Onsite nitrogen generators are highly cost effective in most industrial applications where nitrogen gas is used. They reduce the need to spend time and money on ordering and transporting nitrogen gas tanks or bulk liquid nitrogen, increase safety for employees, and ensure a more efficient operation since they provide 24/7, onsite access to nitrogen. The two main types of nitrogen generators are Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) generators and Membrane nitrogen generators.
Nitrogen Generation Technologies: PSA and Membrane
Advanced Gas Technologies Inc. offers a full range of PSA and membrane type nitrogen generation technologies that range in flow capacities from less than 1 m3/hour (40 SCFH) to large tonnage nitrogen plants suitable for refining, chemical processing, and other high-volume applications.
Membrane technology filters oxygen from the dry compressed air stream via hollow, polymeric fibres to produce gaseous nitrogen. The purity of nitrogen can be adjusted, which makes it ideal for applications where the purity requirement is below 99.5%.
Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) Type
PSA technology utilizes two towers filled with carbon molecular sieve (CMS). Compressed air enters the bottom of the tower and flows up through the CMS. Oxygen and other trace gases are absorbed by the CMS and allow nitrogen to pass through. Since CMS have a much narrower range of pore openings, small molecules like oxygen can penetrate the pores and separate the nitrogen molecules. These systems are highly efficient and ideal for applications where the nitrogen purity requirement is over 98%.
Common Applications for Membrane and PSA Nitrogen Generators
Some of the applications that are well-suited for onsite nitrogen generating systems include:
- Biofuel Production
- Chemical Plants and Refineries
- Coffee Packaging
- Controlled Atmosphere Fruit Storage
- Enhanced Oil Field Recovery
- Ethanol Production
- Food / MAP Packaging
- Fuel and Chemical Tank Inerting
- Gas Assist Injection Molding
- Heat Treating
- Jewelry Manufacturing
- Laser Cutting
- Leak Checking
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
- Power Plants
- Reflow Ovens
- Shipboard Inerting
- Tire Inflation
How Much Does a Nitrogen Generator Cost?
One of the biggest advantages of installing an onsite nitrogen generator is that it typically pays for itself in less than two years if the nitrogen is being used continuously. Here is a range of costs associated with the various types of conventional sources of nitrogen gas supply in the North American marketplace:
cylinder / nitrogen
$3.00 - $15.00 per M3 / $8.00 - $40.00 per 100 CF
liquid dewar / nitrogen
$0.70 - $1.50 per M3 / $1.80 - $4.00 per 100 CF
bulk liquid / nitrogen
$0.12 - $0.75 per M3 / $0.30 - $2.00 per 100 CF
Depending on nitrogen purity required, geographic location and associated electricity costs, typical operating costs (energy and maintenance) for generating nitrogen on site can be less than $0.02 per M3/$0.05 per 100 CF based on nitrogen purities of 95 – 97%.
The typical cost to generate nitrogen on site at a nitrogen purity of 99.5% would be $0.03 - $0.05 per M3 / $0.10 - $0.14 per 100 CF.
The Benefits of an Onsite Nitrogen Generating System
Factors like market cost and delivery location will impact what you spend if you have nitrogen delivered to your facility. When you shift to onside nitrogen generation, you can significantly reduce these costs no matter where you are located. In fact, you can see a return on investment in a little as nine to 24 months.
Increase Safety for Employees
Since your primary concern is your employee safety, onsite nitrogen generation significantly reduces the risk of worker injury. Handling nitrogen cylinders, tank leaks and exposure to liquid nitrogen through delivery and unloading is 100% eliminated, thus creating a safe and reliable system.
Reduce Impact on Environment
By having your own nitrogen generating system you reduce your environmental impact as you no longer need to use heavy transport trucks to deliver and replenish your tanks. You also increase efficiency and improve your reputation in the industry as a company that is environmentally conscious.
Efficient Time Savings
Industrial users who set up onsite nitrogen generation save time on critical operations that use nitrogen. One of the biggest losses for industrial users each year is operational downtime caused by logistical issues with transporting nitrogen from vendor locations. With an onsite nitrogen generating system, you have a 24-hour supply of high-purity gas to run your processes.
Nitrogen Generator Applications
Here are the five most popular nitrogen generator applications in the industrial industry.
Food Packaging (MAP)
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) with nitrogen and nitrogen-CO2 gas mixes are often used in the food packaging industry to preserve perishable items by preventing spoilage, ensuring freshness, maintaining flavour, and extending the product shelf life. Onsite nitrogen generation is highly beneficial in the food packaging industry to maintain a quality product. Food packagers can save hundreds of thousands of dollars by having an onsite system installed.
Beverage Storage, Transport, and Dispensing
Like the food industry, the beverage industry can also improve from having onsite nitrogen generating systems. These systems make it more efficient to transport beverages to end users such as juice packagers, vintners, breweries, and other manufacturers of beverage dispensing systems.
The success of a laser cutter depends on a lean and efficient shop, which is why it is highly beneficial to generate your own nitrogen onsite. If you are currently purchasing high-pressure cylinder gas, you can achieve incredible cost savings by switching to a local system. Bulk liquid nitrogen systems for laser cutting typically have purge losses of up to 20% of the gas you are purchasing. An onsite nitrogen generator will eliminate these costly purge losses.
Electronics Manufacturing and Soldering
Many solder applications require high-purity nitrogen to reduce dross on solder spots and reduce surface tension. High-purity nitrogen allows solder to cleanly breakaway from the solder site. Having an onsite nitrogen generating system is the most cost-effective way to meet your nitrogen requirements.
Fuel and Chemical Tank Inerting
The ideal inert gas for blanketing or purging fuel and chemical tanks is nitrogen. Having an onsite nitrogen system will reduce your costs and allow you to have a 24/7 nitrogen supply to meet your requirements.
Nitrogen Generator Services from Advanced Gas Technologies
Onsite nitrogen generators are extremely efficient and cost-effective for various industrial applications. By installing an onsite system, all you need to focus on is maintenance, while your investment pays for itself over time. To install your own nitrogen gas generator for your industrial application, contact Advanced Gas Technologies Inc.
We offer the following nitrogen generator services:
We install nitrogen gas generators across Canada, the United States, and most regions around the world through our global network of industry partners.
For help with installation, our team offers around-the-clock service support. If you require maintenance for your existing system, we will ensure that your nitrogen generator is running in great condition, so you can get back to your operations.
For nearly three decades we have been helping our clients significantly reduce their industrial nitrogen and oxygen costs by utilizing leading-edge technologies such as onsite nitrogen and oxygen generating systems. We displace the requirement of having to purchase the gas. Instead, we sell our business clients the technology and equipment they need to make their own gas on site.
If you want to reduce your industrial gas costs by up to 90%, contact us toll-free at 1-(866) 725-7551 in North America or (905) 305-0094 local and overseas.