Thorogood, Robert M. Department of Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Cryogenic air separation
- Adsorptive air separation
- Membrane separation
- Use for products
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Separation of atmospheric air into its primary constituents. Nitrogen, oxygen, and argon are the primary constituents of air. Small quantities of neon, helium, krypton, and xenon are present at constant concentrations and can be separated as products. Varying quantities of water, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and trace environmental impurities (sulfur and nitrogen oxides, chlorine) are present depending upon location and climate. Typical quantities are shown in the table. These impurities are removed during air separation to maximize efficiency and avoid hazardous operation. See also: Air; Argon; Helium; Krypton; Neon; Xenon
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