Reliable Nitrogen Supply with On-site Gas Generation

The Challenge

Safe, cost effective and reliable nitrogen supply is mandatory in most metal cutting operations.  A two shift, plasma cutting facility in Canada was receiving bulk liquid nitrogen as their main supply of pierce gas.  Using nitrogen as a pierce gas will reduce the heat and energy around the cutting head as the torch ignites, before switching to oxygen for the cut.  This approach extends the service life of the torch and minimizes the replacement of consumable parts.  A stable and reliable supply of nitrogen is critical to the plant’s operation.

Rising Costs and Missed Deliveries

Over the duration of their bulk liquid supply contract, the cost of nitrogen had been increasing without notice since 1997.  The marginal and frequent increases over time resulted in the most expensive per unit price for liquid nitrogen that we have seen to date.  In addition to the warranted cost concerns, missed deliveries became a significant and ongoing problem.  In 2017 alone, the facility suffered three missed nitrogen deliveries, all of which resulted in a full plant shutdown and lost production.  The plant required a more dependable and cost efficient solution.

Our Approach

Purity Gas performed a nitrogen usage audit to determine the flow, pressure and purity requirements of the facility.  Using the audit results, Purity Gas designed a custom nitrogen gas generation solution, which would eliminate the need to rely on bulk liquid nitrogen deliveries.  This self-sufficient approach would simplify their supply chain and substantially reduce nitrogen related expenses.

Special Considerations

The plant was concerned about the air quality from one of their air compressors.  Sharing their concern, our solution leveraged nano purification solutions’ proprietary compressed air purification system called AMT.  The AMT purification cartridge is a maintenance-free component integrated within the casing of the nitrogen generator.   The AMT purification system is the first point of contact for the compressed air as it enters the nitrogen generator, ensuring an optimum gas adsorption process.   AMT allows nitrogen users to connect ‘shop air’ directly to the inlet of nitrogen generator, without the requirement of an external desiccant air dryer and its associated purge loss.

The nitrogen generation system was built using a modular and expandable design, ensuring that the existing installation will never become obsolete.  This made it the perfect solution for the customer today, and tomorrow.

Reliability

For three years, the facility has been producing an endless supply of high purity nitrogen gas without any operational interruption.  The user has since cancelled their bulk liquid nitrogen supply contract and is fully realizing the financial, productivity and safety gains of the new system.

Cost Reduction

0
%

Payback Period

0
Years

Eliminated Annually

0
tCO2e

Case Summary

Purity Gas managed the entire project, from beginning to end.  We developed the business case, oversaw all installation requirements, and ensured the project met deadline, budget and performance expectations.  As a result, the process was seamless.

The on-site gas generation system has eliminated all nitrogen related downtime and reduced expenses by over 90%.  The customer can also add a third shift to their operation, without having to purchase any additional equipment or incur the hard costs associated with purchasing bulk liquid nitrogen.

Project Details:

  • 100hp high efficiency air compressor with integrated refrigerated air dryer
  • One-bank modular PSA nitrogen gas generator with integrated AMT
  • Compressed air and nitrogen storage tanks
  • Compressed air and nitrogen filtration
  • Condensate management system and drains
  • Carbon steel air piping
  • Copper nitrogen piping
  • All electrical connections

 

Contact us for a free assessment and to learn more about how nitrogen gas generation can contribute to your financial, operational and sustainability initiatives.

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