Linde and Evonik Intensify Gas Partnership
German chemical producer Evonik and industrial gases and engineering group Linde have intensified their collaboration in gas separation as the specialty chemicals producer starts work on expanding its membranes capacity in Austria. Groundbreaking for the new plant at Evonik’s site in Schörfling took place on Sept. 30. When the project is completed in late 2017, capacity for Sepuran hollow-fiber membranes will double.
The membranes will be used by Linde’s engineering division in its gas separation and purification plants. The Munich-based group said the addition of Sepuran technology will complete its portfolio and combine all relevant gas separation processes within one company. Tobias Keller, head of the adsorption and membrane plants product line in the Linde engineering division, said the combination of Evonik’s high-selectivity membrane with its other established technologies allows an “extraordinary flexibility” to develop and apply new and more efficient purification processes.
Head of Evonik’s fibres, membranes & specialities product line, Axel Kobus, added that the alliance provides ideal conditions to jointly develop new markets. Sepuran membranes enable gases such as methane, nitrogen, helium and hydrogen to be isolated in pure form particularly efficiently from gas mixtures, thanks to more selective separation and higher productivity.
The collaboration between the two German companies has already resulted in a reference plant for helium purification in Mankota, Canada. The facility, said to be the first of its kind, started up in August and uses a hybrid process of membrane and pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology, processing 250,000 cubic meters of crude gas daily and producing industrial-quality helium of 99.999% purity.