20 Interesting Facts About Air Compressors

Air compressors are super useful tools, but they can also be kinda cool. We compiled 20 interesting facts about them that we think you will enjoy!

  1. The world’s largest air compressor is located in a salt mine in Goderich, Ontario, Canada. It has a capacity of 1,000 horsepower and can produce 3,000 cubic feet of compressed air per minute.
  2. The first air compressor was invented by a French engineer named George Medhurst in 1799. His design used a hand-cranked bellows to compress air.
  3. Air compressors can be used for a variety of unusual purposes, such as powering air guns for potato cannons, cleaning computer keyboards, and inflating giant inflatable structures like bounce houses.
  4. Air compressors can also be used to create impressive works of art. For example, Japanese artist Shinichi Maruyama uses compressed air to create intricate sculptures made entirely of water droplets.
  5. The world record for the longest continuous operation of an air compressor is over 40 years! The compressor was located in a manufacturing plant in Ohio and ran continuously from 1933 until it was retired in 1976.
  6. In some cases, air compressors can be used to generate electricity. This is known as compressed air energy storage (CAES) and involves storing compressed air in underground reservoirs and using it to power turbines when electricity demand is high.
  7. The world’s fastest air-powered car, called the “Bloodhound SSC,” uses an air compressor to help it reach speeds of over 1,000 miles per hour.
  8. Air compressors are commonly used in scuba diving to fill up tanks with compressed air for breathing. However, some divers use a type of compressor called a membrane compressor, which uses semi-permeable membranes to separate nitrogen and oxygen from the air before compressing it.
  9. The air compressor industry is worth billions of dollars and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. According to a report by Market Research Future, the global air compressor market is projected to reach $38 billion by 2023.
  10. Air compressors are also used in the food and beverage industry to power machinery and equipment. However, because compressed air can contain oil, water, and other contaminants, special filters and drying systems are often used to ensure the compressed air is clean and safe for use in food production.
  11. Air compressors can be used to create artificial snow for skiing and snowboarding. The snow is made by spraying a mixture of compressed air and water through special nozzles that freeze the water into tiny ice particles.
  12. The world’s largest air-powered cannon was built by a group of engineers in California. The cannon is over 10 feet long and can shoot tennis balls at speeds of up to 400 miles per hour using compressed air.
  13. Air compressors can also be used to power tools and equipment in space. NASA uses compressed air to power drills, grinders, and other tools on the International Space Station and during spacewalks.
  14. Some air compressors are designed to run on renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. These types of compressors can help reduce carbon emissions and make industrial processes more sustainable.
  15. Air compressors are also used in the medical industry to power respiratory equipment like ventilators and oxygen concentrators. These devices use compressed air to help patients breathe more easily and can be life-saving in critical care situations.
  16. The world’s deepest mine, the Mponeng Gold Mine in South Africa, uses air compressors to power equipment and provide ventilation to workers. The mine is over 2.5 miles deep, and the air pressure at that depth can be several times higher than at the surface.
  17. Air compressors are commonly used in the automotive industry to power tools and equipment like paint guns, impact wrenches, and air-powered lifts. In fact, many professional auto mechanics consider air compressors to be essential tools in their work.
  18. Air compressors can also be used to power hydraulic systems in heavy machinery like bulldozers, excavators, and cranes. By using compressed air instead of hydraulic fluid, these machines can operate more efficiently and with less risk of leaks or spills.
  19. Air compressors can be dangerous if not used properly. For example, if the air pressure in a compressor tank gets too high, it can explode and cause serious injury or death. That’s why it’s important to follow all safety guidelines when using an air compressor and to regularly inspect and maintain the equipment.
  20. Air compressors can be customized for specific applications. For example, some compressors are designed to operate in extreme temperatures, while others are designed to be compact and portable for use in tight spaces. Additionally, some compressors can be fitted with special attachments for sandblasting, painting, or other specialized tasks.


Hi, I'm the owner here at All About Air Compressors and I'm hoping to help you with any needs you have around air compressors. From general knowledge to in depth tool by tool needs, we cover it all for you here.