Gaseous nitrogen is one of the most highly sought-after chemical molecules in many industrial manufacturing processes. Due to its inert nature, nitrogen gas can be optimized for use in food processing, beverage and brewery industries, and oil and gas recovery, to name a few. This article will discuss the most common industrial applications of nitrogen gas and the products created from its use.
What Is Nitrogen Gas?
Gaseous nitrogen, or N2 gas, refers to the diatomic molecules of nitrogen formed when individual atoms bond. Nitrogen gas is colorless, odorless, and chemically inert, making it suitable for use in industrial applications where chemical cross-reactivity between substrates is undesirable.
Industrial Uses for Nitrogen (N2) Gas
Nitrogen gas has several practical uses in the industrial world. Let’s go over some of the most common ways gas with nitrogen is used in industrial scenarios, as well as some of the most common nitrogen gas products you’ll find out there.
Food and Beverage Manufacturing
Nitrogen gas is used in several commercial foods and drinks production processes. For example, gaseous nitrogen is currently used in alcoholic beverage sparging to attain top-quality brew. In addition, N2 gas is also utilized in modified atmosphere packaging to prolong the freshness of commercially manufactured food items.
Inerting of Volatile Industrial Environments
The non-reactive nature of gaseous nitrogen makes it ideal for use in industrial environments with a high risk of spontaneous combustion. Highly explosive chemical plants can be made safer by using nitrogen gas to displace oxygen from process equipment.
Gas for Tire Inflation
Nitrogen gas provides better pressure retention in tires inflated with it when compared to conventional air-filled tires. Overall, nitrogen-filled tires improve gas mileage and tire longevity.
Elimination of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs present in industrial wastes often makes them unsuitable for immediate disposal. Nitrogen gas can be used to eliminate unwanted VOCs from waste material, thus allowing operators to comply with the relevant environmental protection standards in the area their industries are sited.
Mining is a high-risk production process requiring several strict safety protocols. In the case of fires within mines, nitrogen gas can safely put out fires by displacing oxygen from the air. A similar approach is used during mine abandonment, where gaseous nitrogen is pumped into volatile spaces to inert them.
Electronics and Metal Manufacturing
Nitrogen gas is commonly employed in the creation of electronic components used in various devices. Nitrogen gas soldering of electronic parts is an efficient process guaranteeing high-quality finishes.
Steel electroplating done using gaseous nitrogen provides a robust and durable finish that is corrosion-resistant.
Nitrogen molecules are present in almost every synthetically manufactured drug available today. Nitrogen gas plays a crucial role in the synthesis of several classes of drugs, including vital antibiotics. Nitrous oxide, a popular anesthetic agent, is gaseous from nitrogen.
Common N2 Products
The most common categories of nitrogen gas products are highlighted in subsequent sections of this article.
Nitrogen Gas Membranes
Nitrogen gas membrane technology allows the separation of a mix of gases based on their speeds. These membranes are polymeric materials composed of hollow fibers that provide a large surface area for rapid and efficient gas separation.
Nitrogen gas membranes can be used to achieve high purity nitrogen gas filtration by selectively retaining the gas while permitting oxygen and other gases to flow through them.
Nitrogen Gas Control Systems
Nitrogen gas synthesis requires close control to achieve the levels of purity needed in industrial applications. The process of manufacturing gaseous nitrogen can be made more efficient by monitoring and adjusting the following variables where necessary:
- The temperature of the feed gas
- The pressure of the feed gas
- Oxygen levels within the product gas
Strict control can be done using oxygen gas analyzers and appropriate feed gas valve regulation.
Other Nitrogen Gas Product Applications
As earlier stated, nitrogen gas can be used in diverse industrial applications. Highlighted below are more examples not previously mentioned in this article.
- Gas and oil inerting systems
- Enhanced oil recovery
- Offshore inerting systems
- Hydrogen gas purification
- Industrial gas purging and blanketing
- Natural gas dehydration
IFS and Nitrogen Gas Generation
At Integrated Flow Solutions, we provide excellent nitrogen gas generation systems for several industrial processes. Our state-of-the-art nitrogen generators are guaranteed to boost the efficiency of your operations by providing high-purity nitrogen gas on demand.
To learn more about our unique services and products, please contact us today!
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