Are You in the Market for a... Gas Generator?

In many laboratories, gas generators are quickly replacing traditional tanks offering greater flexibility, convenience, safety and cost-effectiveness. Gas generators offer the ability to produce on-demand supply and specialty blends of highly pure gases for various applications.

By Trevor Henderson

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Gas Generator

  1. What is your application? As the range of available gas generators continues to expand, consider what it will be used for. For example, Fourier transform IR spectroscopy operates best in the absence of carbon dioxide so users will require a generator that creates CO2-free gas.
  2. Do you require high quality gas? In many cases gas generators can produce a superior product both in purity and consistency without the risk of contamination during gas-line changing.
  3. What volume of gas do you require? Many instruments now require higher volumes of gas. If your space is small, or you expect your needs to increase over time you may wish to consider a gas generator which will take up much less space than storing tanks of gas.
  4. Are long-term cost savings important to your project? Beyond convenience, gas generators save on shipping costs, time-related costs for changing tanks, and managerial costs for managing safety and supply of tanks.
  5. Is noise a factor in your lab? Noise can be both bothersome and present a real health concern for those exposed. If low-noise is desirable, consider a gas generator with detachable or low-noise compressors.
  6. What sorts of service agreements are available? Is training in self-maintenance sufficient, or are service representatives available?

Types of gas generator used by survey respondents:

Hydrogen 34%
Nitrogen 33%
Zero Air 19%
Other 6%
Purge 4%
Calibration 3%
TOC 1%

Frequency of gas generator inspection as reported by survey respondents:

Before every use 18%
Weekly 18%
Monthly 6%
Quarterly 12%
Every six months 20%
Annually 20%
Every two years or more 8%

Nearly 31% of respondents plan on purchasing a gas generator in the next year. The reasons cited for this purchase include:

Switching from helium to hydrogen
Cheaper than gas cylinders
Increase safety
Building / renovating lab
Upgrading old system
Starting a new lab process

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a gas generator:

Performance of product 93%
Durability of product 93%
Value for price paid 91%
Ease of use 90%
Low operating costs 86%
Low maintenance / easy to clean 85%
Total cost of ownership 83%
Warranties 83%
Availabilities of supplies and accessories 81%
Service and support 80%

For more information on gas generators, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit 

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Beyond The Bench Magazine Issue Cover
Beyond The Bench

Published: October 9, 2014

Cover Story

Beyond the Bench

Do you ever feel like you have hit a dead end in your career? Are you too busy attending to staff and their projects to even imagine a life beyond the lab bench?

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