A group of engineers from the Indian Army have successfully innovated a way to efficiently convert liquid oxygen to low pressure oxygen gas for the aid of Covid-19 patients.
Since oxygen was transported in liquid form in cryogenic tanks, quick conversion of liquid oxygen to oxygen gas and ensuring availability at the patients’ bed was a critical challenge faced by all hospitals managing Covid patients.
This system ensures that oxygen is made available without the use of gas cylinders, thus obviating the need to refill them frequently.
Working under the tutelage of Major General Sanjay Rihani, the engineers consulted and obtained material support from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to implement a working solution by using vapourisers, liquid oxygen cylinders and the pressure relief valves (PRVs).
The team put into use a small capacity (250 ml) self-pressuring liquid oxygen cylinder and processed it via a specially designed vaporiser and a directly usable outlet pressure along with the needed leak proof pipeline and pressure valves to see to it that the liquid oxygen is continuously converted into oxygen gas at the necessary pressure and temperature at a Covid bed.
A prototype with two liquid cylinders capable of feeding oxygen gas for 40 beds for a period of two to three days has been made functional at Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt. The team has also tested a mobile version to cater for typical shifting requirements in hospitals.
The system is economically viable and is safe to operate since it obviates high gas pressure in the pipeline or cylinders and does not require any power supply to operate. The system is capable of replication in a quick time frame.
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