Nitrogen plays a major role in many industries. That’s why businesses can benefit from making their own with nitrogen generators. Here’s what to consider
11 mar 2020
Nitrogen generators play a big part in industry today, as the commercial uses for nitrogen, which makes up more than three-quarters of the air we breathe, are nearly as abundant as the gas itself.
That is one of the many reasons why it makes sense for companies to generate their own nitrogen instead of purchasing it from a third-party supplier.
All it takes is a compressor and a nitrogen generator, which separates nitrogen molecules from oxygen molecules within compressed air.
The result is an unlimited, cost-effective and safe supply of the gas that is available around the clock.
Obviously, this type of investment only makes sense if a company requires nitrogen. But, as it turns out, the gas is needed just about everywhere, and it would almost be easier to mention the industries where it isn’t.
One of the reasons why nitrogen has so many uses – and one of its key benefits – is that it is an inert gas. That means it reacts poorly with other gases, and, as a result, prevents any type of oxidation. In addition, it is colorless and odorless.
This combination of characteristics makes it such a valuable commodity.
For example, by displacing or replacing the air during the production and packaging processes of food items, nitrogen extends the expiration date of products in the food and beverage industry. The same principle also allows it to prevent unwanted side effects of pharmaceuticals during production and packaging.
In the electronics sector, it protects circuit boards and other very small components from oxidation and therefore corrosion. Nitrogen is also used in the injection molding of plastics, semiconductor manufacturing, the cable and optical fiber industries, and for various heat treatment activities, such as annealing, hardening and sintering, as well as for welding, brazing and soldering.
In addition, its range of applications also extends from processes such as laser cutting to the use in aquaculture.
One of the most universal uses of nitrogen is as a means of suppressing or preventing fires and explosions. By replacing the oxygen that a fire needs to start or expand, nitrogen makes workplaces across the world safer.
That is just one way in which it is used in the oil and gas sector – both on land and aboard tankers that travel the seven seas. Both here and in the chemical sector, fire prevention is obviously a major issue for companies. The oil and gas industries also need nitrogen for drilling.
In addition, nitrogen is required for many applications in the automotive sector – even for tasks as mundane as inflating tires.
It should be noted that different uses may require different levels of purity. While extremely pure nitrogen may be needed for some applications, for example in the food and beverage industries or the pharmaceutical sector, the gas has to be a lot less pure for others, such as fire prevention.
This is another reason why investing in nitrogen generators makes sense because it allows the operator to control the purity level (as well as the amount and pressure) of the gas that has to be produced.
Ask an air system professional about how you can generate nitrogen in-house.
In-house generation of oxygen and nitrogen ensures continuous availability of oxygen and nitrogen, removing the risk of a production breakdown due to delivery issues or supplier shortages. It avoids the hassle of constant order processing for refills and delivery costs associated with bottled gases