Hydrogen Gas from Praxair in Tungsten Powder Production

Praxair installed a new liquid hydrogen tank at Buffalo Tungsten to replace one that was 30 years old this week. They are a first class supplier and have done an excellent job of maintaining our hydrogen supply for the past three decades. They brought a trailer based hydrogen sled to supply our needs during the transition. The shiny new tank looks great!

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Praxair for doing an outstanding job with the efficient replacement of our hydrogen tank. Clark Rigging got everything in place without any issues.

Hydrogen Reduction

Although there are other ways to reduce tungsten oxide, the use of hydrogen gas in tungsten production is the most common. The basic chemical equation is

WO3 + 3 H2 -> W + 3 H2O

Tungsten oxide (WO3) travels through our reduction furnaces in a hydrogen gas (H2) atmosphere. The chemical reaction takes place at temperatures that are commonly between 700C (1300F) and 1000C (1800F). The result is water vapor and pure tungsten powder.

Hydrogen Production

Buffalo Tungsten creates hydrogen gas through the electrolysis of water in a hydrogen generator. The basic chemical equation for this is

2 H2O -> 2 H2 + O2

We use the hydrogen gas in the reduction of tungsten oxide. We use the oxygen in the recycling of scrap materials. By making our own hydrogen gas on site we are able to have a secure a supply of this critical process gas for our tungsten powder production. It also reduces the final cost of our tungsten powder for our customers. The hydrogen that we purchase from Praxair supplements the output of our hydrogen generator at times of high demand.

We also have a bulk tank from Praxair to supply liguid nitrogen. We use nitrogen primarily as a purge gas that is less volatile than hydrogen in the presence of the oxygen contained in the air. Praxair again receives high marks as our nitrogen supplier.


Water vapor is a byproduct of the hydrogen reduction process. In order to reuse some of the hydrogen gas that exits our furnaces the moisture content must be reduced. We dry our hydrogen gas in a specially designed sled to allow it to be recycled back into our furnaces.

This recycling of this critical process gas decreases our operating costs. It is yet another way that Buffalo Tungsten is able to provide better value to our customers.

With the importance of hydrogen gas in tungsten powder production we will always need to maintian a ready supply of it. We hope that the new tank from Praxair will last another 30 years as Buffalo Tungsten continues to supply your need for tungsten metal powder products!