Lurgi was the cable address of Metallurgische Gesellschaft founded on 5 February 1897. Its origin dates back to the technical branch of Metallgesellschaft, which had been established by Wilhelm Merton in 1881. By the end of World War I, the company had gained a foothold in the steam and adsorption business and gathered expertise in the upgrading of solid fuels and the processing of the resulting gaseous and liquid products. As a consequence of this diversification, the company divided into process-specific subsidiaries, which from 1919 traded under the name of LURGI. In 1923, they jointly moved to into offices at Gervinusstrasse, Frankfurt am Main. In order to meet the requirements of the international markets, Lurgi constituted itself as a German stock corporation in 1990. Its operating limited liability companies - chemistry, metallurgy and industry construction; energy and environmental techniques; gas- and mineral oil technics – each had their own engineering and commercial staff. In 1991, Lurgi pooled its polymer activities by taking over Zimmer AG from the British Davy-McKee AG as the fourth operating company.
In 2001 Lurgi sold their metallurgical division (Lurgi Metallurgie) to Outokumpu.
Lurgi today focuses on three primary technology portfolios:
- Refinery Technology consisting of conventional refinery technologies.
- Alternative Technology based upon turning natural gas, coal, biomass to synthetic fuels through gasification, fischer-tropsch and proprietary methanol to synthetic fuels
- Renewable Technologies include biodiesel as well as bioethanol process.