Since August of last year, the Changsha waterworks in China’s southern province of Hunan has been using oxygen supplied by Messer to treat drinking water, with capacity of the waterworks to be doubled and eventually trebled in coming years.

The oxygen is used in an ozone generator for the production of ozone, which efficiently removes organic and inorganic substances, such as iron and manganese. As a strong oxidant and antiseptic, the gas is also capable of eliminating the odours and water discolouration caused by organic substances.

In addition, ozone promotes flocculation in water, thus enhancing the degradability of the organic contaminants, and even in small doses helps to accelerate sterilisation. At the same time, ozone does not produce any waste products, as is the case when disinfecting with halogens (such as chlorine).

In addition to supplying the gas, Messer China also offers services in the field of the construction, operation and maintenance of gas plants. Currently the waterworks purifies up to 100,000 tonnes of water daily, which corresponds to a consumption of around 1.4 million cubic metres of liquid oxygen annually. Next year, the capacity of the waterworks is to be doubled, and eventually trebled over the next five years.

Messer’s involvement in China is also to be boosted soon, by the introduction of a new air separation unit (ASU). Consuming vast quantities of atmospheric gases nitrogen, oxygen and argon, the blast furnaces in the Chinese Xiangtan steel works in the province of Hunan are to be served by a fifth air-separation unit. The latest addition will ensure sufficiently high availability of industrial gases to enable Xiangtan to boost its annual steel production from its current 6.5 million tonnes.

Oxygen promotes combustion and is blasted into the furnaces in order to attain the high temperatures required for melting steel.