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Nitrogen (N2) makes up the major portion of the earth’s atmosphere, accounting for 78.08% of total volume. It is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic and almost totally inert gas. It can be an asphyxiant in high concentrations. Nitrogen is produced in high volumes at air separation plants. A second purification process may be necessary if very high purity levels are required. Membrane techniques can also be used to recover nitrogen in lower purities. Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) techniques are suited to medium-to-high purities.
One of the main applications of nitrogen is blanketing, purging and sparging in the food and chemical industries. It can also be found in modified atmosphere packages (MAP) for foodstuffs. In liquid form, it is an agent to shock-freeze food, store biological material, perform cryosurgery and cryogenically grind plastics and rubbers, for instance.
In the semiconductor industry, N2 is used in large quantities as a purge and carrier gas. In electronics, it acts as an inerting agent for epitaxial reactors. It is also useful as a carrier, zero and balancing gas in laboratory analysis. Other common applications include heat treatment, the production of ammonia, fire extinguishing in mines, tyre filling, shrink-fitting and cold traps, where nitrogen can help to increase vacuum efficiency.
We offer the full range of cylinders, generators and on-site solutions to meet all volume and purity requirements.