Air Liquide is the technology partner for France’s first industrial CO2 capture project.
International experts now herald CO2 capture and geological storage as promising ways for preserving the environment and contributing to combating climate change. These processes consist of capturing industrial emissions of CO2 and burying them in the deep layers of the Earth, thereby reproducing what nature has been doing for millions of years in natural CO2 pools.

Air Liquide has just 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 (roughly consisting of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen) by oxygen. Using oxygen for fossil fuel-based energy production technologies, leads to high concentrations of CO2 in the flue gases, making it economically viable to capture, transport and store CO2in 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 njections will be made in November 2008.

Air Liquide is already involved in several other CO2 storage research projects, notably in Poland, the United States, and Canada.