Water in a heating system for greenhouses expands due to heating. That is why the buffer tank of such a system is never completely filled. To prevent rusting of the tanks, the free space at the top of a tank, called the headspace, is provided with a so-called nitrogen blanket (“blanketing”). The desired nitrogen pressure above the water can be set. When water in the buffer is heated, the pressure in the headspace increases. A relief valve is opened above a certain, set pressure. However, if the pressure drops below a minimum value, the Blue Atmosphere nitrogen generator will automatically add nitrogen. For this reason a blanketing system is also referred to as an expansion system.
However, nitrogen is used for many more purposes, for example in the beverage industry. An example is the storage and bottling of wine. Wine tanks can also be filled with nitrogen for the purpose of preventing oxidation, in this case of the wine itself. CO2 is an alternative, but causes carbonization of liquids, and is therefore not always beneficial. CO2 can also not be produced on site, and is therefore much more expensive than nitrogen.
Other applications are:
- blanketing of other beverages such as beer, but also the higher class olive oils;
- MAP packaging (fresh produce, meat);
- disinfestation of dry food supplies (killing insects at all developmental stages);
- animal-friendly stunning before slaughter (poultry).
Blanketing solutions for greenhouses are provided in collaboration with Boeters Ketelconstructie (BKC) in Rotterdam.