Linde Group and Evonik Industries have concluded an exclusive cooperation agreement on the use of membranes for natural gas processing.
The two companies will jointly promote membrane technology – Evonik on the membrane and polymer side and Linde’s engineering division as the system integrator for the complete membrane package units. Evonik’s established membrane technology will serve as the basis. The joint product will be marketed by Linde as the ‘HISELECT powered by Evonik’ high-performance membrane package unit.
Tobias Keller, head of the adsorption and membrane plants product line of Linde’s engineering division, says: “We are delighted to be extending our successful collaboration with Evonik to the important gas separation market of natural gas processing. HISELECT membranes are opening up new and innovative options in gas separation, especially in combination with our other established processes. With this, we are consolidating our position as the world’s leading company for gas separation technologies as well as suppliers of complete separation packages.”
At the heart of the collaboration lies Evonik’s polymer-based membrane technology. The specialty chemicals company has developed this technology further for the area of natural gas and has recently commercialised it. It is the key component in Linde’s new HISELECT membrane, which the technology group will market globally in complete membrane package units for onshore gas separation and upgrading plants.
Dr Axel Kobus, head of the fibres, membranes, and specialties product line at Evonik, says: “Our latest membrane technology for upgrading of natural gas significantly expands our existing product range. We have used it to build up an attractive and powerful membrane portfolio for almost the entire gas separation market in less than 10 years, based on our polymer competencies. Our exclusive partnership with Linde in a major natural gas market strengthens our strategic positioning and reputation worldwide.”
“The Evonik partnership with Linde presents an opportunity for our team in the Middle East and Africa that we are eager to support. Natural gas continue to be a key energy resource in this part of the world and maximising the efficiency of its production and usage is at the heart of what Evonik offers,” said Dr Hendrik Schoenfelder, president of Evonik Middle East and Africa.
Linde and Evonik strengthened their collaboration in the area of membrane-based gas separation in 2016. The partnership resulted in the start-up of a reference plant for helium upgrading in Mankota, Canada, which is the first ever plant of this kind to combine both separation methods, the membrane and pressure swing adsorption technologies. The plant processes more than 250,000 standard cubic metres of crude gas daily and produces industrial quality helium of 99.999% purity.
The SEPURAN product family includes membranes for upgrading biogas, nitrogen extraction, and upgrading helium and hydrogen. These are produced at Evonik’s site in Schörfling, Austria. The neighbouring Evonik site in Lenzing produces the high-performance polymer starting material.
As a leading supplier in international plant construction, Linde’s engineering division has already delivered more than 4,000 plants worldwide.