Nitrogen Generators for Laboratories: Role, Applications, and Benefits
Working in a laboratory requires the utmost precision, cleanliness, and following strict procedural standards. Laboratories are crucial for performing scientific research, developing new products, conducting ground-breaking experiments, and manufacturing pharmaceutical and chemical products. Laboratory technicians and scientists are responsible for overseeing the safe operation of equipment and safe use of materials to prevent potential contamination from external sources and minimize health and safety risks.
What Is the Role of a Nitrogen Generator in Labs?
Labs use onsite nitrogen gas for many processes and applications. Nitrogen gas is inert, which means that it’s completely inactive and can’t have a negative reaction if it comes into contact with other materials or gases.
Onsite nitrogen generators are preferable to having nitrogen tanks delivered in a laboratory setting where maintaining a sterile environment is absolutely crucial for safety and accuracy of the entire operation. Laboratories use nitrogen gas on a regular basis for atmospheric blanketing to eliminate the presence of oxygen in the environment. Although it’s necessary to live, oxygen is also a very reactive gas that can negatively react with other substances, compounds, and processes.
Furthermore, introducing nitrogen to a process can also help regulate temperatures and humidity levels that may affect the process or experiment. Certain chemicals, lab equipment, and instruments such as dry boxes and mass spectrometers are highly sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and humidity. They can only retain their functionality in specific environmental conditions. Nitrogen gas from an onsite nitrogen generator can help offset any negative ambient effects and maintain a safe and optimum environment at all times.
How Nitrogen Generators Help Labs Achieve Precise Oxygen Levels
Controlled environments such as medical and science labs sometimes require minimal precise oxygen levels for specific applications. Depending on the procedure, application, and type of equipment in question, labs can choose between membrane nitrogen generators or PSA nitrogen generators.
For applications that require nitrogen purities of 98% or lower membrane nitrogen generators are typically used. They are ultra reliable as they have minimal moving parts. Dry compressed air passes through several polymeric hollow fibres to separate nitrogen from oxygen in ambient air. When compressed air passes through the membrane smaller oxygen molecules are separated out of the membrane while larger nitrogen molecules are retained in the gas stream. Operators can adjust the nitrogen purity levels from the standard 95% to as high as 99.9% by increasing or decreasing the amount of compressed air that flows through the membrane nitrogen generator.
Typical Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) nitrogen generators consist of two towers that are filled with carbon molecular sieve (CMS). As compressed air enters through the bottom of one tower and makes its way upward, oxygen and other trace gases are adsorbed into the CMS. The towers then switch and oxygen that has been accumulated in the cycle is purged back to atmosphere. Nitrogen gas purities as high as 99.9995% can efficiently be achieved with PSA type nitrogen generators.
What Are the Advantages of Using an Onsite Nitrogen Generator in Your Lab?
Many lab operations rely on a consistent supply of nitrogen gas at specific purity levels. The nitrogen is required to maintain the integrity of their experiments and processes. Onsite nitrogen generators benefit labs by greatly lowering the cost of nitrogen gas supply and eliminating the risk of handling high pressure nitrogen cylinders or liquid nitrogen dewars. An onsite nitrogen generator also eliminates the risk of running out of nitrogen in the middle of an experiment.
It means no more having to wait on refills of nitrogen tanks or be at the mercy of nitrogen deliveries from the industrial gas companies.
Even at nitrogen purity requirements of 99.999+% the cost to produce nitrogen with an onsite nitrogen generator is much lower then buying nitrogen from your industrial gas supplier. In addition, you’re eliminating tank rental costs, tank handling and nitrogen delivery costs.
Last but not least, installing an onsite nitrogen generator for your laboratory can help reduce your facility’s carbon footprint since you no longer have to have nitrogen cylinders or dewars transported and delivered to your lab from other locations.
Advanced Gas Technologies Nitrogen Generators for Laboratories
Purchasing state-of-the-art energy and time-efficient nitrogen generators for laboratories from Advanced Gas Technologies can greatly lower nitrogen costs and provide a more reliable supply of nitrogen. We offer turnkey solutions including system design, supply of premium quality membrane nitrogen generators and PSA nitrogen generators, system installation services and 24/7 maintenance and service support. Contact us today to learn more about our cost effective nitrogen gas supply solutions.