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Chemical & Life Science

Basic Chemicals

The concept of basic chemicals is very similar to that of chemical commodities. Basic chemicals are chemical substances that serve as starting materials for the production of a variety of other chemicals; for this reason, they are in general commodities that are highly demanded. Some examples of basic chemicals are: Ethylene, Benzene, Chlorine, Sulfuric Acid, Hydrochloric Acid, Nitric Acid, Soda Ash, and Potassium Sulfate.

NEA compressors, mostly dry-running vertical or horizontal machines of smaller sizes up to 190, are frequently used in the chemical industry for the recovery of high-purity hydrogen chloride. This involves the combustion of chlorine oxyhydrogen gas, a mixture of hydrogen and chlorine.


Fatty Alcohol

Fatty alcohols are aliphatic, long-chain, primary alcohols. The hydrocarbon radicals are unbranched with 6 to 22 carbon atoms and can be mono- or polyunsaturated.

Fatty alcohols are found in natural waxes, bound as carboxylic acid esters, e.g. in wool wax. Such alcohols usually contain an even number of C atoms with up to 36 or more C atoms. The higher primary alcohols with 24 to 36 carbon atoms are called wax alcohols.

As a rule, fatty alcohols are produced petrochemically from crude oil. Fatty alcohols can be obtained from olefins and carbon dioxide by hydrogenation on copper or copper/cadmium catalysts. In the chemical industry, they are produced, for example, by reducing fatty acids and used directly as nonionic surfactants or other surfactants.

Production from renewable raw materials, for example by hydrogenation of fatty acids from vegetable oils, is becoming increasingly important. In this process, the carboxy group (-COOH) typical of carboxylic acids is converted to the hydroxy group (-OH) typical of alcohols. The C atom of the -COOH group remains as -CH2-OH. Thus, cetyl alcohol (C16) is obtained as a product of palmitic acid from palm oil or coconut oil and stearyl alcohol (C18) from stearic acid.

For the production of fatty alcohol, vertical and horizontal NEA compressors are usually used as make-up and recycle gas machines of sizes 130 and 190, which compress hydrogen up to 300 bar, producing a perfect reaction with fatty acids.


Ammonia is mainly used for the production of fertilizers such as urea, ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate and ammonium phosphates. They contribute to the nutrition of a large part of the world's population.

In the Haber-Bosch process, a large-scale industrial chemical process, ammonia synthesis is the central process step.

The synthesis is carried out from atmospheric nitrogen and hydrogen on an iron-containing catalyst at pressures of 150 to 350 bar and temperatures of 400 to 500 °C.

Depending on the requirements, different types and sizes of NEA compressor portolio are used for this process, i.e. as V-, vertical or horizontal type, in lubricated or dry-running design as well as all sizes up to the largest 500.


Plastics are derived from crude oil, among other things. The production of plastics starts with the distillation of crude oil in a refinery, where the heavy crude oil is separated into groups of lighter fractions. Each fraction is a mixture of hydrocarbon chains that vary in molecular size and composition. One of these fractions, naphtha, is the crucial compound for the production of plastics.

Two key processes are used in the production of plastics, polymerization and polycondensation, both of which require specific catalysts. In a reactor for polymerization, monomers such as ethylene and propene are bonded together, forming long polymer chains. Each polymer differs in properties, structure and size depending on the different types of base monomers used.

Plastics can be divided into two main polymer groups:

- Thermoplastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, LLDPR or PVC.

- Thermosets such as phenol-formaldehyde and polyurethane.

NEA compressors are often used for the production of precursors of the plastics, i.e. as dry-running machines they compress H2mix and other gases with up to 6 cranks of the size 500 achieving volume flows of up to 50,000 Nm3/h.


Powder & Pigments

More and more areas of use are opened up today by high-performance powder coatings. Accordingly, the powder coatings industry demonstrates very strong global growth, enabling the introduction of a large number of new production lines to the market. To-date, more than 600 NEA ICM grinding systems have been installed worldwide for manufacturing powder coatings. The requirements of new systems, but also of existing systems, must dynamically adapt to market conditions.

More about Powder Coating