Air Liquide has signed several new multi-year contracts worth more than €50m ($59m) and has been supplying xenon and krypton to the semiconductor and the satellite industries in three regions – Europe, US and Asia – since the beginning of 2018.
The Tier One corporation’s customers benefit from Air Liquide’s global logistics organisation deployed in 30 countries, which enables the delivery of these high value-added molecules, extracted from air gases in the Group’s large production facilities.
The semiconductor industry uses xenon or krypton in its new processes to produce high-end flash memories at a lower cost, supporting the increasing need to store and move massive quantities of data.
In the space industry, the all-electric propulsion satellites also use xenon. The all-electric propulsion is based on the energy produced by the satellite’s solar panels to accelerate and eject a gas (xenon) resulting in the motion of the satellite generated by the thrust. All-electric engines reduce the satellite’s weight by about 35%, greatly reducing launching costs. In the coming years, at least half of the market is expected to adopt this technology.
François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and member of the Air Liquide Group Executive Committee, supervising Innovation, said, “We are proud to have been chosen to supply high purity xenon and krypton to the semiconductor industry and the growing all-electric propulsion satellites market. As the world leader for xenon and krypton thanks to its expertise in cryogenic technologies and its ability to manage a global supply chain, Air Liquide provides a reliable value-added molecules supply to its customers, notably in the high-tech industry.”