selecting a gas generator and specialty gases for your lab

Maintenance Tip: Gas Generators

Gas generators require some care to maintain optimum performance and reliability. Depending on the type of gas generator used, it may require replacement of filters or desiccant cartridges on a semiannual basis as well as replacement of valves, sensors, heaters, or thermocouplers every couple of years. Complete knowledge of the maintenance requirements and the associated costs is important when purchasing a gas generator.

How does the footprint of the lab, and the amount of gas needed, influence which type of gas generator should be used?

The overall size of a laboratory and the number of instruments present will play a significant role in the design and type of gas generator required. Many instruments which require gas to run have a specific operating range. If the amount of gas generated cannot keep up with demands, it could result in costly downtime. Many companies offer a variety of solutions to ensure that the correct level of gas is being produced.

How does the number of systems requiring different gases affect the purchase of specialty gases?

Different systems and processes may not all need the same type of gas. While a GC system may require H2, an ICP-OES or MS system may require N2. Gas generator manufacturers offer different solutions to help remedy this issue. Solutions include standalone generation systems for different gases, or systems which can produce a combination of gases. Some units come with the option to produce adjustable levels of each gas, which is ideal for many biological tests.

How will the purity of gas required affect which gas generator is the best fit?

The level of purity required will influence which style of gas generator is required. For those requiring a lower purity—95 percent or less—a membrane style gas generator would be the best fit. This style cannot provide the highest level of purity, but is much more dependable and requires less maintenance. For highly pure gases—up to 99.9995%—a pressure swing adsorption unit should be used.

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