8th January 2019

Flow rate requirements can have an impact on the nitrogen generator price. Small flow nitrogen generators for sale generally start at around $5000 and can go up to around $10,000. These are systems typically built for small labs or specialized areas in larger labs. Mid-flow nitrogen generators range anywhere between the price of $10,000 and $30,000. Here is a breakdown of the typical long-term cost of a nitrogen generator.

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How much does a nitrogen generator cost?

If your facility uses nitrogen gas, there is a good chance you have considered switching to a nitrogen generator at some point. The first question you have may be ‘What is the real nitrogen generator cost saving?’ The saving when using a gas generator compared to when you buy nitrogen in bulk is probably greater than you realize. 

What can affect the cost of a nitrogen generator?

The first factor that you need to consider before buying a nitrogen generator is, how much do you spend now when you buy nitrogen? Once you know what your current spend is, you should consider the following:

What is your typical use of nitrogen?

Nitrogen usage can vary greatly from lab to lab depending on the applications which are in use and how often those applications are in use, all day every day or just a few hours each week. Look back over a typical month to see how much nitrogen you have used. The more nitrogen cylinders which are used by a lab, the more cost-effective a nitrogen generator will be for that lab.

What are the nitrogen requirements for your particular application?

For example, are you working in a lab with a single LC-MS/MS where only a moderate amount of nitrogen is required but purity is critical?? If this is the case, one of Peak’s Genius XE nitrogen generators could be your ideal gas solution. Or, are you running a multi LC-MS laboratory where you require 200 L/min? If this sounds like your laboratory then Peak’s i-FlowLab, high flow, high purity nitrogen generator is likely the best solution for your lab.

Once you know the flow, purity and pressure of nitrogen which your application requires, you’ll be able to get prices for gas generators which will meet your needs. You can then compare your current yearly cost of nitrogen gas with the cost of a nitrogen generator which will produce consistent nitrogen for your lab for several years.

Peak Scientific Nitrogen Generators

A selection of Peak Scientific gas generators

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When first thinking about making the investment in a nitrogen generator, the upfront nitrogen generator cost can seem like a lot. However, once you begin to breakdown what you currently pay when you buy nitrogen, you will likely come to realize that a nitrogen generator is the most cost-effective solution for your lab. When calculating the costs of your current gas supply you should consider the following:

What is the current cost of the gas and how often has your nitrogen cost increased over the last year?

Our Lab Gas Price bulletins detail many of 2018’s gas price rises if you need to jog your memory.

How much do you spend on renting your cylinders?

Although you pay for nitrogen gas, you are also separately charged cylinder rental for the cylinders which contain it. Do you know what your rental cost per cylinder is each month?

How much downtime is typically required while waiting for a supply to be delivered?

Consider this, have your nitrogen gas cylinders always been delivered on time or have you had to pause your analysis while waiting on a delivery? Next time your cylinders are delivered, make note of how long the process of receiving them, storing and swapping out the empty ones takes. Do cylinder deliveries frequently take up a significant portion of valuable staff time which could be better spent doing something more vital to your lab’s performance?

What is the cost of delivery?

Don’t forget to factor the cost of your gas deliveries into your overall cost of nitrogen gas, delivery charges can have a significant impact on your gas budget overall. This can be particularly costly for labs operating in more remote locations.

Is there a fuel surcharge?

Fuel surcharge costs can often be overlooked when calculating a lab’s gas costs so find out if this applies to your lab and don’t forget to include it in your total costs.

How are your workplace insurance premiums affected by having laboratory staff moving heavy gas cylinders? 

Would an injury from moving a gas cylinder even be covered by your insurer? Do you know exactly how your insurance is affected by using gas cylinders in your lab?  This is something you could also consider looking into to see if you could save on your premiums if cylinders were no longer used in your lab.

As demonstrated above, the true cost of nitrogen can be much more complex than you may first think.

Your nitrogen cost can also vary greatly based on your location and the volume of gas you require, therefore, nitrogen gas costs can differ substantially from lab to lab. Fortunately, with a gas generator supplying your lab nitrogen, it is much easier to plan your lab’s nitrogen cost. Below you can discover what your nitrogen generator cost is likely to be.

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Nitrogen generator cost guide

Small flow nitrogen generators costs begin at around $5000 and can go up to $10,000. These are systems which are typically built for small labs or specialized areas in larger labs. These types of setups are generally looking for smaller nitrogen flows but with ultra-high purity, typically around 99.99995%.

Mid-flow nitrogen generators range in price anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000. These generators are for applications such as LC-MS, which often consume larger amounts of nitrogen. Labs which use mid-flow nitrogen generators may have up to two LC-MS instruments and require between 95 and 99.5%. 

Large flow nitrogen generators typically start around $31,000 and can go up depending on requirements. These systems are able to supply entire buildings or laboratories, with the capability to produce thousands of liters of nitrogen per minute to meet customer requirements. Due to the large flow of nitrogen required in these labs, a nitrogen generator can provide even greater cost efficiency. By supplying multiple instruments simultaneously these generators can save money, time and space when compared with nitrogen cylinders.

It is also worth remembering that gas generators can be purchased either with or without an internal compressor. Systems without an internal compressor will often cost less but will require an in-house source of high quality air to supply the generator. Where this is not available a generator with an inbuilt compressor is the best choice.

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Once you have worked out your total current nitrogen cost it may become clear that a nitrogen gas generator could be a more economical, not to mention more convenient, option for your laboratory. If you are interested in finding out about the gas generator options which could meet the needs of your lab, Peak Scientific would be happy to discuss your requirements and make a recommendation to satisfy your laboratory’s needs. We are experts in our field and we will not only provide you with a nitrogen generator to meet your needs, we also provide hydrogen and zero air systems for GC applications. Furthermore, Peak offers a global support network of certified field engineers to safeguard your workflow. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing that, wherever you are in the world, should your generator encounter a problem, your downtime will be minimal.


Found this article interesting? You may also like:

Lab Gas Price Bulletin December 2018

What should you know before you buy nitrogen gas?

Pair your instrument with a Peak gas generator


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