The Need for Nitrogen in Western Michigan Pharmaceutical and Biotech Applications03/27/2018 We’ve written before about the uses Nitrogen gas (N2) in the food and beverage industry. As you may infer, though, judging from the ubiquity of this gas in our atmosphere, nitrogen has plenty of other equally beneficial uses. GTW, your Western Michigan PurityPlus® Partner, is especially active, for instance, in providing nitrogen for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and biotech firms most often apply nitrogen in a technique dubbed blanketing to help maintain or enhance the quality of packaged medicines, medical supplies, medical devices, and biological samples. What blanketing does is displace oxygen with nitrogen before the packaging is sealed. This removes the probability of oxidation, contamination, degradation, and other harmful side effects resulting from oxygen reacting with various other materials. Nitrogen safeguards product or sample sterility and integrity. It also helps preserve and protect products while they’re being shipped. Specimen containers, blood supplies, and doctor’s test kits are examples of products most frequently packaged with nitrogen. Because nitrogen is a safe, inert gas, it’s used quite frequently as well to transfer liquid and powdered pharmaceutical materials, which can be unsafe if handled improperly. Additionally, nitrogen blanketing is used to reduce the presence of oxygen – and thus the possibility of fire or explosions – in circumstances where combustion is an ever-present concern. Pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, medical laboratories, and hospitals as a matter of course use nitrogen generators to look after the level of oxygen in the workplace seeing as how generators are more simply and accurately controlled than high-pressure gas cylinders. Satisfying the pharmaceutical and biotech industries’ need for ultra high-purity and ultra carrier-grades of nitrogen here in Western Michigan has been a main concern for us at GTW from the get-go. Contact us today and speak with one of our specialty gas pros to help pinpoint which of our nitrogen products is most appropriate for your application.