1. Product Description: Bleaching powder or “chlorinated lime” is a pale white powder of pungent odor slightly different from that of chlorine. The powder is unstable and rapidly deteriorates in hot tropical climates. It is mainly used for bleaching cotton yarn, textiles and paper pulp. It is also used as a disinfectant, especially for sterilizing wounds, surgical dressings, etc. and in water purification and sanitation. Some times it is also used as a source of chlorine in the preparation of chloroform.
2. Rationale: The two big textile mills located in the Amhara Region produce about 4000 tons of yarn and their combined annual fabrics production capacity is more than 30 million m2. Part of the yarn and fabrics production needs bleaching powder for whitening purposes. The urban water supply systems, the health care facilities and the various sanitation works of the Region all need bleaching powder. Since the main raw material for bleaching powder (which is lime) is found in the Region, it makes economic sense to promote a project which will produce bleaching powder for the Region and also for other parts of the country.
3. Market Potential: The requirement of the Region for this product and the potential of exporting the product to other parts of the country will justify the establishment of a small plant which will produce bleaching powder. If the plant is established in the western part of the Region, it will be possible to export the product to the neighboring country.
IMPORT OF BLEACHING POWDER (TONS)
Source:- Ethiopian Customs Authority
4. Source of Raw Material: Lime will be obtained from local sources while chlorine will be imported.
5. Process and Technology: There are two main processes for producing bleaching powder-these are Krebbs Beckman Towers Process and Hasen Clever Process. In the Hasen Clever Process, there are cast iron cylinders operating in series with hydrated lime and chlorine being fed counter current to each other. The cylinders are provided with rotating blades and are arranged horizontally one above the other. The blades act both as mixers and conveyors of the inside mass. Hydrated lime is charged at one end of the top most cylinders while chlorine is introduced at the other end of the bottom must cylinder. With the rotation of the blades there is a through mixing of the chlorine and lime. The chlorinated lime is discharged from the bottom cylinder and the unreacted chlorine is recovered from the top cylinder and recycled along with fresh chlorine. Machinery needed for the plant include cast iron cylinders, feed hopper, chlorine cylinders, lime storage tanks, piping instrumentation accessories, laboratory equipment.
6. Estimated Investment:- For a plant which will produce one tone of bleaching powder per day the investment requirement will be as follows:-
§ Building/Shade 500m2 at Birr 1500/m2 = Birr 750,000
§ Machinery = Birr 2,625,000
§ Working Capital = Birr 200,000
7. Benefits: Close to the area where lime is to be found.