The China Post
By Kuan-lin Liu — Sodium carbonate, commonly known as soda ash, is one of the main components in making glass. Shihlien Chemical Industrial Jiangsu Company, a vertical integration of the Taiwan Glass Group, supplies over 600,000 tons of high quality soda ash to Taiwan Glass annually. It is understood that Shihlien Chemical’s current facility of one million tons soda ash and ammonium chloride in annual capacity is the world’s largest single production line of its kind utilizing the Combined-soda Process.
Soda ash is one of most widely produced and used commodity chemical. It serves as the basic ingredient for many chemical processes, and is in large demand in various industries, particularly from the glass, metallurgical, textile, petrochemical, and food sector. With the importance of soda ash in both industrial and civil applications, a country’s production and usage of soda ash are, according to Shihlien Chemical Industrial, indicative of a country’s industrial development.
The Combined-soda Process Shihlien Chemical uses to make soda ash, is also known as the Hou’s process. It was developed by the Chinese engineer Hou Te-Pang in the 1960s. Through more refined and advance reaction pathways, the process makes full use of all input raw materials. In particular, it does not produce calcium chloride wastes, as compared with the Solvay process developed in 1892, for making soda ash. The approach has been praised for shortening production process, reducing environmental pollution and reducing the cost of soda ash. Shihlien Chemical has been able to produce over 950 thousand tons of soda ash for both 2015 and 2016, reaching almost full scale production to provide a stable supply of high quality raw material for Taiwan Glass. In the spirit of Hou’s Combined-soda approach, Shihlien Chemical Industrial expressed a commitment to greener and more advanced production methods for soda ash in such way that fulfills its social responsibility, at the same time providing the best quality products and services for its clients.