17th August 2022
Generating nitrogen using membrane nitrogen generators
Owning a membrane nitrogen generator allows you to be in full control of your nitrogen supply. If your lab requires a consistent supply of nitrogen, at a sustainable quality, a nitrogen gas generator is a feasible option for your lab.
Besides installing groups of cylinders or dewars, there are two ways of generating nitrogen on-site: using membrane generators and PSA generators.
How does membrane technology work?
Membrane technology's main strengths are that it is not a chemical-based filtration system, it uses very little energy and can be very easy to maintain.
Membrane technology is a generic term for several different techniques, based on the characteristics of the separation processes. These methods are similar because, in each of them, a membrane is used during the process.
The membrane separation process is based on the presence of semi-permeable membranes. Examples of these methods include the applications of high pressure, the maintenance of a concentration gradient on both sides of the membrane and the introduction of an electric potential.
In the case of nitrogen generators, the membrane allows nitrogen to pass through but inhibits oxygen, water vapor, inert gases, and air-borne impurities. The purity of the gas provided is highly dependent on the pore size of the membrane. Membrane-type nitrogen generators can generate nitrogen gas with purities up to 99.95% per volume.
What are the requirements for a membrane nitrogen generator in my lab?
Generally, the only requirements are a power supply and a clean environment.
In some extreme instances there are other factors which can have an effect on the gas produced. These are, namely, high altitude labs or labs with heavily contaminated air.
Both of these environments will require the membrane nitrogen generator to work much harder to produce nitrogen of a suitable purity due to the lack of particles in the air or the volume of other contaminants present.
What should I choose? Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) or membrane technology
This can be simply down to the requirements of the application that is required in the lab. Where PSA nitrogen generators, have a lower operating cost, you might think it is a simple decision. However, the advantages to using a membrane generator have to be considered.
Membrane generators have a simpler working principle, hence allowing for an easier maintenance regimen and a smaller footprint in the laboratory space.
If noise is the main factor to consider, membrane generators can be much quieter than PSA generators while having much faster start-up times. Where PSA generators have a blow-off stage in their cycle – a phase where a portion of the air that the compressor is producing is ‘blown off’ as waste gas – you do not have to contend with this in a membrane generator.
The 5 benefits of a membrane generator
Uninterrupted nitrogen supply
With a nitrogen membrane generator you can produce nitrogen on-demand, providing your equipment with the nitrogen it needs, exactly when it needs it. Removing the need for checking cylinder gas levels and having interrupted analysis.
A nitrogen membrane generator helps you avoid shipping and delivery costs that come with the monthly contract costs of gas cylinders.
With gas being produced on-demand and at the flow rate your application needs, you can reduce the amount of wasted gas your lab suffers from.
Eliminate the safety concerns associated with handling cumbersome, high pressure cylinders by investing in a membrane generator which only stores the required volume of gas as needed by your instruments.
Remove your lab’s dependency on external vendors and supply chains by investing in a membrane generator which can supply the nitrogen you need on a day-to-day basis. By investing in your own in-house nitrogen generator you can eliminate downtime and the rising costs of long-term cylinder contracts.
We have a range of nitrogen generators that have been approved by major instrument manufacturers:
Designed to deliver maximum performance to labs that can’t compromise on performance; Genius XE combines the latest technology and flexible flow rates in a smaller, more discreet package which provides nitrogen to your lab effortlessly.
Engineered using membrane technology to meet the gas delivery requirements for labs using LC-MS, Compact MS or multiple ELSDs; Solaris XE can operate with varying flow rates and purity. Outlet pressure can be adjusted down from 116psi, offering a flexible solution for a variety of applications.
Labs using cylinders for nitrogen solutions can save space and money with the Infinity XE 60's Intelligent Membrane Management (IMM). IMM conserves air depending on set purity and nitrogen demand, allowing the XE 60 to meet the demands of numerous applications such as ELSD, NMR, FT/MS and Sample Evaporators.
Need help finding a solution?
We are experts in our field - with over 20 years' worth of experience in pioneering cutting-edge gas generator technology, we have worked closely with leading instrument manufacturers to help you find a solution tailored to your specific needs.