Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Bhopal have developed an inexpensive oxygen concentrator to meet the high demand for medical oxygen during the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic.
The machine, which is estimated to cost less than Rs 20,000, can deliver 93-95 percent of pure oxygen flowing up to 3 liters / minute, they said.
According to the team, the device, which currently costs about Rs 60,000-70,000, has been developed as a solution to cope with the shortage of oxygen during the second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic.
“This machine, called ‘Oxycon’, is made using open technology and material … Once approved, it can be used anywhere from small towns to big cities because you can afford it,” said Siva Umapathy, Director, IISER Bhopal.
“Unlike the first COVID-19 wave, the second wave has hit the surface. The spread is very high and many of those affected need emergency oxygen support. Therefore, hospitals across the country need oxygen cylinders or concentrators and the need to grow in a very short time,” added Mr Umapathy.
Researchers say that this advanced device is portable, customizable, and easy to use. It has a compressor that takes in the surrounding air and transfers it into columns containing zeolite material under well-designed pressure. Two such columns are used for other cycles and electrically controlled valves are used for this purpose to make it automatic and provide continuous air supply.
“Artificial, zeolite, absorbs nitrogen from the air and throws it back into the air, which is why oxygen concentrations rise in the air at the point of purchase. Valve controls are obtained using a fixed circuit controlled by a micro-controller,” said Mitradip Bhattacharjee, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, IISER Bhopal.
“This type of system has already been developed and compared to the existing marketing systems in the market and we have achieved good results. We are actively looking at industrial cooperation to further develop and implement the system on a large scale and implement it after the need for testing and authorization,” added Mr Bhattacharjee.
India has a record record of 3,49,691 new coronavirus infections per day taking its COVID-19 cases to 1,69,60,172, while active cases exceed the 26-lakh mark, according to updated Department of Health data on Sunday.