Air Products Norway’s tech purifies the air

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Air Products Norway - CO2

Photo: courtesy of Air Products Norway
Inside this container is the CO2 capture system. Advertising company Sør-Stangeby (SSR) in Arendal developed the outside imagery that shows the environmentally friendly equipment reducing industrial emission of CO2 from flue gas. The container is at the Norcem cement mill in Brevik, Norway.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Air Products Norway is pioneering technology that enables purification of the air. The Kristiansand-based company is utilizing nitrogen membrane technology and is the world’s first company to commercialize separation onboard ships and in offshore installations. Their technology allows CO2 separation from coal-fired power plants and the cement industry, thus purifying the air.

Recently, Air Products’ process manager, Svein Gunnar Nodeland, was invited by Energi21 to offer recommendations for future research in the industry. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Energi21 develops Norway’s strategy for research and development in the energy sector.

Air Products Norway was established in 1970. In 1984, they launched the world’s first equipment designed to separate nitrogen. They have since developed more than 1,500 marine systems and recently won a contract to supply a membrane nitrogen generator unit to the Shell Prelude FLNG—the world’s largest floating liquified gas platform.

“We are proud to have been selected as key supplier to this amazing project,” says Managing Director Tom Cantero. According to the American Chamber of Commerce, the company is the leading player in nitrogen generators on ships. Their solutions ensure that ships fulfill their emission obligations. In fact, they have found that ships that have previously chosen other suppliers have approached them to replace the entire facility.

Air Products Norway

Photo: courtesy of Air Products Norway
The PRISM® membrane separator

“A nitrogen membrane separates according to a different mechanism called solution-diffusion,” said Process Engineer Christer Haugland. “We have delivered over 1,200 nitrogen membrane systems for marine and offshore applications… Air Products also has commercial CO2 capture membranes that operate at slightly higher pressures and usually separate CO2 from methane.”

Air Products, whose American headquarters are in Allentown, Penn., capitalizes on the capture of oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen, and can recycle the products, providing sustainable solutions in other fields. The company provides hydrogen for cars in the United States, nitrogen used by Yara in their Mila fertilizer, and oxygen to passengers on the highest elevated railway in the world in Tibet. Air Products exceeds $10 billion in global sales, is the world’s fourth-largest industrial gas company, and operates in more than 50 countries. The gas separation technique and membranes were invented at the Kristiansand facility, where they are still produced today.

Through further research in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Air Products has designed a unique coated membrane, optimized for commercial CO2 transport, potentially revolutionizing emission challenges in the process, recycling, power station, shipping, and offshore industries. CO2 capture solutions can play a major role in the efforts towards greener industries. Air Products Norway has tested the technology for more than a year at Norcem cement plant in Brevik, Norway, and is close to its goal of capturing 80 percent of the CO2 with 95 percent purity. The aim is to have the prototype ready for 2020.

In 2016, the company was nominated for the ONS Innovation Award.

“We are developing a membrane; we call it AMCO (advanced membrane for CO2 capture), for low-pressure CO2 capture,” said Haugland. “It uses a ‘facilitated transport’ mechanism to separate CO2 from the other gas components. We successfully tested a pilot system at a cement factory in Norway in 2016 in cooperation with [NTNU].”

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Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 23, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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