Air Products has announced it has signed a long term agreement for the production of liquid CO2 with Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE).

A facility to produce 400 tonnes per day (tpd) of liquid CO2 at SIRE’s established ethanol production facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa, will be constructed by Air Products – with construction on this plant expected to begin in early 2014.

Air Products will also market food and beverage-grade liquid CO2 from this new plant.

“Following the EPCO acquisition last summer, we have been focusing our attention on expanding our presence in the Midwest and this project helps us in achieving that objective,” said Nelson Squires, vice president and general manager of North American Merchant Gases at Air Products. “This additional supply source will further strengthen our liquid CO2 network and provide enhanced supply reliability to our food and beverage, as well as our industrial bulk gas customers in the Midwest.” When onstream, the facility will increase the number of Air Products’ liquid CO2 production plants in the US to 13.

“We are excited to expand the portfolio of co-products produced from our 125 million gallon per year ethanol plant through this new agreement,” said Brian Cahill, president and general manager, SIRE. “Ethanol plants are an important source of liquid CO2 in the Midwest, and we look forward to Air Products beginning production at our plant in Council Bluffs and providing the liquid CO2 co-product that will help serve the needs of the many large users in the region.”

In June, Air Products expanded its portfolio of industrial gases offerings in North America by acquiring EPCO Carbon Dioxide Products, Inc. of Monroe, Louisiana. The acquisition immediately vaulted Air Products to a position amongst the leaders in the North American liquid CO2 market and also made Air Products a more fully-integrated supplier of bulk industrial gases by increasing its competitive offering.

Liquid CO2, which Air Products already offers in its other geographic regions around the world, is an important product in markets Air Products currently serves with other merchant industrial gases including for food, beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, oilfield services, and metals fabrication applications.