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4 Types of Nitrogen Purging Systems You Didn’t Know About

Various hazardous gaseous and non-gaseous impurities can alter industrial processes and the quality of their final products, two examples being oxygen and pro-oxidative gases. Consequently, manufacturers incorporate nitrogen purging systems into their production processes. This significantly minimizes the likelihood of contamination and hazards like explosions. This article explores various nitrogen purging systems and highlights their critical applications.

Nitrogen Purging Process: An Overview

Nitrogen purging is widely adopted to eliminate undesirable and hazardous gaseous and non-gaseous impurities from manufacturing systems using inert nitrogen gas. This industry-standard system is essential to daily operations in a wide range of industries, such as chemical, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas. These industries are commonly associated with environments susceptible to unwanted moisture, harmful vapor, hazardous gases, and chemically active oxygen. Engineers can efficiently displace these impurities with nitrogen purging systems, creating a stable atmosphere ideal for safe industrial operations.

Nitrogen purging systems are also essential in pipeline networks. With the constant need to eliminate water vapor, oxygen, and other impurities in these newly installed flow lines, engineers leverage the capabilities of these systems. This forces out all particulate and gaseous contaminants by allowing the flow of pressurized nitrogen gas through the lumen of the pipelines.

Why is Nitrogen Used For Purging?

Nitrogen accounts for nearly 78% of the atmosphere, making it readily available. With on-site nitrogen generation systems, engineers can ensure a steady nitrogen gas supply for their purging systems.

Moreover, due to its dry and non-combustible properties, the gas is ideal for displacing combustible gaseous impurities that promote unstable and potentially ignitable atmospheres. In other words, nitrogen can efficiently minimize moisture, oxygen, and other contaminants that cause hazards in industrial processes.

nitrogen purging

Top 4 Nitrogen Purging Systems

Different factors affect the choice of nitrogen purging system in various industrial applications, including the nature of industrial equipment (i.e., the shape and type) and individual operator requirements and preferences. Four essential nitrogen purging systems incorporated into industrial applications include:

  • Dilution purging
  • Displacement purging
  • Pressure-hold-vacuum method
  • Pressure liquid transfer

Dilution Purging

Dilution purging aids the elimination of undesirable gaseous impurities from complex industrial systems, such as reactors, columns, and kilns. This nitrogen purging system involves the mixture of nitrogen gas with other gaseous contaminants through an inlet point. Operators then expel this resultant mixture from an outlet point, typically located as far as possible from the inlet point.

The distance between the gas inlet and outlet points is essential consideration operators emphasize due to its impact on the overall result. The final result from this nitrogen purging system includes an inert industrial system free from hazards.

Displacement Purging

Displacement purging is ideal for more straightforward industrial systems and crosssections such as pipelines. This simple technique incorporates a pig (or scraping piston) and a cleaning component whose movement through the industrial system eliminates undesirable substances.

With the aid of pressurized nitrogen, operators propel the pig through the interior of the pipe channels, getting rid of contents like gaseous and particulate impurities. Displacement purging significantly minimizes the need for nitrogen gas mixture with other components in the industrial system. However, the volume of nitrogen the purging system requires for efficient purging depends on the pipe capacity.

Pressure-Hold-Vacuum Method

This nitrogen purging system involves flushing an industrial system using a pressurized nitrogen vessel. With the emphasis on single-vented systems, this purging system allows the combination of the pressurized nitrogen with other contents and, ultimately, dilution and outflow resulting mixture through the vent.

Operators repeat the process until the industrial system or equipment meets the acceptable standard. Unlike displacement purging, the volume of nitrogen required for this method depends on the number of times the operator repeats the process.

Pressure Liquid Transfer

Operators typically opt for pressure-liquid-transfer purging systems due to space constraints or the presence of materials that adversely affect pump efficiency.

In this system, nitrogen gas drives fluid motion by pressurizing the headspace within a vessel, resulting in the adequate elimination of undesirable fluids without pressure pumps. Moreover, this purging method significantly limits the likelihood of oxidation typically associated with liquid transfer within two tanks.

Common Applications

Nitrogen purging systems are utilized in a wide range of industrial applications. Some typical applications that require the integration of these purging systems include:

  • Chemical/petrochemical industrial systems that require organic compound purging
  • Extension of beer shelf life within brewery purging headspaces
  • Elimination of toxic gases in process chambers such as in sputtering tools
  • Nitrogen blanketing for ships, tankers, and potentially combustible environments
  • Metal fabrication processes that are susceptible to compounds that affect the quality of the weld
  • Nitrogen purging for transformers and volatile electrical environments

NiGen Offers First-Class Nitrogen Purging Services

At NiGen, we are dedicated to offering our clients industry-best nitrogen purging solutions for a wide range of industrial applications. We efficiently meet industry and customer specifications with our long-standing expertise in on-site nitrogen generation and nitrogen purging services.

Contact us today for all your nitrogen purging needs.