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Non-Cryogenic Air Separation Processes

Non-cryogenic air separation processes are used to produce gaseous nitrogen and oxygen. They are cost effective choices when demand is relatively small (tens of tons per day) and when very high product purity is not required. A typical purity for non-cryogenic oxygen systems is 93%.  Non-cryogenic nitrogen systems typically produce product at purity between 95% to 99.5%. 

Non-cryogenic air separation plants are compact and operate at near-ambient temperature and pressure. Once installed, they can usually be brought on-line in less than half an hour.

Unlike cryogenic plants which use the difference between the boiling points of nitrogen, oxygen and argon to separate and purify those products, non-cryogenic air separation processes use physical  property differences such as molecular size and mass, to produce nitrogen and oxygen at sufficient purity to meet the needs of many types of gaseous nitrogen and oxygen users. 

The most common technologies are PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption), which is used to produce nitrogen or oxygen (using different adsorbants); VPSA (Vacuum-Pressure Swing Adsorption), which is used in to produce oxygen; and Membrane Separation, used to produce nitrogen gas. 

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