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How much does a nitrogen generator cost?

The prices of nitrogen generators can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Nitrogen generator cost depends on factors such as the nitrogen output capacity and the required purity level. Manufacturers can recommend a suitable machine for you and calculate the on-site nitrogen production costs by providing these parameters. They can also estimate the time needed to recoup your investment. These factors that determine nitrogen generator prices are typically dictated by your specific application and operational needs.

Nitrogen generators are used to produce nitrogen on-site. Rather than ‘generating’ nitrogen, it’s more accurate to say that they separate nitrogen from the air. Given that nitrogen and oxygen make up the vast majority of the atmosphere, acquiring nitrogen typically involves just removing carbon dioxide and oxygen from the air.

Nitrogen finds wide applications across various industrial and commercial sectors. These sectors include oil and gas extraction, ammonia synthesis, metallurgy, metalworking, and healthcare. Compared to bottled nitrogen or pre-filled liquid nitrogen, nitrogen generators are increasingly favored by cost-conscious business owners. This preference is due to their convenience and cost-effectiveness.

PSA nitrogen generator

In the short term, purchasing bottled nitrogen to meet gas demand is far cheaper than investing in a nitrogen generator. However, when considering the entire lifespan of a nitrogen generator, the cost per cubic meter of nitrogen is much lower than bottled nitrogen. At the same time, using bottled nitrogen often comes with the following hassles:

  • You have to bear the cost disadvantage of gas price hikes.
  • Paying rent for each nitrogen bottle.
  • Bottled gas supply is not always reliable and requires significant manpower for handling, significantly impacting production efficiency.
  • Transporting gas bottles can be costly, especially if your factory is in a remote location.
  • Handling and using heavy gas bottles can lead to mechanical injuries, potentially increasing your employee insurance costs.

Using liquid nitrogen is an alternative option where vaporizing one ton of liquid nitrogen yields approximately 600 cubic meters of gaseous nitrogen. However, you have to consider the costs of constructing liquid nitrogen tanks, equipping vaporizers, and the high labor expenses involved.

The amount of nitrogen you require is one of the key factors that determine the price of your nitrogen generator. The nitrogen generator’s capacity refers to the volume of nitrogen produced per unit of time, typically measured in standard cubic meters per hour (Nm³/h).

Currently, nitrogen generators on the market can achieve processing capacities ranging from a few cubic meters to tens of thousands of cubic meters per hour.

The larger the processing capacity, the higher the equipment cost will undoubtedly be. Small nitrogen generators (with capacities of 10 Nm³/h or less) typically start at a few thousand dollars and can go up to tens of thousands of dollars. Medium-sized nitrogen generators (with capacities between 10-100 Nm³/h) range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, while large nitrogen generators (with capacities exceeding 100 Nm³/h) can cost over a hundred thousand dollars.

Before purchasing a nitrogen generator, you need to first determine your usage requirements. If you have previously used bottled nitrogen, establishing your requirements is relatively straightforward; simply calculate how many cylinders you go through on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Purity is a critical technical parameter for gases. The purity of nitrogen is essential in determining the price of your nitrogen generator.

Typically, nitrogen purity is categorized into three levels: industrial-grade nitrogen, pure nitrogen, and ultra-pure nitrogen, with purities of 99.5%, 99.99%, and 99.9995% respectively. Higher purity requirements demand stronger gas separation capabilities from the nitrogen generator, leading to higher prices.

Your required nitrogen purity depends on your application. For instance, nitrogen used for food packaging or food production typically needs a purity level higher than 98%, pharmaceutical manufacturing requires purity levels of 99.99%, and laser cutting often demands ultra-high purity nitrogen of 99.999%.

Furthermore, specifying the flow rate and outlet pressure of nitrogen also helps manufacturers estimate the cost of the equipment accurately.

Nitrogen is used to freeze

Nitrogen generation systems come in different types based on their operating principles, each corresponding to varying processing capacities and purity requirements. As a result, prices can differ accordingly. When multiple types of nitrogen generation systems can meet your nitrogen needs, you’ll need to consider their respective pros and cons, as well as whether they align with your budget or plans.

Membrane Nitrogen Generation

Membrane nitrogen generation systems operate by using a specially designed membrane to separate different gas components in the air. Membrane nitrogen generation is suitable for applications with lower nitrogen purity requirements (below 99.5%) and may face challenges in providing nitrogen on a large scale. However, membrane nitrogen systems have lower energy consumption (compared to PSA nitrogen generation) and lower maintenance costs. Therefore, in the long term, membrane nitrogen technology offers cost advantages for applications with low to moderate nitrogen purity needs.

PSA Nitrogen Generation

Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) nitrogen generation is a nitrogen production process that separates oxygen and nitrogen gases using molecular sieves. It is currently the most popular nitrogen production technology in the market. Compared to membrane nitrogen generation, it can provide higher purity and greater flow rates of nitrogen.

More importantly, the flexibility of PSA systems allows them to excel in various nitrogen applications, with the ability to adjust purity and flow rates as needed. Its drawbacks include higher energy consumption and the complexity of the system contributing to increased control and maintenance costs.

Cryogenic Air Separation Nitrogen Generation

Cryogenic air separation is a traditional nitrogen production process that distills liquefied air to separate different gas components. Cryogenic nitrogen generation can produce extremely high purity nitrogen and concurrently produce liquid nitrogen. It can operate over long periods without the need for backup equipment.

However, adjusting the nitrogen purity output from cryogenic nitrogen generation can be challenging, and the equipment is complex, requiring higher infrastructure investments. Additionally, in scenarios beyond producing high-purity nitrogen gas, the energy consumption per unit of cryogenic nitrogen generation is much higher compared to PSA nitrogen generation.

Are you in need of a standalone nitrogen generation device or a complete nitrogen system that can meet your commercial gas requirements? The price of a nitrogen generator is also influenced by these additional configurations.

  • Air Compressor: In most nitrogen production methods, the nitrogen generator requires compressed air as the source gas and to provide the initial pressure for the system.
  • Air Dryer: Ensures that dry compressed air enters the system.
  • Nitrogen Booster: While standard nitrogen generators typically output at pressures ranging from 0.1 to 0.7 MPa, some applications may require nitrogen at pressures higher than 0.7 MPa. In such cases, a nitrogen booster is necessary to elevate the nitrogen to the required pressure level.
  • Nitrogen Buffer Tank: Applications with constant flow requirements often do not necessitate a buffer tank, whereas applications with intermittent flow requirements require a buffer tank to handle sudden spikes in nitrogen demand.
  • Skid-Mounted Equipment: Meets the needs of customers looking for plug-and-play solutions.
minnuo PSA Nitrogen plant working flow

Unlike bottled nitrogen, calculating the costs of using on-site nitrogen is more complex. The costs of on-site nitrogen generation mainly consist of the following: electricity consumption, labor costs, equipment maintenance costs, and equipment depreciation costs.

  • Electricity consumption mainly comes from the air compressor, refrigerated dryer, nitrogen purification unit, etc. Generally, the higher the power of the air compressor, the higher the energy consumption of the entire nitrogen generation system.
  • Labor costs: Nitrogen generators typically do not require constant monitoring and only need regular inspections. These costs are often negligible.
  • Equipment maintenance costs: The maintenance and upkeep costs of nitrogen generators primarily involve regular replacement of filters in the air compressor, changing lubricating oil, and replacing the oxygen analyzer probe in the nitrogen generator. Air filters are replaced approximately every 4000 hours, oil and gas filters every 8000 hours, oil filters every 2000 hours, and lubricating oil every 2000 hours. Compressed air filters are replaced every 4000 hours, and on average, the oxygen analyzer probe is replaced every two years.
  • Equipment depreciation costs: Usually calculated over a depreciation period of 10 years.

At Minnuogas, we offer a range of brand-new nitrogen generators including membrane nitrogen generators, PSA nitrogen generators, and cryogenic air separation systems for sale. Feel free to place an order for the nitrogen generator you need, and we ensure competitive pricing. If you are unsure about the model or type of nitrogen generator required, please contact our engineers anytime. We will provide you with customized solutions and a price quote.




hi, this is Nobita. I have been working as a gas equipment engineer in Minuo for 16 years, I will share the knowledge about oxygen generator, nitrogen generator and air separation equipment from the supplier's perspective.

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