What is Oxygen?
Oxygen (O2) is an active, life-sustaining component of our atmosphere. Makes around 21% by volume or 23% by weight of the air we breathe, oxygen is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Oxygen melts at -218.7 degrees Celsius and boils/condensed at -183°C. In liquid form it is light blue in color, and when in solid form the element forms dark blue crystals.
Oxygen is key catalyst in many chemical reactions. many substances will burn in oxygen. Oxygen reacts vigorously with combustible materials, especially in its pure state, releasing heat in the reaction process. The scientific word for burning is combustion.
Oxygen has also numerous uses our industries such as in medical and healthcare, aquaculture, and manufacturing process including steelmaking, metals refining and fabrication processes, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petroleum processing, glass and ceramic, pulp and paper. It is also widely used for environmental protection and waste treatment for factories and facilities.
Why consider Oxygen on-site?
On-site oxygen production has many advantages:
- Operating cost reduction
- No heavy cylinder bottles to handle
- Enhanced safety as no more storage of high quantities of combustive gas, under pressure or in liquid cryogenic form
- Ease of mind as the oxygen can be available 24×7. This means no more supply constraints Oxygen can be produced via following methods.
- PSA – Pressure Swing Adsorption.
- VPSA – Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption.
Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology is used to separate non-oxygen contents from a mixture of gases under pressure according to the molecular characteristics. two vessels are filled with Zeolite Molecular sieve as absorbers. As Compressed Air passes up through one of the absorbers, the molecular sieve selectively adsorbs the Nitrogen. This then allows the remaining Oxygen to pass on up through the absorber and exit as a product gas.
When the absorber becomes saturated with Nitrogen the inlet airflow is switched to the second absorber. The first absorber is regenerated by desorbing nitrogen through depressurisation and purging it with some of the product oxygen. The cycle is then repeated and the pressure is continually swinging between a higher level at adsorption (Production) and a lower level at desorption (Regeneration).
The maximum purity achievable in such systems is 99.3%.
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Vacuum-Pressure Swing Adsorption (VPSA) units are used to produce oxygen at purities between 90 and 94%. non-cryogenic oxygen production process may be referred to as VPSA (Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption), VSA (Vacuum Swing Adsorption) or PVSA (Pressure-Vacuum Swing Adsorption) system
VPSA Oxygen generator is generally preferred when Oxygen need is higher than normal. It is used when large scale Oxygen production is required. It has some complex process equipment and hence is considered somewhat costlier than PSA. Is has a brilliant feature of lower power consumption.
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