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Nitrogen generators set for Winetech show

Supplier News
article image A typical MAXIGAS gas generation installation.

SOME of the world's most advanced on-site gas generation technology will be exhibited at Winetech 2005, in Adelaide from July 20-22.

Global gas and liquid filtration, purification and separation specialist domnick hunter will show its latest MAXIGAS on-site nitrogen generators, which use carbon molecular sieve (CMS) technology to produce high purity gas from compressed air.

The MAXIGAS system - which can be set to supply nitrogen from 97% to 10 parts per million (99.999%) - has won the Millennium Products Award introduced through the British Design Council by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Operating in more than 80 countries, including Australia, domnick hunter (correct spelling and capitalisation) uses carbon molecular sieve pressure swing technology (PSA) for optimum purity and reliability for wine production processes.

Applications include control of oxidation, draining and pressing, mixing of gases to control effervescence, storage, flushing, sparging to remove dissolved oxygen, pressure transfer of wine and wine mixing.

As well as eliminating the need for constant changing and manhandling of pressurised gas cylinders, the modular, space-saving domnick hunter design eliminates gas bottle storage problems as well as ending reliance on gas deliveries in remote areas where wineries are typically located.

"The MAXIGAS design means that if you want more gas, you simply add extra banks of generators," said domnick hunter business development manager John Davis.

"Installation is simple and proven - the generators have been used in more than 4,000 installations worldwide including Australia - and the MAXIGAS regeneration feature requires minimal maintenance."

How it works

MAXIGAS units are constructed in pairs of extruded aluminium columns filled with carbon molecular sieve (CMS) material.

Operating on the pressure swing adsorption principle (PSA), the two columns function alternately with one side producing gas while the other regenerates itself.

The side of the unit being pressurised by compressed air produces a continuous stream of nitrogen which passes through the CMS while oxygen and other trace cases are adsorbed by it.

The carbon molecular sieve differs from ordinary activated carbons in that it has a much narrower range of pore openings. This allows smaller molecules such as oxygen to penetrate the pores and be separated from the air stream.

The larger molecules of nitrogen bypass the CMS and emerge as high purity gas. Purities are determined by the velocity at which the air passes through the CMS columns.

At a pre-set time, before the online bed is saturated with adsorbed gases, the system switches to regenerative mode, venting the contaminants from the CMS. As this happens, the second CMS bed comes online and takes over the separation process to ensure uninterrupted nitrogen production.

An in-built oxygen anlayser with alarm function ensures only gas of the required purity is delivered to the storage vessel.

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