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NEWS: The Benefits of On-Site Nitrogen Generation

There are many applications that use nitrogen gas during the production process From the production of sensitive electronic components to annealing stainless steel and preserving foods, the use of nitrogen is critical.

Many companies rely upon regular delivery services to obtain this nitrogen and yet, such a method is associated with a number of drawbacks. Why are a growing number of firms now changing to onsite nitrogen generation with the help of Atlas Copco nitrogen generators? In order to answer this question, it is first a good idea to look at the potential downsides of delivered bottled nitrogen or bulk liquid nitrogen.

The Pitfalls Surrounding Standard Bottled Nitrogen

This type of nitrogen is provided by a cryogenic plant that generates large quantities of gas under very high pressures. It is then delivered in heavy steel high-pressure bottles. While this might be suited for businesses that consume very little nitrogen, the same cannot be said in regards to bulk consumption. Some of the drawbacks attributed to the delivery of bottled nitrogen include:

  • Safety issues related to maneuvering and storing these heavy and high pressure bottles.
  • Not all of the nitrogen can be utilised; leading to wastage.
  • Bottled nitrogen deliveries are expensive and will involve your admin and logistic resources.
  • A rack containment system must already be in place.
  • Transportation of these heavy bottles is not the most environmentally friendly option.

The Disadvantages of Liquid Bulk Nitrogen

This is another option to install a storage tank on your site and have it filled up by a gas company. Like bottled nitrogen, liquid nitrogen is produced by a cryogenic nitrogen plant. It gets transported in large thermally insulated tank trucks. Some of the disadvantages of this method of obtaining nitrogen are:

  • When liquid gas heats up it will evaporate in the tank and via a safety valve blow away – causing losses.
  • In additional to the tank a special foundation that can withstand extreme low temperatures is required as well as an evaporator.
  • Safety issues relating to frostbite – liquid nitrogen is -196°C
  • The evaporator can freeze up if nitrogen consumption is high or during cold weather.
  • Because of transportation of the liquid gas it is not the most environmentally friendly option.

It is also important to mention that with both of these methods, you are very dependent on your nitrogen supplier, and any factors such as supply or delivery issues might cause delays. Any one of these scenarios will negatively impact your productivity and incur unnecessary costs.

The good news is that many companies are now switching to a different method which no longer relies upon third party delivery services. Producing nitrogen gas has now become a reality thanks to in-house generation units. What does this process involve and what are the most interesting advantages when compared to third-party deliveries?

A Look at Onsite Nitrogen Generation

It is important to note that the method itself is rather different; no cryogenic processes are involved. The generators will instead separate normal air into its constituent components in order to obtain the required nitrogen. This eliminates some of the dangers associated with extremely cold temperatures as well as handling the gas itself. The purity levels with this type of production are perfectly suitable for the majority of commercial and industrial demands. Some additional advantages of in-house nitrogen generation include:

  • In most cases more cost effective than bottled or liquid nitrogen.
  • It is possible to adjust the purity of the gas according to your needs.
  • No wastage will occur. Only the nitrogen that is required will be produced.
  • No more deliveries – more beneficial to the environment.
  • No need for your admin and logistics resources to be involved.
  • No safety issues relating to the moving and storage of nitrogen bottles and liquid nitrogen tanks.

Furthermore, you are completely independent from third-party gas suppliers. This is the best way to avoid any financial implications that might occur due to increased costs or supply issues. Also, employees will no longer need to manipulate heavy and potentially dangerous pressurised bottles or work with liquid nitrogen tanks, reducing the chances of on-site injuries.

Which Solution is Best for Your Business?

One of the most important factors to take into account is how much nitrogen your operation requires on a regular basis. Should you only use this gas very sparingly, the most cost-effective option could still be delivery services. However, if you use large quantities of nitrogen you are much more likely to benefit from on-site production. This is the best way forward in terms of cost, safety, efficiency, and quality control. This is why Atlas Copco nitrogen generators are often selected when versatility and reliability matter.

Would you like to learn more about the advantages associated with in-house nitrogen production or do you have other questions related to the generation of this gas in general? If so, please have a look at our range of Atlas Copco Nitrogen generators or feel free to contact us here at ACL Engineering on 01923 249 444 or

Speak to our experts about on-site Nitrogen Generation