Industries That Benefit from On-Site Nitrogen Systems
Gaseous nitrogen is very useful in large-scale manufacturing and industrial applications. The large volumes of nitrogen gas required for these operations are either sourced from vendors in gas cylinders or generated on-site. In this article, we will highlight critical industrial processes that benefit from on-site nitrogen systems.
Nitrogen Systems by Industry, Application, and Type
The market for large quantities of nitrogen gas is ever-expanding as more and more industries integrate it into their manufacturing processes. On-site nitrogen systems have been proven to be the most cost-effective and efficient way of sourcing the required quantities of the gas in several applications. There are three main types of nitrogen generation systems:
- Pressure-swing adsorption generators
- Membrane nitrogen generators
- Fractional distillation
The configuration and capacity of the nitrogen system in use will vary from one process to the other depending on unique operation requirements. Some critical determinants include:
- The size of the industrial manufacturing setup
- Minimum acceptable gas purity levels
- Available industrial floor space
Outlined below are some key applications of nitrogen systems by industry.
Food and Beverage
A major challenge faced by commercial food items manufacturers is how to prolong the shelf life of their products. Food-grade nitrogen gas can displace oxygen from within the packaging, slowing down oxidative processes that lead to rapid food spoilage and therefore improving the shelf life. This food processing technique is called modified atmosphere packaging and can be achieved by integrating on-site nitrogen systems into the food manufacturing process.
In addition, on-site nitrogen generation in breweries can deliver gaseous nitrogen to industrial vats brewing alcoholic beverages.
Chemicals and Plastics
Nitrogen forms a crucial substrate in several chemical manufacturing processes. For example, nitrogen is used to synthesize ammonia, which is the raw material for several valuable compounds such as nitric acid, fertilizers, dyes, and synthetic fabrics like nylon.
In industries that produce synthetic polymers and plastics, nitrogen is applied to rubber and other plastics to harden them. As a result, plastics manufacturers can create materials with higher tensile strength and improved durability.
The industries mentioned above will often require large volumes of nitrogen gas which can be supplied easily using on-site nitrogen generators.
Automotive and Aircraft
Tires inflated using nitrogen have many advantages over air-inflated tires. Aircraft and race car tires are routinely filled using nitrogen which significantly improves tire safety ratings. Other key benefits of nitrogen inflated tires include:
- Slower rates of tire pressure loss
- Improved handling as tires heat up less slowly and are less likely to lose grip with road surfaces
- Nitrogen inflated tires run cooler than air-inflated ones
- Lower likelihood of containing impurities that can damage vehicle wheels and distort tire pressures
- Safer handling of temperature fluctuations leads to fewer tire blowouts and rapid pressure changes.
Nitrogen is virtually indispensable in the manufacturing of synthetic medications. Pharmaceutical manufacturing industries benefit from nitrogen generators that supply useful quantities of the gas needed as a substrate in synthesizing life-saving antibiotics and anesthetic agents.
Oil and Gas
Enhanced oil recovery techniques involve the injection of pressurized nitrogen into oil-bearing geological formations to improve dwindling productivity as the oil wells age. Nitrogen gas can also be used in pipeline drying and dewatering as well as pipeline pre-commissioning and decommissioning processes.
Electronic circuit components are often linked by soldering them together. Nitrogen gas soldering is a very popular technique used in electronics manufacturing as it produces clean, high-quality finishes. Additionally, gaseous nitrogen is used in computer processors to prevent heat damage by cooling delicate components.
Nitrogen lasers are another application that justifies the use of on-site nitrogen systems. Nitrogen lasers can achieve clean cuts on metal without generating additional heat that might damage the cut metal edges.
Mining is an industrial endeavor associated with many occupational health risks, not to mention the dangers of spontaneous explosions and fires from volatile compounds accumulating with the mine spaces. Nitrogen gas is a highly inert chemical that can mitigate the risk of spontaneous combustion by displacing pockets of highly flammable gases.
On-site Gas Generation from NiGen
With NiGen, your on-site nitrogen generation needs are fully covered. In addition, we offer on-site process gas systems with straightforward installation, minimal maintenance, and cost-effective operation.
To learn more about our unique on-site nitrogen generation services, contact our team today!