Hit enter to search


Search the full range of products and services available here at Glaston with our handy search bar.

Get in touch

If you can’t find what you’re looking for then please get in touch on +44 (0)1695 51010 or email and one of our advisers will be happy to discuss your requirements and offer a solution.

Phone lines - 8:30-5pm, Mon - Fri 01695 51010
get in touch

Why is compressed air vital to a number of manufacturing applications?

Compressed air is used widely in manufacturing settings, from providing energy to tools through pneumatic power, through to operating air cylinders within automated applications, as well as being used widely for operations in heavy transportation vehicles.

Compressed air is also used by nitrogen generators to produce pure nitrogen, which in turn is used in many manufacturing settings, including food and drink processing plants and pharmaceuticals. We take a look at nitrogen generators in more detail, including the kinds of applications in which you might find them.

What is a nitrogen generator?

Nitrogen generators are used to separate nitrogen from the other elements in the atmosphere to create pure nitrogen. Nitrogen generators usually work in one of two ways, either through a membrane or using pressure swing adsorption. A membrane nitrogen generator passes compressed air through a hollow fibre membrane. This filters out the other parts of the air – largely the oxygen – leaving a high purity nitrogen gas for use. The pressure swing adsorption (PSA) method passes the compressed air through a carbon molecular sieve instead; the smaller nitrogen molecules are able to pass through the sieve and be contained for use, while the oxygen molecules are adsorbed. A PSA nitrogen generator contains at least two carbon molecular sieves and a pressure differential between them.

What are the most common nitrogen generator applications?

Nitrogen generators are used today in place of what traditionally would have required cylinders filled with liquid nitrogen. A nitrogen generator is both more convenient and more cost-effective than the process of changing cylinders regularly and holding and maintaining stock levels.

Some of the common nitrogen generator applications include:

  • Food packaging. Food manufacturers use nitrogen within the packaging of perishable food because pure nitrogen extends the lifetime of food products by preventing bacteria and other organisms from developing, as well as preventing the process of oxidisation from taking place.
  • Aircraft vehicle tyres. Nitrogen’s larger molecule sizes mean that they are less likely to pass so easily through the wall of the permeable tyre. Nitrogen is also a more stable gas than air thanks to the lack of atmospheric water pressure, and so is a good choice in environments where temperatures are likely to vary widely.
  • Petrochemical processing. The nitrogen produced by nitrogen generators is inert, making it ideal for the storage and transportation of hydrocarbons, as well as for the cleaning and protection of process vessels.
  • Pharmaceutical industry. Used to prevent explosions and fire, nitrogen is used widely in both the pharmaceutical industry and in general fire protection applications. The production of pure nitrogen from a nitrogen generator suppresses oxygen, thereby in turn suppressing the risk of fire.

Nitrogen generator design and installation from Glaston

Selecting the right nitrogen generator design and ensuring that you have opted for the correct system set-up is critical for achieving an efficient and cost-effective solution for the provision of nitrogen in your manufacturing plant. Glaston offers a nitrogen generator design service, creating bespoke nitrogen generator systems specific to the needs of our clients. The modular nitrogen generator design that we use is both space-saving and avoids the requirement for engineering works to accommodate your nitrogen generator installation; simply work with us to create the right solution for you, and leave the rest up to us.

To find out more about nitrogen generators and the design service from Glaston, as well as the option of engaging our service, speak to one of our professionals today on 01695 51010.

Got a question?