What Do We Use Nitrogen For? The 5 Major Uses Of Nitrogen In Everyday Life

What Do We Use Nitrogen For? The 5 Major Uses Of Nitrogen In Everyday Life

Nitrogen gas makes up approximately 78 percent of our atmosphere, which makes it one of the most common gases on Earth. Nitrogen is non-toxic and inert, so it’s a safe gas to include in industrial processes.

If you’re wondering “What do we use nitrogen for?” the answer is, a lot!

The prevalence of nitrogen in our atmosphere combined with its inert properties makes it a very useful gas for food packaging, pharmaceuticals, and other industries. The use of nitrogen can prevent oxidation, corrosion, and deterioration of materials like foods and medicines. In this article, we’ll go over the uses of nitrogen and how it’s beneficial to industrial processes.

5 Major Uses of N2 in Everyday Life

Do you need a nitrogen generator? You probably do if you’re involved in one of the following industries. If you do need an N2 generator, whether that’s a PSA nitrogen generator or a membrane nitrogen generator, contact On Site Gas Systems to get started.

Food Packaging & Preservation

Nitrogen gas has transformed the food packaging industry. Exposure to oxygen shortens food shelf life by causing oxidation, leading to a change in food quality, flavor, smell, and color. By packaging food in a nitrogen-rich environment, food manufacturers can limit food’s exposure to oxygen and thus prevent food from deteriorating in the packaging.

Packaging with nitrogen is often done with a nitrogen flush technique, meaning that the oxygen and other gases in the packaging are flushed out with nitrogen. The nitrogen is sealed in the package, creating a protective bubble around the food and preventing it from breaking in transport.


Nitrogen’s inert properties have an advantage over oxygen in electronics soldering. The use of oxygen in electronics soldering can cause oxidation in the immediate area being soldered, but nitrogen does not.

Oxidation is detrimental to soldering tools, circuit boards, and component leads. Oxidation is the rusting process that causes deterioration of many metals. The use of nitrogen in electronics soldering leads to a more durable electronics product and helps preserve the soldering tools used as well.


Just as nitrogen is used in food packaging to prevent oxidation of foods, nitrogen is also used in pharmaceutical packaging to prevent oxidation of medications. This helps preserve medication quality and integrity and leads to a longer shelf life. The use of nitrogen in packaging also makes for easier transportation and allows medications to be transported all over the world, because of the way nitrogen extends medication shelf life.


In the beer and brewing industries, nitrogen is used to purge tanks to prevent drink spoilage. Nitrogen use in beer has also been attributed to better flavor as well as longer shelf life. Nitrogen is used to create the “fizz” in beer and is sometimes favored over CO2 because it is less likely to cause unwanted chemical reactions.

Tire Inflation

Nitrogen gas is an important tire filler. Not everyone who drives a car needs nitrogen-filled tires, but some prefer it. The reason that nitrogen is slightly better for filling tires than normal air is that nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen molecules. Tires are porous, and sometimes temperature changes can force oxygen out of the tires via the pores.

This very slow leak can result in minute changes in tire pressure over time. Since nitrogen molecules are larger, the leak produced by nitrogen tires is much slower, leading to more consistent tire pressure over time.

Need a Nitrogen Generator for Your Industrial Processes? Contact On Site Gas Systems

On Site Gas Systems is one of the most respected names in nitrogen generators in the United States. We produce pressure swing adsorption and membrane nitrogen generators for businesses in the pharmaceuticals industry, food and beverage industry, electronics industry, and more.

We can refurbish nitrogen generators as needed, or we create custom generators for businesses with very specific needs. If you require a nitrogen generator for your business, contact On Site Gas Systems today to get started with your nitrogen generator purchase.

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