Benefits of on-site nitrogen generation

Nitrogen is required for many manufacturing facilities. Generally, this involves having the gas delivered in pressurised bottles at the required purity level or having on-site gas tanks reloaded.

In the past, businesses would store bottled nitrogen and have their whole manufacturing process be reliant on prompt gas or liquid nitrogen delivery. Dispatch delays or complications would halt their production. Now, affordable technology has made on-site nitrogen generation possible for businesses that can’t afford not to have nitrogen. Many industries now produce nitrogen and this trend is only increasing.

At Anglian Compressors, we offer an alternative to help you avoid these potential pitfalls. We can help you generate your own nitrogen via an on-site nitrogen skid.

Benefits of on-site nitrogen generation
Nitrogen Generation

First of all, what is an on-site nitrogen skid? 

It is a compact, all-in-one solution for producing nitrogen at your facility instead of relying on regular deliveries. 

The nitrogen skid contains an air compressor machine, an on-site nitrogen generator (that relies on compressed air), and a secondary receiver to regulate purity and pressure levels. Plus, a third receiver, known as a booster unit, adjusts the pressure levels to 300 bar for storage inside a high-pressure cylinder. 

Your team then sets the purity level to their requirements before initiating the nitrogen production run. This gives you effortless control over the process. 

Considerable cost savings are achievable when switching from gas deliveries to on-site generation. For example, some customers spend over £2,000 weekly on gas deliveries to support high-pressure systems and have seen as much as a 50% reduction in expenses when switching to on-site nitrogen generation.

The Inefficiencies of Traditional Nitrogen Supply

When businesses used to get nitrogen from external suppliers, many hassles came with it:

  • Locked-in Contracts: When you purchase nitrogen from a vendor, you are usually required to make a long-term commitment. This can be problematic if your nitrogen needs change or if your business experiences fluctuations in demand.
  • Delivery Blues: Vendors often have limited delivery schedules, which can mean that you have to wait days or even weeks for a nitrogen delivery. This can disrupt your operations and lead to lost productivity.
  • Surprise Price Hikes: The price of gas or liquid nitrogen can fluctuate significantly, and you are at the mercy of your vendor’s pricing policies. This can make it difficult to budget for your nitrogen costs.
  • Those Extra Fees: In addition to the cost of the nitrogen itself, you may also have to pay tank rental fees and other hidden costs. These can add up over time and make nitrogen a costly proposition.
  • Running on Empty: If you have a sudden spike in nitrogen demand, you may run out of supply. This can lead to production downtime and other problems.
  • Thinking Green: The transportation of liquid nitrogen requires a significant amount of energy, and there is also the environmental impact of boil-off losses.
  • Storage: Using valuable storage space in large quantities is expensive and a waste of money. Not to mention the regular maintenance of these storage tanks.

In short, making your own nitrogen is a more efficient and cost-effective way to obtain pure nitrogen gas.

How On-Site Nitrogen Generation Works:

Nitrogen generators work by using a variety of technologies to separate nitrogen from the air. The two most common methods are membrane technology and pressure swing adsorption (PSA).

  • Membrane separation: This technology uses a semi-permeable membrane to allow nitrogen molecules to pass through while trapping other gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. Think of it as a carbon molecular sieve. Compressed air is pushed through special tubes that filter out other gases except nitrogen.
  • Pressure swing adsorption: Here, compressed air is passed through towers filled with materials that grab onto oxygen molecules, carbon dioxide, and other molecules, leaving only nitrogen behind. After a set time, the system switches or “swings” to another tower, allowing the first one to release those trapped gases and get ready for another round.

The choice of technology depends on the specific application and the required purity of the nitrogen gas.

One of the best things about nitrogen generators is that they can work effectively for businesses big and small. The systems are modular, meaning they’re like building blocks. Need more nitrogen? Just add another module. Nitrogen generator installation is flexible, so businesses can scale up or down based on their needs, without any major overhauls or disruptions.

10 Key Benefits of On-Site Nitrogen Generation

In this article, we will explore 10 benefits of switching to on-site nitrogen generation:

1.  Stable Nitrogen at the Required Purity Level

For manufacturing uses, nitrogen is required at a certain purity level. To obtain this, supplies at this purity level (or higher) must be available for purchase.

By generating nitrogen on-site, Anglian Compressors helps companies configure their nitrogen generator to produce the exact purity needed for production. This adroitly sidesteps local nitrogen suppliers that may not offer or have supplies immediately available at the required purity level.  

2.  Lower Price per Volume

Ordering tall nitrogen-filled bottles at the right moment and waiting for them to arrive can be a slow, costly and above all stress-inducing process.

When factoring in the price per volume from the supplier, plus delivery charges, it can begin to get expensive. This is even truer when the supplier can only provide a higher purity level than required and your company is stuck paying extra.

In addition, as anyone knows with pressurized nitrogen bottle supplies, it’s never possible to use all the nitrogen contained in the bottle. Some of it goes unused resulting in an unnecessary net loss for your business.

However, with an on-site nitrogen skid, only the required nitrogen is produced. No wasteful overproduction of unused nitrogen, over-specified purity level from the supplier, or transportation costs either.

3. Stable Costs without Worrisome Contracts

To secure a steady supply of nitrogen, it’s necessary to accept complex, long-term contracts with third-party suppliers. This is problematic when the ongoing need for nitrogen at specific purity and quality levels is subject to change in an evolving business landscape.

Furthermore, if your business requires several different purity levels through a supplier, this increases the complication of ensuring reliable supplies.

With an on-site nitrogen facility, your business is no longer tied to worrisome contracts with third parties. Instead, costs are more predictable, with less waste, as only the required purified nitrogen gas is produced. This leads to tidy cost savings.

Also, the reduced administration and logistical expenses shouldn’t be overlooked either. Not needing to arrange for refills or new deliveries frees staff up to focus on more critical activities.

4. More Economical Over the Full Ownership Period

Companies typically examine the long-term value or lifetime value of a purchase.

A nitrogen skid combined with lower operating costs is more economical compared to nitrogen deliveries over the same duration. Depreciating the equipment’s value also reduces corporation tax liabilities too. Here at Anglian Compressors, we help calculate these costs for you to ensure a healthy return on investment is secured.

5. Nitrogen Gas Isn’t Wasted

Nitrogen gas is supplied in batches, which typically sits on a rack or in the corner of a production facility. When the gas isn’t used in a timely fashion, or changing production demands suddenly alter the purity level necessary for production and it’s the wrong type, then you’re stuck.

An on-site skid is an efficient, self-contained system where nitrogen is produced on demand. While it’s possible to produce several bottles of pressurised nitrogen ahead of time to match internal production needs, that’s not essential.

Instead, the nitrogen generator can be spun up and given instructions for exactly what’s needed on each occasion. Of course, we provide full training to help you set this up.

6. Improved Safety Standards

Dealing with pressured liquid gas – a temperature close to minus 200 centigrade – is avoidable when making nitrogen on demand.

Receiving substantial deliveries of tall nitrogen bottles to the delivery bay, and then transporting them around the warehouse or production facility has long been a safety concern. This is no longer necessary with a skid.

Alternatively, arranging to have an on-site nitrogen storage tank refilled regularly doesn’t solve the issue either. It still means that there’s a substantial amount of gas stored on-site, instead of producing only what’s required when needed, and not more.

7. Happier Staff in Production Environments

By situating the compact skid in a location that’s closer and more convenient to where the nitrogen is utilised, it’s easier to handle and safer to move.

Not needing to use a forklift truck or similar loader to relocate multiple gas cylinders avoids the risk of potential, unnecessary workplace safety issues.

Also, less gas stored on-site at any given time is safer and not to be overlooked.

8. Reduced Environmental Footprint

Producing nitrogen at your location is one more delivery truck taken off the road. That means less gas being released into the atmosphere, to reduce your business’s overall carbon footprint.

Many companies have ambitious goals for reducing their carbon footprint over the next few years. Stopping nitrogen deliveries is a step towards this positive environmental goal.

Fewer trucks on our congested roads also reduce delays for other drivers. Any company with a fleet to manage will surely appreciate that.

9. Zero-waste Nitrogen Production Process

A nitrogen skid is a modern, compact design created to produce this odourless gas without any waste product.

Therefore, as a company, there’s no need to worry about any icky disposal process or potentially negative environmental impact from producing nitrogen in-house.

10. Maintained Through Service Agreements

The nitrogen generator and the other equipment on an on-site skid require regular servicing and maintenance. This ensures the skid performs in a reliable, cost-efficient manner. 

At Anglian Compressors, we offer a fixed-price comprehensive service package covering all service needs. This gives our customers financial clarity on operating costs and peace of mind. 

For chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical companies, laser cutting, and other businesses with an ongoing nitrogen requirement, cost efficiencies are achieved through on-site generation. It is worth looking into switching from a delivery supply model to producing your own nitrogen gas.

So there you have it, on-site nitrogen generation can transform your business. Contact Anglian Compressors today to discuss getting your business set up today.

Applications of On-Site Nitrogen 

Nitrogen generators are a practical solution that’s been adopted by various industries to meet their nitrogen needs more efficiently. There are tons of industrial applications for nitrogen consumption throughout production processes. Let’s delve into some sectors that are tapping into the benefits of producing nitrogen right where they need it:

  • Food and Beverage: Freshness is essential in this industry. Nitrogen generators are used in the food packaging process to keep food fresher for longer. This method, known as modified atmosphere packaging, replaces oxygen in the air (which can make food spoil) with nitrogen, ensuring the product remains in tip-top condition for consumers.
  • Electronics Manufacturing: Nitrogen is used to clean and purge electronic components, as it is an inert gas that will not react with the components. Also, nitrogen makes a protective atmosphere for semiconductor manufacturing, as oxygen can damage the delicate materials used in these devices. Having an on-site nitrogen supply means manufacturers can maintain a steady flow without any hitches.
  • Metalworking: Nitrogen is used to prevent oxidation and corrosion of metal during welding, cutting, and other metalworking processes. It is also used to create a protective atmosphere for metal fabrication, as oxygen can weaken the metal.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Safety and high-purity nitrogen are non-negotiable in the pharmaceutical world. Nitrogen is used to create aseptic environments for the production of pharmaceuticals, as it is an inert gas that will not contaminate the products. It is also used to preserve pharmaceutical products, as it can help to prevent them from degrading.

On-site nitrogen generation is also used in various other industries, such as plastics manufacturing, chemical processing, the beverage industry, offshore drilling, and power generation.

In essence, on-site nitrogen generators provide a tailored solution for industries that require consistent and reliable nitrogen. By generating nitrogen on the spot, these sectors can maintain quality, reduce costs, and ensure they always have the supply they need.

Anglian Compressors: On-site Nitrogen Generation

On site nitrogen generation is a practical solution for many industries. It can help businesses to improve quality, reduce costs, increase reliability, improve safety, and be environmentally friendly. If you are considering on-site nitrogen for your business, you can send us a message or contact us!