The world’s population is growing, fuelling demand for reliable, affordable and environmentally sound energy. Our Clean Technology solutions focus on the opportunities of sustainability – delivering the environmental and energy innovations to build a more sustainable future today. Experts predict that the global market for energy and environmental technologies – a market in which Linde also plays an active role – will be worth between EUR 80 and 140 billion by 2030. Linde is in a strong position to capitalise on this growth.
In 2011, we spent a total of EUR 98 million on research and development and filed 235 new patents. Our research and development activities also focus on the environmental impact of our production processes. Key priorities include the need to increase energy efficiency across processes and plants and cut the emissions released during production – by both Linde and our customers.
Expenditure for research and development
(in € million)
The Linde Group
At Linde, we systematically promote a culture of creativity and innovation. 2011 was the sixth year in which we recognised the best innovations across the Group. Awards are presented for the ten best patents registered during a calendar year in each of the following categories: technological invention, commercial invention and Group innovation. The award-winning patent applications are often directly linked to environmental and climate protection. Examples include innovations in the field of renewable energy as well as new technologies to increase plant efficiency. The winners join the Linde Innovators Club, which now numbers 130 members.
> More on climate protection
Projects that reduce emissions
– 45,000 t
thanks to the use of biogas
Renewable energy carriers are playing an increasingly important role in the world’s energy supply. Our competence and product chain covers many sustainable power and fuel technologies, helping for instance to improve the CO2 balance in solar cell production. In California, leading waste disposal company Waste Management has teamed up with Linde in a joint venture. The two companies have developed a system that captures gas from compostable waste (landfill gas) and turns it into fuel that can also be used by Waste Management’s collection trucks. Converting the trucks to this climate-friendly fuel biogas will save 31 million litres of petrol or diesel each year. This corresponds to savings of around 45,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
each year by reusing carbon dioxide in Dutch greenhouses
We have developed various processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to recycle CO2 that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere – for example, in greenhouses. Each summer, 350,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide are pumped from an oil refinery near Rotterdam into hundreds of greenhouses in the Netherlands. The amount of CO2 recycled in this project each year corresponds to the annual emissions of a city in Western Europe. Our technologies also enable carbon dioxide to be recycled and used in the production of green fuels from renewable raw materials. One such project involves feeding recycled carbon dioxide to algae. Linde has joined forces with algae specialists to develop a range of technologies that provide these cell factories with an optimum supply of CO2. Special algae use CO2 to produce ethanol – a climate-neutral fuel for the vehicles of tomorrow.
by injecting captured carbon dioxide back into a gas field
Building a bridge to tomorrow’s energy supplies
Our technologies enable fossil fuels to be recovered and used in the most efficient, environmentally friendly way possible. Examples include processes for capturing CO2 released by power plants so it can be re-used. Natural gas is a more environmentally sound fossil fuel than oil or coal. Linde has developed technologies to liquefy and transport this low-emissions energy carrier. In May 2011, for example, we opened Sweden’s first terminal for liquefied natural gas – the largest of its kind in Europe. Europe’s largest natural gas liquefaction facility is located off the coast of Norway, near the city of Hammerfest. Linde engineers were selected to build the plant and to also capture and compress the CO2 sequestered from the natural gas. Instead of being left to escape into the atmosphere, the CO2 can then be fed back into the gas field. Around half of the CO2 contained in the natural gas – approximately 700,000 tonnes a year – is now piped 2.6 kilometres below the ocean floor.
new H2 fuelling stations
for stustainable hydrogen
New energy sources
Hydrogen (H2) and fuel cell technology are opening up new environmentally friendly mobility choices. Our technologies cover the entire hydrogen value chain and we are actively helping to promote the widespread commercialisation of this climate-friendly energy carrier. Concrete activities include the opening of 20 new hydrogen fuelling stations. Linde and car manufacturer Daimler are investing tens of millions of euros to build the additional hydrogen fuelling stations in Germany over the next three years. The 20 new H2 stations will be supplied with sustainable hydrogen from Linde’s Leuna plant.
thanks to sustainably produced hydrogen
From regenerative raw materials through organic waste to electricity from renewable sources, we are testing and applying a wide range of process technologies to reduce or even eliminate emissions during hydrogen production – at the chemicals hub Leuna for example. In autumn 2011, we started operations at a demo plant here that produces hydrogen from glycerine. Linde called in TÜV SÜD to analyse the carbon footprint of the entire production process – from delivery of the glycerine to Leuna right through to the electricity consumed to light the demo plant. Deployed on a major industrial scale, this H2 process chain has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions during production by up to 80 percent in comparison with H2 captured from conventional natural gas steam reforming.
> Information on our clean water solutions