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Comment Business & Economics

Air Liquide commissions world’s largest CO unit

By Gerald Ondrey |

Air Liquide (Paris, France; www.airliquide.com) has just commissioned what is claimed to be the world’s largest carbon monoxide unit,handing it over to the customer, Saudi International Petrochemicals Co. (Sipchem). This new carbon monoxide unit is located on the industrial complex of Jubail City, in eastern Saudi Arabia, near the Arabic Gulf. This project was awarded in 2006 to Air Liquide and Lurgi GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany; www.lurgi.com). The carbon monoxide unit designed and built by the Engineering and Construction teams of Air Liquide, will have a production capacity of 335,000 metric tons per year. The production of carbon monoxide calls upon the combination of very high temperature technologies (1,200°C) as well as cryogenic temperature (–190°C). Those two processes are mastered by the Group and will be integrated in this very large unit.   The CO produced in the unit will primarily serve as feedstock for the production of acetic acid used for the production of polyvinyl acetate, which has applications in water-based paints, adhesives and in theprocessing of paper and textiles.   Worldwide carbon monoxide demand is estimated to be growing at about 4%/yr.
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