Authors: M.B. Kravchenko

A modern technology for the production of raw Ne-He mixture at air separation plants (ASP) designed to produce nitrogen and/or oxygen is considered. It is shown that the main contribution to the energy cost of production neon is made by the first stage of modern technology for extracting neon from air, which is carried out on large ASPs. In the stream simulator COCO/ChemSep simulated the operation of the ASP with the flow of the expander air flow into a low-pressure distillation column. This made it possible to determine a number of parameters necessary for assessing the additional energy costs associated with the selection of the raw Ne-He mixture. It is shown that the optimal concentration of non-condensable gases in the fraction taken out from the condenser-evaporator, at which the additional energy consumption in the ASP has a minimum, is 3.5–4%. This minimum of additional energy consumption is 137 kWh in the calculation of 1 nm3 of production neon. When the concentration of non-condensable gases in the selected fraction is 10%, the additional energy consumption in the ASP is 200 kWh per 1 nm3 of production neon.