Air Liquide has recently entered into a technology partnership with Total Group to supply new oxycombustion technologies for the first pilot CO2 capture and storage installation in France in the Lacq industrial basin in South-Western France.

New combustion technologies are used to replace the air by oxygen. Using oxygen for fossil fuel-based energy production technologies, leads to high concentrations of CO2 in the fuel gases, making it economically viable to capture, transport and store CO2 in the sub-soil. Air Liquide has developed highly specialised expertise in this field, with over 800 combustion patents to its credit.

Under the agreement, Total will inject up to 150,000 tonnes of CO2 over two years into a former natural gas pool near Lacq at a depth of 4,500 metres. The first CO2 injections will be made in November 2008.

François Darchis, Air Liquide executive committee member, said: $quot;Electricity production is currently responsible for about 30 percent of the world's CO2 emissions. Reducing gas emissions with capture and storage processes requires the introduction of new technologies such as oxycombustion. This first pilot project in France is further illustration of our capacity to develop innovative technologies and offer more environmentally-friendly industrial solutions.$quot;