Nitrogen generation is one of the old technologies that results in the production of high-quality pure nitrogen gas meant for various applications. Air is 78% nitrogen and when the gas is compressed in a tank, it remains dry. There are several businesses that specialize in manufacturing nitrogen generators for different industrial and commercial uses. Finding such companies should never be a daunting task. Three main technologies are used in nitrogen generations as follows;
• PSA (pressure swing adsorption) – This is the most popular and recent technology in the generation of pure nitrogen gas that can be supplied. This technology involves the use of an adsorbent which is a solid molecule where different gas mixture is pressured on to. The swing operation involves two main processes; one taking place above atmospheric temperature, while the other one happening below atmospheric temperature. Two containers are used. When air mixture is introduced into the adsorbent containing container, oxygen, water and CO2 is allowed to diffuse into the porous structure while nitrogen passes to the other tank. In the reverse process, the diffused compounds and oxygen are released and passed to a vent expelling them back to the atmosphere. The mechanism behind PSA is well understood and used for most industrial and commercial delivery of pure nitrogen.
• Gas separation – This is a slightly older method that relies on the use of membranes to separate nitrogen from other gasses. A temporary partial differential pressure is created between the internal and external surface of the hollow cylindrical membrane. This immediately achieves gas separation. It is a perfect substitution to the out-of-date adsorption and cryogenic kits as it results in 50% increase in nitrogen production.
• Supply of nitrogen generators – As aforementioned, there are several businesses that manufacture nitrogen generators that use adsorption or membrane gas separation technologies. Most establishments prefer PSA nitrogen generators as they are environmentally friendly, easy to set up and cheaper to operate. They also produce the purest quality of nitrogen gas. Nitrogen generation can be done in small quantities (several Nm³/h) all the way to large volumes (several thousand Nm³/h) in pressures between 4 bar and 9 bar. Different companies manufacture different nitrogen generation plants for on-stream application and delivery of clean, dry, top quality nitrogen gas.
• Applications – The applications of nitrogen gas are quite obvious and straightforward. The gas is used in the food industry to keep off oxygen and preserve (increase the shelf life) of different types of food. Nitrogen is also the gas used in aircraft tires and the tires of some cars. Analytical chemists who practice liquid chromatography, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry also have a requirement for nitrogen generators. Other applications include in electronics, metallurgy, petroleum industry, paint/varnish plants and pharmaceutical industry among others. Nitrogen generators have a broad application in different industries and come in varying sizes and output limits.
Nitrogen generation is a simple process and you only require the generators (plants). The operation cost of maintaining nitrogen generators is often quite low since air mixture is drawn from the atmosphere. Nonetheless, t is still recommendable to choose generators from credible licensed manufacturers that can guarantee high-quality plants. Consider aspects of reputation, quality guarantees and support.