Onsite nitrogen generators are used to generate nitrogen from the air at required purity and flow. Membrane and PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) units are the most common onsite generators that can be utilized in different industries such as oil & gas, food, electronics, coal, and chemicals. Onsite nitrogen generators can be used for Nitrogen flows up to 16000 (Nm3/hr) and purities up to 99.999%. For larger flows or higher purities, liquid nitrogen would be a better option. However, in many applications, high purity Nitrogen is used because liquid nitrogen has a high purity not because high purity Nitrogen is necessary. In such cases switching to onsite Nitrogen generation will result in a significant reduction in cost.
In onsite PSA generators, the air is compressed after the pre-treatment needed for the compressor. The compressed air passes through filters to remove oil, water, and other impurities. Clean compressed air is then fed to the PSA unit in which oxygen is removed using a specific adsorbent and pure Nitrogen is sent to Nitrogen tank. The adsorbent is then regenerated by reducing the pressure to atmospheric or lower. For more information please see our blog post: Pressure Swing Adsorption: A Gas Separation & Purification Process.
For more information about our PSA generators please click here.
In onsite membrane generators, clean compressed air passes through hollow fibers in which impurities such as water vapor and oxygen are permeated through the membrane walls and Nitrogen passes through and leaves the unit. The advantages of membrane units are:
- Small footprint
- No moving parts (valves)
- Less maintenance
- Simple to operate
However, these units are limited to purities less than 99.5% and flow less than 3000 (Nm3/hr). For higher purities and flows, PSA units are a better option economically.
For more information about our membrane generators please click here.