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Air Liquide signs xenon and krypton supply agreements for semiconductor and satellite markets

By Mary Page Bailey |

Air Liquide (Paris, France; www.airliquide.com) has signed several new multi-year contracts worth a total of more than €50 million, and started supplying xenon and krypton since the beginning of 2018 to the semiconductor and the satellite industries in three regions: Europe, USA and Asia.

The semiconductor industry uses xenon or krypton in its new processes to produce high-end flash memories at a lower cost, supporting the increasing need to store and move massive quantities of data.

In the space industry, the all-electric propulsion satellites also use xenon. The all-electric propulsion is based on the energy produced by the satellite’s solar panels to accelerate and eject a gas (xenon) resulting in the motion of the satellite generated by the thrust. All-electric engines reduce the satellite’s weight by about 35%, greatly reducing launching  costs. In the coming years, at least half of the market is expected to adopt this technology.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and member of the Air Liquide Group Executive Committee, supervising Innovation, said: “We are proud to have been chosen to supply high purity xenon and krypton to the semiconductor industry and the growing all-electric propulsion satellites market. As the world leader for xenon and krypton thanks to its expertise in cryogenic technologies and its ability to manage a global supply chain, Air Liquide provides a reliable value-added molecules supply to its customers, notably in the high-tech industry.”

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