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Air Products Building Air Separation Units for China Coal-to-Chemicals Project

Air Products has signed a contract with Pucheng Clean Energy Co., Ltd. (PCEC) for the largest single air separation unit (ASU) on-site order ever committed to an industrial gas company. PCEC, a state-owned enterprise established in 2008, will use the industrial gas products in a coal gasification process for chemical production.

Under a long-term supply agreement, Air Products will build, own and operate three ASU trains producing more 8,200 tons per day (TPD) of oxygen, more than 3,100 TPD of nitrogen, more than 375 TPD of compressed dry air for PCEC, and will also produce liquid products for the merchant market in the region.

Air Products’ ASU facility at the PCEC plant in Weinan, Shaanxi Province, China is to be onstream in mid-2013. The ASU trains are to include design enhancements to minimize operating costs through energy efficiency.

The PCEC agreement comes less than a month after Air Products announced it would build a world-class hydrogen production facility in Sichuan, China for PetroChina Company Limited, one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. The agreement signified the first time a state-owned refinery in China would outsource its hydrogen requirements. The facility is to be onstream in early 2012.

Air Products is also building an ASU for PetroChina to provide industrial gases and also merchant liquid products which is to be onstream in late 2011.


Henry Gibson

The distribution of pure oxygen to homes and businesses along with natural or manufactured gases could save much energy and release of CO2. It is now time to start a new energy business that installs and operates parallel pipelines for pure oxygen and fuel gases initially made from coal energy. Cheap coal can also be used to provide the energy for the operation of the air separation unit, and it will use pure oxygen for clean highly efficient burning for electrical energy. Waste heat can be piped as hot water to nearby uses.

Eventually pure hydrogen might be delivered and the CO2 captured and stored by the production plant. Special plastic pipes are needed for the distribution of hydrogen as iron and steel pipes can be destroyed by hydrogen quickly.

China has installed many coal gasification systems to reduce the production costs of chemicals. The US should do the same, and when coal mined in Australia and shipped to the US spills in the Gulf it sinks and stays in place. The price of the coal fuel is not as volatile and is many times cheaper than oil. Waste coal at the mine can be converted to aircraft fuel at low cost. ..HG..


And when they separate out the nitrogen;


It seems like the U.S. has done a lot of business separately and not systematically. We have coal fired electric power plants that release the waste heat instead of using it. We have ethanol plants a few miles away that use natural gas or coal for distillation heat, when they could use the rejected heat from the power plants. They are separate corporations doing their own thing while energy is being wasted.

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