Air Products has licensed its proprietary adsorption-based monomer recovery technology to Cryo Technologies, a worldwide supplier of custom engineered process equipment based in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Air Products’ process for unreacted olefin recovery combines partial condensation with pressure swing adsorption to deliver two product streams: a recovered hydrocarbon product for recycle and subsequent polymer production, and a nitrogen stream for reuse in facility operations, such as polymer degassing and pneumatic transportation.

The Air Products technology, developed with Department of Energy (DOE) support under the Industrial Technologies program, enables nearly 100% recovery of hydrocarbons and nitrogen from the feed, creating a high-purity nitrogen product. An additional benefit, compared with competitive systems, is low maintenance cost since the adsorbent material used in the pressure swing adsorption process has a useful life compared to other system components. Suitable for new, world-scale plants or as a retrofit process to existing facilities, the technology provides a short payback period on invested capital and enables polyolefin manufacturers to avoid flaring that results in emissions of NOx, VOCs, CO, and CO2.

“The selection of Cryo Technologies and execution of a license agreement with them are the result of an extensive search and qualification process,” said Jeffrey Knopf, manager, Licensing and Technology Transfer at Air Products. “We are confident that Cryo Technologies has the knowledge and capabilities to offer unique process equipment that meets site specific customer needs and will complement Air Products’ efforts to provide solutions that help drive customers’ profitable growth and sustainability.”

The technology license agreement enables Cryo Technologies to design and offer Air Products’ unreacted olefin recovery technology, which has been proven through the development, testing, and successful operation of three full-scale facilities that Air Products designed and supplied to polypropylene and polyethylene manufacturers in the US.

“Cryo Technologies is pleased to have the opportunity to offer the benefits of Air Products’ unreacted olefin recovery technology to the petrochemical industry,” said Richard Hessinger, president of Cryo Technologies. “Our experience and comprehensive capabilities in custom-engineered and packaged process systems, combined with Air Products’ proprietary adsorption-based technology, will enable polyethylene and polypropylene production facilities to improve their economics and minimise emissions in their monomer recovery processes.”