Industrial Gases and Their Role in Critical Industries

Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Argon, Hydrogen, Helium and Acetylene.


The industrial gases that are relied upon in some of the most critical industries around the world, such as Healthcare, Agriculture, Food Production, Oil & Gas, Electronics and Steel Manufacturing.


Without gases, these critical industries would be unable to perform their day to day operations. Shortages of gas and gas quality issues can cause massive disruption which can be felt across society – for example, the recent CO2 shortage in the UK which impacted food packaging production, COVID-19 vaccine transportation, and livestock slaughtering. 


Here we share some of the industries that rely upon industrial gases, and how they use gases.


Healthcare Industry

Oxygen, CO2, Nitrogen and Nitrous Oxide are used in Healthcare as a critical part in supporting the treatment and care of patients.


Oxygen: The most widely used industrial gases in healthcare. Used to aid breathing in the event of respiratory difficulties, and as a main component of medical air. This air provides extremely sensitive respiratory systems with a pure, sterile source of air for respiratory therapy and humidification treatments.


CO2: Used extensively in surgeries like laparoscopy, arthroscopy, endoscopy, and cryotherapy. It can also be used to diagnose chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, and others.


Medical Liquid Nitrogen: Commonly used to remove some cancers and skin lesions. The pharmaceutical industry uses this gas in the manufacture of medications.


Nitrous Oxide: Used in numerous surgical procedures as both an aesthetic and pain reliever.


Electronics Manufacturing

Oxygen and Nitrogen are the core industrial gases used during the manufacturing process of electronics, that enables the $450 billion industry to produce televisions, computers, semiconductors, and integrated circuits.

Nitrogen: The most used gas in electronics, and particularly for semiconductor manufacturing. A key part of manufacturing electronics because it displaces oxygen in the soldering (joining metals together) process. If oxygen interacts with a solder, it can compromise its integrity. Nitrogen is placed over the circuit board eliminating the presence of oxygen and thus ensuring that a strong solder is made.


Oxygen: Used for the oxidation of silicon, a critical process in the manufacturing of semiconductors.


Steel Manufacturing

Oxygen, Acetylene and Argon are fundamental to core processes used in steel manufacturing, especially for industries such as automotive, construction and defence.

Oxygen: Playing a very important role in the steel making process, as it is a primary raw material for making steel. It is used in the basic oxygen process and the electric arc furnace.


Argon: Used in conjunction with oxygen in a common technology for refining stainless steel.


Acetylene: Used for welding and metal cutting as it can produce a flame temperature of 5,700° Fahrenheit.



CO2 is used to help boost plant growth and to control pests while supporting organise agriculture. 


CO2: Used in the greenhouse to allow crops to meet their photosynthesis potential. CO2 is also used to increase the soil’s organic matter content to aid plant growth, increase the total carbon content, and improve soil water retention capability.


Food Production

CO2 is primarily used in food packaging and as a method of stunning animals prior to slaughter.


CO2: Used by being injected into the packaging of perishables foods such as meat and salads to inhibit the growth of bacteria. This helps prolong the shelf life of products. CO2 is also used to create dry ice, which is used to keep food fresh for storage and transport.


Industrial gases are used in industries that impact our everyday life. Without a constant and reliable source of quality gases, shortages would occur in industries that we rely upon, that provide us with medical care, food and life-saving technologies.

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