How a Nitrogen generator is used in manufacturing companies
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Using Nitrogen generator in manufacturing
Nitrogen gas is used in a wide variety of manufacturing processes for purposes ranging from interting and purging to flushing and sterilizing to product transfer and packaging. Imparting nitrogen can remove undesirable oxygen from a manufacturing process or environment, preventing oxidation that can damage metal parts and sensitive electronics. Nitrogen is also used in refining and gas separation processes.
Some industries and manufacturing processes that make use of nitrogen include the following:
• Electronics: prevents contamination during fabrication of transistors, circuits and diodes
• Steel: prevents oxidation in production of steel and alloys
• Welding/Metalworking: prevents the formation of oxides and waste compounds on workpieces
• Lighting: provides a less costly alternative to argon in bulb manufacturing
• Oil & Gas: provides inerting of processes used oil refining, gas separation, natural gas dehydration and hydrogen purification
• On-Board Inert Gas Generation System (OBIGGS): provides in-flight inerting of fuel tanks on airplanes
• Ammonia Production: provides plant purge recovery
• Helium Purification: provides plant purge recovery
• Product Transfer: Safely transfers liquid or powder materials that can be hazardous if allowed to contact oxygen or water vapor
• Packaging: Purges oxygen to preserve and protect the product during transport
Nitrogen generators for manufacturing
The air we breathe is about 78% nitrogen. Higher purity nitrogen is generated by separating nitrogen from other molecules within a clean, dry compressed air stream, resulting in a purified supply of nitrogen. Manufacturers that require a reliable source of high purity nitrogen can benefit by generating their own nitrogen in-house to reduce cost while controlling quality and boosting efficiency. Generating nitrogen in-house enhances production flexibility by ensuring that a company has the nitrogen they need, at the level of purity they need, when they need it.
Nitrogen Gas vs. Liquid Nitrogen
About 80 percent of nitrogen end uses require nitrogen as a gas, not as a liquid. Still, many companies use bottled liquified nitrogen. The primary reason nitrogen is liquified is for ease of transportation, but generating liquid nitrogen requires a tremendous amount of energy. Shifting to in-house generation of nitrogen gas can help manufacturers achieve significant cost savings—from 40 to 80 percent, depending on current liquid nitrogen market prices. In-house generation of nitrogen gas also frees up space otherwise needed to store nitrogen bottles (both full and empty). There is the added benefit of a lower carbon footprint that helps companies lead the way as environmental stewards.
Ask an air system professional about the best solution for generating nitrogen in-house.