Recently, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has come up with a creative and innovative solution of converting Nitrogen Generator into Oxygen Generator. The pilot project is a collaborative effort between IIT Bombay, Tata Consulting Engineers and Spantech Engineers, Mumbai, who deal with PSA Nitrogen & Oxygen plant production.
The solution is meant to address the shortage of medical oxygen for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country. According to reports, initial tests done at the institute have shown promising results. Oxygen production could be achieved at 3.5 atm pressure, with a purity level of 93% – 96 %. This gaseous oxygen can be utilised for COVID-related needs across existing hospitals and upcoming COVID-19 specific facilities by providing a continuous supply of oxygen.
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The project is led by Prof. Milind Atrey, Dean (R&D) at IIT Bombay. Atrey stated, “It has been done by fine-tuning the existing Nitrogen Plant setup and changing the molecular sieves from Carbon to Zeolite.” “Such nitrogen plants, which take air from the atmosphere as raw material, are available in various industrial plants across India. Therefore, each of them could potentially be converted into an oxygen generator, thus helping us tide over the current public health emergency,” he added.
As per reports, a PSA Nitrogen plant in the Refrigeration and Cryogenics Laboratory of IIT was identified for conversion, to validate the proof of concept. To undertake this study on an urgent basis, an MoU was signed between IIT Bombay, Tata Consulting Engineers and Spantech Engineers to finalise an SOP that may be leveraged across the country.
Congratulating the teams on the successful pilot in a timely manner amidst several constraints, Amit Sharma, Managing Director at Tata Consulting Engineers said, “We are delighted to partner with IIT Bombay and Spantech Engineers, and contribute towards an innovative solution for emergency oxygen generation using existing infrastructure towards helping the country tide over the current crisis. Such partnerships between industry and academia can accelerate our vision towards the Atma-Nirbhar Bharat.”