9 Industrial Uses of Gases That You Should Know About

Gases are used in various industrial applications due to their unique physical and chemical properties. Thanks to their versatility and utility, numerous industries make use of them every day, and hence, they have become pivotal in the modern industrial world. From welding and cutting to packaging and refrigeration, gases play an essential role in many industries. So in this article, you will read about nine industrial uses of gases.

1. Chemical Manufacturing

Hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen are used extensively in chemical manufacturing. Hydrogen is a reducing agent, while nitrogen is used for blanketing and purging. Oxygen is best for applications in oxidising reactions and to increase combustion efficiency in some processes.

2. Welding and Cutting

Gases such as oxygen, acetylene, and propane are candidates for welding and cutting. Oxygen is an oxidising agent to ignite the fuel gas, while acetylene and propane are fuels. They are used in various welding techniques, such as MIG, TIG, and stick welding. They are also used in cutting processes such as plasma and oxyfuel.

3. Food Packaging and Preservation

Carbon dioxide and nitrogen are used in food packaging and preservation. Carbon dioxide extends the shelf life of food products such as meat and vegetables by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. Meanwhile, nitrogen prevents the oxidation of food products such as potato chips and nuts.

5. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Gases such as Freon, ammonia, and carbon dioxide are used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. Freon, also known as chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), was widely used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems until its production was banned due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. In the meantime, ammonia and carbon dioxide are now commonly used as refrigerants due to their high efficiency and low environmental impact.

6. Medical Applications

Oxygen and nitrogen are used in medical applications. Oxygen treats patients with respiratory problems, while nitrogen is used in cryosurgery to freeze and destroy abnormal tissues.

7. Purging

Purging is a process used to remove unwanted gases, contaminants, or oxygen from a confined space or system. Nitrogen and carbon dioxide are commonly used for this process in various industries such as chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical. Meanwhile, this process is crucial for preventing explosions or reactions in the presence of oxygen or other unwanted gases.

8. Electronics Manufacturing

Argon, nitrogen, and hydrogen are used in electronics manufacturing. Argon is used as a shielding gas for welding and in the plasma cutting of electronic components. On the other hand, nitrogen is used for purging and drying electronic components, and hydrogen is used to manufacture semiconductor chips.

9. Oil and Gas Industry

Gases such as natural gas, propane, and butane are used in the oil and gas industry. Natural gas is used as a fuel for power generation and as raw material for producing chemicals. Propane and butane are used as fuel for heating and in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking and transportation.

10. Glass Manufacturing

Gases like oxygen, natural gas, and hydrogen are used in glass manufacturing. Oxygen is an oxidising agent in glass melting, while natural gas and hydrogen are used as fuel. They are used in the float glass process, which involves the production of flat glass sheets used in the automotive and construction industries.

In summary, gases have various industrial uses, from electronics manufacturing and glass production to the oil and gas industry. These gases are used for various purposes, such as fuel, heating, welding and as raw materials in chemical production. Their unique physical and chemical properties make them essential for many industrial processes, and their safe handling is crucial for ensuring the safety of workers and equipment.