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Air Separation

Air Products has more than 75 years of experience designing, engineering, constructing and operating air separation units (ASU) for customers requiring large amounts of oxygen, nitrogen or argon. We have produced more than 2,000 ASU plants worldwide, and own and operate over 300. Whether the need is 50 tons per day or 7,000 tons per day, our cryogenic solutions deliver safer, more efficient and sustainable industrial gas supply. 

For smaller volumes similar to bulk supply, Air Products PRISM® systems deliver low cost, efficient solutions for the on-site delivery of industrial gas. Our proprietary, proven reforming, cyrogenic, adsorption, and membrane technologies make us a world-leading supplier of on-site production plants and services. Our sustainable on-site gas generation plants help customers lower their carbon footprint, boost energy efficiency, increase throughput, enhance end product quality, and improve environmental performance. 

First on-site oxygen plant at Weirton Steel in 1951.

Leading the Way Since 1940

Air Products founder Leonard Pool revolutionized the industrial gas industry by developing the “on-site” gas supply model in 1940. Since then, the company has continued to be a pioneer in air separation technology, engineering and plant delivery.

As the world demands larger, more efficient plants with ever shorter schedules, the cryogenic technology and engineering at the heart of large-scale air separation must keep evolving to meet these challenges. Building on a long history of cryogenic air separation, we continue to make significant advancements to deliver safety, efficiency, and sustainability.

Delivering World-scale Air Separation Plants

Our leadership in supplying large-scale cryogenic oxygen plants to the gasification industry has led to Air Products' position as a premier gasification company. In Jazan, Saudi Arabia, we built six air separation units that will supply over 75,000 tons per day (TPD) of oxygen and nitrogen to an integrated gasification and combined cycle (IGCC) complex. These mega plants are specially designed with the latest technology to safely and reliably supply the IGCC complex with oxygen for gasification and nitrogen as diluent for the combined cycle units.

We also will build two large air separation trains as part of a contract to supply syngas for a multi-billion-dollar mono-ethylene glycol project in Hohhot, China that mark the next generation of oxygen production for gasification. A patent-pending, new process cycle will minimize steam consumption while preserving operating flexibility, and an advanced form of radial flow temperature swing adsorption will purify the air before entering the cryogenic area of the process. This technology delivers lower pressure drop than alternatives, further reducing energy consumption while minimizing footprint.

As the market moves to larger train sizes to supply oxygen to mega gasification projects, Air Products continues to push the boundaries and build on our track record of successful large-scale oxygen plants.

Reliable and Sustainable On-site Gas Production

Not only did we pioneer the concept of on-site gas generation, we are the only major industrial gas supplier today with leading technology in all areas of on-site gas generation: reforming, cryogenic, permeation, and adsorption. Air Products’ PRISM® systems offer customers a flexible and sustainable option for producing oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and other process gases at their site. These systems help customers lower their carbon footprint, boost energy efficiency, increase throughput, enhance end product quality, and improve environmental performance. In addition to local technical teams, our Operations Service Centers provide 24x7 plant monitoring for real time optimization and rapid troubleshooting.

We continue to innovate and invest in our technologies to design, build and operate on-site gas generation plants. With more than 750 sites operating around the world, we have the breadth of knowledge and experience to deliver reliable, safe and efficient on-site gas production.

Providing a Safer and Sustainable Energy Solution

The Netherlands has long sourced natural gas from its domestic Groningen Field, however, that extraction has resulted in seismic activity, which now requires a switch to imported gas. Since imported natural gas is incompatible with the applications currently served by the Groningen source, N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie selected Air Products to supply three specialized nitrogen generator units that will be used to condition imported natural gas.

On-stream in 2021, these nitrogen generators will be among the most energy efficient ever constructed, reducing carbon dioxide emissions an estimated 21,000 tons per year compared to previous technology. This is made possible by a new process design and improvements in compression efficiency. In addition, the air separation units are designed to quickly ramp production from a cold start to closely match gas demand and further reduce energy consumption.  

"Our selection points to our record of expertise in air separation," said Paul Hoogeveen, general manager-Rotterdam Tonnage at Air Products. "Time and experience have taught us how to get the best out of the cryogenic air separation process, both in terms of safety and high efficiency." 


As both a manufacturer and operator of turbomachinery, Rotoflow brings a new level of expertise to the design, build, and support of mission-critical turbomachinery. We offer a wide range of expanders for air separation plants, from small modularized units to full-scale cryogenic systems. As a leader in the industry, our proven designs have millions of successful hours of operation, with MTBF of more than 20 years. 

Staying One Step Ahead of the Electronics Industry

Growth in pure silicon crystal manufacture has led to an increase in high-purity argon requirements for the semiconductor industry. When this trend emerged, Air Products stayed ahead of the curve by developing a world-scale TN LAR air separation plant.

The TN LAR plant design uses a proprietary purification technology integrated with the air-drying system to deliver ultra-high purity nitrogen and argon. The plant also features a proprietary new distillation column packing that is 15% more efficient than previous standards and employs a flexible, cost-effective cryogenic expander that operates across a wider range of speeds and operation conditions. The combined innovations of the TN LAR air separation plant provide the high reliability required by the electronics industry along with schedules that can deliver ultra-high purity gas to new fabs well before their ramp up schedules demand. 

"The semiconductor industry demands speed, reliability and flexibility to meet its challenging requirements," said Chris Alsop, director of the Air Separation Unit Product Line at Air Products. "We must consistently innovate and deliver for our customers in this industry to achieve the success we have with plants like the TN LAR."

Put our world-class cryogenic ASU experience to work for you.

We have the technology, experience and resources necessary to design, engineer, construct and operate a cost-effective gas supply system for your specific application.


Optimize your gas supply with on-site gas generation systems

A reliable, energy efficient and sustainable supply option for a wide range of purity and flow requirements.