Germany: Gas Processing Linde and Evonik Cooperate in Membrane Technology for Natural Gas Processing

Editor: Alexander Stark

The Linde Group and the specialty chemicals company Evonik Industries have concluded an exclusive cooperation agreement on the use of membranes for natural gas processing.

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Onshore plant for natural gas processing
Onshore plant for natural gas processing
(Source: The Linde Group)

Munich/Germany — 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. The speciality chemicals company’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, said that this agreement was extending their collaboration with Evonik to the important gas separation market of natural gas processing. Hiselect membranes would be opening up new and innovative options in gas separation, especially in combination with the supplier's other established processes, he added.

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 commercialized it. It is the key component in Hiselect membranes, which the technology group will market globally in complete membrane package units for onshore gas separation and upgrading plants.

Both companies strengthened their collaboration in the area of membrane-based gas separation in 2016. The partnership resulted in the startup 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 meters 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 neighboring site in Lenzing produces the high-performance polymer starting material.