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Concept and Ideas

Method choice

  • There are several technologies available for generating air enriched in oxygen, including air separation by fractional distillation, electrolysis and pressure swing adsorption.
  • From these methods pressure swing adsorption has the lowest infrastructure cost and complexity and was selected for the generation of oxygen in a patient care scenario (10 – 60 l/min).

Pressure Swing Adsorption

  • In Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA), pressurised air is fed to a column loaded with zeolite. The Zeolite is a microporous material, which selectively captures the nitrogen from the airstream and oxygen enriched air leaves the column. As soon as the Zeolite is saturated with nitrogen, the column is vented to release the nitrogen. Then the column is ready for a second cycle, and in switched (loading/venting) operation can produce a quasi-continuous stream of oxygen enriched air.
  • The technology does not consume any material (other than air), and has a low energy demand (pressurised air (ca. 6 bar) and electricity to switch valves).
  • Depending on operation mode, system size and zeolite choice, Pressure Swing Adsorption is capable of generating oxygen enriched air with oxygen contents higher than 90% and with flow rates exceeding 10 l / min.
  • There is an existing industry for the manufacturing of oxygen generators using pressure swing adsorption, e.g. Inmatec, in various scales from single patient units to industrial scale apparatus. However, these manufacturers may not be able to cover the current demand, and DYI solutions may help to treat patients suffering from COVID-19 induced pneumonia.

Applicability

  • The oxygen generator instructions given on this site are the work of a group of engineers to enable the access to oxygen enriched air to as many people and hospital care scenarios as possible.
  • We do not sell or commercially manufacture any devices. We only offer education and know-how via this site and instructional videos.
  • We can not give any guarantee that a device built by someone else will work or work to a given performance.

Safety and potential hazards

  • This technology uses pressurised air (up to 6 bar), which can be hazardous if using large containers.
  • The generation of LiX Zeolite from batteries involves hazardous steps and appropriate safety measures are required.
  • If using oil-free and toxin free parts and units for the construction of the concentrator, the oxygen enriched air leaving the unit will have the same purity (oil/toxins) as the air fed to the concentrator, but will be enriched in oxygen and depleted in nitrogen and water. It might further be contaminated with dust originating from the Zeolites, and consequently dust filtration and re-humidification are required steps prior to any use of the oxygen enriched air stream.

This is work in progress. Please contribute in the comments. All valuable inputs will help us define the best solution.


21 Comments

  1. Worthy project. Would like more details on method making LiX from NaX and lithium — not just the molar ratios involved, but the setup and process.

  2. After Corona — are these oxygen generators of possible use to welders or glass lampworkers? I saw a small workshop in a guy’s basement where he used some oxygen concentrators he picked up from a hospital supply [years before now] as the oxygen source for his glass torches.

    [background — retired layman, former student of art glass working]

  3. Can I use Zeolite used for water purification to make Zeolite LiX ?
    Can I just used Zeolite x13 if I can’ t fined or sanitize Zeolite LiX ? what would be the efficacy drop ?

      • Yes, using Zeolite 13X already yields enough capacity to serve some patients with concentrated oxygen. If only 13X is available, then go ahead and use it instead of LiX.

  4. I have a couple of questions .
    what would be the efficiency drop or loss in practicality if we just use Zeolite X13 instead of LiX ?
    is there a way to sensitize Zeolite Lix out of Zeolite used for water purification that is widely available?
    thank you for help you are doing a great job !

  5. I am happy I found your site. Have been working on my own with info I gathered on the web, but lots of holes in my knowledge. Had little success with Ebay x13 material, and found scholarly paper on lithium sorption on minerals and zeolite. Have been preparing lithium doped x13, but not tried it yet. Have many questions about how you prepare the Lix. I thought I would be able to just immerse the x13 in one normal LiCl, and the ion exchange would eventually happen. 3900 ppm Li in one paper. Is the NH4Cl step really necessary? Looking forward to your detailed writeup on the LiX procedure.

  6. today i did a test and reached 82% 02 @ 2l/min with regular 13X .

    2 x column 2.3 liter @ 4.5 bar, feed and bleed 12 seconds, product 0.4 second and equalize 3 seconds.

    I am very happy with this result and it shows that regular 13X is capable of giving a “decent” yield .

  7. Great result. Can you be more specific? Where did you get the 13X? Do you mean the pressurization phase for 12 seconds? Then vent the O2 for 0.4 seconds, and flush with air for 3 seconds? Did you use dry air, or a dessicant to dry air from a compressor? I want to follow what you did. Thanks.

  8. Muy interesante la información en esta pagina. Agradezco la oportunidad de tratar de entender sobre el tema. Estoy muy interesado al respecto, me gustaría si es posible una guía inicial para aclarar lo que se esta tratando y aplicar en situaciones practicas.
    Éxitos en los proyectos planteados

    • Estimado Orlando,

      Gracias por tu commentario. Estamos en preparation de un documento en espanol, un tipo de guia. En que tipo de aplication pienses utilizarlo? Y en que région del mundo? Julian

  9. MUY INTERESANTE ESTA INFORMACION. ACE 5 AÑOS INTENTE HACER UN PROYECTO DE GENERACION DE OXIGENO GRANDE, NO ME DIO RESULTADO YA QUE UTIICE UNA ZEOLITA 13X. DESPUES ME RECOMENDARON LA 13X HP.
    ACTUALMENTE HE RETOMADO ESTE PROYECTO, PERO EN PEQUEÑA ESCALA (2 — 5 LTS/MIN)
    PROBARE DE DOS TIPO CON 13 X HP Y EN BASE A LITIO (A SU LLEGADA DE CHINA).
    HE VISTO INFORMACION EN LA WEB DONDE LOS TUBOS DE ZEOLITA TIENEN UNA RELACION APROXIMADA DE 6 VECES LO LARGO QUE EL DIAMETRO.
    LO QUE SI OBSERVO SON LOS TIEMPOS DEL PROCESO, HE VISTO CONCENTRADORES QUE MANEJAN UN TIEMPO DE PRESURIZACION DE 7 SEGS. Y ECUALIZACION DE 1 SEG.
    LA DUDA QUE TENGO ES EN EL TIEMPO DE RECOLECCION DEL OXIGENO.
    LE AGRADECERIA SU AYUDA. GRACIAS

  10. Estimado Francisco,
    Gracias por tu comentario, tu experiencia con estas sistemas es indispensable para nuestra comunidad de ingenieros en este tiempo. Para responder a tus cuestiones, sera util de saber de quel tipo de protipo estamos hablando, 1-tubo o 2-tubos. Si tienes mas informaciones, tambien fotos, puedes enviar a mi email kochju@ethz.ch. Y tambien tenemos un forum http://oxygenator.geprojects.tech/phpbb/ donde puedes comenzar una discussion en espanol.

    Buen dia,
    Julian

  11. HOLA JULIAN. GRACIAS POR SU RESPUESTA. MI PROTOTIPO ES DE 2 COLUMNAS.
    LO QUE TENGO DUDA ES EL TIEMPO DE RECOLECCION DEL 02 HABLAN DE 0.4 SEG. ESTO QUIERE DECIR QUE LAS VALVULAS QUE CONROLAN LA SALIDA DEL OXIGENO NO ABREN AL MISMO TIEMPO QUE LA DE ALIMENTACION DE AIRE Y DESFOGUE?

    ESTARE PASANDO RESULTADOS DE MI PROYECTO
    GRACIAS
    ING. FRANCISCO ESCALANTE

  12. Hello, I need an oxygen concentration of 90% -100% up to 10 L / min. What can you advise me for applying your design and achieving these oxygen values?

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