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SHINE a light on fundamental research

Published on March 27, 2024

2 minutes


Unlocking progress via technology also means expanding scientific knowledge that can have a positive impact. That is the purpose of Big Science, i.e. large-scale scientific research projects aiming for breakthrough findings. And Big Science requires big expertise in cryogenics: Air Liquide’s speciality. Thanks to its mastery of ultra-low temperatures for decades, the Group is always ready to support major scientific projects with its competencies in mechanical cold production, gas liquefaction, storage and distribution of cryogenic fluids at extremely low temperatures. Major projects include amongst others the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), the CERN’s particle accelerator, ITER, the experimental fusion reactor and the SHINE project.


is the temperature required for the SHINE project


Since 2018, Air Liquide has supported ShanghaiTech University by participating in its SHINE project: Shanghai HIgh repetition rate XFEL aNd Extreme light facility. Built in a 3.2 km- long tunnel located 29 m underground, this particle accelerator will generate high-intensity X-ray flashes that can go through relatively thick objects without being absorbed or diffused. The ultra rapid, high-resolution images thus created will be used in a range of applications, from developing new drugs to designing new materials for electronics and clean energy technologies.

Simply summarized, Air Liquide’s participation in the SHINE project consists in building China’s biggest-ever cryogenic refrigeration system achieving temperatures close to the ‘absolute zero’: -273.15°C. Every partner has to bring proven, world-class experience and technological resources to a project of this scale and ambition. Air Liquide draws on a wealth of experience, gained over more than 60 years of pioneering work in cryogenics, and in particular extreme cryogenics, one of the Group’s core areas of expertise.

SHINE is due to come into service in 2025 and Air Liquide will keep accompanying the project beyond that date through operations support and predictive maintenance activities.

“We have been honored to partner with ShanghaiTech University since 2005, and our collaboration on the SHINE project strengthens our long-standing relationship. This partnership acknowledges our expertise in extreme cryogenics, and we are proud thereby to contribute to advancements in fundamental research."

Przemyslaw Brozyna
Managing Director, Gas & Cryogenics Business Unit, Air Liquide Advanced Technologies