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Cryogenic Air Separation
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Cryogenic Air Separation Manufacturer

  • A competitively priced setup 
  • Helps you get high purity products
  • Contains the best molecular sieves
  • Ease of running the system 
  • Excellent customer support

Your Reliable Cryogenic Air Separation Manufacturer

Any company that needs to handle the cryogenic air separation process understands what it entails. This is a process that would lead to high purity nitrogen and oxygen. As a result, you need the right components and tools to have it done right. That is where SWT comes in handy to help with the setup and provide technical support for the whole process. 

SWT can be your necessary parts supply company to help in setting up and running the cryogenic air separation process. In case your company does not have an idea where to start, this is the right place to get answers. The support team has handled such cases before and they know how best to guide you. 

Any end product that goes through the cryogenic air separation process needs to have the best purity. Or else you would be using the other regular methods. The cryogenic air separation setup we can offer you will ensure the required product purity is maintained. We always want our clients happy with the setup. 

Will it be expensive? Because of the possible purity, a cryogenic air separation unit is supposed to give, sometimes it gives the sense that it will be too expensive. However, this should not be a thing that gets you worried. SWT will be one brand that gets you a high-quality cryogenic air separation unit at an affordable price. Try us today for more benefits.

  • Oxygen production
  • Nitrogen production
  • Argon production
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Cryogenic Air Separation: Attain Better Oxygen Purity


Air separation process is among the most used today in different applications. What is it all about? And why does cryogenic air separation different from other methods? Will it be the best for your application? It is possible you may have these and many other questions about the cryogenic air separation process. However, if you do not have the right answers, it becomes harder to understand it even more. This guide below should help you understand this process even better. 

What is Cryogenic Air Separation?

cryogenic air separation unit

The cryogenic air separation is where oxygen and nitrogen are separated from the air. Depending on the need and stream of air, there will be further separation of the other gases too. This time round includes gases such as argon and more. 

The term cryogenic in this means that the process happens at low temperatures. Then air separation is when the different compounds in the air are separated based on their boiling point property. As a result, the components of the cryogenic air separation unit would have very low boiling points to help with the overall separation process. This method would always leave you with high purity end product however, the whole process would be energy intensive. 

The use of cryogenic air separation method has been in use for a long time. As early as 1900s, it was being used in the production of oxygen, but on a small scale. Right now, it is the best method for producing oxygen in different industries. You would easily find the method being idea even for medical gas. 

The cryogenic air separation units are known for delivering on high quality products, contain big capacities, and offer high reliabilities. Even better is the fact there are more cryogenic air separation technologies coming up and SWT is part of it. The company will always help the client in getting high purity oxygen or nitrogen stream depending on the use. 

What is the Typical Process of Cryogenic Air Separation?

cryogenic air separation process

Now that you know what the process will do for you, it is good to understand how it works. The cryogenic air separation process is based on the differences in the boiling points of different gases in the mixture. All you have to do is manipulate the environment in regards to pressure and temperature to help in separating the air into the various components. 

The oxygen boiling point is -182.9 degrees C when the conditions are 1 atmosphere pressure and also zero degrees Celsius. This boiling point changes to -160.7 degrees Celsius when you raise the atmospheric pressure to 6 and but maintain the temperature at 0 degrees C. 

As for nitrogen, it will be -195.8 degrees C and -176.6 degrees C respectively based on the conditions mentioned above. 

You will be using the cryogenic air separation process if you want the following processes met;

  • You want high purity oxygen. We are talking of a case where the oxygen needs to be more than 99.5%
  • There is the need for high volume of oxygen supply. Let us say you need 100 tons of oxygen per day
  • High pressure oxygen is required

Based on the performance of the cryogenic air separation units, you will find that the nitrogen stream would also be good quality. As such, the use of such systems is recommended as even the byproducts would have use too. 

What are the Processes of Separating the Gases in a Cryogenic Air Separation?

how cryogenic air separation works

The cryogenic air separation will be grouped into four main processes. It is under these processes that there will be important separation of the constituent gases in the air stream. The processes include;

  • Air compression 

This process involves the pre treatment of the incoming air to suit your need for pure oxygen. You would also find that this is part where there is the removal of dirt as much as possible. Once the air is cleaned, it would then be compressed then sent through several intercoolers. This is to remove the water vapor. 

This stage will also involve in bringing down the temperature of the air stream to the suitable region that allows for the separation of the different gases. A mechanical refrigeration cycle is often used in this process. Well, majority of the vapor would be removed at this point. 

  • Air purification 

Air purification in this case is simply the removal of carbon dioxide. This gas is removed because it may freeze and end up clogging the equipment. 

The now purified and cooled air is passed through molecular sieves. The molecular sieves are simply adsorbents that would help in removing more contaminants based on their molecular sizes. Based on the molecular sieve type, it would allow for the passage of some molecules and adsorb the orders. If the molecules are smaller than the pore size, then they are adsorbed easily. This is where the carbon dioxide would also be removed together with the water vapor. 

  • Heat exchange

During this process, the air is passed in a heat exchanger to help in bringing the air stream to the cryogenic temperature. This is vital for the next step of the process which is the separation of the gases. 

  • Distillation 

The distillation process is quite important as it what will help in the actual separating of the gases. Once the air stream goes through this process, you end up with the best purity too. 

Here is also depends on which type of gas you want. If you want to end up with nitrogen, only a single distillation column is necessary. Sometimes you can two columns if high purity nitrogen is required. 

As for oxygen separation, two distillation columns are used by default. The first column runs at a high pressure while the second column runs at a low pressure. 

Argon gas would have a similar boiling point as oxygen. So, you may find it as part of the oxygen stream. It is why the stream is often 99.5% pure. The other percentage is argon. To help in removing as much argon as possible, a side stream is draw whenever there is high concentration of argon. 

Just like that, the end product is now packaged and ready for use depending on where you want. 

What are the Types of Cryogenic Air Separation Units?

all liquid cryogenic air separation unit

When you want an air separation unit, there will be a few options for you to consider. We look at them below. 

  • All gaseous output 

This is an onsite cryogenic air separator that would be the most common. The work of this type is to produce oxygen only, nitrogen only, oxygen and nitrogen, and argon and nitrogen. So, it depends on how you expect to use the cryogenic air separation. 

What you will notice is that you will find the products would be at a low pressure and maintained an ambient temperature. 

The setup would have a compressor that is vital for keeping the product at the required pressure. Sometimes the liquid products would be then pumped through the heat exchanger to be warmed up to reach the ambient temperature. You can expect a production of 10 to over 2000 short tons of the preferred output. 

  • The all-liquid output 

You might this setup also referred to as a merchant plant. In this case, the desired output would be transported in cryogenic trailers or rail cars. The options include liquid oxygen, liquid argon, and liquid nitrogen. When the products reach their destinations, they would then be warmed back to their gas form for use. Sometimes they can be still used in their liquid form too. A good example is using them in food freezers and other processes that might need the use of cold temperatures. 

Such types would produce an average of 150 up to 1000 short tons each day. So, look at the functionality of each and pick that one that would work great for your application generally. 

What are the Byproducts of Cryogenic Air Separation?

cryogenic air separatin byproducts

Oxygen would be the main product of a cryogenic air separation process. There will be other byproducts of the process that you should know about. Are the byproducts of the process;

  • Nitrogen 

Nitrogen will have many uses. One of the most notable would be increasing the efficiency of a gas turbine. This is where it would be as a combustion diluent. It can still be a great choice for system purging and flushing. The liquid nitrogen stream is also a top choice for cooling applications. 

  • Argon 

Argon is also great byproduct of the process that would have many applications. It will not be much, but when processed right, it will be a good product too. The popular use of argon includes incandescent lighting, thermal insulation in the window panes, and as a shielding layer for welding inert gas. 

You would still find it a great choice as a fire extinguisher too when it is a sensitive location. The same would be a good choice for sealing IV drugs where the oxygen would lead to the degradation of the medication. You may have also noticed that argon would be used in museums for conversations. 

  • Rare gases

Depending on the process, there can also be rare gases too in the mix. We are talking of gases such as xenon, krypton, and neon. Neon is known for have a lower boiling point compared to nitrogen while krypton and xenon would have a higher boiling point as compared to oxygen. 

Neon, xenon, and krypton are considered noble gases. This is because they are generally unreactive and they can be rare in the air streams. 

Neon will be quite expensive because of its rarity. The gas would be a popular choice for cryogenic cooling. As for krypton, it can be a good option for house lighting. It is mostly mixed with argon to emit a bluer light. The same would also be used in other applications such as lasers. 

All the byproducts of the cryogenic air separation process will have many uses. It is all important that you only use the right setup to be able to separate the other gases even better for their specific applications.  

Will it be Expensive to Use Cryogenic Air Separation?

Cryogenic air separation cost

The cryogenic air separation method is quite popular; however, will it be too expensive? One thing you should know about this process is that it will be energy intensive. To achieve the low temperatures to a point the gases reach the boiling temperatures means using more energy. For this reason, the biggest expense would be the cost of electricity. For most companies running such a system, it would be a third of the running costs. Well, new technologies are coming up to make such processes affordable. So, this should not deter you from trying them out. That is what you will find here at SWT. 

Other things that would affect the cost are the complexity of the air separation process and the size of the equipment required for the process. In case you have to produce nitrogen, the plant would be less complex. This also means that less power is used in the process. It is expected that the plant used for oxygen production would cost a lot more. When you setup a plant to co-produce the two gases, then a company can save on the costs. 

Argon is found to be the most economical to produce when it is done in conjunction with oxygen. This is because the two have close boiling points. Not to worry as SWT will design a system to further help with the whole process of making the separation unit affordable. 

How is Argon Produced in a Cryogenic Air Separation?


Pure argon can also be produced from the cryogenic air separation process. You would get pure argon by the use of a multi-step process. The popular approach would be to remove 2 to 3% of oxygen in the crude argon to end up with the pure argon. You would be combining the stream with hydrogen as catalyst. The resulting water would then be removed by cooling and passing the stream through the molecular sieve. The resultant stream is now free from oxygen. It is then pass through the distillation column to help in removing any residual hydrogen and nitrogen. 

The other option would be using highly advanced argon recovery distillation technology. The argon that would come from this method will also be high purity and will not need so many processes to make it happen. 

What are the Infrastructure Requirements for Cryogenic Air Separation Unit?

cryogenic air separation water and electricity

The cryogenic air separation is highly recommended thus the reason someone would want to know what are key infrastructure that you need to run the system. 

The two main things will be electricity and water. 

Electricity is crucial considering that the cryogenic ASU require a large amount of energy to run. It can be electricity or any other fuel source. Well, maintaining the cryogenic temperatures is not easy so that is why SWT always recommends having enough electricity supply for the product. A good example is that you will need an average of 16 MW of power to produce an average of 1,200 metric tons per day. Most companies running such system would have a dedicated power supply. 

Cooling water is also vital too. There is the need for such a water system to help in cooling the processed air and compressors. The idea is to help maintain the right temperatures also during the whole production process. 

So far you can see the two main things you should have as part of setting up the cryogenic ASU. 

When Will the Cryogenic Air Separation Unit Be Delivered?


SWT has been making the cryogenic air separation machines for long to make the whole process faster. This means that you can always get the best machine also delivered on time. We only give the timeline once you have placed the order. It is understandable that at times you may have to deal long waiting periods before. However, you are now working with an expert in the sector. We have done several projects before so you will be comfortable knowing that we will deliver on the unit fast. 

We shall also provide you with the necessary related equipment to the use of ASU. This will include the use of the vessels for the storage of liquid oxygen, a vaporizer, high pressure gaseous cylinder filing production line, and so much more. 

We also advise you on the best cryogenic trucks to get for the deliver purpose. You need the final product to be delivered while in good condition. That is why people rely on us for consultation. 

What is the Maintenance Like for a Cryogenic Air Separation Unit?

lithium zeolite manufacturing

The cryogenic air separation units can be considered for maintenance too. You should take note that maintenance cannot be skipped in such sensitive plants. During the maintenance period, the plant may be offline for several hours or sometimes days depending on what needs attention. As such, you should plan your supply chains in advance to avoid any hiccups in production and delivery. 

During the maintenance process, these are some of the things you will have to do. 

  • Make sure that you are working with trained personnel that understand the system. Maintenance can involve troubleshooting and finding out if there are any issues with the plant. So, someone who knows the plant is highly recommended. 
  • Do not just maintain the plant and forget the transport and delivery sector. Make sure that you have the trucks also inspected and keep them in good condition. Increase there is an issue, ensure it is handled immediately. 
  • Also, look at the performance of the cylinder filing facility. This is because there is the use of the high-pressure compressors so they should be working right too. Also, look at the performance of the cryogenic pump plus the vaporizer. This is vital to ensure you always have a good working space for your workers and keep the products high quality. 

Is SWT A Reliable Cryogenic Air Separation Unit Provider?


Yes. SWT has over two decades of experience in making of the cryogenic air separation machines. Because of this experience, it is easy for most people to trust in the products that we make. They are sure that we can also deliver on time. You would have a reliable support team that would give you a good timeline for you to follow. 

Even though the cost of such units is always high, you can rely on us to make it affordable. Once we understand your needs for a cryogenic air separation unit, we can offer a better guide to the pricing of the whole project. 

Do You Need a Cryogenic Engineer to Operate the Unit?

cryogenic engineer

SWT would highly recommend that you get a cryogenic engineer to help in running the unit. This is not something that you can just start using without having proper understanding of how it works. 

Other than operating the cryogenic air separation unit, the cryogenic engineer is also tasked with the design part of the project. Well, before SWT can produce the unit for you, we need to understand what you need. It is during this time that you will work with out cryogenic engineer to help in making a unit that will give you the right performance. The engineer would also be good at offering more consultations that you need. 

The cryogenic engineer will from time to time need to work with challenging liquids. One wrong move can sometimes lead to low quality oxygen and that is not what you want. Also, maximum safety is necessary to avoid accidents. 

What we can say is that you should always consider having a cryogenic engineer as part of your team to have the unit running efficiently. 



The cryogenic air separation unit will be a highly recommended unit for making high purity oxygen and other gases depending on the needs. It might not be the cheapest unit, but it does a good job. Sometimes you need the use of an expert in the sector in setting up. SWT should help you in doing all of this, so go ahead and give us a call for more help. What are you waiting for? We are here to serve you better. 


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