Transformative Design of Medical Oxygen Concentrator by Rapid Pressure Swing Adsorption

R.R. Vemula, M.V. Kothare, S. Sircar
Lehigh University,
United States

Keywords: medical oxygen concentrator, air separation, COPD and rapid pressure swing adsorption


The goal of this research work is design of a miniature medical oxygen concentrator (MOC) using a novel, single-bed rapid pressure swing adsorption (RPSA) process for personal use of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. A single-bed, 4-step RPSA process integrated with product storage tank was designed for continuous supply of 1-3 LPM of 90±%O2 from compressed feed Air. The effect of feed air pressurization and reverse pressurization with product oxygen were tested on RPSA process performance. The process performance was also evaluated in presence of Argon (Ar) in feed air in case of pressurization with product oxygen from storage tank. The process cycle time was varied between 3-9 s and the performance was compared in terms of Bed Size Factor (BSF) and Oxygen Recovery (R). BSF was lowered to 100 lbs/ TPD O2 and corresponding Oxygen Recovery was 29.3% using product pressurization RPSA cycle. The presence of Ar in feed air marginally lowers the process performance. Thus, the size and weight of commercial portable oxygen concentrators can potentially be reduced by a factor of ~2 to 3 while offering similar or ~ 10% higher O2 Recovery using the novel design of RPSA process studied in this research work1.