Nitrogen generation – all you need to know

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Nitrogen is an industrial gas used widely in many industries, including chemical and pharmaceutical, glass and ceramics, electronics, steel, paper, packaging, marine and food and drink.

It’s an essential part of many manufacturing processes – indeed some even call it the fifth utility (after water, electricity, gas and compressed air).

If you have been relying on outside companies to deliver your gas in tanks, cylinders or bottles, you could be missing out on the benefits of generating your own nitrogen gas.

Read on, for more information.

What is nitrogen used for?

A colourless, odourless gas that’s lighter than air, nitrogen also has the benefit of being non-combustible in most conditions and having low solubility in water. This makes is ideal for many industrial uses, in particular manufacturing processes.

A few specific uses of nitrogen are:

  • Wine making – removing oxygen from empty bottles before they are filled
  • Food and pet food – preventing the growth of aerobic microbes in packaged food
  • Metal production – as a cutting gas, to provide an inert atmosphere for firing of parts and to flush out explosive gases from a furnace

Different nitrogen generators use different processes to generate the required gas, for example, Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) or membrane technology.

What are the benefits of generating your own nitrogen?

There are several benefits, including:

  • Flexibility of supply
  • Time saving
  • Reduction in energy usage
  • Saving money on energy bills

Having your own nitrogen generator gives you continuity of supply and the payback on your capital investment can be quicker than you might think.

Nitrogen generators such as the latest, state-of-the-art Atlas Copco models offer significant energy and cost savings, along with an extremely high purity nitrogen supply of between 95% and 99.999%.

What is a compressor/nitrogen skid?

For the customer’s convenience, Atlas Copco has designed a complete package of air compressor(s), air treatment and NPG nitrogen generator on one “skid”.

The skid contents can be tailored to your requirements and installed with minimum fuss as a “plug and play” unit. Because they come as a package, the compressor and nitrogen generator are set up to work perfectly together.

What to do next

If you are currently using bottled nitrogen, why not have a chat with one of our nitrogen experts, who can visit your premises and help you decide whether onsite nitrogen generation is for you.

Contact for more information or call 01422 321 772.