Untitled Document

Conversion of Nitrogen Gas Plants to Produce Medical Grade Oxygen

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation and to further augment availability of oxygen for medical purposes in the country, the Central Government had asked Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which has comprehensive database of industrial units, to identify the industries having spare nitrogen plants and explore the feasibility of converting of existing Nitrogen plants to produce oxygen. CPCB in coordination with State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) identified such potential industries, wherein existing nitrogen plants may be spared for production of oxygen. CPCB has discussed with nearly 400 industries having nitrogen plants and as on 04.05.2021, has identified 45 industries, wherein existing nitrogen plants may be spared for producing oxygen, without affecting their normal operation.

It is possible to convert existing Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) based nitrogen plants to produce oxygen by replacing Carbon Molecular Sieve (CMS) used production of nitrogen with Zeolite Molecular Sieve (ZMS) and few other changes such as oxygen analysers, control panel system, flow valves etc. existing nitrogen plants can be modified to produce oxygen. With the availability of ZMS, such modified plant can be set-up in 4-5 days while installation of new oxygen plant may take minimum 3-4 weeks. So far 27 industries have initiated conversion of plants. For Remaining 18 industries, work is in progress as they are in discussion with OEMs/vendors for procurement of ZMS.

A nitrogen plant modified for the production of oxygen can be either shifted to a nearby hospital or, in case it is not feasible to shift the plant, it can be used for on-site production of oxygen, which can be transported to hospital through cylinders.


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