Frequently Asked Questions

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Our service team is your go-to resource for all things hydrogen. Need clarification? You have come to the right place. Check out some of these common questions we are asked below. 


Why on-site gas generation?

On-site gas generation is a reliable solution to produce the hydrogen, nitrogen or zero air you need on demand. Unlike cylinders, gas generators offer customers convenience, safety, and peace of mind, a result of their ability to generate gas on demand at a consistent purity. Using an on-site gas generator not only saves valuable facility space, but also optimizes the operation. No more waiting for delivery, moving high pressure cylinders, or risking contamination during cylinder change-outs. On-site gas generators provide security of supply in a simple plug-and-play package. 

How to identify which generator is right for me?

When determining which generator will suit your operation best, the important criteria to define is the following:  

  1.  What is my minimum total gas flow rate? 

  1. What is my minimum output pressure? 

  1.  What is the minimum level of purity required?

What can I expect on delivery time?

The analytical lab based Models are available to ship within 2 weeks at the latest. The G4800 and S Series are available to ship in 6 to 8 weeks.

What is my expected ROI?

Proton OnSite manufactures gas generators with the customer in mind. Our products are designed to offer a competitive ROI. The values themselves differ per application. Please inquire to a Proton OnSite Territory Manger for specifics. 

What water quality do I need?

The water needs to be Deionized and is required at minimum ASTM Type II (>1 MegOhm-cm) or recommended at ASTM Type I (>10 MegOhm-cm). Water quality should also be measured in Total Silica, Total Organics, and Total Carbon for proper application assessment.   

Do I need a DI water system?

All Proton hydrogen generators require DI Water to properly operate. If it is not readily available, Proton can provide an appropriate water system to accommodate the hydrogen generator(s).

What to consider when purchasing a generator (budget, purchase cycle, etc.)?

When purchasing a gas generator, one must consider  

  1. Placement – where do I want my gas generated located? 

  1. Power – what power is required to run the generator? 

  1. Water supply – is DI water readily available or will I require a system? 

  1. Ventilation – what ventilation is available at my location? 

  1. Budget – what is my budget? 

  1. Purchase Cycle – when do I need the gas generator?

Are on-site gas generators sustainable/green?

At Proton Onsite,  Yes.  In comparison to other hydrogen-generating electrolysis technology, there is no KOH required to operate Proton's generators. Also, there is no CO2 byproducts in the production of our hydrogen.  Our process consists of splitting hydrogen and oxygen via PEM electrolysis.  

Why on-site gas generation vs. cylinders or delivered gases?

Delivered gases and cylinders are heavy, cumbersome and often troublesome. Delivered gas supply can be irregular, causing disruptions in production. Bottled gases are also subject to fluctuating prices. If you are in a remote location, bottled gas delivery can also be very costly. On-site gas generation is a safe and cost effective solution to traditional gas supply methods.

What is PEM Electrolysis?

PEM (proton exchange membrane) water electrolysis simply splits pure deionized water (H2O) into its constituent parts, hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2), via an electrochemical reaction. When a DC voltage is applied to the electrolyzer, water fed to the anode (or oxygen electrode) is oxidized to oxygen and protons, while electrons are released. The protons (H+ ions) pass through the PEM to the cathode (or hydrogen electrode), where they meet electrons from the other side of the circuit, and are reduced to hydrogen gas.

What is PSA?

PSA (Pressure swing adsorption) technology separates nitrogen molecules from the other gas molecules by the carbon molecular sieves (CMS). Alternating between both CMS columns, firstly O2, moisture, hydrocarbons, CO2, and other “contaminants” are absorbed, allowing the nitrogen to flow into an accumulation tank. From the accumulation tank the nitrogen is pressurized and delivered to the generator outlet for use.

Why switch from helium to hydrogen?

Laboratory practitioners need a carrier gas they can count on. But helium – traditionally used as a gas chromatography (GC) carrier gas – supplies are dwindling, forcing laboratories to pay more and accept a higher risk of supply. Laboratories are increasingly looking for a more reliable and less expensive solution than helium gas. The only carrier gas that can offer higher reliability and lower cost – plus faster results – is hydrogen, made on-site. A PEM electrolysis hydrogen generator safely and reliably produces a limitless supply of ultra-pure hydrogen at a fraction of the cost of delivered helium. 

Are hydrogen generators safe?

On-site gas generators store very little gas at any given time, which is a primary safety benefit over high pressure cylinders. With hydrogen produced at a higher pressure than oxygen within the cell stack, there is no opportunity for oxygen to cross over the proton exchange membrane to the hydrogen side. In addition, leak detection and ventilation provide additional measures of system safety.