The Linde Group has inaugurated a research and development (R&D) centre in Shanghai, pursuing the development of new industrial gas applications and solutions in China and the Asia Pacific region.

The first R&D centre to be owned by an industrial gases company in China, Linde will drive R&D initiatives in partnership with gas-related industries and research institutes to improve processes and develop sustainable ‘green’ technologies.

Such related industries include waste water treatment, metallurgy, welding, pharmaceutical, food & beverages, and the electronics and laser sectors.

As well as facilitating research and development in these areas, the Linde Technology Centre also boasts an R&D demonstration facility for customer engagements - allowing for closer customer interactions when designing specific solutions.

“China, together with the Asia-Pacific countries, is a key growth region for The Linde Group, accounting for around 20% of the group’s industrial gases sales. At the speed of development in this region, industries will increasingly seek advanced and sustainable solutions with greater emphasis on process efficiencies and product quality. This is the trend we are seeing especially in China,” explained Steven Fang, The Linde Group’s Regional Business Unit Head, for Greater China.

“In foreseeing this need, we have chosen to set up the Linde Technology Centre in Shanghai, to offer Linde’s global technological know-how in gas applications and, in partnership with local experts, discover new leading applications for the industries in Asia.”

Joint projects
At the launch event for the centre in Pudong, Shanghai, Linde signed joint partnership agreements to further enhance its on-going projects with Nanjing Iron and Steel Company (NISCO), Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Processing (RIPP) and Tsinghua University.

Linde’s joint project with NISCO has broken new ground in waste water treatment solutions, applying the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) to neutralise alkaline industrial waste water - which is environmentally friendlier than the traditional use of hydrochloric acid. The CO2 solution also reduced cost considerably, by more than 60%, when compared with the use of acid.

The joint development programme with Sinopec’s RIPP focuses on heavy oil flash de-asphalting processes, while the other agreement sees Linde and Tsinghua University begin an extensive research project on the development of CO2 capture technology by an absorption process.

A 200,000 Nm3/p.a. pilot plant will be built at a Linde CO2 production facility in Shanghai to provide the design & process basis for the construction of large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants.

Linde already operates two existing R&D centres in the US and Europe, to support activities in those regions. The network of now three centres will collaborate in global and local R&D initiatives.