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Top 3 Advantages of On-Site N2 Generation vs. Bulk Deliveries

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Nitrogen is a beneficial instrument in every type of industry. It is utilized to inert pressurized chambers, like pipelines, gas tanks, or even caverns for the mining and oil and gas industries. Other applications are pushing oxygen and other gases like it's done in Offshore, Metal or Electronic manufacturing. The Food and Beverage and Pharmaceutical industries use these for purging and cleaning. For many, it's fundamental to maintain productivity in everyday operations.

Nitrogen can come in many shapes and forms. We're used to seeing it as small tanks or in large vessels, but each year more companies choose to generate their nitrogen using their compressed air feed. Whenever the need for nitrogen arises, we're acclimated to select which delivery option is better for use based on primary factors like flow, purity, and pressure. While each may have its advantages, other important factors relevant to the actual application will help have faster, safer, and cost-effective projects.

This post will talk about the Top 3 Advantages of On-Site N2 Generation vs. Bulk Deliveries​. You can also watch the full Webinar at the top. Feel free to contact us in case any of these advantages apply to your recurring projects.

1. Space & Logistics

Whenever space is a constrain for nitrogen, on-site generation will outperform bulk deliveries every time. This is because of the actual surface. For example, a 40,000 Gal. pressurized truck will occupy roughly the same space as a generator + feed air compressor combo. On the other hand, a week's generator operation will equal the nitrogen volume of at least seven trucks.

A good example of this is our project where a refinery wanted to get a fuel storage cavern to the atmospheric oxygen level down to 5% to avoid any ignition risks. They used a compressor with four smaller NGM7+ nitrogen generators for one year. The bulk alternative would have been receiving 162 trucks! That means two trucks every other day. Not only would that have been more expensive, but the constant loading and unloading would have added delay risks because of regulations and delivery difficulties.

Surface area is only one example of space taken up. Location and complex logistics can be hazardous if using bulk deliveries. Offshore applications like gas lifting, fire suppression operations in remotely located mines, and pipeline inerting are a fine example of this. Any delay in bulk deliveries like roadblocks or mechanical problems, which are not uncommon, can bring long delays to projects and massive revenue losses. That's why when space or logistics are a constrain, on-site nitrogen generation brings availability and flexibility. No matter where you are, you will have a constant nitrogen feed at your service.

2. Time & Speed

Let's be honest; time is always a constrain, and it's directly tied to any project's cost and revenue. The faster we can make it, the lower rental and operation costs we can have.

One thing we cannot control with bottled nitrogen is purity. You don't necessarily need what you get. Tank cleaning or oxygen reduction systems (used for fire suppression in warehouses or data centers) only require 90%-95%, and most other applications can be accomplished with less than 99% nitrogen purity. According to the National Fire Protection Association, most hydrocarbons for oil & gas processes can be safely pushed out with a 5% limited oxygen concentration, making it incredibly efficient for sludge recovery and other decommissioning applications.

If we lower a nitrogen generator's purity output by only 1%, we can increase its efficiency by up to 70%. More gas can be gathered from a single generator or get the job done with a smaller feed air compressor. This means faster turnarounds, less rental, and fuel costs. 

Use what you need and how you need it. Some customers have many applications for nitrogen in one single facility, and on-site generation gives them the flexibility to use it for all of them as a tailor-fit solution.

On-site nitrogen generation also dismisses any changeover delays. There's no idle between changing a cylinder for another one or refilling a large vessel, especially for applications on refineries or pipelines. That's faster and safer. Any interruption on the nitrogen feed could cause problems, and with a generator at hand, you won't have to worry about that.

3. Reliability

How often does a project go exactly as planned? Reliability and predictability are sought out values in the industry. The faster we can react to changes in our plans, the more reliable our systems are. That's precisely why on-demand works. You start and stop the rental equipment when you need to, making it agile and adaptable.

This makes it incredibly safe to use. Sometimes nitrogen is used for leak tests or as a constant feed. Any leaks or cracks in piping can suck the gas out of the cylinders in a moment. 

Our generators are so easy to use that you can start and stop the flow of nitrogen, beneficial during pressure tests or breathable atmosphere environments with only pressing a single button. The modular capabilities make it easy to be tailored to the specific flows and volumes that you require.

The bottom line IS the bottom line. In the end, our goal is to make your use of nitrogen more agile and cost-effective. Nitrogen contract costs vary to a great extent depending on duration. Even then, on-site nitrogen can be up to 40% cheaper than bulk. What you see is what you get with unlimited nitrogen generation.