Air separation plants are designed to generate oxygen, and argon from air through the process of compression, cooling, liquefaction and distillation of air. Air is separated for production of oxygen, nitrogen, argon and ‐ in some special cases ‐ other rare gases (krypton, xenon, helium, neon) through cryogenic rectification of air.
The products can be produced in gaseous form for pipeline supply or as cryogenic liquid for storage and distribution by truck. One of the largest producers of air separation plants is Lined Company. It has built approx. 2,800 cryogenic air separation plants in more than 80 countries (Source: http://tn‐sanso‐plant.com/en/air.html ) and has the leading market position for air separation plants.
Air can be separated into its components by means of distillation in special units. So‐called air fractionating plants employ a thermal process known as cryogenic rectification to separate the individual components from one another in order to produce high‐purity nitrogen, oxygen and argon in liquid and gaseous form
Different type of air separation technologies was developed-
• Cryogenic Air separation
• Membrane Air separation
• Separation by adsorption
Different technologies are applicable for different requirement on amount andpurity of the products. This shows the Oxygen production process selection grid.
A similar graph describing the ranges for which the different nitrogen processes are Methods such as membrane separation are also available but they are currently
used far less pervasively than the other two approaches.