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Monthly Archives: July 2016

The World’s Laziest Gas? How Argon Gas Got Its’ Nickname

It’s not usually a good thing to be known as lazy but in the case of Argon, it’s a label that has been used to describe the gas since its’ discovery. The name itself is derived from Argos, the Greek word for inactive and pays homage to the gas’ non-reactivity. That non-reactivity is one of the reasons Argon gas is so valued by so many industries.

Where Non-Reactivity Is A Good Thing

Argon gas is inert, colorless, and odorless in both its liquid and gas forms. This makes it a Noble gas in addition to a “lazy” gas. Since Argon is inert, it is widely used in processes that require a non-reactive atmosphere to protect materials from oxygen or other gases in the atmosphere. You’ll find it in gas-filled lights, as a shielding gas used in arc welding, as an insulator, to grow silicon crystals, and in historical preservation, among many other uses.

Argon is found naturally in the atmosphere and actually makes up nearly 1% of the Earth’s atmosphere making it the most abundant (and least expensive) of the Noble gases. Operators choose Argon gas for these reasons and also because it does not react with other elements or compounds, even in high heat applications. It can be safely counted on not to destroy whatever is being produced or protected.

Non-Reactive Isn’t The Same Thing As Safe

That is not to say that Argon is 100% safe. Care must still be taken when working with the gas. Because it is colorless and odorless, it’s hard to gauge exposure to the gas, which can be inhaled and lead to risk of suffocation if it displaces too much oxygen. Fortunately, the gas dissipates rapidly in the environment, so as long as it is used in areas with strong ventilation systems, respiratory distress can be avoided.

Liquid Argon is incredibly cold and can lead to frostbite on contact. Liquid Argon should be handled as you would handle any cryogenic liquid.

Fulfill Your Argon Gas Needs With Help From Josef Gas

Josef Gas offers 100% pure liquid Argon as well as blends with other gases like Carbon Dioxide, Helium, Hydrogen, and Oxygen for all of your welding and specialty gas needs. We carry many mixes and grades and would be happy to help you find the right Argon gas. Contact us at 416.658.1212 for advice and personalized service you won’t find elsewhere.

Move Over Chlorine: Liquid Oxygen As A Bleaching Agent

Chlorine has long been associated with bleaching wood pulp but liquid oxygen is fast-becoming a popular alternative. The biggest reason for this change is traced to the environmental concerns associated with chlorine bleaching. When chlorine is used, the process produces many hazardous organic compounds leading to air and water pollution; oxygen is not associated with these same issues. As mills move towards total chlorine free (TCF) and elemental chlorine free (ECF) pulp production, liquid oxygen is making more and more business sense.

A Cheaper And Less Damaging Alternative

Pulp must be bleached before it can be used to produce white paper. Impurities called lignin in the pulp are responsible for the discoloration and must be removed early in the paper making process. The use of liquid oxygen during this delignification process helps reduce the use of chlorine in later steps.

Not only does this have environmental benefits, it benefits the health of mill workers, and results in fewer colors in the pulp effluent (waste). Because of this, the effluent from an oxygen bleaching system can be recycled back into the system and used again. In chlorine-based processes, the effluent cannot be recycled and instead goes into the wastewater treatment system.

In addition to being less damaging to the environment and recyclable, oxygen is less expensive to use in the bleaching process than either chlorine dioxide or hydrogen peroxide. In this way, oxygen as a bleaching agent also helps to reduce overall production costs.

Ensure A Consistent Supply Of Liquid Oxygen With Josef Gas

The benefits of using oxygen in pulp production are undeniable but the gas has many more uses. Liquid oxygen can be used in welding, plasma cutting, and food packaging applications too. Whatever your industry, let Josef Gas ensure you have a continuous supply of oxygen available to meet your production demands. We offer both cylinder and bulk gas delivery to meet any need.

Give us a call at 416.658.1212 to learn how we can help improve your bottom line.

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