CSIR-CMERI develops “Oxygen Enrichment Unit”

What is the News?

Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute(CMERI) develops an oxygen enrichment unit(OEU) that could provide crucial support to COVID-19 patients.

CMERI is an apex R&D institute for mechanical engineering that functions under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR). It is located in West Bengal.

What is the Oxygen Enrichment Unit(OEU)?
  • An oxygen enrichment unit is a device that concentrates the oxygen from the surrounding air. For that, it selectively removes nitrogen to supply oxygen-enriched air.
  • The concentrated Oxygen is delivered to the patients having respiratory diseases through an oxygen mask or nasal cannula.
  • Uses:
    • Firstly, the device is useful in remote places, homes, or hospital-like facilities for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), chronic hypoxemia, and pulmonary edema.
    • Secondly, it may also be used as an adjunct treatment for severe sleep apnea (in conjunction with a continuous positive airway pressure unit).

About Oxygen Enrichment Unit(OEU) developed by CMERI:

  • The Oxygen Enrichment Unit(OEU) of CMERI is indigenous.
  • Principle: The unit works on the principle of pressure swing adsorption (PSA). It utilizes zeolite columns to selectively remove nitrogen from air under certain pressure thereby increasing the oxygen concentration.
Benefits of this Oxygen Enrichment Unit(OEU):
  • This unit is capable of delivering up to 30 Litres Per Minute(LPM) Oxygen enriched air,  which is absent in the other commercially available units.
  • The available Oxygen Enrichment Units generally work till 8000 ft from sea level. However, this unit can work up to the altitude of 14000 ft. Thus, it is very handy for usage in the high-altitude terrain battlefield in contingencies.
  • Further, this unit will help in High Flow Oxygen Therapy. This therapy is a better method in the treatment and management of COVID-19 patients.
    • High-flow oxygen therapy is a form of respiratory support in the hospital.  In this therapy, the oxygen in conjunction with the compressed air and humidification travels at a higher rate of flow compared to normal methods.

Source: PIB 

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