Application of Nanosize Zeolite Molecular Sieves for Medical Oxygen Concentration

The development of a portable oxygen concentrator is of prime significance for patients with respiratory problems. This paper presents a portable concentrator prototype design using the pressure/vacuum swing adsorption (PVSA) cycle with a deep evacuation step (−0.82 barg) instead of desorption with purge flow to simplify the oxygen production process. The output of the oxygen concentrator is a ~90 vol % enriched oxygen stream in a continuous adsorption and desorption cycle (cycle time ~90 s). The size of the adsorption column is 3 cm in diameter and 20 cm in length.
A Li+ exchanged 13X nanosize zeolite is used as the adsorbent to selectively adsorb nitrogen from air. A dynamic model of the pressure and vacuum swing adsorption units was developed to study the pressurization and depressurization process inside the microporous area of nanosized zeolites. The describing equations were solved using COMSOL Multiphysics Chemical Engineering module. The output flow rate and oxygen concentration results from the simulation model were compared with the experimental data. Velocity and concentration profiles were obtained to study the adsorption process and optimize the operational parameters.
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Application of Nanosize Zeolite Molecular Sieves for Medical Oxygen Concentration