsible for the majority of deaths from chemical weapons in World War I, and; in more recent times, it has been implicated in the cause of deaths of many individuals through release of the chemical.

On the other hand, if a member of the chemical industry has heard of phosgene, it is more likely to be known as a useful intermediate chemical used to produce many important products including urethanes and polycarbonate plastics which, in turn, are used in every day industrial and consumer items, including cars, eyeglasses and mattresses.

While new phosgene-free routes have been developed for a few products, there are no viable alternatives for many others. In this case and due to the safety concerns, phosgene is often produced and used in the same plant and great effort is made to contain it. The technology employed to generate and react phosgene plays a central role in the safety of such a facility.

Buss ChemTech developed a unique system for the dynamic production of phosgene that avoids liquefaction or storage of the chemical and incorporates safety features that virtually eliminate the risk of exposure. High quality materials, secondary containment, redundant process/safety control systems and robust scrubbers ensure that phosgene will not enter the atmosphere. Production on demand, no liquefaction and direct connection(s) to the downstream phosgenation reactor(s) means that very limited amounts would be released in the unlikely case of some kind of catastrophic event.

In addition to being recognized as the safest on the market, our phosgene generators are very flexible (with production rates of 10 to 100% of nameplate capacity and the ability to supply multiple consumers), minimize excess CO and, using our proprietary catalyst, provides the lowest CCl4 concentration obtainable without further processing. Our generators range from 200 kg/hr to 12.5 metric ton/hr phosgene production.

To get more information about Buss ChemTech's Phosgene Generators, please contact the representative in your country or our responsible Business Manager, Thomas Blocher at +41 61 825 6317 or by liam-e