Safe Storage and Handling of Liquid Nitrogen Cylinders

Nitrogen and hydrogen are two gases that are used in many different industries, including gas and oil, food and beverages, and chemical processing. There are a number of risks associated with storing and handling compressed gas cylinders. Mishandling gas cylinders and incorrect storage can have catastrophic results. 

The Problem

Compressed gas cylinders contain thousands of liters of gas, and combined with the high pressure and volume, any leak in the container could propel the container in the opposite direction from the leak. This could cause serious bodily harm or damage to the storage area. The gas itself also poses a danger because a person in a room with too much gas (other than oxygen) could die of asphyxiation. Hydrogen poses the additional problem of being highly flammable and could cause an explosion. 

Proper Handling, Movement, and Storage

Proper handling begins from the moment your gas cylinder arrives. You should:

  1. Inspect cylinders as soon as they arrive, looking for damage to the cylinder. 
  2. Have a cart designed for carrying cylinders ready for moving the accepted cylinders to the proper storage location. 
  3. Secure the approved cylinders on the cart in a vertical position and move it to the storage area. 

Cylinders should always be moved with an approved cart, even if the cylinders are only being moved over a short distance. Cylinders should never be moved unless they are properly secured in a vertical position to eliminate the risk of anything happening during the move. These cylinders should never be dragged, carried in someone’s arms, or be moved with magnets. 

The storage area should meet strict requirements to ensure that the containers are not damaged. It should meet the following requirements:

  1. Well ventilated
  2. Weather proof
  3. Located at a safe distance from any heat, electrical circuits, and combustible materials (this includes fires, radiators, and metal piping)

All cylinders should be properly labeled, including their hazard classifications. All incompatible gases should be stored 20 feet or more apart. If that is not possible, fireproof partitions can be used to keep them secured from each other.  

At a glance, this probably doesn’t seem so bad. When you consider how many cylinders you have to handle and store a year, it becomes more obvious just how much work this can be. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through all of that trouble.

Nitrogen Generator – The Best Way to Bypass Gas Cylinder Risks

Given the extra cost and administrative tasks you have to do to ensure that the cylinders are safe, you may want to consider something that will be both more cost effective and less potentially dangerous. If you need nitrogen gas for your business, nitrogen generators are a great way to ensure you have the necessary nitrogen when you need it. Nitrogen generators let you store minimal amounts of gas, while ensuring that you always have nitrogen when you need it. 

Any leaks in the generator poses a much smaller risk of asphyxiation because it will not continually pump nitrogen into the room where it is stored. It eliminates the need for gas cylinders, so you won’t need to have the storage spaces or tools used for properly handling and storing them. This saves you money while improving the safety of your office or facility and it is far more convenient than gas cylinders. 

Since you will be able to generate nitrogen when you need it, you won’t have to worry about supply disruptions, increases in the cost of nitrogen, or managing empty containers. This will make it easier to budget the cost of nitrogen because you will mostly be calculating the cost of purchasing the generator, powering it, and annual maintenance. There are far fewer associated costs and safety issues with a nitrogen generator than for nitrogen deliveries. 

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