4 Benefits of On-Site Nitrogen Generators
Many oilfield and industrial operators require nitrogen gas (N2) to enable several industrial operations. For example, oil and gas companies use N2 for pipeline purging in downstream operations and nitrogen injection for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in brownfields. Food processing companies use nitrogen gas to clean and sterilize product containers, and some power transmission facilities use it in transformers to reduce the risk of fire outbreak.
Nitrogen gas of varying purities can be obtained in several ways depending on the needs of the industrial user. It can either be generated off-site by vendors or on-demand in your facility using on-site nitrogen gas generation systems.
Cryogenic Separation in Vendor Plants
Most of the nitrogen gas generated in the country is through cryogenic separation in air separation units (ASUs) in vendor plants. These companies use these assets to carry out large-scale nitrogen separation from atmospheric air, compress it into steel cylinders in low-temperature liquid (~200°C) or high-pressure gas and ship it to client sites around the country.
When the nitrogen gas in the containers is exhausted, the cylinders are trucked back to the vendor for refilling.
Using cylinders to house N2 under high temperature and pressure can be an expensive and inconvenient process due to extra cost for logistics and providing adequate storage space to house the cylinders. Additionally, it can pose safety risks to personnel due to cylinder leaks.
What Is On-site Nitrogen Generation?
Generating nitrogen on-site is a viable way to obtain high-purity nitrogen gas economically, safely, and conveniently. On-demand nitrogen gas generation systems mostly utilize Pressure swing absorption (PSA) systems or membrane separation technology for operation.
Membrane Nitrogen Generators
On-site nitrogen generation can be carried out cost-effectively and reliably using high-selectivity membranes. How does a nitrogen generator work with the membrane system?
To separate the gas from the air, compressed air is forced through a cylindrical vessel containing a polymeric hollow fiber membrane (HFM). With current advancements in membrane design, N2 of up to 99% purity can be produced using this method.
Membrane nitrogen generators from NiGen can generate nitrogen gas of up to 99% purity.
Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) Nitrogen Generators
PSA nitrogen generation systems separate the gas from a dry, compressed air stream using a set-up that consists of towers containing molecular sieves. Oxygen, trace gases, and impurities are absorbed while nitrogen gas passes through to an outlet. Using the best equipment, this method can achieve very high purities of N2 (90% to 99.99%).
Portable, skid-mounted PSA nitrogen generators can be combined with mobile air-compressors and desiccant dryers for the highest quality nitrogen in these circumstances.
4 Advantages of On-site Nitrogen Generators
On-site nitrogen generation has proven to be one of the most reliable ways to generate high-purity nitrogen. Below are some of the benefits of using this option:
1. Cost Savings
Generating nitrogen on-site is a more cost-effective option than purchasing the gas from vendors due to savings on the cost of transportation. Moving nitrogen gas between various locations in the country will require the services of trucking companies that charge a fair price for loads.
Industrial operators may also need to provide storage facilities within the site to house the containers. Moreover, there is a possibility of product loss during transit. NiGen offers high-purity nitrogen generator rentals at some of the best prices in the industry.
2. Time Savings
On-site nitrogen generation saves industrial users from downtime on critical operations that require the use of nitrogen. Operational downtime due to logistics issues with trucking nitrogen from vendor locations incurs huge losses for industrial users every year.
In contrast, having a stand-by nitrogen generation system ensures that you have a 24-hour supply of high-purity gas for your processes.
3. Safety and Reliability
On-site nitrogen generation systems are inherently safer than obtaining liquid or gaseous nitrogen from cylinders. Nitrogen gas leaks from damaged cylinders can be toxic to humans, particularly when it is present in confined spaces (N2 is known to displace oxygen in the lungs). Using a PSA or membrane filtration system for on-demand nitrogen gas generation may eliminate the need for pressurized nitrogen containers that may expose workers to excessive levels of inert bases.
Nitrogen generation systems from NiGen are ASME-certified for safety and reliability. They ensure reliable nitrogen gas production on land-based and offshore locations.
Compressing liquid nitrogen into cylinders has adverse effects on the environment as it uses up a lot of energy. Trucking the gas over long distances also contributes to environmental pollution from the exhaust of vehicles.
NiGen Can Exceed Your On-site Nitrogen Needs
Looking for an on-site nitrogen generator? Think NiGen! We offer a range of nitrogen gas generation systems that are manufactured to international standards ensuring long-lasting operation at maximum efficiencies. Our industrial nitrogen generators can generate N2 of up to 99% purity.
For more information about our services and offerings, please contact us online today!