November 12, 2021

Let’s Talk About Nitrogen Generation

For years, businesses requiring nitrogen really only had one option to fuel their applications: bottled nitrogen supplied by gas companies. This reliance on gas companies to supply bottled nitrogen came with a few sticking points including long-term contracts and ever-rising gas prices, not to mention the prevalence of dewars laying all around the facility floor. 

But now there’s another option: on-site nitrogen generation.

While it may sound daunting, generating your own nitrogen is not only a straight-forward process, but provides numerous benefits for a variety of applications and industries. 

Common industries who take advantage of on-site nitrogen generation include:

Just to name a few. Generating nitrogen on-site can safely and reliably provide lower overall costs and guaranteed purity with no wait times. 

So how does nitrogen generation work? 

The answer: Nitrogen generators. However, they don't necessarily work the way you think.

Nitrogen generators don’t create nitrogen. Rather they use the nitrogen already present in the air and remove the extra molecules to deliver the purity you require. 

By taking a standard compressed air system, we can generate the necessary amount of air needed before utilizing a nitrogen generator to strip aware the unwanted molecules to deliver the nitrogen purity you require. 

Types of Nitrogen Generation Methods

There are two main methods for removing these extra molecules from the air. 

  1. Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology
  2. Membrane nitrogen generators


PSA Nitrogen Generators

The first is Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology, which filters out unwanted molecules through a carbon-molecular sieve (CMS). The CMS has numerous tiny pores across its surface that are just the right size to catch oxygen molecules, leaving only nitrogen at the purity you require. PSA technology can produce up to 99.999% pure nitrogen.

Membrane Nitrogen Generators

The second method to generate nitrogen is through membrane generators. These membrane generators include a bundle of small, polymer hollow fibers with small pores across the entire surface. Oxygen molecules pass through these pores in a process called permeation, eventually leaving only nitrogen molecules. Membrane technology can produce up to 99.5% pure nitrogen.

Nitrogen Purity

The nitrogen purity you require will help in determining the best technology for your process in producing nitrogen. However, PSA technology can get the purest of the two methods above.

Talk to us about your nitrogen generation system needs.

Nitrogen delivery and storage can be expensive, unreliable, and a safety concern, so nitrogen generators allow users to produce nitrogen in-house simply and inexpensively using an existing compressed air system.

Do you have questions when it comes to nitrogen generation and what you need at your facility? Reach out to us directly and discuss your options with one of our local compressed air and nitrogen experts. 

Zorn is the Midwest leader of custom, engineered compressed air and vacuum solutions. We provide the best customer experience by understanding your applications and needs and offering an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction.

Our comprehensive product and service solutions keep you running 24/7.

  • Reliable equipment
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Our compressed air experts look forward to meeting you to discuss your equipment and support needs. Please contact us directly at (262) 695-7000 with any questions or to schedule service for your system moving forward.

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