Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) is cost-effective for on-site nitrogen generation at purities higher than 99% (purities as high as 99.995% are possible), and in high energy cost regions for lower purities down to 97%. The air is separated by compression on a bed of carbon molecular sieve (CMS), which preferentially adsorbs the oxygen. At the same time, in a second drum of CMS, the pressure is lowered, thus releasing the adsorbed oxygen which is exhausted. This bed of CMS now denuded of oxygen is again ready for a further compression cycle of adsorption.
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