Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) is widely used in manufacturing plants, medical facilities, restaurants and on farms and ranches. A little care and common sense are required in the safe handling of liquid nitrogen (LN2) and liquid nitrogen storage tanks.
LN2 is extremely cold at -195°C (-320°F). When it vaporizes it produces a large amount of very cold gas. These two properties have the ability to cause personal injury or property damage. Do not allow anything cooled in liquid nitrogen to come in contact with your bare skin because it is so cold your skin freezes to it instantaneously. Anything cooled in liquid nitrogen will freeze to the skin and pull the skin off when you try to yank the object away. Heavy leather or insulated gloves and goggles (not safety glasses) must be worn when working with liquid nitrogen. Always use tongs or forceps to remove straws or canes from the storage tank. When working with open containers of liquid nitrogen boots should be worn and pants (or a full length apron) should be worn outside the boots to prevent LN2 from getting into your boots.
Do not seal the liquid nitrogen tanks with a tight fitting plug that prevents the venting of nitrogen gas or the pressure build up can cause the tank to explode. Only the original necktube stopper furnished with the tank should be used.
Brymill MVE Liquid Nitrogen LN2 Storage Tanks
Nitrogen gas is odorless, colorless, tasteless ... and it can kill you! LN2 gas is not toxic but it displaces the oxygen in the air and can cause suffocation. That is why liquid nitrogen tanks must always be stored and used only in areas that are fully ventilated. Do not transport tanks in a closed vehicle. Nitrogen gas is extremely cold and your eyes can be damaged by exposure to this gas even when the contact is too brief to freeze the skin. When liquid nitrogen evaporates the cloudy vapor that you see is condensed moisture, not nitrogen gas. The gas itself is invisible.
Store your tank only in a clean, dry, ventilated area. Moisture, caustic cleaners or anything which might cause corrosion should be removed at once. Wash containers with plain water or mild detergent solution and then wipe dry. In addition, tanks should be stored in an upright position to prevent spillage. Tipping them over will cause the liquid nitrogen or nitrogen vapor to pour out and will greatly reduce the tank's holding time. Tanks should be handled with extreme care and caution and never dropped or jarred as this might damage the vacuum system. Large tanks are heavy and cannot be easily and safely carried but the optional roller base provides for safe and easy movement.
DO NOT OVERFILLTHE TANK. Check the liquid nitrogen level in your containers at least weekly and do not allow the liquid nitrogen level in the tank to get lower than 5 inches which is enough to maintain the low temperature necessary to avoid damage to the ampules, canes, straws or vials you have stored in the tank. Use special plastic, solid metal or wooden dipsticks. Never use hollow tubes or pipes as the boiling nitrogen will force LN2 up the tube and into your face. Always wear insulated or heavy leather gloves and goggles when measuring nitrogen levels. The rate of evaporation and days between refills depends upon the storage conditions (temperature, drafts, sunlight), age and condition of tank and how often you open the tank. If the tank is covered with frost or condensation the vacuum could be damaged. If damaged, transfer the contents to another tank and remove the damaged one from service.