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News ReleaseAir Products to Provide A.O. Smith with High Purity Nitrogen On-Site Generator

September 17, 2004 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

Air Products has commissioned a PRISM high purity nitrogen (HPN) System for A.O. Smith Corporation, one of the world's largest suppliers to the electrical motor industry. The new HPN series plant replaces A.O. Smith's existing natural gas exothermic generators, and brings with it the capacity to produce 48,000 standard cubic feet per hour of gaseous nitrogen product.

Air Products' PRISM HPN system is an efficient and cost-effective way to produce one of the industry's most pure grades of nitrogen. The on-site generators offer customers a fully automatic and highly flexible on-site nitrogen supply system. A.O. Smith will incorporate the system in its Mt. Sterling, Ky. location, where the company manufactures steel laminations for use in electrical motors. The system will feed nitrogen to existing furnaces that help to anneal, decarburize and steam blue the laminations.

Additionally, the HPN nitrogen is being combined with hydrogen from a liquid hydrogen storage and delivery system already supplied by Air Products. This blended and humidified end product will provide the required atmosphere—the gas composition within the furnaces—for A.O. Smith's motor lamination annealing process.

"We selected Air Products because its nitrogen-hydrogen offering produces a furnace atmosphere that leads to superior product quality and consistency," explained Jerry Shrout, A.O. Smith plant manager. "It's simply the most reliable and cost-effective solution for us."

"Our PRISM systems produce thousands of tons of nitrogen every day without interruption to our customers' processes," added John Bakey, Air Products' commercial manager, Generated Gases. "That commitment to service is our greatest asset, and one that we look forward to sharing with A.O. Smith."

In addition to the HPN system, Air Products has supplied the Milwaukee, Wis.-based company with two liquid hydrogen systems, custom designed flow control equipment and technical services. Further details of the long-term contract were not disclosed.

The PRISM line of gas generation systems supplies generated nitrogen and oxygen to more than 1,500 customers in over 30 countries worldwide. Aside from offering HPN at a desirable cost, other benefits include customer-specific technical support teams, highly-skidded and modular generator designs, and the ability to remotely operate the system. The PRISM gas generation systems currently service such global markets as electronics/semiconductor, food, metals processing, chemicals and energy processing.

Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. With annual revenues of $6.3 billion and operations in over 30 countries, the company's 18,500 employees build lasting relationships with their customers and communities based on understanding, integrity and passion. For more information, visit

***NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.

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    Simon Moore
    (610) 481-7461
    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    7201 Hamilton Boulevard
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    (610) 481-2729
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