An air separation apparatus is a device used to separate the components of air, primarily nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, through a process known as cryogenic distillation. The apparatus typically consists of a series of distillation columns, heat exchangers, compressors, and other equipment that work together to cool and separate the various components of air. The process begins by compressing air to a high pressure and then cooling it down to a very low temperature using a series of heat exchangers. The cooled air is then fed into the distillation columns, where it is separated into its various components based on their boiling points. The air separation process is based on the fact that different gases have different boiling points. Nitrogen, which makes up about 78% of the air we breathe, has a boiling point of -196°C, while oxygen, which makes up about 21% of the air, has a boiling point of -183°C. Argon, which makes up about 0.9% of the air, has a boiling point of -186°C. By cooling and compressing air to very low temperatures, it is possible to separate these gases from one another. The air separation apparatus is used in a variety of industries, including the production of oxygen for medical and industrial applications, the production of nitrogen for use in chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the production of argon for use in welding and other industrial processes.
cryogenic distillation, nitrogen, oxygen, argon, distillation columns
CITATION : "Mark Nelson. 'Air Separation Apparatus.' Design+Encyclopedia. https://design-encyclopedia.com/?E=411115 (Accessed on September 26, 2023)"
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