10 Industries That Could Benefit from a Nitrogen Generator
One of the most common elements found in the earth’s atmosphere is nitrogen gas. In fact, 78% of the air we breathe each day consists of nitrogen. Aside from its natural formation, however, there are also many industrial uses where nitrogen is created and applied. Since it’s such a versatile gas that can easily be generated on site, nitrogen is used in many industries from pharmaceutical manufacturing and food preservation to soldering and laser cutting applications.
1. Food and Beverages Packaging
It is very common for food packaging companies to use compressed nitrogen and nitrogen-CO2 gas to control oxygen levels in perishable food packaging such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, meat, and more. Known as Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP), this process preserve freshness, maintains flavor, extends the shelf life of foods and beverages, and provides a cushion around food to protect it during transport. Nitrogen is also used for beverage storage, CO2 mixing, and beverage dispensing such as for breweries, distilleries, and juice packagers.
Nitrogen gas is used for many pharmaceutical purposes, specifically for blanketing, inerting, and sparging. It reduces moisture and oxygen in packaging to extend the shelf life and stability of the drugs. Nitrogen is also used in anesthetics and cryopreservation to preserve sperm, egg, blood, and other biological specimens.
3. Chemical Blanketing
Nitrogen is most used for chemical tank and vat blanketing and is used to lower oxygen levels. Chemical blanketing with nitrogen will prevent fires and explosions in dangerous atmospheres that are created when handling volatile materials in chemical plants and manufacturing facilities by reducing the levels of oxygen under the material’s explosive limits. Nitrogen blanketing also preserves the quality of chemicals that react negatively to the presence of oxygen.
4. Electronics & Soldering
In the electronics industry, nitrogen gas is used while soldering. Soldering is the process of fusing two electronic components to create a permanent connection. Nitrogen is used to reduce surface tension to create a clean break away from the electrical bond and to lower the amount of dross created in the soldering process.
5. Heat Treating
Kilns and furnaces used for heat treating have one enemy—oxygen. Oxygen discolors the product and can dangerously weaken it. Nitrogen is the ideal gas for providing an inert atmosphere that will avoid any oxidation issues in the heat-treating process.
For many industry laboratories, there must be a specific environment to control humidity, temperature, and oxygen levels while running tests and experiments with laboratory instruments and glove boxes. For many of these studies, nitrogen gas must be used.
7. Laser Cutting
Nitrogen gas is widely used in laser cutting applications for beam purge and as an assist gas for the cutting process itself. The use of nitrogen gas in the cutting process ensures a clean, smooth cut and prevents discoloration of the cut edge associated with oxidation. The use of nitrogen gas is particularly critical when cutting mild steel or stainless steel.
8. Power Plants
Nitrogen gas is used for general purging and blanketing the specially treated water used for power plant operation. The most effective way to get enough nitrogen for these operations while saving money is by installing an onsite nitrogen generator.
Nitrogen can be used for some printing applications such as for drying materials and preventing oxygen contamination for film production and separation. Nitrogen is beneficial to ensure purity of these printed products, and by using an onsite nitrogen generating system, printers can save hundreds of thousands of dollars while getting the levels of nitrogen they need for manufacturing.
10. Tire Inflation
Nitrogen provides various benefits when used for tire inflation. As nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen molecules the use of nitrogen gas in tires allows them to maintain tire pressure much longer and improving tire pressure retention leads to better gas mileage. Nitrogen is commonly used for aircraft tires and large off-road construction and mining vehicles because it substantially improves tire life and prevents explosions in the event of a tire blow out