The initial cost of a nitrogen generation system may be greater than high-pressure cylinders and liquid nitrogen containers, but most companies will reach a return on investment within 12-18 months with proper sizing of the system based on process demands. Breweries typically experience savings associated with gases of 50-75% by switching to on-premises nitrogen generation. If a regular maintenance schedule is followed, PSA nitrogen generation systems can have a life expectancy of 15-20 years.
In early October 2022, professionals from around the world gathered at the Best Practices 2022 EXPO & Conference in Atlanta to source and learn about the latest on-site utilities powering modern plant automation including compressed air, blowers, vacuum, pneumatics, motors and cooling water systems. This report recaps a fraction of the event’s education curriculum and provides an editorial tour of sponsoring exhibitors’ machinery displays and product introductions.
Moisture can freeze in compressed air systems and cause rust and pitting in pipes and components. It can also flush out the lubricant resulting in accelerated tool wear and damage to valves and cylinders. Moist air is also a rewarding breeding ground for bacteria, which especially in the food and pharmaceutical industries can lead to product rejection and costly production downtime. It is therefore strange that many companies limit themselves to measuring only basic quantities such as pressure, flow and (absorbed) power.
Nitrogen is used in many facilities for a variety of purposes. The most common source of N2 is through the use of bulk liquid storage. A plant owner was recently surprised to learn that a large portion of his N2 was disappearing, without ever being used by his production process. This article discusses where it went and what we could do about it.
The purpose of this article is to point out the key performance indicators (KPI’s) that can assist in maintaining the performance and troubleshooting of compressed air dryers. The most important KPI to monitor is the pressure dew point (PDP) of the compressed air exiting the dryer(s). The PDP of the compressed air should be monitored at the discharge of each dryer and downstream of where the compressed air from multiple dryers converges.
When compressed air comes into direct contact with a product, many applications believe their “standard” particulate and coalescing oil-removing filters, installed either side of a compressed air dryer, are sufficient to protect the downstream processes. Strangely enough, the removal of bacteria is often overlooked, despite this level of filtration being readily available, easy to procure, install and maintain.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) accounts for a significant amount of nitrogen usage in the food and beverage industry. MAP involves injecting nitrogen into beverage or food packaging to purge and displace any oxygen-containing air with nitrogen. Oxidation of lipids in food products causes rancidity. Since oxygen is replaced with dry, inert nitrogen in MAP packaging, no product oxidation will occur. The result is maximized product shelf life.
This article is for you if your company is purchasing nitrogen gas at 99.999% purity and you’re not sure why. While there are many applications which do require nitrogen gas concentrated to 99.999%, they are significantly outweighed by the applications that don’t. Rather than relying on a delivery of bulk liquid or pressurized cylinders, many nitrogen users are choosing to produce a custom supply of nitrogen within their facility, and they are doing it at a fraction of the cost. Over the past decade we’ve seen a mass industry shift from delivered nitrogen supply, to nitrogen generation.
Moisture in compressed air is almost never a good thing. It can damage a compressed air system by causing corrosion, rust and scale buildup. It can damage downstream equipment with these moisture byproducts or with the moisture itself. It can negatively affect processes and products that require dry compressed air.
One of the most satisfying parts of being a compressed air system auditor is resolving compressed air system reliability issues. This article exposes a seldom, if ever, mentioned problem that can occur when air dryers are dedicated to air compressors. It examines a real-world application and discusses the action taken to remedy the situation.
As founding members of a startup company in the compressed air and gas purification and separation industry, nano-purification solutions felt a kinship with the owners, employees and mission of Death Wish Coffee Co. The kinship and nano-purification solutions’ expertise in onsite nitrogen generation led to the installation of a nitrogen generation system that contributes to the overall efficiencies and operational costs savings at the coffee roaster’s production operation in Round Lake, New York.