About Liquid Nitrogen

Overview and Safety Information


  • Nitrogen makes up the majority of the earth’s atmosphere (78.03% by volume), with the remaining gases being primarily oxygen (21% by volume) and other trace gases.
  • Liquid nitrogen (LIN) is inert, colorless, odorless, noncorrosive, nonflammable, and extremely cold, with a boiling point of -320°F (-196° C).
  • Nitrogen is produced at air separation plants by liquefying atmospheric air, followed by separation of the nitrogen from oxygen by continuous cryogenic distillation. Nitrogen and oxygen are then liquefied and stored in large cryogenic tanks prior to truck delivery to a customer site.
  • LIN can be stored and used indoors by following proper ventilation standards and safety procedures. The food industry often employs LIN as the cryogen of choice for freezing such foods as hamburger patties, seafood and fruit. In addition to its use in the food segment and as a coolant in the machining field (see the Applications page of this web site), LIN is also used for plastic and rubber deflashing and grinding, metal treating, biological sample preservation, pulverization, and other low temperature-related applications.
  • On-site storage of LIN is offered by industrial gas suppliers who typically provide and lease cryogenic storage tanks with capacity suitable for customer LIN usage.

For more information about liquid nitrogen, click here.

For more information about the safe handling of cryogenic liquids, click here.

Nitrogen Storage and Supply Modalities

The type and capacity (liquid volume) of a cryogenic storage vessel is dependent on LIN usage, proximity of an industrial gas supplier’s liquid nitrogen, and customer site specifics. We can assist you in the determination of the appropriate vessel type, capacity and location for such an installation following an understanding of your LIN needs and site production schedule.

MicroBulk Delivery

Representative liquid nitrogen dewarsIn general and as an example, a single customer ICEFLY® application (i.e. one CNC machine supplied by the ICEFLY cryogen delivery system) will likely be best supplied with LIN from a liquid nitrogen cylinder like the ones shown here. This image shows 230 L and 265 L DOT vessels (which can be filled and moved) and 450 L, 1,000 L, 1,500 L and 2,000 L ASME vessels (which are permanently installed). Delivery of LIN to these kinds of vessels is typically referred to as “MicroBulk” supply.

Click here for more information about liquid nitrogen cylinders.

Bulk Deliveries/Storage Systems

As LIN needs increase (i.e. multiple CNC machines supplied by the ICELFY cryogen delivery system), bulk delivery of LIN will likely be the preferred supply option. Bulk deliveries by truck provide a safe, Representative liquid nitrogen storage installationreliable supply option for larger quantities of industrial gases including liquid nitrogen. For this supply option, LIN is stored in a cryogenic tank such as the one shown to the right. Typical tank sizes include 1,500, 3,000, 6,000, 9,000, 11,000, 15,000 and 20,000 gallon capacities. The industrial gas supplier will usually design the installation and provide the gas for a monthly fee.

We can help determine the right size and type of storage system based on your volume, desired pressure, purity level, flow rate, and operating pattern. For more information, please contact us.