Published on : 01 December 20213 min reading time
The process of gas separation in PSA nitrogen generators is based on the ability to fix several gaseous components with particles by a solid physical substance; this is called adsorbent.
Adsorption in nitrogen generators
The technology of transforming air into nitrogen through the adsorption process in nitrogen generators is well studied and widely applied in industrial facilities intended to recover pure nitrogen. It is used in many industries ranging from packaging to industrial equipment such as liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and gas chromatography (GC).
Nitrogen generators for these scientific purposes are designed to produce high purity nitrogen by controlling gas adsorption and adsorbent regeneration by changing pressures in both adsorber-adsorbent vessels. This process requires a constant temperature, close to the ambient temperature.
The adsorbent reversal process in each of these two adsorbers is in two phases starting at intervals of a few minutes. During the oxygen adsorption phase, the moisture and carbon dioxide molecules diffuse into the porous structure of the adsorbent while the nitrogen molecules can flow through the adsorber-adsorbent vessel prior to the adsorption, before being transformed into high purity nitrogen for use.
The advantages of PSA nitrogen generators
Nitrogen generators make it possible to produce high purity nitrogen from the ambient atmosphere. This can provide up to 99.9995% nitrogen depending on the nitrogen generator system.
Nitrogen generators can run continuously for 7/7 days and 24 hours a day, providing you with a continuous flow of gas when you need it.
The use of nitrogen gas can be multiple and quickly modified. As long as the nitrogen generator can satisfy the needs of use in terms of flow and purity, it can be changed from one day to another without the slightest problem.
By replacing the already obsolete cylinder technology, on-site nitrogen production saves much more than 50% of the cost for typical LC-MS use. The net cost of nitrogen produced by nitrogen generators is much lower than that of a nitrogen cylinder or liquid nitrogen.
On-site generators are highly resistant to shock and vibration. In addition, they are chemically inert in the face of fats and moisture. With good and regular maintenance done properly, once a year in most cases, a generator can easily run for a decade or more.
The disadvantages of PSA nitrogen generators
Buying a gas generator requires a large investment initially. However, this initial cost can be quickly recovered through the savings realized on the purchase of alternative gases (such as nitrogen cylinders) in less than 12 months.
Purity is directly related to the flow. Generators producing high purity high purity nitrogen are more expensive. This solution will remain cheaper over the long term compared with the wholesale purchase of gas.
A PSA nitrogen generator offers nitrogen at a lower cost for analytical laboratories than traditional gas cylinders or bulk supply methods. From now on, it is no longer necessary to make regular expenses in the purchase of gas cylinders. There will be no more time to spend in renewing orders and changing old bottles.
Problems associated with the usual methods of nitrogen supply
Who produces and who consumes natural gas?