Accurate Measuring Technology for Air Separation Plants


Industrial gas producer Messer (www.messergroup.com) has built an air separation plant, the company’s largest in Europe, in Salzgitter, Germany for approximately EUR 50 million. This plant produces 28,000 Nm3 of oxygen per day, 40,000 Nm3 of nitrogen per day, and argon. The gases are sold into a variety of industrial sectors, from food technology to research institutes, and transported as liquid in cryogenic tankers.

For the reference flow measurements, used in addition to the weight bridges for truck filling of these gases, the Messer Group relies on the highly accurate measuring technology of Endress+ Hauser (www.endress.com).

For quite some time Messer has been relying on accurate flowmeters from Endress+Hauser to measure tank truck volumes accurately. Wolfgang Dietrich, Chief Instrumentation Engineer of the Messer Group, explains: “When filling our tank trucks, we never use anything but highly accurate flow measuring technology as a reference in addition to our custody transfer weight bridges as this is particularly important. Some devices can be bought inexpensively but, to give just one example, if you want to compare the accuracy of an orifice plate with the accuracy of a Coriolis flowmeter, the difference when filling a road tanker amounts to a liquid gas quantity of substantial value. The Promass F from Endress+Hauser is the device that fulfilled our requirements in this regard. In addition to its reliable accuracy and its insensitivity with respect to the installation conditions, Promass F is substantially more compact than products of other competitors. This compactness was particularly critical for us. In the future we will consider using the Coriolis meters in a loop with a flow computer on which drivers could preprogram a required volume of liquefied gas that would be subsequently delivered.”

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