Technical gases are an essential part of a wide range of industries, from the health sector to the food or construction industries, to name just a few.

As these industries advance, particularly in the developing economies of Asia Pacific, the applications for technical gases keep growing every year, and so does the industrial technical gases market size: at a global level, it was valued at USD 92.000 million in 2020, while its size is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.0% until 2028, according to Grand View Research

Following such predictions, it’s apparent that the technical gases applications and value for industrial production is and will be growing organically during the next decades. 

What is a technical gas or industrial gas?

Technical gases or industrial gases are those produced to be used in industrial and manufacturing processes. The technical gases sector comprises every company related to the manufacturing and transporting of these substances, also including those helping other companies manage or store them.

Uses and utilities of technical gases

Technical gases are mainly necessitated for three of their characteristics:

  • Their reactivity properties: some technical gasses are sought after because they are more active chemically than others, helping certain processes take place. For instance, oxygen and hydrogen are reactive. 
  • Their inertness: the gases industry also pursues those substances that remain stable and don’t undergo chemical reactions even when the given conditions change. Most inert gases are part of Group 18, the noble gases of the Periodic Table. A common application for inert gases in the industry includes the blanketing of different materials, such as storage tanks, and maintaining controlled atmospheres (frequent in the food industry, for instance). 
  • As refrigerants: certain technical gases allow for a rapid and persistent freezing. This is useful for certain food items, while it’s also used to solidify materials. 

These three different properties generate a myriad of functions for technical gasses, some of which include: 

  • Health applications, such as laboratory analytical gases or oxygen concentrators.
  • Sustainability: oxygen improves combustion processes, making them less pollutant; hydrogen lowers the sulfur content in fuels…
  • Water treatment using oxygen and carbon dioxide
  • Energy savings and efficiency, as they play a part, for instance, in the manufacturing of solar energy panels.

Keep learning: Cryogenic liquid gases: differences and common uses of LNG, LIN, LOX, LAR and LC02

Main technical gases for industrial production

1. Nitrogen

In the technical gases sector, nitrogen is used as an inert gas or because of its refrigerant properties. Fertilizers, food processes involving conservation, pharmaceutical products, manufacturing or construction involving steel all use nitrogen in different ways. 

2. Oxygen

Oxygen is sought after because of its reactivity properties, as this gas combines with most other common gases and other elements. For instance, it’s used for its capacity to chemically accelerate combustion and oxidation, while it’s also useful to kill bacteria or carry out wastewater treatments, among many other uses. 

3. Hydrogen

Hydrogen is another of the common gases used in the industry, and it serves a multitude of purposes: it assists in the steel welding process; it’s key to industries such as the food and electronics sectors; and it’s required for the production of methanol and ammonia, two common chemicals employed across many industries. 

4. Acetylene

This chemical compound is highly reactive and thus essential for many industrial processes. These include welding and cutting at high temperatures, and some food processes such as the synthesis of certain plastics. 

5. Methane

Methane is one of the most pollutant technical gases and it appears from fermenting organic matter. It’s the basic component of natural gas and other basic manufactured products such as fertilizers and plastics, while it can also contribute to generating other technical gases.

6. Xenon

A colorless, odorless noble gas with many applications including the generation of general anesthetics or the manufacturing of flash lamps.

7. Krypton

An odorless, colorless and tasteless noble gas used in conjunction with other gases to create fluorescent lamps and a main element for the photographic and lighting industries. 

8. Helium

Helium is a non toxic inert gas, the first in the noble gas group. In its liquid form, helium is a key part of the cryogenic industry, while it’s mostly known for being essential to manufacture MRI scanners. However, there are many other applications to this gas, from purging and pressurizing to being used as a lifting gas.

In any case, when handling or storing technical gases, industrial settings must rely on trusted equipment that helps them ensure both secure and efficient operations.

At Cryospain, we provide cryogenic engineering projects for the different industries, adjusting our projects to the needs of the different technical gasses and industrial sectors. From turnkey projects to the supply of equipment, technical support, and maintenance, at Cryospain we provide engineering solutions that fit the specific demands of our clients. 

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