JAMES HOLMES, HAYS CHEMICALS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES HOLMES, HAYS CHEMICALS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A battery of mercury cells for the electrolysis of brine ( aqueous sodium chloride) in the cell room of a plant producing chlorine. In the electrolytic process, chlorine gas is liberated at a graphite anode (positive electrode) & sodium at a mercury cathode (negative electrode). Sodium dissolves in mercury to form an amalgam, which is allowed to flow into a second cell to react with water to form hydrogen & sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). All three products (chlorine, hydrogen & sodium hydroxide) are widely used in the chemical industry. The plant is at Hays Chemicals in Cheshire, UK.
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