How to safely handle and store compressed gas cylinders
Compressed gas cylinders can be dangerous if handled incorrectly. Read on to learn how to use them safely.
Compressed gases such as hydrogen and nitrogen are widely used in a variety of industries including oil and gas, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, plastics and chemical processing. Often, the compressed gas is supplied in high pressure gas cylinders which, if handled incorrectly, can prove to be extremely dangerous.
The reason why these cylinders can be so dangerous is that they store thousands of litres of compressed gas at high pressure. Due to the high pressure and volume of the gas stored, a leak could potentially cause a gas cylinder to act like a rocket – propelling into the nearest surface. A leak can also be dangerous in other ways. For example, if the leaking gas is nitrogen there is a danger of asphyxiation, and if it is hydrogen it could cause an explosion.
To avoid these dangers, it’s important to know how to correctly handle and store compressed gas cylinders. On arrival, gas cylinders should be visually inspected for any damage and once accepted from the vendor a wheeled cylinder cart should be positioned next to the cylinder with the cylinder then being ‘walked’ onto the cart to be secured in a vertical position with chains or straps to prevent the cylinder from tilting, sliding or falling over. Cylinder carts are specifically designed for moving gas cylinders and should always be used, even over short distances. A gas cylinder should never be moved with magnets, rolled horizontally, dragged or lifted by the cylinder cap.
Gas cylinders must be stored in a storage area which is well ventilated, weather-proof and a safe distance from any combustible materials or heat sources. Hazard classifications should be used to separate incompatible gases so that they are stored at least 20 feet apart or by fireproof partitions. For example, oxidizing gases should be separated from flammable gases.
Metal cylinders conduct electricity so they should be stored well away from electrical circuits, sparks and open flame and care should be taken that they aren’t placed next to something which could potentially accidentally carry a current, such as metal piping.
For industries which are using nitrogen gas cylinders, there is a safer and more convenient alternative; a nitrogen generator. Nitrogen generators generate gas on demand so they only ever store a minimal amount of gas. This means that a leak from a nitrogen generator would present much less risk of asphyxiation than a leak from nitrogen cylinder. With an n2 generator there is no need to move and change over gas cylinders, removing the risk of damaging a high pressure compressed gas vessel, as well as the risk of injury to staff who are required to move these heavy and awkward objects.
An on-site n2 generator not only removes the risks involved in moving and storing nitrogen gas cylinders, improving safety, they are also more convenient (and often more cost-effective) gas supply solutions.
A nitrogen generator is a more convenient alternative to gas cylinders as it produces gas on demand when required so there is no need to worry about running out of gas, changing over cylinders, placing orders and processing deliveries. There is also no need to worry about the ever-increasing cost of nitrogen gas when it is being generated by an n2 generator. Nitrogen costs are easier to manage with a nitrogen generator as the purchase cost of the generator and its annual maintenance cost are much simpler to factor into operational budgets than nitrogen supplied by gas cylinders, where it is necessary to account for increasing nitrogen costs, cylinder rental costs, delivery charges and admin fees.
Take control of your nitrogen costs by switching to a nitrogen gas generator, the safest and most convenient nitrogen gas supply solution. Contact us now to get started.
Nitrogen and the food and beverage industryPosted in all news on August 29 2019
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Majority of industries buy nitrogen gas supplies via nitrogen cylinder packs, others meet their needs through liquid nitrogen dewars, micro-bulk tanks or bulk liquid nitrogen delivery. There is a better, more sustainable & safer option. Reduce the cost of nitrogen gas to your organisation & become self-sufficient. Find out how much you can save with a Peak nitrogen generator system.