Air Products Breaks Ground on Louisiana ITM Oxygen Production Test Facility
Air Products (NYSE: APD) today announced it has broken ground in Convent, Louisiana where it will build a 100 ton per day (TPD) ion transport membrane (ITM) oxygen production test facility. The pilot plant project will include both an ITM unit producing oxygen and an electrical cogeneration unit producing power. The ITM demonstration project is funded in part by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and is to be operational in the second half of 2012.
“At 20 times the increased oxygen volume, this Louisiana project marks a significant scale-up in size from our successful five TPD ITM facility. The 100 TPD unit to be built is an intermediate size unit and will provide reliable engineering and economic data to position this technology for the next scale up in size to approximately 2,000 TPD, which we see as the logical step toward serving much larger energy plants,” said Ted Foster, director–Business Development at Air Products. “We appreciate DOE’s continued support in this developmental work and believe that ITM oxygen technology will play a role in advancing clean power generation in both today’s power market and also in the future in the expected carbon-constrained environment.”
ITM technology uses a ceramic material which, under pressure and temperature, ionizes and separates oxygen molecules from air. No external source of electrical power is required in this process. ITM technology has the potential to produce oxygen more economically and efficiently, decrease the oxygen plant footprint, and also decrease the cooling water requirement for most large oxygen demand applications. The technology would be an alternative to traditional cryogenic air separation units, the conventional means of producing the large quantities of oxygen required by steel mills, an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant, and also the newer oxy-combustion electric power plants which would capture carbon dioxide. The air separation process contributes to the overall capital cost of the traditional IGCC power plant and up to 80 percent of the internal power demand.
“The 100 TPD unit will feature ITM pilot plant sized vessels and really start bringing us into the range of a commercial facility. It also will be the first time we have co-located an ITM unit and a cogeneration facility. The pilot plant project will allow us to show how well the two technologies could work on a larger scale and use the capability to produce power to optimize the ITM control system to benefit larger ITM-based cogen plants in the future,” said Foster. The cogen facility will produce about five MW of electric power, which will be used to operate the oxygen plant and for export power.
Air Products has been a leader in the development and application of ITM oxygen technology since 1988. It has operated a five TPD prototype ITM test facility funded in part by DOE in Sparrows Point, Maryland since 2006. This Louisiana ITM technology work will build on investments by Air Products and DOE to develop options to lower the capital and operating cost of IGCC and oxy-combustion electric power generation plants. Air Products is also currently working toward accelerating commercial manufacturing of ion transport membrane modules to initiate the development of the 2,000 TPD pre-commercial scale facility.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. In fiscal 2010, Air Products had revenues of $9 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,300 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2010.
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