Innovation

During the 2013 financial year, Linde spent a total of EUR 92 million on research and development (2012: EUR 101 million). As at 31 December 2013, there were 367 employees in total working in this field (2012: 385), of which 241 in the Gases Division and 126 in the Engineering Division. To protect our innovations from the competition, we filed 263 new patents across the Group over the course of the past financial year. As at 31 December 2013, Linde technologies were protected by a total of 2,605 patents.

2,605

patents protect Linde technologies

By drawing on the findings of our pure research, we are continuously moving into new areas of application for our gases and are constantly striving to make further improvements to our processes and plant technologies. Application development is always set in the context of commissions and therefore involves close liaison with customers, taking into account their individual requirements. We pay particular attention to the environmental compatibility of our production processes. To this end, we have pooled the skills of our engineers, merging our activities into a central Clean Energy Group. This team, which operates across the different business areas, works on the development of innovative products and processes that help to make renewable energies economically viable, to reduce consumption of natural resources and to cut emissions which are harmful to the climate. To achieve these goals, we combine the skills in our Gases Division with those in our Engineering Division, whilst also involving leading institutions and companies in various cooperation projects.

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Research and development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

 

2012

 

2011

 

2010

Expenditure for research and development

€ million

 

92

 

101

 

98

 

94

Employees in the research and development field

 

 

367

 

385

 

342

 

324

New patents filed

 

 

263

 

269

 

235

 

232

We are focusing in particular on the following areas, which have a promising future ahead of them: carbon capture & storage and carbon capture & usage (CCS/CCU), enhanced oil and gas recovery (EOR/EGR), and the production, storage, distribution and filling of merchant liquefied natural gas (MLNG). Further priorities include the use of hydrogen as a fuel, large-scale energy storage and the conversion of biomass into fuels or into basic materials for use in the chemical industry.

EUR 92 million

spent on research and development

Once again during the year under review we were able to step up our involvement in environmentally friendly hydrogen technology. Together with five partners from the energy and automotive sectors, Linde signed an action plan in September 2013, under the terms of which around 400 hydrogen filling stations will be built in Germany between now and 2023.

In 2013, we also developed a 500-bar trailer for compressed hydrogen gas, which is already being used in transport on public roads. This innovation will make it possible to transport larger quantities of hydrogen much more efficiently in future.

BASF, Linde and ThyssenKrupp cooperate on research to develop an environmentally friendly and competitive basis for utilising the climate gas carbon dioxide on an industrial scale. They aim to employ innovative process technology to use carbon dioxide as a raw material, with positive effects on climate protection. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is sponsoring the three-year project.

The continuing increase in the quantity of electricity derived from renewable sources means that new solutions for large-scale storage are needed. We are involved in many projects in this area, including activities at the Mainz Energy Park in Germany. In cooperation with partners from the energy industry and various research institutes, we are trialling processes for the production, storage, use and the feed-in of hydrogen from renewable electricity to the natural gas network.

Another technology option is liquefied air energy storage. We are working together in this field with partners from the power plant and energy sector to develop flexible electricity storage systems which can be swiftly realised.