Creating A Nitrogen Blanketing System On Tankers
September 26, 2018
Oil tankers regularly transfer millions of barrels of oil across the globe every year. Any damage or loss of these assets can lead to a dramatic loss in revenue such as with the Iranian tanker that caught fire this past January.
Therefore, asset protection is a vital step any company should take to prevent such disasters. One of the best ways to protect assets on board is by implementing a nitrogen blanketing system.
What Is A Nitrogen Blanketing System?
A nitrogen blanketing system is a type of inert gas releasing system that is designed to prevent emergency situations. This inert gas system is implemented on board ships to be activated in the event of any combustion to prevent damage to the ship, crew, and goods on board.
Is Nitrogen Gas Flammable?
Nitrogen gas is a non-flammable compound because combustion requires an oxidizing agent, usually oxygen. Compounds like petrochemicals and crude oil can only ignite when they are in the presence of oxygen.
Nitrogen gas has a special molecular structure that renders it almost entirely inert. That means that nitrogen gas is unable to oxidize flammable products and is generally incapable of producing flames.
Is Nitrogen an Inert Gas?
Nitrogen gas contains what is known as a triple covalent bond. This stabilizing bond is a characteristic of the nitrogen molecule itself. This unique formation ultimately stabilizes the molecule and transforms it into a nonreactive gas.
Due to this non-reactivity, nitrogen doesn’t participate in chemical reactions such as combustion. For this reason, nitrogen is considered an inert gas that is well suited for use in inert gas systems on tankers.
Why Use an Inert Gas System on Tankers?
Inert gas systems are important because they prevent oxygen from entering the containers which hold flammable product. When crude oil is held in large tanks, they give off vapor. This volatile vapor could be dangerous if it mixes with oxygen coming from the air outside.
Atmospheric oxygen mixing with oil vapor increases the risk of combustion. Goods like petrochemicals, oil, crude oils, and other such carbon-rich compounds can easily be ignited from an errant spark.
Large vessels which carry vast amounts of these goods assume the risk of explosion if these products aren’t kept in a static environment. Nitrogen blanketing system manufacturers provide the last line of defense to avert large-scale losses. An inert gas system prevents vapors from mixing with the oxygen that could leak in.
The way this works is simple.
Inert gas generator systems are placed on board with a constant supply of inert nitrogen gas. This gas blanketing system constantly pushes inert nitrogen gas into the vessel to maintain the high pressure of inert gas and prevent the inflow of oxygen. Additionally, these systems monitor oxygen and gas pressure levels to maintain the safest balance.
How Do You Support an Inert Gas Generator System?
Inert gas generator systems are easy to manage and install. GENERON specializes in producing membrane nitrogen generators and PSA nitrogen generators that can be used to blanket fuel tanks in both tankers and aircraft. These generators produce nitrogen gas to keep you well supplied for containers of any size.
If you are interested in acquiring an inert gas blanketing system, contact us today.