Medical Gas Professional Healthcare Organization

Leading through education, we save lives

Instrument Air Compressor

  • Sunday, December 27, 2015 10:51 AM
    Message # 3720751

    Instrument air source driven by a compressor, should have at list 21% of oxygen partial pressure with 78% nitrogen with some contaminants output, air that is taken from an ambient air intake, either from indoor or outdoor my question is: why the inert gas Dry Nitrogen (N2) with only 1% oxygen and 99% nitrogen concentrations is not allowed or permitted to be into adequately  ventilated indoor mechanical room enclosure together with (medical air compressor, surgical vacuum pump, WAGD system, & instrument air compressor) all in the same indoor room with a bank of reserve high pressure nitrogen cylinders header?, since oil-free dry nitrogen (NF) is an alternative to be used to high pressure instrument air.

    The difference between Medical Air and Instrument Air is: the Instrument Air with 98% efficiency is cleanest,0.01 micron and driest, dew point -40 deg.F. and  work in higher output pressure. Please let me know if my comments issue are correct, or not. Thank you very much.


    Information obtained from NFPA 99,2012 & 2015 editions:

    NFPA 99,2012 Miami, Florida adopted edition: / /

    NFPA 99,2015 MGHPHO, CMGV TEST: / /  


    I'm verifying and inspecting a local hospital with the same issue, standing with all mechanical equipment together with nitrogen (NF) standby reserve cylinders header into the same adequately HVAC ventilated room enclosure.      

  • Monday, December 28, 2015 9:22 AM
    Reply # 3722129 on 3720751

    Hi Pedro,


    I refer to NFPA 99, 2012 & 2015;


    Cylinders, whether full or empty, shall not be stored in enclosures containing motor-driven machinery, with the exception of cylinders intended for instrument air reserve headers complying with, which shall be permitted to be placed in the same location containing an instrument air compressor when it is the only motor-driven machinery located within the room. Only cylinders intended for instrument air reserve headers complying with shall be permitted to be stored in enclosures containing instrument air compressors.


    I have always thought it curious that Instrument Air compressors were backed up with Med Air cylinders and Dental Air compressors can be backed up with Nitrogen cylinders.


    I believe the primary concern of placing inert gas cylinders in a mechanical room is the possibility of an oxygen deficient atmosphere if the ventilation fails. 

16339 Kranker Drive, Stilwell, KS 66085