How PSA works to save on nitrogen cost.
Non-cryogenic generators take the pressure off energy use.
PSA generation is a very efficient source of nitrogen, and Gas Systems Corporation is highly skilled in engineering the technology to each new application. We customize a system to your specific needs, optimize it for peak performance and support it with training, maintenance and service.
The technologies for producing non-cryogenic nitrogen require far less energy than is required for cryogenic separation. This is the biggest factor in their dramatic cost savings. What can be the biggest factor in putting this technology to work in your particular application? It’s Gas Systems Corporation’s expertise in providing an engineered solution, for enhanced energy- and cost-efficiency.
Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) nitrogen generation technology is considered the mature technology and was developed in Europe in the early 1960’s. It works much like a pressure swing dryer and uses a dual bed system containing carbon molecular sieve (CMS) to separate nitrogen gas from air by absorption (adhering) the oxygen, CO2, and water molecules onto the surface of the CMS while under pressure.
When the CMS in the producing vessel becomes saturated with waste gases, the pressure is released and the waste gas is vented through the exhaust. The second CMS vessel then begins to produce nitrogen, while the first vessel is regenerating. The cycle lasts for approximately two minutes. Since the production process is more or less a batch operation, a nitrogen storage vessel is required to buffer the nitrogen product to insure a continuous flow through the pipeline to the customer. There is a 35-40 psig pressure drop through the PSA system, so the desired product pressure depends on the air pressure being provided.
Nitrogen generation from a PSA system takes place at relatively low pressures ranging from 70-145 psig. A nitrogen PSA generator has an indefinite life as long as the CMS does not become contaminated by compressor oil carry-over. This risk is virtually eliminated by an air filtration system containing a carbon filter located upstream of the CMS beds.
The same is true for nitrogen membrane systems: Hydrocarbons will destroy the ability to separate the oxygen and carbon dioxide from nitrogen in the incoming air. The PSA systems are, however, much more power-efficient and capable of producing high purity nitrogen gas (up to 99.999%). They use 20-30% less power than membrane systems.