Gases are extremely light and not very dense: they take up a large volume but are very low in mass. To transport them in a cost-effective way, they can be liquefied.
Gases are liquefied by significantly lowering their temperature: from -183°C for oxygen to -269°C for helium. It saves a substantial amount of volume: one liter of liquid nitrogen yields 691 liters of gas; one liter of liquid helium yields 748 liters of gas; and one liter of liquid oxygen yields 854 liters of gas.
Gases are generally liquefied during the production phase and directly stored onsite into large cryogenic tanks. They are then dispatched to the customers’ site inside perfectly insulated cryogenic transport tanks. They are transported by road, but also by rail and ship. Once delivered to the customer, they are decanted into a cryogenic container.
Nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, helium and many specialty gases can be liquefied and delivered this way.
Air Liquide has developed a tele-monitoring system for its customers, enabling onsite monitoring of reservoirs into which liquefied gases are stored. These innovative technologies ensure a continuous gas supply for their processes.