Air Liquide Acquires Majority Stake in Cryoconcept, Strengthens Expertise in ‘Extreme’ Cryogenics

Air Liquide Advanced Technologies (CSA CSM) has acquired 80% capital of the French company Cryoconcept, which specializes in dilution refrigeration technology reaching extremely low temperatures. This transaction enables Air Liquide to strengthen its expertise in the field of ultralow temperature—close to absolute zero—cryogenics, propose a broader offering and accelerate the development of Cryoconcept’s activities. The acquisition was announced on September 24.

Founded in 2000 as a spin-off from the CEA (the French Alternative Energies and the Atomic Energy Commission), Cryoconcept’s 14 employees, led by director general Guillaume Desaché, specialize in the field of very deep refrigeration, using dilution refrigeration based on the use of helium-3 and helium-4. This unique technology, which makes it possible to reach temperatures below 10 milli-Kelvin (close to absolute zero, i.e. -273.14 °C), is essential for fundamental physical research in fields as varied as the detection of dark matter or microscopes to explore the infinitely small. It also appears particularly promising to support ongoing research projects involving quantum computers.

With this aquisition, Air Liquide can now offer its customers a complete range of products and services across the entire cold chain, from 300 Kelvin (ambient temperature) to now less than 10 milliKelvin (-273.14 °C). Expert in extreme cryogenics for 60 years, Air Liquide designs and supplies its customers with systems for cold production, liquefaction, storage and distribution of cryogenic fluids for applications in fields of scientific research—such as the ITER project—and in the aerospace and space fields—such as the Herschel and Planck satellites, along the Melfi space exploration program aboard the International Space Station.

“We are delighted to welcome Cryoconcept employees to Air Liquide,” said Emilie Mouren-Renouard, member of the Air Liquide executive committee in charge of innovation, digital and IT, intellectual property, and global markets and technologies world business unit. “Their skills, combined with Air Liquide’s expertise in very low temperatures, will enable us to offer our customers an ever more comprehensive range of products and services. This approach also illustrates the commitment of our teams to push back the frontiers of science and technology through breakthrough innovations to meet the needs of tomorrow’s world.”