Most nitrogen companies specialize in either liquid or membrane nitrogen.
Nitro-Lift Technologies has both Liquid and Membrane Nitrogen available and does both well.
Energy Sector and Industrial Nitrogen Primer
- The atmosphere we breathe is 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% trace gases.
- Energy and Industrial sectors have developed numerous applications where Nitrogen is an integral part of their processes.
- Nitrogen due to its unique chemical makeup is inert and this property makes it ideal for use in many of these applications.
- For industrial and commercial use Nitrogen must be separated (generated) from the oxygen in the air we breathe.
- Liquid (Cryogenic) Nitrogen and Membrane (Non-Cryogenic) Nitrogen are the two main forms of nitrogen used in the energy industry for upstream, midstream and downstream applications.
Liquid (Cryogenic) Nitrogen
- Liquid nitrogen is produced by cooling the air to the point it turns into a liquid (-196 degrees Celsius) and uses fractional distillation, which separates elements by their different boiling points.
- This process occurs at a liquid nitrogen plant and is normally transported to customers as a super cooled liquid (-196C) in liquid nitrogen transport trucks.
- Can deliver higher pressures and volumes for larger diameter pipeline applications
- Nitrogen purity as high as 99.99%
- More expensive than membrane nitrogen.
- Requires more intense logistical planning for delivery to a jobsite from the plant.
Membrane (Non-Cryogenic) Nitrogen
- Membrane nitrogen is generated by passing compressed air (atmosphere) through a bundle of hollow fibers (the size of a hair but with a hole down the center).
- As the compressed air passes down the fiber length, the oxygen and trace gases are absorbed through the fiber wall and released back to atmosphere.
- The nitrogen exits the end of the fiber and is collected and compressed for use downhole in an oil or natural gas well (upstream), a pipeline or gas plant (midstream) or a refinery (downstream).
- Membrane nitrogen is effectively produced with purities of 95 – 99%.
- Membrane nitrogen is generated at the jobsite from the atmosphere alleviating the logistical requirements of plant generated and transport delivered liquid nitrogen
- Less expensive than liquid nitrogen
- Drawbacks: Lower instantaneous rates than liquid nitrogen