History

Scottish chemist Daniel Rutherford discovered the element nitrogen in 1772 while he was a student at the University of Edinburgh. Over a hundred years later in 1883 Zygmunt Wróblewski and Karol Olszewski, two professors of physics and chemistry from the Jagiellonian University, discovered a method to liquidify nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is colorless, odorless, non-corrosive, non-flammable and very cold.

Liquid nitrogen (LN2) resembles water in appearance and is a common cryogenic liquid. Commercial production of liquid nitrogen uses fractional distillation of liquid air which has been liquefied by compression and progressive refrigeration. The field of science that deals with the technology of handling liquids colder than -187°F is called cryogenics. A storage container which solved the problem of rapid evaporation of liquid nitrogen caused by heat convection, conduction and radiation was invented by a British scientist named James Dewar in 1898. Modern liquid nitrogen storage tanks like the CTcryogenics Tanks are based on Dewar's vacuum interlayer insulation theory.

Plant facilities to manufacture liquid nitrogen can be located anywhere that there is a good source of electricity since the only raw material used is air. These plants also produce liquid oxygen and other rare gases found in the air. The liquid nitrogen is then transported by rail or trucks to users in vacuum jacketed cryogenic tanks. LN2 is used in the agricultural fields for storage of beef and dairy semen and in the medical, food, electronics, aircraft, refining, utility and missile industries.