Columbia University in the City of New York

Liquid Air

Have you ever heard of liquid air? The air liquefaction process was a major scientific achievement that took place 100 years ago. Even after 100 years there are only a few companies that liquify air, which is probably why you’ve never heard of it before. Liquids in the air is a cheap way to isolate different gases like oxygen and nitrogen. The task of the liquefaction of air began in 1892, when Frenchman Georges Claude began working with acetylene. At the time, acetylene was thought to be a very promising substance, as was used in lamps and lighting, but it was very difficult to produce and transport.

Georges Claude developed a method for liquefying air to remove the different components and isolate oxygen. Oxygen had nothing to do with acetylene at the time, but Claude felt that the use of oxygen may help reduce production costs necessary to acetylene fire separately. When Georges Claude heard that a scientist named Carl von Linde had managed to liquefy air, Claude set out to do it himself, but promised to make it faster and more efficiently. During the day he worked as an engineer in Thomson-Houston and spent his nights performing tests in an old warehouse. For two years he worked with a second hand engine of the expansion, implementation of trial and error experiments to solve all technical problems.

When you need to lubricate moving parts chilled replaced with petroleum oil so it will remain liquid until 140 degrees. To seal the moving parts using a dry leather packing between the piston and cylinder liner. And finally, after all these little tricks were launched, he succeeded! He created a system that uses cold air from the cylinder expansion to thin pre-cooled air pressure at the outlet of the exchanger. It was a simple matter to extract economic liquefied oxygen of this air. If the liquid in the air sounds like a mystical process now in an era full of advanced technology, imagine what people think of Georges Claude, when he told the world that would form a company that liquefied air! The company he formed called Air Liquide, and is now the world leader in industrial and medical gases and related services. Air Liquide’s core business is the supply of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and other gases and services to all industries. Steel, petroleum refining, chemicals, glass, electronics, healthcare, food processing, metallurgy, paper, and aerospace industries are employing Liquide, Air Products and services. With a global presence of 130 subsidiaries in over 70 countries. What began as a small experiment to build private components of the low age has become an important modern enterprise.

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