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Linde and Evonik partner on membrane-based natural gas processing

Onshore plant for natural gas processing (© The Linde Group).
Onshore plant for natural gas processing (© The Linde Group).

The Linde Group and Evonik Industries have entered into an exclusive cooperation agreement on membranes for natural gas processing.

Evonik will provide its polymer-based membrane technology and Linde’s Engineering Division will be the system integrator for the complete membrane package units. The joint product will be marketed globally by Linde as the “HISELECT™ powered by Evonik” high-performance membrane package unit for onshore gas separation and upgrading plants.

Evonik has developed its polymer-based membrane technology further for natural gas and has recently commercialized it.

Tobias Keller, head of the Adsorption and Membrane Plants Product Line at Linde’s Engineering Division, said: “We’re 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.”

Dr Axel Kobus, head of the Fibres, Membranes, & Specialties Product Line at Evonik, said: “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.”

In 2016, Linde and Evonik strengthened their collaboration in the area of membrane-based gas separation. 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 neighbouring Evonik site in Lenzing produces the high-performance polymer starting material.