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Oxygen -- Medical use, Space vehicles -- Oxygen equipment -- Design and construction, Space vehicles -- Medical instruments and apparatus


An oxygen concentrator targeting an 80% reduction in power demand over commercial systems is being developed using a pressure swing adsorption process. This system is targeted for a service interval five times longer than commercial systems, and is tolerant to high humidity environments- the leading cause of device failure in developing countries. This system could provide emergency medical oxygen in a spacecraft without increasing oxygen concentration in the vehicle. Flight surgeons seek this capability, but presently, there is no system that meets power, size, and delivery rate requirements. This type of system is also well suited for medical oxygen in hospitals in developing countries. Pneumonia accounts for 5% of all childhood deaths in Africa, and a lack of medical oxygen contributes to mortality rates. This new approach involves a high flow - low power - low purity device. The process proposes a regenerative blower instead of a piston compressor, a humidity tolerant sorbent, and a non-traditional separation cycle.


Paper presented at the International Conference on Environmental Systems, Portland, Oregon, 2011. Available at Funding support was provided by On-Site Gas Systems of Newington, CT.



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