A team of Indian Army Engineers have come up with a quick solution which will ensure that oxygen is made available without the use of gas cylinders, which means then there will be no need to refill them frequently.
A special task force Indian Army Engineers was set up under Maj Gen Sanjay Rihani and the main task was to find a solution for the conversion of liquid oxygen to oxygen gas and ensuring that there is no shortage at the patient’s bed in hospitals.
This was one of the biggest challenges faced by the hospitals which were treating COVID-19 patients and were facing acute shortage of oxygen and oxygen cylinders. Since oxygen was transported in liquid form in cryogenic tanks, converting them to oxygen gas was the next critical step and time was of essence.
What did the team of Engineers do?
In a week’s time the team after having consultations with various agencies including CSIR and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRO) put together a working solution.
This solution used materials like vaporisers, PRVs and liquid oxygen cylinders. And to make sure that there was a continuous conversion of liquid oxygen into oxygen gas at the requisite pressure and temperature, the team used a self-pressurising liquid oxygen cylinder of small capacity (250 litres). This was then processed through a specially designed vaporiser, combined with a directly usable outlet pressure (4 Bar). This had a leak proof pipeline and pressure valves.
According to the Indian Army, a prototype is ready and is currently functional at the Base Hospital, Delhi, Cantt.
The prototype has two liquid cylinders which have the capability of feeding oxygen gas for 40 beds. This can feed Oxygen for a period of 2-3 days, says the Indian Army.
The team has also carried out tests of a mobile version which is expected to cater for typical shifting requirements in hospitals. The system which is safe to operate as it obviates high gas pressure in the pipeline or cylinders is an economically viable solution. This system does not require any power supply to operate and can be replicated in a short time.