Abelló Linde, S.A. is a company that focuses on the manufacturing and distribution of air gases (oxygen, nitrogen, argon) for their application in industrial uses, the food industry and in healthcare areas. 10 production and packaging centres of the company are currently located all over Spain: 550 people work there, and they provide service to more than 33,000 clients. Abelló Linde has committed itself to a constant and ambitious invesment roadmap that enables the company to be permanently in the lead in technological aspects by means of innovative applications.
Abelló Linde belongs to the international group THE LINDE GROUP, the world leader in the gas and engineering markets.
The development of the industry of technical gases has parallelled that of the chemical industry in which it is included. Many applications have been developed by Abelló Linde in the chemistry and energy sectors throughout its more than 100 years of existence. Our aim has always been to offer innovative solutions to our clients in order to improve final quality of products, safety and environmental protection.
APPLICATIONS IN THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SECTOR
Linde’s technological portofolio in the energy area ranges from solar energy applications to biodiesel and green hydrogen.
In the solar energy field we may highlight the supply of gases and chemical products both for crystalline silicon and for the manufacturing of thin-film solar cells. Fluorine gas has reached significant technological advancements with little environmental impact in the process of manufacturing and ecologic cleaning of process chambers devoted to the manufacturing of thin-film solar cells. On the other hand, silane, chemically deposited onto a glass, metal or ceramics substrate, is one of the most fundamental gases used in the production of silicon-based thin film solar cells.
Hydrogen may be used as a fuel for “zero emission mobility” and as a means to store energy obtained from renewable sources. It provides more energy per equivalent weight than any other available fuel, which means it is an excellent, environmentally-friendly choice, even more so if obtained by using renewable energy sources such as wind power or biomass. Linde provides its technology all along the process, from its production to compression, liquefaction, storage and transport to the final step: its use as fuel in vehicles using compressed and/or liquefied hydrogen. Linde has established partnerships with companies in the crude oil and energy industries in order to create a network of filling stations all over Europe, and it is committed to growing and innovating in the commercialisation of such a sustainable energy vector.
APPLICATIONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Cryocondensation of volatile compounds from atmospheric effluents
It is achieved by cooling down and performing a controlled condensation of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) from atmospheric emissions. Liquid nitrogen(-196ºC, 1 bar), is used as a cooling agent until the dew point for VOC’s is reached and their condensation begins (approximately between -30 and -120ºC). The CIRRUS® technology enables the recovery and recycling of condensed volatile compounds. Besides, nitrogen may be recovered to be used in other processes such as inerting processes, deposit pressurization, pipeline cleaning, etc. In the aforementioned cases, working costs are nearly non-existent. CIRRUS® VEC is a flexible system that requires little investment and offers the possibility to increase the capacity of the facility by adding new modules.
Atmospheric air is exchanged by oxygen in specific COROX® Linde burners, in fusion ovens for metals, glass, ceramic frits or other materials, which reduces nitrogen oxides and CO2 emissions. The oxy-combustion process generates higher flame temperatures, an additional benefit that increases the energy efficiency of the plant.
Treating waste water with pure oxygen
Pure oxygen has proven itself to be an extremely useful resource when improving operational efficiency in industrial biological plants. Pure oxygen is used by means of the SOLVOX® technique, either partially or totally, for oxygenation in their depuration treatments. It is mainly used in depurating facilities dealing with high organic loads; in those with discharge values or contamination levels that vary greatly; those that have little space available or those having to tackle strong odours. It is particularly suited to be used in the chemical industry, oil refining plants, paper industries, leather tanning, and the textile and food industries.
Working with pure oxygen provides several advantages due to the gas physico-chemical properties and its behaviour in biological processes, as well as the simplicity of injection facilities and the flexibility that it provides when oxygenating waste water during plant operation.
Pure oxygen is used to generate ozone, both in waste water plants and in water purification plants.
Using carbon dioxide (CO2) for water neutralization and mineralization
CO2 is obtained from natural sources or else recycled from industrial gases and subjected to a purification process; by doing that, CO2 emissions are reduced.
It is used in several drinking water treatments, such as remineralization of desalinated water or the adjustment of the Langelier Index, in order to avoid incrustation or corrosion caused by water without altering its quality or creating damaging by-products. It is also used in effluent neutralization when treating waste waters.
At high pH values, carbon dioxide acts quickly and efficiently, steadily lowering the pH even in low quantities; on the other hand, when the pH is below neutrality, carbon dioxide lowers it slowly due to its buffering capacity.
Depending on the initial and final pH, CO2 is highly competitive in economic terms as compared to other acids. It does not increase water salinity due to sulfates, chlorides or nitrates that would be brought along by mineral acids. Virtually no changes are made in the quality or the original characteristics of water. Corrosion is avoided, as opposed to what happens when working with mineral acids, which increases the plant’s operating life. The SOLVOCARB® technology by Linde is easy for employees to work with, and that minimizes risks for skin burning when in contact with the product, as well as spills or leakages that would be hazardous for people and the environment.
A new CO2 source
In order to move one step further to offer the best service and the best technological solutions to the industry sector, Abelló Linde is currently working on one of its most ambitious projects: building a new large scale plant for the purification and liquefaction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Salamanca. The new carbon dioxide plant, which is expected to start its operations halfway through 2014, is a turning point towards the expansion of Linde’s pan-european CO2 network.