On-site gas production

Paul Boughton

Air Products has signed a contract with ArcelorMittal, a steel and mining company, to supply three PRISM PHG100 hydrogen gas generators (PHG) and a high-purity PRISM GN700 nitrogen generator at its Saint Chély d'Apcher plant in Southern France.

Air Products has developed a range of compact and low to medium capacity steam methane reformers (SMR). This technology converts steam and lighter hydrocarbons, such as methane, into hydrogen and carbon monoxide efficiently and economically.

Additionally, the PRISM PHGs have a number of positive benefits. They provide an alternative source of industrial gas supply to trailers (bulk hydrogen) for supply to customers in remote locations. They also reduce logistics costs and, as a result, the carbon footprint associated with regular truck rotations while preventing supply disruption.

As the ArcelorMittal Saint Chély d'Apcher plant is not suited for the storage of large amounts of gaseous hydrogen, Air Products’ on-site modular concept of three hydrogen generators provides an attractive alternative. The system has been designed with flexibility in mind and will operate at the required capacity even when one of the generators is off-line. Each generator can operate at 50 per cent capacity, therefore offering flow rates from 50Nm3/h up to 300Nm3/h.

In addition to hydrogen, Air Products supplies the plant’s nitrogen requirements through a PRISM cryogenic generator using a technology of distillation to produce high-purity nitrogen. To ensure continuous supply of the gas, two nitrogen back-up storage tanks and four vaporisers have been installed to support the generator.

Both hydrogen and nitrogen are used during the heat treatment of grain orientated electrical steels which, among other uses, are used in electric engines and wind turbines. This solution not only helps to optimise production efficiency, it also contributes to lower carbon dioxide emissions at the plant.

As well as designing, fabricating and installing the entire modular system, Air Products provides technical support and telemetry to monitor the system.

For more information, visit www.airproducts.com

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