Medical Oxygen Plant will be manufactured using medical plant technology developed by DRDO for oxygen generation in fighter Tejas (Pic: Courtesy Twitter/@DefenceMinIndia)
The medical oxygen plant technology, developed by DRDO for on‐board oxygen generation in Tejas fighter planes will now be used for producing oxygen to meet the shortfall COVID-19 patients, according to a defence ministry statement issued on Wednesday.
As many as 500 medical oxygen plants will be installed within three months using this technology at various hospitals in the country, the statement said.
The oxygen plant is designed for a capacity of 1,000 litres per minute (LPM). The system can cater to 190 patients at a flow rate of 5 LPM and charge 195 cylinders per day.
DRDO has already initiated fabrication of 380 Medical Oxygen Plants with release of supply orders for 332 numbers on M/s Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Bengaluru and 48 numbers on M/s Trident Pneumatics Pvt. Ltd., Coimbatore with a target of producing 125 plants per month under PM CARES Fund. Another 120 plants of 500 LPM capacity will be produced by industries working with Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, belonging to CSIR.
Oxygen is a very important clinical gas in health care centres and hospitals for treatment of COVID‐19 patients. Medical oxygen plant technology is capable of generating oxygen with 93±3% concentration which can be directly supplied to hospital beds or can be used to fill medical oxygen cylinders. It utilizes pressure swing absorption technique and molecular sieve (Zeolite) technology to generate oxygen directly from atmospheric air.
The technology will be useful to provide oxygen supply during the coronavirus pandemic in hospitals in urban and rural areas. Hospitals will be able to generate on site medical oxygen, in a cost-effective manner with this oxygen plant rather than depending upon sourcing it from other places.
The installation of this plant helps in hospitals to avoid dependence on scarce oxygen cylinders especially at high altitude and inaccessible remote areas. Medical oxygen plants have already been installed at some of the army sites in the North East and Leh-Ladakh regions. The plant complies with international standards like ISO 1008, European, US and Indian Pharmacopeia. Site preparation for 5 plants to be installed in Delhi/NCR region has already been initiated.
Defence Rajnath Singh has appreciated DRDO for using the technology to generate much needed oxygen for COVID-19 patients which will help in overcoming the present crisis. Secretary Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy has assured the support of DRDO for use of the technology by hospitals and other health agencies.