Categories: N2 Generator

What’s the Difference Between a PSA and Membrane Nitrogen Generator?

Nitrogen generators that are based on membrane and pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technologies are both capable of generating nitrogen gas and use compressed air as a means to feed their systems and produce nitrogen. But when deciding which technology will best serve your business, several issues need to be considered.

Pressure Swing Adsorption Generators

A PSA nitrogen generator uses a Carbon Molecular Sieve (CMS) to adsorb oxygen under high pressure while allowing the nitrogen to pass through for collection in a storage unit.

 

PSA Nitrogen Generator – The Process

With the majority of pressure swing adsorption nitrogen generators, two vessels are packed with carbon molecular sieves (CMS) to adsorb oxygen as compressed air moves through the vessel. As one vessel is adsorbing the second vessel is depressurized, and a small amount of nitrogen flows downward to release the oxygen collected during the adsorption process. The two vessels alternate between the adsorption and desorption processes. The entire process for a PSA generator takes approximately 60 seconds.

PSA Nitrogen Generator Systems

Purity Levels

PSA nitrogen generators can provide higher gas purities than can be accomplished with a membrane nitrogen generator. PSA generators manufactured by On Site Gas Systems offer the ability to achieve a set purity level between 95% and 99.9995%.

Reliability

On Site Gas Systems PSA nitrogen generators have only a few moving parts and if properly maintained can last for many years. It is not uncommon for an On Site Gas Systems PSA nitrogen generators to maintain its performance for over twenty years.

Very Little Maintenance

An On Site Gas Systems PSA nitrogen generator requires very little maintenance. With clean, dry feed air most of the annual maintenance is simply changes filter cartages. Pellets that form the hub of the pressure swing adsorption gas filtering process (Zeolite or CMS) have an extensive lifespan and can last for at least for decades.

Consistency

Pressure swing adsorption generators can provide the same high volume of nitrogen for the life of the generator

Membrane Nitrogen Generators

A membrane nitrogen generator uses a hollow porous fiber to separate the N2 molecules from the others (including O2).

Membrane Nitrogen Generators – The Process

Membrane generators use a porous hollow fibers of various diameters, lengths, efficiencies and materials. Pressure is used to separate the molecules from the stream of compressed air flowing in. This pressure process is referred to as selective permeation.

The fibers are run parallel to one another so as to provide the needed capacity. The semi-permeable fibers allow the faster gases to permeate the walls quickly, releasing back into the atmosphere. For the most part, these faster gases are comprised of carbon dioxide, oxygen, water vapor and hydrogen.

Membrane Nitrogen Generator

Simplistic in Design

With a membrane nitrogen generator, the separation process does not require moving parts. Membranes nitrogen generators offer several custom configurations and system mobility that other technologies do not offer.

Purity Levels

Membrane nitrogen generators manufactured by On Site Gas Systems offer the ability to achieve a set purity level between 95% and 99.9%.

Reliability

On Site Gas Systems Membrane nitrogen generators have only a few if any moving parts and if properly maintained can last for many years. It is not uncommon for an On Site Gas Systems Membrane nitrogen generators to maintain its performance for many years.

Very Little Maintenance

An On Site Gas Systems Membrane nitrogen generator requires very little maintenance. With clean, dry feed air most of the annual maintenance is simply changing filter cartridges.

Compact and Quiet

These systems run quietly and usually take up a small footprint.

At On Site Gas Systems, our team of technicians has the experience and knowledge to help you choose a cost-effective nitrogen generating system. We offer both PSA and Membrane nitrogen generators so Contact us today to learn more about our innovative nitrogen generating systems.

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