How oxygen concentrators work

Let’s learn about HELIUM!





Helium (from Greek: a¼¥Î»Î¹Î¿Ï‚, romanized: Helios, lit. ‘Sun’) is a chemical element with the symbol He and atomic number 2. It is a clear/white, odorless, (having no taste/rude and offensive), non-poisonous, not moving/powerless, monatomic gas, the first in the noble gas group in the periodic table. Its boiling point is the lowest among all the elements. Helium is the second lightest and second most plentiful element in the (capable of being seen and known) universe (hydrogen is the lightest and most plentiful). It is present at about 24% of the total elemental mass, which is more than 12 times the mass of all the heavier elements combined. Its (oversupply/large amount) is just like this in both the Sun and in Jupiter. This is due to the very high nuclear binding energy (per nucleon) of helium-4, with respect to the next three elements after helium. This helium-4 binding energy also accounts for why it is a product of both nuclear fusion and (when a radioactive substance breaks down). Most helium in the universe is helium-4, almost all which was formed during the Big Bang. Large amounts of new helium are being created by nuclear joining together of hydrogen in stars.


Helium is named for the Greek god of the Sun, Helios. It was first detected as an unknown, yellow (related to ghosts or the colors of the rainbow) line signature in sunlight, during a solar (when the moon blocks the sun, etc.) in 1868 by Georges Rayet, Captain C. T. Haig, Norman R. Pogson, and Lieutenant John Herschel, and was (after that) proven true by French star expert, Jules Janssen.  Janssen is often both/together credited with detecting the element, along with Norman Lockyer. Janssen recorded the helium (related to ghosts or the colors of the rainbow) line during the solar (when the moon blocks the sun, etc.) of 1868, while Lockyer watched/followed it from Britain. Lockyer was the first to propose that the line was due to a new element, which he named. The formal discovery of the element was made in 1895 by two Swedish chemists, Per Teodor Cleve and Nils Abraham Langlet, who found helium coming from the uranium ore, cleveite, which is now not thought of as a separate mineral (group of similar living things) but as a variety of uraninite. In 1903, large reserves of helium were found in natural gas fields in parts of the United States, which is by far the largest supplier of the gas today.



Liquid helium is used in (the science of very cold things) (its largest single use, soaking up (like a towel) about a quarter of production), especially in the cooling of superconducting magnets, with the main commercial use being in MRI scanners. Helium’s other industrial uses–as a pressurizing and purge gas, as a (serving or acting to prevent harm) atmosphere for arc welding, and in processes such as growing crystals to make silicon wafers–account for half of the gas produced. A well-known but minor use is as a lifting gas in balloons and airships. As with any gas whose density is different from that of air, breathing in a small sound level of helium (only for a short time) changes the sound and quality of the human voice. In scientific research, the behavior of the two fluid phases of helium-4 (helium I and helium II) is important to (people who work to find information) studying (related to tiny, weird movements of atoms) mechanics (in particular the property of superfluidity) and to those looking at the (important events or patterns of things), such as superconductivity, produced in matter near (the lowest possible temperature in the universe).


On Earth, it is (compared to other things) rare–5.2 ppm by volume in the atmosphere. Most land-based/Earth-based helium present today is created by the natural (when a radioactive substance breaks down) of heavy radioactive elements (thorium and uranium, although there are other examples), as the alpha particles gave off/given off by such (rots/becomes ruined/gets worse) consist of helium-4 centers (of cells or atoms). This radiogenic helium is trapped with natural gas in concentrations as great as 7% by (total space occupied by something), from which it is (pulled out or taken from something else) commercially by a low-temperature separation process called fractional summary/(when something is boiled down). (before that/before now), land-based/Earth-based helium–a non-renewable useful thing/valuable supply because once released into the atmosphere, it quickly escapes into space–was thought to be in more and more short supply. However, recent studies suggest that helium produced deep in the earth by (when a radioactive substance breaks down) can collect in natural gas reserves in larger than people thought amounts, sometimes, having been released by volcanoes.


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How oxygen concentrators work


compressed gas


The periodic table, also known as the periodic table of elements, is a tabular display of the chemical elements, which are arranged by atomic number, electron setup, and repeating chemical properties. The structure of the table shows occasional (popular things/general ways things are going). The seven rows of the table, called periods, generally have metals on the left and nonmetals on the right. The columns, called groups, contain elements with almost the same chemical behaviours. Six groups have accepted names as well as assigned numbers: for example, group 17 elements are the halogens; and group 18 are the noble gases. Also displayed are four simple rectangular areas or blocks connected with the filling of different atomic orbitals.


compressed gas


The elements from atomic numbers 1 (hydrogen) to 118 (oganesson) have all been discovered or synthesized, completing seven full rows of the periodic table. The first 94 elements, hydrogen to plutonium, all happen naturally, though some are found only in trace amounts and a few were discovered in nature only after having first been created. Elements 95 to 118 have only been created in laboratories, nuclear reactors, or nuclear explosions. The synthesis of elements having higher atomic numbers is now being chased after: these elements would begin an eighth row, and theoretical work has been done to suggest possible candidates for this extension. Many synthetic radioisotopes of naturally happening elements have also been produced in laboratories.


compressed gas


The organization of the periodic table can be used to get relationships between the different element properties, and also to predict chemical properties and behaviours of undiscovered or newly created elements. Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev published the first recognizable periodic table in 1869, developed mainly to illustrate occasional trends of the then-known elements. He also predicted some properties of unidentified elements that were expected to fill gaps within the table. Most of his forecasts soon proved to be correct, ending with the discovery of gallium and germanium in 1875 and 1886, which backed up his predictions. Mendeleev’s idea has been slowly expanded and fine tuned with the discovery of further new elements and the development of new theoretical models to explain chemical behaviour. The modern periodic table now provides a useful base for carefully studying chemical reactions, and continues to be widely used in chemistry, nuclear physics and other sciences. Some ongoing discussion remains about the placement and categorisation of particular elements, the future extension and limits of the table, and whether there is the best form of the table.


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How oxygen concentrators work

Let’s learn about OXYGEN!

compressed gas

Oxygen is the c hemical element with the symbol O and atomic number 8.It is a member of the chalcogen group in the periodic table, a highly (causing reactions from other people or chemicals) nonmetal, and an oxidizing agent that easily forms oxides with most elements as well as with other compounds. After hydrogen and helium, oxygen is the third-most plentiful element in the universe by mass. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a clear/white and odorless diatomic gas with the formula O2. Diatomic oxygen gas makes up/is equal to 20.95% of the Earth’s atmosphere. Oxygen makes up almost half of the Earth’s crust in the form of oxides.

compressed gas


Dioxygen provides the energy released in burning (in an explosion) and air-using cellular breathing, and many major classes of organic molecules in living (living things) contain oxygen atoms, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and fats, as do the major voter/part (not related to living things) compounds of animal shells, teeth, and bone. Most of the mass of living (living things) is oxygen as a part of water, the major voter/part of lifeforms. Oxygen is continuously refilled in Earth’s atmosphere by (making food from light), which uses the energy of sunlight to produce oxygen from water and carbon dioxide. Oxygen is too chemically (causing reactions from other people or chemicals) to remain a free element in air without being continuously refilled by the photosynthetic action of living (living things). Another form (give out/set asiderope) of oxygen, ozone (O3), strongly soaks up (like a towel) ultraviolet Ultraviolet sunlight radiation and the high-height ozone layer helps protect the (locations on the Earth that support life) from ultraviolet radiation. However, ozone present at the surface is a (something produced along with something else) of smog and so a (something that dirties the air, oceans, etc.).


compressed gas


Oxygen was (far apart from others) by Michael Sendivogius before 1604, but it is commonly believed that the element was discovered independently by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in Uppsala, in 1773 or earlier, and Joseph Priestley in Wiltshire, in 1774. Priority is often given for Priestley because his work was published first. Priestley, however, called oxygen “dephlogisticated air”, and did not recognize it as a chemical element. The name oxygen was created in 1777 by Antoine Lavoisier, who first recognized oxygen as a chemical element and correctly showed/described the role it plays in burning (in an explosion).


compressed gas


Common uses of oxygen include production of steel, plastics and fabrics, brazing, welding and cutting of steels and other metals, rocket propellant, oxygen therapy, and life support systems in aircraft, submarines, spaceflight and diving.


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How oxygen concentrators work

Using Nitrogen Generators for coal mine fires


Using Nitrogen Generators for coal mine fires


Coal mine fires have been an economic and ecological nightmare for over 100 years. Active fires can cost coal companies up to R2 million per day.

Nitrogen insertion can be done through a borehole, or locally underground. These generation systems can deliver a constant large volume feed of high purity N2 with flows up to 1500 scfm and are portable, with the ability to be placed at almost any coal mine fire location, no matter how remote.


coal fire mountain


Nitrogen Membrane Generator
This generator is a complete turnkey system. It would be designed and built to your specifications and you install it online.

Required Gas:
Nitrogen Purity Range: 95 – 98%


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How oxygen concentrators work

Medical gasses – types and uses

compressed gas


1.  Types of medical gases

There are 7 kinds of gases commonly used: oxygen, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, argon, helium, carbon dioxide and compressed air.

Medical gases are gases used in a variety of medical procedures such as anaesthesia.  The medical gas system also includes vacuum suction system and anesthesia gas scavenging systems.


2.  Medical gas properties and uses

(1)  Oxygen – is the most basic gas for life, and used medically to supplement oxygen for oxygen-deficient patients. Directly inhaling high purity oxygen is harmful to the human body. Long-term use therefore of oxygen concentration generally does not exceed 30-40%. Patients breathe oxygen through the oxygen flowmeter and critically ill patients breathe oxygen through the ventilator.  It is also used in high-pressure tanks to treat diving, gas poisoning, and for drug nebulization.

(2)  Nitrous oxide – has an anesthetic and analgesic effect when small amounts are inhaled. It is used as an anesthetic agent when mixed, and fed through a closed ventilator.

(3) Carbon dioxide – is used to inflate the abdominal cavity and colon for laparoscopy and colonoscopies. It is also used for laboratory cultures of bacteria (anaerobic bacteria).  It can be made into dry ice by applying pressure (5.2 atmospheres) and cooling (-56.6°C below).  Medical dry ice is used for cryotherapy to treat cataracts and vascular diseases.

(4)  Argon, Helium – are a colorless, odorless, non-toxic inert gas.  It is medically used for argon gas knife, gas knife, and other surgical instruments.

(5)  Compressed air – is used to deliver power to oral surgical instruments, orthopedic instruments, and ventilators.

(6)  Nitrogen – is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic, non-flammable gas.  At room temperature, it is inactive at room temperature and does not react chemically with ordinary metals. Medically used to drive medical equipment and tools. Liquid nitrogen is commonly used in cryosurgery in surgery, stomatology, gynecology, and ophthalmology.


compressed gas


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How oxygen concentrators work

What is medical gas supply?


Medical gas supply systems in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are utilized to supply specialized gases and gas mixtures to various parts of the facility. Products handled by such systems typically include:

  • Oxygen
  • Medical air
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Nitrogen
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Medical vacuum
  • Waste anaesthetic gas disposal (US) or anaesthetic gas scavenging system (ISO)

Source equipment systems are generally required to be monitored by alarm systems at the point of supply for abnormal (high or low) gas pressure in areas such as general ward, operating theatres, intensive care units, recovery rooms, or major treatment rooms. Equipment is connected to the medical gas pipeline system via station outlets (US) or terminal units (ISO).

Medical gas systems are commonly color coded to identify their contents, but as coding systems and requirements (such as those for bottled gas) vary by jurisdiction, the text or labeling is the most reliable guide to the contents. Emergency shut-off valves, or zone valves, are often installed in order to stop gas flowing to an area in the event of fire or substantial leak, as well as for service. Valves may be positioned at the entrance to departments, with access provided via emergency pull-out windows.



Oxygen may be used for patients requiring supplemental oxygen via mask. Usually accomplished by a large storage system of liquid oxygen at the hospital which is evaporated into a concentrated oxygen supply, pressures are usually around 345–380 kPa (50.0–55.1 psi), or in the UK and Europe, 4–5 bar (400–500 kPa; 58–73 psi).

Medical air is compressed air supplied by a special air compressor, through a dryer (in order to maintain correct dew point levels), and distributed to patient care areas by half hard BS:EN 13348 copper pipe and also use isolation ball valve for operating the services of compressed air 4 bar. It is also called medical air 4 bar.

Nitrous oxide is supplied to various surgical suites for its anaesthetic functions during preoperative procedures. It is delivered to the hospital in high-pressure cylinders and supplied through the Medical Gas system.

Nitrogen is typically used to power pneumatic surgical equipment during various procedures, and is supplied by high-pressure cylinders. Pressures range around 1.2 MPa (170 psi) to various locations.


Like nitrogen, instrument/surgical air is used to power surgical equipment. However, it is generated on site by an air compressor (similar to a medical air compressor) rather than high-pressure cylinders. Early air compressors could not offer the purity required to drive surgical equipment. However, this has changed and instrument air is becoming a popular alternative to nitrogen. As with nitrogen, pressures range around 1.2 MPa (170 psi).

Carbon dioxide is typically used for insufflation during surgery, and also used in laser surgeries. System pressures are maintained at about 345 kPa (50.0 psi), UK 4 bar (400 kPa; 58 psi). It is also used for certain respiratory disorders.

Medical vacuum in a hospital supports suction equipment and evacuation procedures, supplied by vacuum pump systems exhausting to the atmosphere.


Waste anaesthetic gas disposal, or anaesthetic gas scavenging system, is used in hospital anaesthesia evacuation procedures. Although it is similar to a medical vacuum system, some building codes require anaesthetic gases to be scavenged separately. Scavenging systems do not need to be as powerful as medical vacuum systems, and can be maintained around −50 to −65 kPa (−380 to −490 mmHg; −15 to −19 inHg).

There are many medical gas mixtures used for clinical and medical applications. They are often used for patient diagnostics such as lung function testing or blood gas analysis. Test gases are also used to calibrate and maintain medical devices used for the delivery of anaesthetic gases. In laboratories, culture growth applications include controlled aerobic or anaerobic incubator atmospheres for biological cell culture or tissue growth. Controlled aerobic conditions are created using mixtures rich in oxygen and anaerobic conditions are created using mixtures rich in hydrogen or carbon dioxide. Supply pressure is 4 bar (400 kPa; 58 psi).

Two common medical gas mixtures are entonox and heliox.

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How oxygen concentrators work

What is gas pressure boosting?

Oxygen Concentrator

Gas pressure boosting may be used to fill storage cylinders to a higher pressure than the available gas supply, or to provide production gas at pressure higher than line pressure.

Examples include:
(1) Breathing gas blending for underwater diving where the gas is to be supplied from high-pressure cylinders, as in scuba, scuba replacement and surface-supplied mixed gas diving, where the component gases are blended by partial pressure addition to the storage cylinders, and the mixture storage pressure may be higher than the available pressure of the components.
(2)  Helium reclaim systems, where the heliox breathing gas exhaled by a saturation diver is piped back to the surface, oxygen is added to make up the required composition, and the gas is boosted to the appropriate supply pressure, filtered, scrubbed of carbon dioxide, and returned to the gas distribution panel to be supplied to the diver again.
(3)  Workshop compressed air is usually provided at a pressure suited to the majority of the applications, but some may need a higher pressure. A small booster can be effective to provide this air.

Gas Pressure Booster

Gas booster pumps are usually piston or plunger type compressors. A single-acting, single-stage booster is the simplest configuration, and comprises a cylinder, designed to withstand the operating pressures, with a piston which is driven back and forth inside the cylinder. The cylinder head is fitted with supply and discharge ports, to which the supply and discharge hoses or pipes are connected, with a non-return valve on each, constraining flow in one direction from supply to discharge.

When the booster is inactive, and the piston is stationary, gas will flow from the inlet hose, through the inlet valve into the space between the cylinder head and the piston. If the pressure in the outlet hose is lower, it will then flow out and to whatever the outlet hose is connected to. This flow will stop when the pressure is equalized, taking valve opening pressures into account.

Once the flow has stopped, the booster is started, and as the piston withdraws along the cylinder, increasing the volume between the cylinder head and the piston crown, the pressure in the cylinder will drop, and gas will flow in from the inlet port. On the return cycle, the piston moves toward the cylinder head, decreasing the volume of the space and compressing the gas until the pressure is sufficient to overcome the pressure in the outlet line and the opening pressure of the outlet valve. At that point, the gas will flow out of the cylinder via the outlet valve and port.


There will always be some compressed gas remaining in the cylinder and cylinder head spaces at the top of the stroke. The gas in this “dead space” will expand during the next induction stroke, and only after it has dropped below the supply gas pressure, more supply gas will flow into the cylinder. The ratio of the volume of the cylinder space with the piston fully withdrawn, to the dead space, is the “compression ratio” of the booster, also termed “boost ratio” in this context. Efficiency of the booster is related to the compression ratio, and gas will only be transferred while the pressure ratio between supply and discharge gas is less than the boost ratio, and delivery rate will drop as the inlet to delivery pressure ratio increases.

Delivery rate starts at very close to swept volume when there is no pressure difference, and drops steadily until there is no effective transfer when the pressure ratio reaches the maximum boost ratio.


Compression of gas will cause a rise in temperature. The heat is mostly carried out by the compressed gas, but the booster components will also be heated by contact with the hot gas. Some boosters are cooled by water jackets or external fins to increase convectional cooling by the ambient air, but smaller models may have no special cooling facilities at all. Cooling arrangements will improve efficiency, but will cost more to manufacture.

Boosters to be used with oxygen must be made from oxygen-compatible materials, and use oxygen-compatible lubricants to avoid fire.

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How oxygen concentrators work

What is an oxygen concentrator?

Oxygen Concentrator

An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that concentrates oxygen by using a gas supply to filter nitrogen from surrounding ambient air.  It then compresses it so that it is dense enough. The purified medical grade oxygen is then supplied by means of a pulse-dose delivery or continuous system to the patient.


It is used for supplying oxygen to individuals with breathing-related disorders, difficulties or with a below-normal oxygen concentration in their blood. Oxygen needs to be replaced often for these individuals. Normally, the output of the oxygen concentrator is measured in LPM (litres per minute). The patient’s doctor will need to determine the correct level needed which will differ when resting, sleeping and exercising.

Medical oxygen concentrators

Medical oxygen concentrators for home use were invented in the early 1970’s. Before then, cumbersome and heavy high pressure oxygen cylinders or small cryogenic liquid oxygen systems were used for home medical oxygen therapy. In the 1950’s, The Union Carbide Corporation invented the molecular sieve which made these devices possible as well as the first cryogenic liquid home medical oxygen systems in invented by them in the 1960’s.


Both systems required regular home visits by suppliers to replenish oxygen supplies. Due to lower manufacturing costs, the durable medical equipment (DME) industry quickly welcomed concentrators as an effective way to control costs. Oxygen concentrators for home use have became the preferred and most common used means of supplying home oxygen to individuals.

Oxygen concentrators

Oxygen concentrators are not available over the counter as it must be prescribed by a doctor after a full medical evaluation has been done. Patients are also then shown how to use these concentrators while travelling and in their home by the same doctor.


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How oxygen concentrators work

How oxygen concentrators work?

Oxygen concentrators typically use pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology and are used very widely for oxygen provision in healthcare applications, especially where liquid or pressurized oxygen is too dangerous or inconvenient, such as in homes or in remote clinics & hospitals. For other purposes there are also concentrators based on membrane technology.


An oxygen concentrator takes in air and removes nitrogen from it, leaving an oxygen enriched gas for use by people requiring medical oxygen due to low oxygen levels in their blood. Oxygen concentrators are also used to provide an economical source of oxygen in industrial processes, where they are also known as oxygen gas generators or oxygen generating systems. Oxygen concentrators utilize a molecular sieve to adsorb gases and operate on the principle of rapid pressure swing adsorption of atmospheric nitrogen onto zeolite minerals and then venting the nitrogen. This type of adsorption system is therefore functionally a nitrogen scrubber leaving the other atmospheric gases to pass through. This leaves oxygen as the primary gas remaining. PSA technology is an incredibly reliable and economical technique for oxygen production, with cryogenic separation more suitable at higher volumes and external delivery generally more suitable for small volumes.


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