Nitrogen vs Argon for hydrocarbon backfilling?

Someone told me that “nitrogen binds with butane” and therefore argon was a superior inert gas for backfilling hydrocarbon runs. I don’t know enough chemistry to confirm/deny this but some preliminary research is not showing much evidence.

Does anyone here have any personal preferences, and if so, how come?

1 Like

Nitrogen although not inert, is not known to interact with butane or cannabis constituents. It’s cheaper than argon.


are you looking to blanket the top with something heavy? or to displace your headspace with a light gas?

I’m using the gas to overcome the vapor lock that occurs in heated/cooled closed loop hydrocarbon systems, forcing solvent slurry from my column into my collection vessel. I’ve used nitrogen before but never argon - I know it’s more expensive, I wanted to see if anyone found any benefits before paying the extra for it

not worth the added cost vs nitrogen. argon should be used when you are needing a heavier than air blanketing gas for reactions or welding.


I used argon once bc I was out nitrogen. It’s like it laid on bottom and come out in burst when cold. Almost like.the argonn. binded to the tane and was very hard release even at -70c

1 Like

Everything I read says that nitrogen is inert but at normal temps and pressures.

The gas that’s being moved is subzero and that gas has no pressure… So wouldn’t it be inert if it’s using the pressure that it’s naturally occurring in the nitrogen to move the gas or is it because it’s at a regulated pressure that it’s no longer inert?

Because the nitrogen isn’t at a different temp, the gas is and it’s being moved with a regulated pressure…

What makes nitrogen not inert once used for the application of cannabis extraction? I got super confused.