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How Nitrogen Membranes Work

Flexibility in your nitrogen supply

Controlling the air-flow through the system will allow you to achieve various flow and purity levels. Future increases in nitrogen demand can be accommodated by adjusting the controls or by simply adding modules. Our nitrogen membrane systems are so versatile and flexible that they can be made to operate in extreme conditions of temperature and pressure.

The PRISM Alpha Separator’s membrane fibres and shell are designed for the most demanding applications. The light weight sensitive applications such as in offshore, shipboard and other mobile or remote locations.

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How Nitrogen Membranes Work

The air that we breathe contains approximately 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gases, such as Argon and Water Vapour. PRISM systems use this unlimited supply of the raw materials to produce specific purities of nitrogen.

Selective permeation is the general principle behind a membrane system. Each gas has a characteristic permeation rate that is a function of its ability to dissolve and diffuse through a membrane. This characteristic allows “fast gases”, such as oxygen to be separated from “slow gases” such as nitrogen. The driving force of the separation process is the differential pressure created between the (compressed) feed air side and the low pressure side of the membranes.

The actual generation of nitrogen takes place in the membrane separator. Each separator consists of a bundle of hollow fibre membranes in a cylindrical shell, arranged much like a shell and tube heat exchanger. The compressed air is feed into the inlet end of the separator and flows inside the hollow fibres towards the opposite end.

On the way the air molecules start to permeate through the walls of the fibres according to their permeability. Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and water vapour permeate faster than nitrogen. The results is a super dry nitrogen stream at the outlet end of the separator.

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Thousands of membrane fibres are contained in the compact PRISM Alpha Membrane Separator. Learn more about our nitrogen membrane systems and contact us today.

 

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