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managed fleets nitrogen tire inflationNitrogen tire inflation is still a new technology, one that has yet to be widely adopted by managed fleets as a way to go “GREEN” while improving the fleet’s efficiency and the company’s bottom line. Although it has been embraced by entities such as the airline industry and NASCAR for decades, it remains out of the mainstream. Some fleet managers and transportation directors have never heard of using nitrogen for tire inflation, or may be skeptical that this application is just a gimmick. Others may just be reluctant to change from compressed air, which has worked well all this time, or are hesitant to invest money into a process they know very little about.

Why Nitrogen Tire Inflation is a Great Way to Go Green

Regardless, myths about nitrogen tire inflation are generally used to influence fleet managers and transportation directors away from nitrogen’s use in their vehicles. One of those big myths is that nitrogen tire inflation cannot contribute to ending America’s dependence on foreign oil. This is absolutely not true, especially when you consider that 70% of the fuel consumption in this country is used by the transportation sector. Anything and everything to reduce that number will contribute. Here, we are providing transparency and in-depth clarity on WHY nitrogen tire inflation is not a scam or a gimmick, but a viable way to create hybrid tires, to reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign oil and to improve a company’s environmental footprint through carbon reduction and sustainable practices for future generations of Americans.

When 11% of our carbon consumption is in the transportation sector, and 400 million gallons of gas are consumed every day in the United States, it’s simplistic to say that a few percentage points of improvement in fuel efficiency won’t do much of anything to solve the problem. Those few points add up significantly as more managed fleets make the change to nitrogen. When over 300 million tires are disposed of in landfills every year in the United States, it is completely short sighted to say that nitrogen tire inflation can’t do anything to reduce that number. Nitrogen tire inflation can improve the life of the tire and tread-wear rate and reduce the number of tires purchased by managed fleets. The impact on America’s dependence on foreign oil is relative and is completely tied to Economy of Scale, but the impact becomes DRAMATIC when a managed vehicle fleet, such as the Federal government’s, of over 660,000 vehicles is using nitrogen as an inflation medium – the argument for ALL of the points made here for nitrogen’s use in tires becomes that much more compelling.

Nitrogen Tire Inflation Can Contribute

The cost for replacement tires have increased between 6 and 9 percent per year for the past several years. To have proven green technologies helping managed fleets absorb costs and getting the best ROI for their tires is our goal. Nitrogen tire inflation is not only a sound investment; it‘s sustainability factor in carbon reduction and reducing waste in our environment makes nitrogen‘s use a responsible transportation solution for the 21st century. We’ve busted nine nitrogen tire inflation myths that have previously moved fleet managers and transportation directors away from its use and have provided clarity and a strong, sensible, scientific logic to better all of our understanding as we rapidly look for solutions to preserve our planet and reduce oil consumption.

This myth is just one of nine big myths about nitrogen tire inflation, and we’ve debunked all nine in our latest white paper: 9 Debunked Myths on Nitrogen Tire Inflation. Click the link to download this white paper and to learn how nitrogen tire inflation can help your managed fleet and our country’s dependence on foreign oil.

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nitrogen tire inflationEven with mass communication as powerful as the Internet, it’s still possible (and perhaps much easier than ever) to disseminate misinformation and untruths. The topic of nitrogen tire inflation is no exception to this, and we’re committed to busting myths and eliminating the untruths that circulate online, even if we have to bust certain myths more than once and really drive home a few key concepts. Here are some old, and new, untruths about nitrogen-filled tires, and what the truth really is.

If you have a nitrogen-filled tire that needs air and you top off with regular air, you’ve negated any of the benefits you had gained. (Because so few places have nitrogen equipment, you’ll often find yourself seeking out a regular air pump at a gas station.)

Absolutely not true. It’s not as if topping off an air-filled tire with nitrogen benefits your tire like a tire filled 100 percent with nitrogen. Granted, topping off a nitrogen-filled tire with air isn’t the best, but you don’t negate all the benefits. Just because it’s harder to top off with nitrogen doesn’t mean that nitrogen tire inflation isn’t worthwhile.

A while ago, I replaced the air in my tires with nitrogen at a cost of $20. Now I’ve noticed that I’m getting about 40 miles less per tank of gas. Can nitrogen cause a drop in gas mileage?

Anyone who says that with nitrogen tire inflation, you don’t have to worry about tire pressure ever again, is lying. Nitrogen tire inflation maintains proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, but it doesn’t keep your tires properly inflated forever. It’s not the nitrogen that ruins your gas mileage, its the underinflated tires. You still have to check them regularly, even if it’s just to make sure you don’t have a leak. As the myth says, tires that are underinflated will diminish your fuel efficiency.

The other argument for nitrogen over air is that oxygen within normal air causes ‘oxidation’ within the tire. However, I haven’t seen any concrete evidence as to what oxidation really is or why its such a bad thing.

Oxidation is the interaction between oxygen molecules and other elements. It’s what causes an apple to turn brown, unopened food to spoil after a long period of time on the shelf, metal to rust, and rubber (such as the rubber in tires) to deteriorate. If any of those examples don’t count as concrete evidence, than I don’t know what does. Just because we typically call it rust or rotting doesn’t mean that oxidation doesn’t exist or is some fancy scientific principle that’s too difficult for normal people to understand.

The advantage of nitrogen being more stable and less prone to changes in pressure due to heat in the tires seems of little benefit to average drivers.

Not true. Sure, normal drivers aren’t driving under the extreme conditions that NASCAR drivers and airplane pilots do. Both use nitrogen-filled tires on a regular basis, and are right to do so because there are much more extreme temperature changes than in daily life. However, just because the temperature changes aren’t extreme doesn’t mean that they don’t happen in daily life, and it doesn’t mean that those less extreme changes don’t make a difference in handling and tire pressure. Since nitrogen better handles these changes, it means that a driver will get more accurate readings of his/her tire pressure, and will less likely overinflate/underinflate their tires unnecessarily. More stability also means a safer tire, one that is less likely to suffer a blowout.

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nitrogen tire inflation mythsA few weeks ago, we busted two myths about nitrogen tire inflation. Today, we are busting two more (there are quite a bit of myths out there). Since the practice of putting nitrogen in your tires is still new, there’s still a lot of possibility of rumor and falsehoods permeating the scene. Which means, some of us out there need to accept the responsibility of disproving those rumors and dispelling those falsehoods. Here are two more myths, busted:

1) TIRES FILLED WITH NITROGEN ARE NOT AFFECTED BY TEMPERATURE

This may seem like the case, since that’s one of the reasons why NASCAR and the airline industry use this practice. After all, since both race cars and airplanes travel at fast speeds, the ability for nitrogen-filled tires to retain those speeds without bursting makes it seem like nitrogen isn’t affected by temperature. However, nitrogen and compressed air respond to changes in ambient temperature in a similar manner, a 1.9% change of pressure for every 10F change in temperature. The difference lies in the water present in conventional compressed air, where dew points (the dew point temperature is the temperature at which the air can no longer hold all of its water vapor, and some of the water vapor must condense into liquid water. The dew point is always lower than, or equal to the air temperature) can be as high as 70F, compared with -40F+ for nitrogen. As temperature increases, liquid water vaporizes to become a gas and its volume expands causing tire pressure to be higher than that of nitrogen, which goes into the tire as a dry gas. So, the presence of water in a tire contributes to wild pressure variations as temperatures changes. The bottom line is that you will still see pressure changes with nitrogen, but the pressure doesn’t fluctuate as much as it does with compressed air.

2. LOOK AT THE PERIODIC TABLE. NITROGEN MOLECULES ARE NOT LARGER THAN OXYGEN MOLECULES

The periodic table is separated based on molecular weight, not molecular size. That being said, diatomic nitrogen (N2) is slightly larger than diatomic oxygen (O2), and this difference allows it to fit through the relatively tight passage ways between polymer chains in the rubber. The difference in size between O2 and N2 is almost infinitesimal, only about 0.3 x 1o raised to the -10 meters, or 0.00000000003 meters. Thus, diatomic oxygen permeates approximately three to four times faster than diatomic nitrogen through a typical rubber, such as what’s used in tires. Just because oxygen is heavier than nitrogen, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s also larger than nitrogen.

Overall, nitrogen tire inflation is an excellent practice that will make your tires and driving safer and cheaper in the long run. Since this is something that is still new, there’s going to be plenty of people who don’t believe in the benefits and aren’t going to find this worthwhile. However, many have found this practice to be beneficial and to make a difference with their cars and with their wallets.

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nitrogen tire inflation mythsNitrogen tire inflation is still a new concept. Although it has been embraced by entities such as the airline industry and NASCAR for many years, it still has yet to hit mainstream in the consumer market and in industrial fleets. Some folks have never heard of the practice, or may be skeptical that this whole thing is just a gimmick. Some may just be reluctant to pay money for something that can be done for free, despite the costs. Whatever the case may be, here are two myths about nitrogen tire inflation that we here at Nitrofleet99 are ready to bust.

1.) NITROGEN ELIMINATES THE NEED TO REGULARLY CHECK TIRE PRESSURE. This is absolutely untrue. While nitrogen leaks through a tire at a slower rate than oxygen, that doesn’t eliminate the necessity of regular pressure checks. There are numerous issues (valve stem, puncture, rim seal) that can still cause major leaks within a tire and lead to unsafe driving conditions. Nitrogen will maintain pressure longer than tires filled with compressed air, and will make your tires safer to drive on, but we advise against using nitrogen tire inflation as a substitute for regular pressure checks. Besides, there are other tire problems, such as tread wear, that still require that you pay some attention to tire maintenance.

2.) NITROGEN INFLATION IS ONLY INCREASING NITROGEN FROM 78.1% to 93.4%+, THERE IS NO BENEFIT TO SUCH A SMALL INCREASE. This is an argument that a lot of skeptics use, but what makes nitrogen tire inflation beneficial isn’t the nitrogen itself, but the decrease of oxygen and water vapor. Decreasing the percentage of oxygen is a more important factor than increasing the concentration of nitrogen. When filling your tires with nitrogen for the first time, the tires are purged twice, removing the 78.1% “bad” nitrogen (that is laden with water vapor, oil contamination, particulate, etc.) and replacing it with nitrogen that is clean (99.99% of all liquids and solids removed @ 0.01u) and dry (-40F or lower dewpoint). The nitrogen now has the properties of an engineered gas. Water vapor causes pressure fluctuations during normal driving, so removing it is a distinct advantage. The oxygen also damages the insides of your tire over time, so nitrogen tire inflation allows them to last longer.

Overall, nitrogen tire inflation is an excellent practice that will make your tires and driving safer and cheaper in the long run. Since this is something that is still new, there’s going to be plenty of people who don’t believe in the benefits and aren’t going to find this worthwhile. However, many have found this practice to be beneficial and to make a difference with their cars and with their wallets.

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