Hydrazine hydrate (HH) is a colorless liquid with an odor similar to that of ammonia. Hydrazine is widely used in various applications, such as the deoxygenation of boiler water, preparation of chemical blowing agents, preparation of intermediates for pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals, reducing agent for metals and halogens, and chain extension of aqueous urethane formulations. The main usage of industrial scale is for the synthesis of blowing agents such as ADC, D1PA and TSH, which are subsequently supplied to thermoplastic and elastomeric industries. Main raw materials to produce HH are caustic soda, chlorine and ammonia. Therefore, it is considered a part of the chlor-alkali chain.
Arch Chemicals, a large US - based chemical company, ceased manufacturing of a HH at its Lake Charles, LA site due to changing markets. The plant was part of a larger site that had on-going operations. Arch wanted to obtain the highest possible value for the equipment and know-how, as well as have the plant and all structures safely dismantled by a date certain. The plant used a Ketazine process which was more advanced than the Raschig process and urea process in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact.
Phoenix Equipment purchased the plant and know-how, and committed to remove the plant within 2 years. By initiating a worldwide marketing campaign, Phoenix was able to sell the plant and know-how to a large Chinese chemical producer. As part of the sale, Phoenix contracted to perform the match-marking, dismantlement, packing and in-land freight at a lump sum cost. Work included rigging (4) 200 ft’ + stainless steel columns weighing over 200,000 lbs each. Work began in November 2011 and was safely completed in June 2012. In addition, to dismantling the equipment for shipment to China, Phoenix also cleaned up other structures for the site owner. The new owner’s plan was to build a new process plant to replace its existing plant which used outdated technology.