Chlorine is a chemical element that can be found in liquid, gaseous, or solid state. It is reactive and most commonly found mixed with other compounds. It is among the most common of elements. The salt and other compounds in sea water are a large source of chlorine.
Chlorine gas mixed with water in precisely controlled amounts kills bacteria and microbiological organisms in water. It is globally used for reliable water disinfection.
Chlorine also has the advantage of insuring clean water up to the end-users tap. The actions of other types of water disinfectants, such as ozone and ultraviolet light, are only temporary. Chlorine also helps remove tastes and odors and controls the growth of slime and algae in mains, pipes, and storage tanks.
Liquid chlorine evaporates at temperatures above minus 30°F at normal atmospheric pressure . It is normally kept and transported in special containers or tanks of varying sizes; 100 lbs, 150 lbs, and ton size being the most common. These containers are designed to allow the equilibrium pressure of the evaporating and expanding chlorine gas inside to maintain the liquid state of the chlorine. The gaseous chlorine can then discharged out the top of the container, precisely measured and controlled through a Hydro Instruments chlorinator, and injected into the water supply to be disinfected.
Chlorine Safety Considerations:
During the last century, in the United States and abroad, chlorine gas has been proven to be a safe and most effective way to disinfect water supplies. The practice of chlorinating public drinking and waste water has been one of the most profound positive steps forward in assuring overall public good health. In fact, an article in Life Magazines’ Fall, 1997 Millennium Issue reports “water purification” as ranking 46th in the top 100 advances of the past 1000 years; ahead of other major health-related achievements such as the discovery of DNA, X-rays and anesthetics.
Chlorine gas is not considered to be toxic, but it is a respiratory, eye, and possible skin irritant. It can cause breathing difficulties and even suffocation in very high concentrations.
Chlorine is not explosive or flammable, but can support combustion. There is no question that all forms of chlorine must be used and handled with appropriate knowledge, care, and respect in order to eliminate the potential for unsafe conditions.
Chlorine gas is easy to visually identify because it is yellowish or green in color and is considerably denser then air. Therefore, the gas will sink into low-lying places, allowing one to see it and escape. Because of the density and expansion factors, chlorine containers should never be placed in direct sunlight or exposed to other direct or indirect heating sources!
Chlorine should never be put in the proximity of large quantities of ammonia, since the two can react violently.
It should also be noted that chlorine is corrosive to many common metals and other substances.