Liquid Nitrogen generation: an interview with Andy Boyle, COO, MMR Technologies, Inc

Interview conducted by April Cashin-Garbutt, BA Hons (Cantab)

insights from industryAndy Boyle
COO, MMR Technologies, Inc.

What range of applications is liquid nitrogen (LN2) used for in the medical and life science industries?

Liquid Nitrogen has many uses and applications beyond that of the medical and life sciences. In addition to dermatological use, biological specimen and embryo preservation, our customers use the Elan2 for cooling the outer jackets of MRI systems, semiconductor radiation detector cooling, infrared detector cooling and cryogenic annealing of metals.

What are the main downsides of having LN2 delivered?

Having Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) delivered is suitable for many users, especially if they are close to a major city where the cost is relatively low and purity and cleanliness of the LN2 is not critical.

In more remote locations, the cost of delivery is much higher and schedules are less reliable, or not available.

The additional handling to delivery truck, to storage at the customer site can introduce contamination, e.g. particles, insects and microbes.

The Elan2 liquefies atmospheric Nitrogen and supplies it to the user, ‘on demand’, without any external handling.

Could you please give a brief introduction to the elan2 Liquid Nitrogen Generators and how they replace LN2 delivery and storage?

The Elan2 is the smallest and most compact standalone liquid Nitrogen generator on the worldwide market today. All that is required for installation are two power outlets. It can be installed in under 10 minutes. LN2 generation starts within a matter of hours.

The major benefit of the Elan2 for a user is convenience and reliability where LN2 delivery is unreliable or unavailable.

The Elan2 can easily be installed in any office or laboratory environment and custom solutions for specific users are also available.

How do the generators work?

The Elan2 consists of two major components, the air compressor and the liquefier.

The air compressor supplies extremely dry air to the liquefier. The liquefier then separates the Nitrogen from the Oxygen and other trace gases.

The Nitrogen, now 98.6% pure (only Oxygen and trace Argon remaining), is then liquefied by the refrigeration system. The production rate is approximately 1L every three hours.

How does the Office Station differ from the Auto Transfer Station?

The 'Office' unit dispenses on demand from an internal storage Dewar. It will dispense up to 1L every 2.5-3hrs, but will stop LN2 generation when the internal storage is full until it is dispensed. This is suited to low volume users.

The Auto Transfer system continuously produces LN2 and dispenses it automatically to an external 20L storage Dewar. The production rate is 6-8L per day. The external Dewar provides up to 135 days of storage.

What feedback have you received from customers who have purchased the elan2 Liquid Nitrogen Generators?

Here are some customer testimonials, also available at www.elan2.com:

Center for Dermatology and Skin Cancer, IL says:

I am very happy with the purchase of our Elan2. I use LN2 on a daily basis therefore the machine has been very economical for me. Before I had the machine we had to schedule LN2 delivery every 7-10 days. Our experience with customer service has also been outstanding and our experience with the replacement has been very timely. The new machine has been reliable, easy to use, and easy to maintain. The Elan2 is the best investment in the medical equipment I have ever made. I used to pay $350 per delivery every 7-10 days. The cost of LN2 continues to escalate every year and has gotten out of control as insurance reimbursements continue to decline. Take control over the costs of your practice as I did. The Elan2 paid for itself in one year! No equipment is perfect or never breaks. The Elan2 is extremely reliable, but if it fails, don’t worry. MMR stands behind their warranty 100%. When my generator did not perform properly, MMR not only replaced the entire unit, they reimbursed me for the cost of the LN2 that I had to purchase during the 2 week down time. I received personal customer care from the owner directly. Such customer service is a rarity today. If you provide LN2 to your patients, every practice should own an Elan2. I am a real customer and not paid for my commentary. I will provide Maria’s contact information to verify my statements are true and factual. – Dr. Robert V. Kolbusz, MD

Los Alamos Medical Care Clinic, NM says:

We got our Machine in 2011 and have had no problems up until this year which were fixable painlessly. We have two Dermatologists that use the liquid nitrogen every day. We also supply local primary care providers with liquid nitrogen for a nominal fee. On occasion we have participated in the local health fairs and made LN2 ice cream. I would highly recommend the machine and the company. - Dr. Thomsen, MD

Douglas Johnson, Honolulu, HI says:

We're very happy with our purchase of the Elan2 Liquid Nitrogen Generator. It has been plugging away for two and a half years now. If we make 3 years, we will be in the black for our investment and will be having free liquid nitrogen. The unit is compact and the warranty exceptional. We would purchase the unit again if given the chance. - Dr. Johnson, MD

Sierra Skin Institute, Reno, NV says:

We have had the elan2 for over a year now and we love the convenience of having the machine in our office. It will save us money in the future and we will never run out of liquid nitrogen. Before we had the elan2 we had to schedule (and sometimes call in addition to the schedule) to get the liquid nitrogen delivered. Also, the company we were using for the delivery of the liquid nitrogen did not have a very reliable billing department and made many errors. - Dr. Ostezan, MD

Richard Johnson of Pittsburg, PA says:

I have been using my Elan2 unit for more than a year now and can’t be more pleased with the unit. No more worrying about liquid nitrogen deliveries, transportation or even if my local welding supply company is going to be able to continue to supply me with the liquid nitrogen I use on a daily basis in my dermatology practice. The unit is reliable and easy to use: sitting in the corner churning out liquid nitrogen day and night. And, any questions I have about the unit’s operation are readily answered by a knowledgeable and friendly member of the MMR-Tech team. I only wish the unit had been available 20 years ago when I started my practice (and I had been smart enough to have purchased one then) I’d be “way ahead” as far as cost per day’s use of liquid nitrogen is concerned! - Dr. Johnson, MD

Northshore Dermatology Center of Lake Forest, IL says:

I purchased the Elan2 Liquid Nitrogen Generator for my dermatology office. It is very convenient to have LN2 available 24/7 and not to worry about running out. The Elan2 machine doesn't take much space and is very easy to operate. In the past, my office would have to order LN2 every 2 weeks, with Elan2 we always have our Dewar full, it is cost effective without delivery hassles. - Dr. Tina C. Venetos, MD

G. Todd Bessinger, Honolulu, HI says: We've been a customer of MMR Technologies since 2008 and we are extremely pleased with all aspects of the MMR team. The liquid nitrogen generator works exceptionally well, the warranty is fantastic, and the customer service is second-to-none. We strongly recommend the Elan2 for your medical practice. - Dr. Bessinger, MD, PHD

How does elan2 compare to other liquid nitrogen generators on the market?

Liquid Nitrogen generators with a slightly higher production rate (10L Vs 8L per day) are very large and require plant installation, i.e. extensive power requirements, concrete plinth.

The Elan2 can be installed in a standard lab/office environment where the ambient temperature doesn’t exceed 28’C.

Occupying a similar space to a water cooler, and at less than 50% of the cost of competing systems, the Elan2 offers a more cost effective and logical solution.

In what ways do you plan to develop elan2 going forwards?

We are currently in the process of making the worldwide community of potential users aware of the existence of the Elan2. We are finding new customers and applications on a weekly basis. We also work with new customers on special applications at a minimum cost to the end user.

MMR is also investigating how to increase the LN2 generation rate towards 20L/day in a product which has a similar footprint without a significant increase in price. This would give our users a much faster ROI and expand the potential applications and customer base for MMR’s generator.

What are MMR Technologies’ plans for the future?

With over 30 years of experience of supplying cryogenic solutions to the scientific research, medical, government and materials science communities, MMR Technologies Inc. is continuing to develop new products to address a wider market.

Our willingness to work with our users to develop custom solutions for individual requirements distinguishes MMR from the competition.

Where can readers find more information?

Visit us at:

Or meet us in person at these upcoming tradeshows:

  • Pittcon 2015 Annual Meeting for Laboratory Science (Booth 4004)

March 8 - March 12, 2015 - Ernest N. Memorial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • AAD 2015 Spring Annual Meeting

March 21 - March 24, 2015 - Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, California.

  • MRS Spring 2015 Spring Meeting of the Materials Research Society

April 6 - April 10, 2015 - Moscone West Convention Center, San Francisco, California.

  • Las Vegas Cosmetic Surgery

June 10 - June 14, 2015 - The Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • MRS 57th Electronic Materials Conference

June 24 - June 25, 2015 - Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

  • Semicon West 2015 Microelectronics Industry Meeting

July 14 - July 16, 2015 - Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, California.

  • AAD 2015 Summer Academy Meeting (To be confirmed)

August 19 - August 23, 2015 - New York, New York.

About Andy Boyle

Andrew S. Boyle Graduated from 'The University of Leeds' in England in 1994 with an Honours Degree in Physics, Electronics and Instrumentation, followed by postgraduate qualifications in Manufacturing and Technology Management. Andrew brings to the table over 20 years of experience in Manufacturing and Senior Operations Management. He has held such positions at Accent Optical Technologies and most recently, Nanometrics, Inc. where he served as Director of Global Operations.

Andrew joined MMR Technologies, Inc. in 2012 where he currently serves as Chief Operating Officer and has taken on additional roles including direct management of manufacturing and worldwide sales.

Andrew also serves on the Board of Directors for 3L&T Inc., and is a member of the Audit Committee.

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The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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