Specialty Chemicals Company


On-Site Cryogenic Quality Nitrogen Generation


Industrial Process





Designing a Process To Reduce Nitrogen Generation Costs by 50%

Our client was spending over $1 million per year in liquid nitrogen for tank process equipment inerting. A process study was completed that demonstrated that nitrogen generation costs could be significantly reduced by generating nitrogen on-site. Due to the high nitrogen purity requirement (<5ppm oxygen) the proposed technology was pressure swing adsorption followed by cryogenic distillation.

The project was approved to clear a site and to install a new foundation and electrical transformer for a vendor-supplied, cryogenic nitrogen system. Key challenges were finding a site in the 100-year-old plant for the nitrogen unit and adjusting the equipment layout to fit the extremely narrow site footprint.

Other challenges included replacing the plant’s existing liquid nitrogen tank while keeping the plant’s nitrogen facility in service. These challenges were overcome by working closely with site operations and safety personnel and with the equipment vendor.

Our engineers worked closely with site operations, safety personnel, and equipment vendors to overcome existing challenges, including the adjustment of the equipment layout to fit the narrow site footprint.
This successful project was repeated at a second plant where pressure swing adsorption was installed without cryogenic distillation due to a less stringent requirement for nitrogen purity. The reduction in the cost of nitrogen for this plant was 50 percent.