In 1897, Lurgi was the cable address of Metallurgische Gesellschaft in Frankfurt, Germany. With the diversification of the company in 1919 due to new business in steam and adsorption and gathered expertise in the upgrading of solid fuels and the processing of the resulting gaseous and liquid product, the company divided into subsidiaries and adopted the legal trading name LURGI.
1st Air Separation unit (George Claude & Paul Delorme)
In France, on May 25th, 1902, George Claude succeeded to develop a new air liquefaction process.
It was then that two men: Georges Claude, the visionary and Paul Delorme, the
pragmatic creator, constituted a public limited company, Air Liquide, on November
8, 1902, for the study and exploitation of Georges Claude’s Processes.
At the end of the forties, the idea of physical absorption with methanol,
which takes up all contaminants from raw synthesis gas streams, was born
at Lurgi. After the construction of a pilot plant in Holten, Germany in
1949, the breakthrough for this process was achieved with a plant in
Sasolburg, South Africa in 1953. Coal gas was purified to Fischer-Tropsch
synthesis quality with this process.
First Autothermal Reforming application for town-gas production
The development of the Air Liquide tonnage activity with the first Air Separation Units in France
and Belgium with a capacity of more than 1000 tons per day of oxygen helped our clients to
achieve greater efficiency for their industrial needs.
With the introduction of the Lurgi low-pressure methanol process
as impressively proven by the successful start-up of three plants
in Germany and Austria in 1973, a new era within the methanol technology
started allowing to significantly reduce the production cost
compared to the established high pressure process.
With an increasing demand for natural gas based syngas for the production
of chemicals, Lurgi succeeded in developing a new concept for large-scale
syngas production addressing the critical needs of the industry,
i. e. economies of scale and reliability.
The first mega ASU project comprising 12 units each with a production capacity of 2 250 tons per day of oxygen was constructed in South Africa for a Coal-to-Liquids project. The project started with the first six units in 1979. Three years later, the company doubled the capacity of the plant by adding an additional six units.
Radial beds front-end purification was developed to purify very large
flow rates in a single vessel required for large capacity plants of
more than 2000 tons per day of oxygen. The technology was first used on
a plant in South Africa and then in plants throughout Europe, the USA and
China. Our radial beds front end
purification today supports capacities of more than 5000 tons
per day of oxygen.
A proprietary burner was developed and a first OxyClaus™ reference plant was installed
in a refinery in Germany. This process allows Claus units to operate with pure oxygen instead
of air (up to 80% of the total O2 demand), thus providing savings on the installed costs of new
units and enabling increased capacity of existing ones.
First reference for complete natural gas treatment plant
The first plant comprising multiple natural gas treatment technological bricks (Acid Gas Removal, Sulfur Recovery Unit, Natural Gas Liquids extraction and separation) was designed and built by Lurgi in Kazakhstan. After successful execution, two additional trains were awarded to Lurgi by the same customer.
Structured distillation packing first industrial reference
The development of the first generation high air pressure scheme was used in plants
in France, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Indonesia to optimize
the process through the use of a single machine arrangement.
The first Lurgi Steam Methane Reformer (SMR) using a cold collector design was developed and started up in 1994. The SMR is part of a fatty alcohol complex in Indonesia. Following the first successful implementation of the design, all following SMRs were designed on the cold header design principle. The SMR comprises 14 reformer tubes.
The first Steam Methane Reformer (SMR) operating at 950°C 28 outlet temperature
was started-up in Chuan Wei (Sichuan, China), yielding for high carbon monoxide (CO)
production. The SMR has been built as part of a CO production
The Omnisulf™ technologies combines several proprietary key processes (BASF OASE®, Lurgi Purisol™ , Sulfur Recovery Unit, LTGT™, Aquisulf™…) tailored to specific needs and conditions for sweetening and processing of natural gas to pipeline or LNG specification, production of liquid elemental sulfur while minimizing Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions. The first plants were designed and started up in Qatar.
Being committed to exploring new limits for syngas formation and
the industry’s need to demonstrate technologies prior to their
implementation, Lurgi, in cooperation with the local Technical
University in Freiberg, Germany invested in a high pressure pilot plant testing to
demonstrate syngas production at pressures above the industry standard.
World’s largest single train methanol plant (ATLAS) goes into operation
With the introduction of the MegaMethanol® technology, Lurgi demonstrated
once more its leading position in this industry by doubling the
single train capacity, providing its clients with significant
economies of scale. The first plant using this technology is based in Trinidad and Tobago.
First reference for the production of propylene by the MTP process
Following the development phase in close coordination with R&D, including
a pilot plant and demonstration plant operation, the first two references
for Methanol-to-Propylene (MTP) technology were sold to Chinese customers.
The plants were successfully commissioned in 2010 / 2011 thus proving the
technology and serving as key references in the market.
First stage of a joint research plant for the generation of fuels from biomass
In order to deliver solutions addressing the increasing need
for sustainable energy solutions, conversion of (non-food related)
bio-mass into fuels is key. Lurgi developed in cooperation
with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany an innovative
process for the production of “renewable syngas”.
The second generation high air pressure scheme was developed creating
an even more flexible process of the single machine arrangement.
The second generation high air pressure schedule was first used on
a plant in Turkey and then on plants in Malaysia, Brazil, Italy and the
World’s largest (single train) acrylic acid facility (China)
Recognizing the enormous expertise in selective oxidation
for our Lurgi petrochemical processes and the ability to leverage economies
of scale, the world’s largest single train acrylic acid project in China,
to produce 140,000 tons per year of acrylic acid, was awarded to Air
Liquide GLobal E&C Solutions.
Highest biodiesel quality under most economical capital
expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) conditions
was achieved by introducing a new unit. With this important step, the
flexibility in feedstock selection increased. Widely available feedstock’s like
palm- or soy bean oils can now be converted to biodiesel at the highest standards
without needing costly (post) treatment.
Third reference for the production of propylene by the MTP process
Following the strong development, marketing and engineering effort to
commercialize the Methanol to Propylene technology, the third MTP
license was sold to a customer in Ningxia, China in 2011, demonstrating
the acceptance of this new technology by the market.
Focused on the significance of the Coal-to-Chemicals market in China, Air Liquide Global
E&C Solutions underpinned its leading position by designing the world’s
largest Rectisol unit in Ningxia, China, leveraging the efforts of a comprehensive
improvement program dedicated to this well-proven technology.
By successfully reducing the operating pressure of the fixed
bed Fatty Alcohol process, massive savings in equipment costs
were achieved. Together with a new reactor concept designed for
extended operation periods, and a highly efficient catalyst utilization,
Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions is able to offer one of the most
advanced and competitive technologies to the market.
Largest helium liquefier in the world installed in Qatar
The largest helium liquefier (20 tons per day net production)
was designed, manufactured and installed in Qatar by Air Liquide
Global E&C Solutions between 2011 and 2013, including gas treatment
from a feed of about 50 % helium up to 100 % liquid helium.
Largest multi-train hydrogen over the fence (OTF) plant in Saudi Arabia, Yanbu
About 350 kilo normal cubic meters per hour (kNm³/h) hydrogen
(300 kNm³/h hydrogen produced by two Steam Methane Reformers + 45 kNm³/h
hydrogen produced by a Pressure Swing Adsorption processing off-gas,
the largest ever “over the fence” production site for a single customer
was commissioned in 2014.
Integrating the gasification of liquid residues into a refinery balances
the hydrogen demand of hydro-processing units. The first commercial-scale
MPG reference is currently underway by Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions.
The project is a bitumen gasification and is a first large-scale application
of the Multi Purpose Gasification (MPG) technology. It will be the first
bitumen based Partial Oxidation (POx) plant for Air Liquide in Canada as
part of a full technology package, also including, for example, the Rectisol unit.
Cryogenic CO2 capture on Steam Methane Reforming plant
Cryocap™ is a technological innovation for Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
capture that is unique in the world, using a cryogenic process
(involving low temperatures to separate gases) and can be adapted
to specific applications such as for the capture of CO2 produced by
steel plants (Cryocap™ Steel), thermal power station (Cryocap™ Oxy),
and hydrogen production units (Cryocap™ H2). Its installation in Port-Jérôme,
Normandy, at the largest steam methane reforming hydrogen production unit
operated by Air Liquide in France represents the first industrial deployment
of the Cryocap™ H2 technology
Air Liquide invested € 200 million for the construction of
the largest Air Separation Unit (ASU) ever built, with total
capacity of 5,000 tons per day of oxygen (equivalent to 5,800
tons per day at sea level), a milestone in the history of industrial
gas production. The plant is located in Secunda, South Africa.