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Nitrogen generators are the newest and most advanced technology for medical sterilization of instruments and supplies such as endoscopes. Nitrogen (and some other gasses) is generated by chemical reactions that break down a liquid chemical into its component parts, which then recombine to form Nitrogen or some other inert gas. When Nitrogen is generated in this way, it can be used for medical and pharmaceutical purposes.
Nitrogen is required in the pharmaceutical industry because of its inert characteristics. It is used to flush out heat-sensitive materials, such as certain plastics and lubricants, during the manufacturing process. Nitrogen generators are also used in scientific research and to purge materials such as water from oil and natural gas.
Nitrogen Generators: How Do They Work?
When an inert gas is required, there are two methods of obtaining it: by "scavenging" or compression. Scavenging requires a dry and clean atmosphere. This can be achieved by installing a nitrogen generator at the point where the operator has access to the atmosphere (such as in front of a laboratory fume hood).
Compression, on the other hand, uses a pneumatic or an electric compressor and storage tanks. The advantage of compression is the ease of use, and it can be made portable; however, large compressors are noisy and require an air intake for scavenging.
Nitrogen generators technologies:
Nitrogen generators operate using two major technologies:-
Thermal n2 generation systems are less expensive but produce a high-purity nitrous oxide that must be further purified to generate pure Nitrogen. A thermal nitrogen generator uses the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide or sodium azide to produce oxygen, which then reacts with molecular diatomic Nitrogen, creating an inert gas. Thermal generators are used in many applications requiring low purity concentrations of nitrous oxide.
Chemical generators are most likely to produce pure Nitrogen. However, they may produce toxic or flammable byproducts that require special handling during the purification process. Chemical generators use high-temperature catalysis to induce a chemical reaction between nitrogen-producing chemicals, hydrogen, water vapor, and oxygen. This produces pure Nitrogen with little or no other byproducts.
Components of Nitrogen generator systems:
There are mainly six components in any inert gas system that are needed for the nitrogen generation process:-
A liquid or solid substance is decomposed in the generator to produce usable inert gas. The media is most often aqueous solutions of hydrogen peroxide or sodium azide but can be solid-form chemicals such as ammonium nitrate.
An internal heat exchanger (usually water-cooled) removes any heat given off during the decomposition, heating, and recompression steps of the inert gas generation process. This reduces the risk of fire or explosion due to uncontrolled temperature increases.
Skid Base, Vessels :
The tanks are places where the liquid media is stored before it enters the generator and where inert gasses are collected after they exit the generator. The skid base not only secures all components in place but also provides for power distribution, compressed air supplies, cooling water intakes, vacuum lines, and nitrogen output connections.
Include chemicals that facilitate the decomposition process of media and result in the production of desired byproducts depending on the chemical composition. These chemicals are usually proprietary and may include potassium hydroxide, palladium, zinc oxide, and other reagents.
A self-resetting system (known as 'ignitor') gives off heat, which is used to start the decomposition process.
A mechanical device that increases the pressure of inert gas to a level where it is ready for use.
The benefits of Nitrogen generating systems:
There are several benefits of Nitrogen generating systems. Here are some benefits-
Better product quality:
Nitrogen is a better carrier gas for many dry and high-purity products than more reactive and corrosive gases such as argon and helium. Nitrogen generators can produce high purity nitrogen on-site to meet these needs, at significant savings over more traditional methods of supply.
Reduced containment costs:
If you are using an inert gas that your plant isn't designed to handle, it may need extensive system modifications in order to use it safely. Furthermore, when compressed inert gasses are used, they can create a very dangerous environment for workers and the public if not handled properly.
Optimization of CAPEX and OPEX:
CAPEX(Capital expenditure) is the total cost of installation and equipment involved in producing Nitrogen. OPEX(Operational expenditure, which includes labor, utilities, maintenance, etc.) accounts for costs incurred after initial set-up. Using low pressure to produce your own Nitrogen at your facility will result in significant savings over time. The best part, inert gas generators are a one-time purchase. After the initial investment, there are no further costs for as long as you own and operate the generator.
Liquid co-production potential:
Liquid Nitrogen is not only used in the laboratory to cool samples but can also be co-produced with other gases. Liquid production is important for applications where high volumes of Nitrogen are needed, such as freeze-drying or oxygen-free casting. Oxygen-free metals are joined together using argon because it diffuses through molten metal more quickly than air, which can cause the metal to oxidize.
Storage and backup vaporizers:
Many inert gas generators come with storage tanks and/or backup vaporizers to provide additional capacity. This allows for more reactive gasses than the generator can produce on its own, at least until the internal tank is filled. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense, it's important to realize that nitrogen generators are often used in conjunction with other inert gas generators. For example, one generator could provide Nitrogen and argon for another, which might produce oxygen as a byproduct. These gasses can be stored in separate tanks and mixed as needed to produce the desired concentrations of each gas.
Easy to use, maintain, and safe:
Inert gas generators only require a few things to keep them running smoothly: compressed air, power, and water. This means that you shouldn't need any special training in order to operate the system once it is set up. In addition, inert gas generators are much safer than other options since they don't contain pressurized flammable gasses or liquids. This means that if there is a problem with the generator, you can simply turn it off and wait for it to cool down rather than worry about an explosion or having to evacuate your employees from the building.
Why choose Metal Ready for Nitrogen Generation System?
At Metal Ready, you will get a high quality Nitrogen Generation System. As the demand for nitrogen increases, manufacturers are developing more efficient ways to generate this important gas. We offer different categories of Nitrogen generators for different industries.
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