Nitrogen has many uses in industrial applications where oxidation would be undesirable. From carbonizing beer to preserving food, reducing fire danger, and cleaning equipment, nitrogen is a safe, inexpensive gas. For companies that need a steady supply of nitrogen gas, nitrogen generators work well. Learn about the uses of nitrogen generators and why you should use oxygen monitors in environments where nitrogen gas is created.
How Nitrogen Generators Work
Nitrogen for packaging works well in the food and beverage industry for food packaging and bottling of wine. Nitrogen also helps with metal processing, improving the end quality of the product by reducing the chance for oxidation. In the pipeline industry, nitrogen creates a high pressure environment that improves safety.
Nitrogen generators allow you to create nitrogen from compressed air. If you use nitrogen cylinders, then you know how inconvenient they can be. If your supplier is late, you risk running out of nitrogen you need to run your business.
These generators are easy to operate. All you need to do is connect a compressed air line to the inline for the nitrogen generator. Then connect the outlet to the nitrogen line. Now, the generator can run continuously, and can create nitrogen gas that has as little as 10 parts per million of O2. An oxygen analyzer can help you measure the amount of oxygen in the nitrogen gas, to ensure consistency.
It is both easy and cost-effective to use the nitrogen generator in-house. Since you can create nitrogen 24/7, the generator will pay for itself quickly and free you from the dependency on suppliers.
By adding an oxygen analyzer to the nitrogen generator, you can check the level of oxygen present in the nitrogen gas at any time. Purity of the nitrogen is key to successful application. The O2 analyzer runs constantly, allowing you to take at-a-glance readings and make sure that everything is working properly.
Air separation is an alternative to purchasing a nitrogen generator. In an air separation plant, you can separate the air into its elemental components. Natural air is compressed and sieved, to remove any impurities. The compressed air is heated and cooled until the different elements reach boiling points, and separate out. The elements are then returned to a gaseous state, at which point they are ready to be used. As with nitrogen generators, air separation plants benefit from the use of an O2 analyzer to keep an eye on the levels of oxygen.
Safety Benefits of Oxygen Monitors and Analyzers
While oxygen analyzers are beneficial, they also have a practical purpose when used with an air separation plant or nitrogen generator. The oxygen analyzer helps ensure that the nitrogen gas has a very low level of oxygen. It can measure oxygen levels from 0-1000 ppm and keep the oxygen to the minimum needed for your specific usage.
An oxygen monitor can check the environment for levels of oxygen in the air. As long as there is enough oxygen in the air, then the O2 monitor is silent. Should levels of oxygen drop, the O2 monitor will sound an alarm and flash a light, alerting workers to the situation. While nitrogen generators do have a leak detection system, it’s a good idea to add an oxygen monitor as a failsafe.
Nitrogen gas actually depletes the levels of oxygen in the air. If enough nitrogen gas were to leak out, it would reduce the oxygen below safe levels. As a result, workers could become unconscious, experience dizziness, or even die from asphyxiation. By having an oxygen monitor, you can ensure that there is no leak of nitrogen gas from the generator or supply lines.
PureAire offers oxygen monitors with a zirconium oxide sensor. Capable of lasting for up to 10 years with no maintenance, these O2 monitors are a reliable way to ensure that nitrogen does not pose a health hazard in your plant. When coupled with the oxygen analyzer, they allow you to product nitrogen to run your business without creating a health risk for your employees.