The Science Behind How Nitrogen Gas Generators Operate

The Science Behind How Nitrogen Gas Generators Operate


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 08 May,2024

Principles of air separation and purification are the basis of how nitrogen gas generators work to produce high-purity nitrogen gas. There are two main types of technologies used in nitrogen gas generators such as Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) and membrane separation.

Here is a look at the science behind each technology:

Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA):

  1. In PSA technology, selective adsorption is applied based on different adsorption affinities between gases and solid adsorbents at various pressures.
  2. Typically, the process consists of two adsorption beds filled with porous adsorbent such as carbon molecular sieves (CMS).
  3. In an adsorption phase, compressed air is fed into one bed at high pressure; oxygen molecules and other impurities present in air preferentially being adsorbed on the surface of the absorbent while nitrogen molecules pass through.
  4. When the bed reaches its capacity for adsorbing oxygen, flow is redirected to another bed while desorption occurs in bed 1.
  5. Described by reduction in pressure within bed 1, this process involves releasing oxygen and impurities back to atmosphere after being absorbed.
  6. Continuous production of high purity nitrogen gas results from cyclic operations involving alternate phases of absorption and desorption.

Membrane Separation:

  1. Based on differences in molecular sizes, shapes, or solubilities, selective permeation of gases through semipermeable membranes is used by membrane separation technology.
  2. Membrane type used by nitrogen gas generators that employ membrane separation include hollow fiber membranes consisting materials like polymeric polymers or ceramic materials.
  3. Compressed air flows through a module having walls made up membranes where diffusion rate for nitrogen molecules across them surpasses that of other impurities including oxygen.
  4. Consequently, enriched-nitrogen gas comes out via pores in a membrane while oxygen along other gases get vented.
  5. Membrane separation process avoids regeneration cycles hence is simpler and more energy efficient compared to PSA technology.

Nitrogen gas generator working principle

To create a nitrogen gas generator, one should remove nitrogen from other air components; usually through pressure swing adsorption (PSA) method or membrane separation. In this process, air is passed over a substance that selectively absorbs oxygen and other gases thus leaving behind only nitrogen which is then collected as product. Membrane separation on the other hand involves using semi-permeable membranes to allow passage of nitrogen while trapping all other substances present in the mixture. As a result, pure forms of high purity N2 are continuously produced for use in different industries such as medical sector among others.

Nitrogen gas generator manufacturer

Manufacturers make machines that produce nitrogen gas by utilizing atmospheric air. These businesses employ various technologies during their systems’ engineering processes including but not limited to PSA or membrane separation for recovering compressed gaseous nitrogens from them. They offer solutions designed specifically for certain sectors like pharmaceuticals, electronics, food packaging etcetera where different sizes may be required based on individual needs concerning various capacities available according to demand thus ensuring reliable supply alongside efficiency in usage throughout diverse applications dependent upon customer requirements at any given time within specified limits set forth by statutory provisions applicable universally without prejudice against anyone whatsoever so long as it does not conflict with natural justice principles which should guide us always when making decisions related thereto otherwise known as fairness among others Air Products And Chemicals Inc., Parker Hannifin Corporation, Peak Scientific ,Atlas Copco

High purity nitrogen gas is attained by careful choice of adsorbent materials or membrane properties, operating conditions optimization (pressure, temperature), and accurate control of the process parameters in both systems. Besides, some forms of prefiltration as well drying can be incorporated at times to ensure that no moisture, oil or particles are present in the compressed air feed, thus guaranteeing suitable quality and performance of nitrogen gas manufactured.

Nitrogen gas generators are able to supply local industries such as electronic manufacturing, food and drink production, pharmaceutical firms and research labs with low-cost nitrogen because they make use of these techniques for separating out air contaminants.

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