10 reasons to produce gases on-site

14.03.2023 10:54
Benefits of on-site N2 and O2 generation
Benefits of on-site N2 and O2 generation
@ istock.com/Funtay

Herrsching, 14. March 2023

Benefits of on-site N2 and O2 generation

Nitrogen and oxygen are used in many industrial processes. For this purpose, liquefied gas is mainly used, which is regularly delivered by truck. Our approach: Extracting N2 and O2 from the ambient air. At trade fairs and customer visits, we are therefore often asked what advantages the on-site production of gases offers compared to the delivery of liquid gas.

Here are our top 10 benefits of on-site N2 and O2 generation.

1. Constant availability

Recently, gas shortages have repeatedly occurred due to increasing crises. During the corona pandemic, there was not enough oxygen available. The current conflict in the Ukraine is causing rising energy prices and, as a result, a shortage of e.g. carbon dioxide (CO2), which plays an important role in the beverage industry in particular and can be replaced by nitrogen in various processes.
Due to the on-site production of oxygen and nitrogen, the two gases are available anytime, anywhere. In this way, companies can avoid delivery bottlenecks and production stops. On-site production is often the only way to provide these gases, especially in places where there is insufficient infrastructure.
To ensure uninterrupted operation, all operating values are continuously measured and monitored. The recorded gas purity and the outlet pressure can be read at any time via the touch control panel. With remote access, the generator can also be monitored and remotely controlled from anywhere in the world. This industry 4.0 standard (remote monitoring box) offers the highest possible protection for the entire production process.

2. Good for the environment

Onsite gas production significantly relieves the environment. This eliminates the regular delivery of bottles and bundles by truck or the journey by tanker trucks to fill liquid gas tanks. In this way, many tons of CO2 and particulate matter are saved every year and the road network is relieved.
To generate nitrogen, we offer solutions that keep the required primary energy consumption very low. Our innovative NKat technology makes it possible to produce high-purity nitrogen with low compressed air requirements using hydrogen. Up to 70% energy can be saved in this way. In addition, up to 96% of the energy fed in can be used as heat for heating via heat recovery techniques.

3. High profitability

Energy costs are going through the roof at the moment. Rising electricity and gas costs inevitably lead to rising prices for liquid gas, the production and transport of which are very energy-intensive. Companies are therefore currently having to accept regular price increases. In the search for energy and cost-saving alternatives, on-site production is an option.
The innovative technologies from Inmatec such as the NKat system are used for the energy- and cost-saving production of nitrogen directly in the factory. The cost of providing nitrogen can be reduced by around 70% compared to liquid nitrogen. The low investment and operating costs for generators for on-site generation ensure very short payback periods and a high ROI.
Inmatec plants are designed to meet a wide range of flow, purity and pressure requirements, providing an optimally designed system for low initial capital costs and long-term cost-effective gas supply.

4. No long-term rent commitments

Liquid nitrogen and oxygen delivered by road tanker is stored in liquid gas tanks and refilled at regular intervals. The corresponding tanks are usually rented. In addition, an evaporator is necessary to convert liquefied gases into usable gaseous nitrogen or oxygen. Long-term rental contracts for a period of 5 to 7 years and corresponding ongoing fixed costs are common, also due to corresponding construction measures.

5. No gas losses

The insulation of a tank, e.g. to keep liquid nitrogen cool (-196° C), is never 100%. Since the tanks are often located outdoors and are sometimes exposed to extreme heat in summer, the gas in the tank heats up, evaporates and is released via a safety valve. These evaporation losses can significantly reduce the amount of gas that can be used (approx. 1-4% per day) and thus cause involuntary costs.

The problem with liquid nitrogen bottles is that they can never be completely emptied. The remaining unused but paid for gas is thus returned to the gas company when the cylinders are collected.

6. Exact purity for every application

Inmatec generators can produce oxygen and nitrogen with purities between 95% and 99.9995% percent (N2) and between 90% and 95% (O2). Quantities produced vary depending on purity. This gives companies maximum flexibility and enables gas production with precise purity for a wide variety of applications.

7. No dangerous goods

Due to their properties, liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen are classified as dangerous goods during transport in public spaces. They pose a risk to public safety and to the life and health of people. This means, for example, that transport cannot take place under certain weather conditions, such as black ice. This can lead to late deliveries and production stops.

8. No danger to life and limb

Liquid gas supply from cylinders, bundles or tanks requires proper handling in the factory and trained personnel. Workers are required to wear protective clothing, goggles, suitable gloves and special footwear. There is a particular danger to the skin (e.g. frostbite), eyes and respiratory tract. Contact with combustible materials may cause explosion or fire (O2).

9. No construction and permits required

The installation of liquid gas tanks is subject to numerous regulations derived from a large number of laws (e.g. on immission control, water protection, building law, product safety and much more). Above all, the structural requirements for setting up a tank, which include guidelines on safety distances and statics, are very expensive. A building permit is required from a weight over 3 tons. Tanks must also stand on a foundation (concrete slab 200 mm) under which there is a gravel bed (250 mm). Fire protection regulations also stipulate, for example, certain safety distances to other objects and the installation of protective walls to buildings, which often limits the options and causes significant additional costs. These regulations vary from country to country.

The installation of an Inmatec system, on the other hand, is simple, quick and requires no permits. The modular and compact system design with its components is tailored to the needs of the site and can be accommodated in a small footprint.

10. Scalability

Gas consumption above the nominal capacity can be covered to a certain extent by simple measures, depending on the purity required. For example, by adding an NKat system, the nitrogen purity produced by the generator can be reduced, thereby drastically increasing the amount. In addition, additional demand peaks can be covered by buffer tanks.

IMT PNC nitrogen generator

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