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Engineering Fundamentals

High-quality process engineering invariably requires a thorough understanding of the underlying engineering principles on which the process is based. Both the improvement of current processes and the development of new technology platforms depend on the creative application of fundamentals. Air Products has built up a broad base of engineering expertise. Our capabilities encompass most of the traditional chemical engineering operations as well as new technologies just coming onto the horizon.

Air Products' expertise in separation processes includes a thorough understanding of traditional operations: distillation, absorption, stripping and extraction. Our understanding of the unique aspects of equipment performance under cryogenic conditions, combined with our extensive thermodynamic database, enables us to design and operate highly efficient gas separation processes. Process development research in the modern techniques of pressure swing adsorption and membrane separations has led to cost-effective noncryogenic gas separation processes. Of course, a high degree of fundamental expertise in traditional processing operations is necessary to support process development and improvement in chemical manufacturing processes.

Air Products' catalysis expertise ranges from high-temperature gas-phase catalysis needed for reforming (as well as hydrogen synthesis and other similar processes) to the role of catalysts in liquid phase manufacturing. Closely related is our understanding of combustion and other homogeneous high-temperature gas-phase reactions, which support both applications development and process engineering.

To support the development of new chemical products and applications, Air Products has accumulated extensive capabilities in material property characterization. This extends from the ability to measure fundamental thermodynamic data, through molecular level determination of chemical composition and physical structure, to macroscopic characteristics and product performance.

To facilitate our process engineering activities, Air Products has developed a thorough understanding of materials compatibility. Issues of corrosion, chemical attack, and performance under extreme temperature environments (both cryogenic and high-temperature gaseous) are critical to the processing of our primary gaseous and chemical products. Our materials expertise is especially strong in oxygen and other reactive gas processing and handling.


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