Air Products has announced plans to construct a new production facility in St. Charles, Missouri to increase manufacturing capacity of its full line of PRISM® membrane products.

It’s thought that the new facility will increase Air Products’ membrane output by over 50%, providing for state-of-the-art hollow fibre production and module assembly technology across the full range of multiple PRISM membrane offerings.

The new plant is scheduled to be on-stream in early 2010.

“This new facility will ensure our ability to meet the strong demand for high performance membranes. Membrane technology is being used increasingly in new and growing applications, and we will be positioned to meet that need with facilities capable of producing multiple size membrane product offerings,” explained George Lewis, Global Business Manager, Equipment Sales at Air Products.

Air Products will continue to operate its current PRISM® membrane production plant in St. Louis, which opened in 1984 and was expanded several times, most recently in 2007.

Membrane technology is used to separate and purify gases, with membrane modules containing thousands of hollow fibres to provide high processing capacity in a compact unit.

Membranes are often used to produce nitrogen from compressed air; for hydrogen recovery and purification; for ratio adjustment to balance a mix of gases; air and gas dehydration to remove water, which can impact compressed gas performance; and natural gas treatment for removal of impurities.

Nitrogen membrane demand is driven by product needs from the chemical production, food processing, LNG, oil & gas, transportation and mining industries. Hydrogen membranes are used in chemical, refining, and biofuels processes, while Dehydration membranes are used in compressed air systems and for high pressure requirements such as for natural gas dehydration.