Nitrogen gas is an industrial gas produced using air separation by mechanical means by taking atmospheric air (the air that you are breathing - 78% nitrogen & 20.9% oxygen), pressurizing it in an air compressor and then separating it with either a membrane or PSA (pressure swing adsorption) nitrogen generator. Nitrogen can be supplied by high pressure nitrogen cylinders or bulk liquid nitrogen or a nitrogen generator.
Generating your own Nitrogen at your facility with a Nitrogen Generator can reduce your gas costs by as much as 90% versus purchasing from a gas supplier.
- To preserve the freshness of packaged or bulk foods (by delaying rancidity and other forms of oxidative damage) - potato chips, nuts, snack foods and packaged salads.
- To preserve the freshness of wine (by delaying rancidity and other forms of oxidative damage)
- On top of liquid explosives as a safety measure - paints and solvents
- The production of electronic parts such as transistors, diodes and integrated circuits (prevents oxygen and moisture)
- Dried and pressurized, as a dielectric gas for high voltage equipment
- Use in military aircraft fuel systems to reduce fire hazard
Nitrogen is also commonly used during sample preparation procedures for chemical analysis in laboratories. Specifically, it is used as a means of concentrating and reducing the volume of liquid samples. Directing a pressurized stream of nitrogen gas perpendicular to the surface of the liquid allows the solvent to evaporate while leaving the solute(s) and un-evaporated solvent behind.
A nitrogen generator has many practical and cost saving applications that will not only improve your products but will increase your overall profits.
Nitrogen generators are a very dependable outlet for nitrogen. As the name implies, these machines are designed to generate, or create, nitrogen from a compressed air source. Nitrogen is a clean, dry, inert gas. Using nitrogen gas generation eliminates the problems associated with handling gas cylinders. In addition, nitrogen generators cost less than gas cylinders.
PSA technology utilizes two towers filled with carbon molecular sieve (CMS); CMS differs from ordinary activated carbons as it has a much thinner range of pore openings. This allows small molecules i.e. oxygen to penetrate the pores and separate from nitrogen molecules which are too large to enter the CMS. The larger molecules by-pass the CMS and emerge as nitrogen gas. Compressed air enters the bottom of a tower and flows up through the CMS. Oxygen and other trace gases are preferentially adsorbed by the CMS, allowing nitrogen to pass through. The sieve continues to adsorb oxygen until a saturation point is reached then the tower automatically switches to the regenerative mode, venting contaminants from the CMS. Two connected vessels work together to product a near-continuous flow of nitrogen gas.
The Oxygen concentration can also be reduced to client's required purity levels.
Specific features of PSA nitrogen generators are that the capital cost is low relative to the purity the unit will produce. Purity for PSA units are typically high (above 99%). From a cold start, PSA nitrogen generators will take 30 minutes to 12 hours depending on purity. PSA generators typically operate at maximum delivery pressure without post compression - typically less than 125 psig and are better suited for lower temperature operations. Optimum temperature is between 40 deg. F and 95 deg. F. PSA generators are expected to work efficiently and effective for approximately 10 -15 years with the proper maintenance adhered. Maintenance of the units would include changing the filters: every 6mos. - 1year; changing the O2 sensor (yearly); a valve rebuild every 2 years; an actuator rebuild or replacement (every 2 years); muffler changes (yearly); and topping up the CMS as required.