Centre identifies 30 nitrogen plants to produce medical oxygen

Image for representational purpose only. [File: Mubashir Khan/ GK]

The Centre has identified 30 nitrogen generation plants for production of medical oxygen considering Covid-19 pandemic situation and to further augment availability of oxygen for medical purposes in the country.

“About 30 industries have been identified, and efforts have begun to modify nitrogen plants for the production of medical oxygen,” said Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

“Some of these plants can be shifted to nearby hospitals for supplying oxygen and some plants, where it is not feasible to shift the plants, can produce oxygen on-site.”

UPL Ltd converted one 50 Nm3 per hour capacity Nitrogen plant to produce oxygen using Zeolite Molecular Sieve, and installed it at L.G. Rotary Hospital, Vapi (Gujarat). This plant is producing 0.5 ton per day oxygen and is operational since April 27. UPL Ltd is also under process of conversion of three more plants. On conversion to oxygen plants, these plants will be installed at hospitals in Surat and Ankaleshwar.

In the existing nitrogen plants, replacing Carbon Molecular Sieve (CMS) with Zeolite Molecular Sieve (ZMS) and few other changes such as installation of oxygen analyzer, change in control panel system, flow valve etc., oxygen for medical use can be produced.

With the availability of ZMS, such modified plant can be set-up in 4-5 days while installation of new oxygen plant may take minimum 3-4 weeks.

Oxygen produced in on-site plants has to be compressed and filled in cylinders or special vessels using high pressure compressor for transporting to hospitals.

Facilitation is being provided to these industries for completion of work at the earliest.