By: Editorial Team Reading time: 3 Minutes


More capacity

Some gases are very special. They demand the highest purity or precise mixing proportions in the ppb range. To serve its customers with an even more complete line of these products, Messer has significantly increased its specialty gas production capacities.

Bananas are still green when they arrive in Europe or North America. To restart the interrupted process of maturation, suppliers use “banana gas” comprising four percent highly flammable ethylene (C₂H₄) that is kept in check with 96 percent inert nitrogen. Many laser welding machines generate a highly energized laser beam by causing CO₂ molecules to oscillate in a resonator. And no foreign molecules may be allowed to disturb this process, of course. Inspection bodies such as TÜV measure the exhaust gas emissions of internal combustion engines; and for their own part, they must have their exhaust sensors regularly tested and calibrated by use of Lambda mixtures. Also, calibrations of sensors for the control of flue gases are performed with gas mixtures that must meet strict specifications, including precisely defined nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide content.

The gases we fill must meet extremely high purity demands.
Portrait Frank Wallasch

Frank Wallasch, is responsible for production and logistics at Messer in Switzerland

High-purity and customer-specific

With all the gases listed above, the key is the purity and/or the exact mixing proportions. At Messer, high-purity gases and gas mixtures all fall within the “Specialty Gases” product range. Along with typical standard mixtures such as those used in the food and beverage industry, environmental analysis or lasers, this range also includes customized gas mixtures produced for special purposes. “Our work is somewhat reminiscent of classical manufacturing methods,” explains Frank Wallasch, who is in charge of production and logistics at Messer in Switzerland. “Whether pure or as mixtures, the gases we fill must meet extremely high purity demands. Some components are produced in mixtures with mole fractions of exactly 200 ppb – in other words, 200 parts per billion. Our expertise includes broad knowledge of the behavior of extremely diverse gases: What can be mixed, and what results would undesirable chemical reactions produce? Which tank and pipe materials are suitable for which components? How can the finest possible dilutions be produced in the least number of steps?”

Messer’s Specialty Gases product range covers liquid helium, high-purity gases, noble gases, and standard and customized gas mixtures in particular, as well as the fittings and gas supply systems needed to use those gases. Messer’s Specialty Gases website provides information about the products, diverse applications, and services such as the “Specgas” hardware app or the “myLab” customer portal.

As a result, we can provide comprehensive expertise and certified quality standards in this area.
Portrait Dr. Martin Dilla

Dr. Martin Dilla, Application Specialist for Specialty Gases at Messer

New rooms, new equipment

Last year the specialty gases department in Lenzburg, Switzerland, was relocated to new rooms and furnished with new equipment. Among other things, that includes a separate air-conditioned weighing room as well as new filling facilities that can fill multiple cylinders in parallel. In Pančevo, Serbia, Messer even started up a completely new specialty gases plant. Now a broad spectrum of ultra-pure gases, standard mixtures and customized gas mixtures can be produced there from a portfolio of more than seventy components. Hydrocarbon mixtures can be produced in gaseous and liquid phase and in both cases, mixtures can contain sulfur components. It is now possible to fill one customized gas mixture cylinder containing more than thirty different hydrocarbons.

In Europe, Messer has four other specialty gas plants in Zwijndrecht (Belgium), Mitry-Mory (France), Gumpoldskirchen (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary). “Our decentralized manufacturing of these products keeps us close to our customers in these different markets and enables us to provide them with rapid service,” explains Dr. Martin Dilla, Applications Specialist for specialty gases at Messer. “Our specialty gases plant in Switzerland is accredited according to EN ISO 17034, and thereby meets the preconditions for producing certified reference materials. Four of the specialty gas plants are also accredited as calibration laboratories according to EN ISO/IEC 17025. As a result, we can provide comprehensive expertise and certified quality standards in this area.”