Understanding Molecular Sieves and how they ensure Purity Levels in Oxygen Concentrators

The demand for oxygen-enriched air is increasing as respiratory illnesses in the global population are detected and treated. Using Rebreathe’s high-performance Zeolite molecular sieve products, many firms are creating and producing medical oxygen concentrators, allowing medical practitioners to give their patients the necessary respiratory care. Our dedication to developing and manufacturing the best molecular sieves for medicinal oxygen is unrivalled in the industry.

What Is a Molecular Sieve?

Molecular sieves are well-formed, synthetic, and naturally occurring zeolites that have been widely used for the separation of permanent (or fixed) gases. A porous substance known as synthetic zeolite, commonly known as molecular sieve, is used to separate the various gas components from ambient air. Zeolites are made up of a crystalline network of silica and aluminium that selectively trap nitrogen molecules in nanometer-scale holes while allowing oxygen and other molecules to pass through.

How do these components ensure oxygen Purity?

Zeolite molecular sieves absorb nitrogen from the air in pressure swing adsorption (PSA) processes while allowing the oxygen to pass through the system. In a medical oxygen concentrator, this refined oxygen is provided to the patient to meet the patient’s respiratory needs by supplying extra oxygen to the body.

Medical oxygen concentrators cleanse the air and concentrate the oxygen level to greater than 90% using the PSA process. All Zeolite compounds have a higher selectivity for the adsorption of nitrogen over oxygen. The highest nitrogen-loading-capacity molecular sieves on the market are employed in the lightest and most modern portable oxygen concentrator (POC) designs in our Zeolite series. Many stationary personal oxygen concentrator designs incorporate zeolite materials as well.

Device manufacturers must choose the correct sieves for their PSA designs because there are various different grades of items to choose from. Our Zeolite sieves provide maximum versatility and performance, allowing medical oxygen concentrator makers to fine-tune their PSA design parameters to get the best possible oxygen concentrator performance.

Do Molecular Sieves differ in Industrial and Medical Oxygen Use?

Simple answer to the question is yes.

For an oxygen concentrator, you’ll need to purchase Zeolite. Aside from that, you should be aware of the many types of Zeolite used in oxygen concentrators. In the Molecular sieve 3A, most oxygen concentrator manufacturers employ Zeolite 13x.

It’s also crucial to pick the correct molecular sieve size. For the building of a large oxygen concentrator, larger molecular sieve beds would be required. This is an additional point to consider. Aside from that, you’ll need to know if you’re building a medical oxygen concentrator or an industrial oxygen concentrator, as the two have slightly different designs.

What to Expect from Rebreathe Molecular Sieves?

Rebreathe has a dedicated R&D team working on the next generation of Zeolite molecular sieves to help the medical oxygen market advance. To aid in the design, production, and overall quality of medical oxygen concentrators, our technical staff collaborates closely with design engineering teams and adsorption researchers.

All medical oxygen concentrators on the market today use a process known as pressure swing adsorption (PSA), which is a dynamic process that takes air from the environment and separates oxygen from other gaseous components such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water vapour using columns, or beds, of molecular sieves.

The mechanism is the same in medical and industrial oxygen systems: air is passed through a series of columns to create oxygen with a purity of 93-95 percent. The fundamental difference between medical and industrial applications is that the feed flow rate of air to be treated is much lower, and the adsorption cycle time (time for adsorption before switching to desorption) is slightly shorter.

This refined oxygen stream is delivered to patients by cannulas worn on the face, which are connected to an internal storage tank. Patients can change the output to the desired flow setting as directed by their doctors.

Adaptability and Application

Whether stationary or portable, these oxygen concentrating devices operate by passing ambient air through a molecular sieves column. The unique properties of the column then separate oxygen from nitrogen using the molecular sieves to release a flow of up to 94% pure oxygen.

The product is intended for use by patients in the medical business. While various oxygen supplies are accessible in health institutions, patients frequently face challenges due to a lack of money, insufficient electricity, and other obstacles.

Stationary oxygen concentrators are utilised in home care settings and may give up to five litres per minute of roughly 90–95 percent pure oxygen to the user. For patients with more severe respiratory needs, higher flow concentrators can supply up to 10 litres of oxygen per minute. Stationary concentrators are plug-in devices that are intended to remain in a patient’s room.

Portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) are portable oxygen concentrators that can be used by ambulatory respiratory patients who want to live a more active lifestyle without the usage of compressed gas cylinders. POCs work similarly to stationary oxygen concentrators, with the exception that they are battery-powered and typically give oxygen in the form of a pulse dose, which only emits oxygen when the patient inhales, rather than a continuous flow. POCs are smaller and lighter, and they may be carried in a satchel or a backpack case.

The Takeaway

It is critical for manufacturers and consumers to learn the significance of having oxygen in medical facilities. There is also a need for safe oxygen administration, which is where the molecular sieve oxygen concentrator comes in handy.

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