How Do Nitrogen Generators Work?

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The air on earth is composed of several different gases. The largest component of atmospheric air is nitrogen, at 78.2%. The remainder of the air contains 20.9 % oxygen, as well as smaller amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other gases. Since certain applications utilize purified nitrogen, it is beneficial to use nitrogen generators to separate nitrogen from the rest of the gases in atmospheric air. There are two types of technologies which can be used.  So, how does a nitrogen generator system work?

Nitrogen Membrane Technoloy

In a nitrogen membrane system, the technology utilizes a bundle of hollow fibers to separate nitrogen from other gases. Hundreds of thousands of porous hollow fibers with a central bore (much like a drinking straw) are arranged in a  non porous housing.. When compressed air enters the non-porous housing, it must travel through the center bore of the fiber. Oxygen is able to permeate the fibers two to three times faster than nitrogen. Therefore, by the time the air travels through the membrane, the oxygen depletes, leaving behind pure nitrogen.