Nitrogen generators, a CO2 alternative for breweries

Learn more about the benefits of on-site nitrogen generation for breweries.

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On-site nitrogen generation for breweries

Beer brewing requires expertise, carefully selected ingredients, and the right equipment. With the worldwide shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2), the food and beverage industry is struggling with the rising CO2 supply costs and availability. This is where on site nitrogen generation can help. 

Nitrogen plays a key role in this process, especially in packaging and in tank purging. That is why it is crucial to have access to top-quality nitrogen for breweries. Pneumatech is the gas generation expert and partner that can deliver a nitrogen solution that meets the specific needs of every brewery, large or small. 

Breweries with wave

What role does nitrogen play in beer brewing?

Brewers often say, “oxygen is beer’s worst enemy.” As an inert gas, nitrogen prevents potential quality problems that would arise from beer contamination with oxygen. Nitrogen is a great alternative to CO2 to move beer between vessels and to blanket tanks to control the conditioning stage. When kegs are cleaned between use, they are often filled with nitrogen. 

Why breweries should switch from CO2 to N2

Both nitrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) are inert gases used to flush, purge, infuse and package beer. For many processes, CO2 can be replaced with nitrogen. In fact, nitrogen is the preferred solution, except for carbonation requirements. Some breweries prefer nitrogen over CO2 to nitrogenate their beer, as it creates a smoother texture with fine bubbles. In addition, as CO2 is highly soluble in beer, it could introduce excess carbonation.

Nitrogen tackling CO2 supply issues and rising costs

From a commercial point of view, nitrogen can offer brewers huge cost savings. On site produced nitrogen is much less expensive than CO2, and it isn't subject to CO2’s volatile pricing. In addition, CO2 tends to experience supply chain issues, leaving breweries without the inert gas they need. An on-site nitrogen generator eliminates this production roadblock. 

Nitrogen requirements of breweries

Because of the many uses of nitrogen gas throughout the production and packaging process, breweries have a specific set of nitrogen requirements:

  • Food-grade nitrogen: Breweries must follow European and global standards for food-grade nitrogen. They must prevent any oxygen contamination and the loss of entire batches of beer.
  • Flexibility: Any brewery nitrogen solution must meet the demands of all its nitrogen applications, from blanketing and purging to packaging. It must cater to the needs of different sizes of breweries, from large operations to craft breweries.
  • Sustainable production: Sustainability has become a key condition that nitrogen solutions must meet.
  • Reliability: Nitrogen plays a key role in the brewing and packaging process. Any nitrogen solution must be reliable in performance, quality and purity.
  • Cost reduction: Margins are typically tight in the brewery business. The right nitrogen solution will contribute to keeping operational costs in check. 

Why should you stop buying nitrogen and produce it on site?

Many breweries still purchase their nitrogen in a similar fashion to CO2 via their supply chain. Just like CO2 supplied in canisters and tanks, nitrogen supply carries higher costs and creates potential risks to the continuity of beer production.

With on-site nitrogen generation, brewers can reduce their production risks and obtain other benefits such as:

  • Greater cost-efficiency
  • Reducing carbon footprint
  • Taking charge of their own nitrogen supply
  • Removing supply chain and logistics issues

The right nitrogen solution for every brewery

When it comes to nitrogen for breweries, one size doesn't fit all. Pneumatech knows that the realities of a large production facility are much different from the requirements of a small craft brewery. That is why we don’t offer a uniform brewery solution that would work for only a few. Fortunately, our nitrogen generator product range is extensive and flexible, allowing us to present every brewery with a solution that meets its specific needs.

PPNG HE for large breweries

PPNG HE front

The PPNG HE is Pneumatech’s premium high-flow PSA nitrogen generator, giving breweries best-in-class performance, efficiency, and purity:

  • The right nitrogen: The PPNG HE can generate food-grade nitrogen with a purity between 99.5% and 99.999%.
  • Cost savings: The PPNG HE offers best-in-class efficiency to keep energy costs to a minimum.
  • Sustainability: Producing nitrogen on-site eliminates delivery transportation emissions. The PPNG HE’s energy efficiency also contributes to a greener production.
  • Long lifetime: Thanks to its robust build and a host of protective features, the PPNG HE has a long lifetime. Its CMS will last at least 15 years at full load.
  • Outdoor installation: The PPNG HE doesn’t take up indoor floor space that might not be available. Its robust design allows for outdoor installation in temperatures down to -10°C/14°F. 

PMNG for craft breweries

Product Picture PMNG 1-3

The PMNG is the quiet, compact and convenient membrane nitrogen generator that offers the gas quality, purity and reliability craft breweries need:

  • Quality and purity: The PMNG can generate food-grade nitrogen with a purity up to 99.5%.
  • Cost-efficient and sustainable: The PMNG is 35% more efficient than other membrane generators. That means lower energy use, reduced operational costs, and a smaller environmental impact.
  • Superior reliability: The PMNG uses membrane technology, a simple, reliable and continuous nitrogen gas production method.
  • Quiet and compact: The PMNG is as silent as it is compact, making it perfect for installation and operation at the point of use.
  • A complete solution: The PMNG requires no additional filters, vessels or other parts. It is ready to go the minute it is connected to a compressor.

Ease of use: Operation, including purity selection, is straightforward. 

More than a nitrogen generator

Pneumatech offers you more than “just” the best nitrogen generator for breweries available on the market. We can also provide food-grade compressed air and process filters. 

Expert advice, service and support

Contact us with the details about your brewery, such as your nitrogen usage or the size of generator you need. Our industry experts will put together the best on-site gas solution for you. If you don’t have that information, don’t worry, we will help you through the specification process.