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  • Oxygen concentrator, potable?

    How exactly is oxygen separated to be pumped into cylinders? Is it a portable process? It is possible I asked this before and can't find the thread.
    Andy

  • #2
    One methods is to cool air down and compress it into a liquid state and then let it expand back to a gas. At the right temp, I don't have any idea what it is, the gas vaporizing will be O2. You just collect the gas at the right temp. and bottle it.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

    Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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    • #3
      I have to assume it is a portable process now as some elderly people that are on o2 now have "oxygen machines" at home rather than using bottles.
      Unfortunately I know noting about the machine in question other than it's about the size of a dehumidifier and it will put out some amount of medical oxygen at low volumes.
      (I work an ambuance, so I don't typically have time to get the details of household furniture and equipmemnt while I'm there.)

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      • #4
        Was simpler than I thought
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_concentrator

        Cant wait to get one !
        My neighbours diary says I have boundary issues

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        • #5
          I think that if I needed one I'd have a battery back-up and/or a UPS as if there is a power outage there may be a problem.

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          • #6
            Not quite what we want...

            An Oxygen Concentrator uses a process that absorbs some of the nitrgen out of the air giving a higher concentration of oxygen. It is not "pure" oxygen by any standard and would not be clean enough for welding and cutting processes, which need to be purer than breathing oxygen.

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            • #7
              [kf2qd and I posted about the same time, so the first paragraph is redundant to his post] This may be of limited utility, depending on what you want it for. If it's because you need to breathe a higher concentration of oxygen, a concentrator may be very helpful. It will not be pure enough or pressurized for, say, oxy-acetylene use.

              @oldtiffie: Rather than a battery backup/UPS/etc, many people just keep oxygen tanks around to use if the concentrator is unavailable.
              Hemi-proprietor,
              Esoteric Garage

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              • #8
                In the retirement village next to us (we live outside and adjacent to it) they had a major transformer or main distribution box "blow up" and it was likely to be out for a week and "took out" half the 50-unit village.

                The owner asked us if we could use our power to power both an oxygenator and (I think) a defibrillator in one of the units near us. We supplied a UPS as well and all went well as the owner shouted my wife and I to a very good dinner out.

                Some of the tenants elected to stay on and use LPG heating and/or to eat/shower with others whose power was on, others had caravans with gen-sets brought in and others went off to stay with relatives. It was all a very smooth operation really and a very good community effort all round. It was a talking point in the village and the town for quite a while after.

                As the power was supplied from my shop and to make sure I didn't "blow a fuze", I stayed out of the shop until it was all over - about a week.

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                • #9
                  On a related topic.

                  Are people who are on an oxygen bottle (for emphasema etc) allowed to drive motor vehicles? I can't recall seeing one and most I've seen are in wheel-chairs and need Carers and most certainly don't look as if they could or should be driving.

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                  • #10
                    Normal sized bottles of oxygen, last on the several hours to a couple of days at the flow rates concentrators provide. I can see why a week long interruption would be a problem!

                    I agree there are a lot of folk on oxygen who maybe should be driving! In California, oxygen therapy can be a factor in reviewing medical qualifications to drive (link). If I recall correctly, oxygen therapy disqualifies for commercial driving.
                    Hemi-proprietor,
                    Esoteric Garage

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                    • #11
                      You Ling provided a good link to how they work. They also use the same process to nitrogen purification.

                      The used oxygen concentrators are popular with glass blowers. They will take several in parallel and get enough flow rate to run most torches without having to buy O2 in bottles. It not pure like a bottle but it is good enough for glass.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kf2qd
                        It is not "pure" oxygen by any standard and would not be clean enough for welding and cutting processes, which need to be purer than breathing oxygen.
                        Definitly wrong.

                        Breathing Oxygen ist around 99,996%, technically used Oxygen around 99,6%...

                        And Oxygen from good Oxygen generators ist used at least for cutting purposes- but the main problem in that application ist the compressor to increase the pressure to feed the torch.

                        (Oxy + Oil = BOOM!)

                        Thomas
                        Last edited by madmec; 04-15-2012, 01:57 AM.

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                        • #13
                          The vast majority of industrial oxygen and breathing oxygen is made by vacuum distillation. That means refrigerating air until it liquefies and letting it warm slowly. The primary constituents (oxy, nitrogen and argon) then boil off at various temperatures and are collected accordingly. Argon is a "waste product" of the process and is only collected when there is storage capacity available. Most is just vented back to the atmosphere.

                          There is no particular reason for a strict purity requirement for breathing oxygen. Anything significantly above regular air will do the job. All that matters is that it doesn't contain oil and related fumes. That is hardly likely except for silicone related products. The higher the purity the longer a bottle will last. It is diluted when breathed so that you aren't breathing pure oxygen.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #14
                            A more recent, last 30 years, method of "on site" seperating oxygen and nitrogen from air is to use a permeable membrane that lets one gas pass through but not the other. Industrial sized units are use in my business to generate large volumes of nitrogen, used for inerting hydrocarbon processing plant and pipelines.

                            Phil

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                            • #15
                              Very good info from everyone! I am aware of the oxygen concentrators since my grandmother was on one for quite some time. I wasn't sure how concentrated the oxygen was coming out of the machine though compared to atmosphere.

                              I am interested in the process for our fish bait. Renting and filling bottles is cheap, sure. But if it is economical I would like to pursue a concentrator or the like. There are years we go threw around 50 bottle fills.

                              What I am most interested to find out though is if the oxygen level that a concentrator puts out would be enough for the fish. Thats something I really don't know and can't mathematically figure out, when it comes to live things "stuff" just has to be tried in order to get a result.

                              Most people think just pumping air into the water is good enough and it is for like 10 fish swimming around. Millions of fish need much better oxygenation. Just pumping air into the water does two things, yes it does put small amount of oxygen back into the water but it also heats the water because of the heat in the pump which defeats the pros of the air being pumped into the water. Even running the compressed air threw a cooler doesn't help much because you are still pumping "just air" which never seems to raise the oxygen level much in the water.

                              There are times we will go threw a (forget the bottle sizes) 4-5'x10-12" bottle in 3 hours.
                              Andy

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