What are the Best Filtration Products to Have on a Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Nitrogen Generation System?

The ultimate guide to selecting filtration products

Posted on February 24th, 2020

Having high-quality filtration products on your PSA nitrogen generation system ensures that only clean, dry air enters and exits your system. To produce the purest nitrogen and maintain maximum efficiency, the best-compressed air filters and desiccant dryers are essential to removing contaminants.

Choosing the correct pipe connection and flow rate are only the first of many considerations when selecting the compressed air filters and dryers for your system. Other factors, such as the pressure drop, serviceability, and filter training capabilities, are essential and often overlooked features and benefits that can improve your nitrogen generation system.


Low Pressure Loss

The most crucial factor to consider when choosing filtration products is pressure loss. Some compressed air filters have a pressure loss of 3.5 psi. Meanwhile, the most efficient products on the market have a pressure loss of less than 1.8 psi. But why is the 1.7 psi difference significant?

Energy Usage

Pressure loss affects almost every aspect of a nitrogen generation system, directly or indirectly. The most common effect is that the compressor’s run energy usage increases. When there is a higher pressure loss through the system, the compressor must work harder to produce more air, which uses more energy.

For example, if the application requires 100 psi of air, and each filter is losing 3.5 psi, the compressor must produce an additional 3.5 psi per filter. If there are three filters in the system, the compressor must output 115 psi, instead of 100 psi. In comparison, if the compressed air products with the lowest pressure loss of 1.8 psi were used, the compressor would only have to output 110 psi.

Based upon a 100 SCFM system running 6,000 hours per year, the lower system pressure loss could save as much as $5,000 in electricity consumption annually*.


By having a low pressure loss, manufacturers are sometimes able to use smaller filters and dryers in their system. Currently, many PSA nitrogen generation companies intentionally oversize their filtration products to compensate for pressure loss. But, by doing so, they are increasing their system footprint.

Not only does purchasing smaller, more energy-efficient filters and dryers save you money, but it also allows you to reduce the system’s footprint. Ultimately, this opens the door to opportunities for applications where the footprint is critical.



The serviceability features of filtration products should not be overlooked. By selecting a product that is market-leading for serviceability, your system’s footprint can be reduced, and you can save time and money on system servicing.


Choosing a compressed air filter that does not use tie rods or bolts to secure the filter element can simplify and speed up the service process. Service technicians will be able to unscrew the bowl from the head and take out the element with limited clearance. Meaning, the bowl and element clearance does not need to be a significant calculation when designing a nitrogen generation system.

External Drain

In normal circumstances, if a drain needs to be changed or serviced, an engineer or service technician must first remove the filter bowl, sometimes with tie rods and bolts, then reach into the oily bowl to remove and replace the drain. Having a filter with an externally accessible drain means that the filter bowl does not need to be removed to service or change the drain.


Filter Trains

Choosing filters that can be trained together will create a filtration stream that limits the space needed for your application. You can even save time and labor costs by ordering your filtration products pre-assembled together.

Furthermore, custom-built service kit solutions are a great way to create unique pre-assembled packages that include all the serviceable parts to make the replacement process quick and easy for your customers. The easier it is to service the product, the more likely customers are to complete routine maintenance.


Connection Sizes

Piping and application requirements can change and evolve over time. Choosing a filtration vendor with a wide offering of connection sizes allows for flexibility to adapt in the future.

For instance, Walker Filtration offers three ranges of coalescing filters with varying connection sizes so that every nitrogen generation system can be adequately supplied. The Alpha Coalescing Filter offers 11 connection sizes from 1/8” – 3,” the PRO XF Coalescing Filter provides a range from 2” – 3” and 3” and 4” flanged, and the Fabricated Flanged ASME Coalescing Filter range covers high flow applications from 6” – 12”.


Other Factors to Consider

Before deciding on which filtration products are the best for your PSA nitrogen generation system, ensure that the vendor is ISO 8573-1:2010 certified and has a high-quality filter element construction to guarantee the highest purity standards. To ensure clean, dry air, the element construction must be able to remove a wide range of contaminants beyond just dust and oil.

Walker Filtration offers world-class original filter elements as well as high-quality alternative filter elements to ensure optimum performance for systems that are currently in the field.


Where to Buy the Best Filters for a Nitrogen Generation System

At Walker Filtration, we are the PSA Nitrogen Generation filtration experts. Our knowledgeable team of technicians, sales staff, and creative marketing executives can help tailor custom-built solutions for your unique application. Please send us an email at usa@walkerfiltration.com or submit an inquiry to learn more about how we can assist you and your filtration needs.


*Assuming $0.12 kWh

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