Although used more commonly in the gaseous state, argon is commonly stored and transported as a liquid, affording a more cost effective way of providing product supply. It is nontoxic and largely inert.
An oxygen-argon mixture is fed to a raw argon column. Raw argon is separated from the mixture which is reintroduced into the low-pressure column. The gaseous raw argon at the top of the column is partly liquefied in the condenser and reintroduced into the raw argon column as washing material. Vaporizing raw oxygen is used as coolant in the condenser and afterwards introduced into the low-pressure column. The process ensures that no hydrocarbons accumulate. Raw argon that is not liquefied is introduced into the raw argon liquefier and liquefied by vaporizing nitrogen. It flows into the raw argon column where the residual nitrogen in the material is removed. The final product, highly pure liquid argon is discharged and introduced into the liquid argon tank.
- Reagent used to fill bulbs
- Reagent used in combination with other rare gases to fill special bulbs and tubes for special color effects
- Shielding gas to protect metal from oxidation
- Purge gas in semiconductor manufacturing