“ Efforts have started to modify nitrogen factories for the production of medical oxygen ”

To deal with the COVID-19 situation in the country, the CPCB has identified around thirty industries whose nitrogen plants will be modified for the production of medical oxygen. In a statement, the Environment Department said on Saturday that efforts were underway to increase the availability of oxygen for medical purposes, as the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), with the help of State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB), has identified potential industries where existing nitrogen production facilities can be spared for oxygen production. “Consultations have taken place with potential industrial units and experts,” he said.

He said the central government had asked the CPCB, which has a comprehensive database of industrial units, to identify industries with spare nitrogen plants and to explore the feasibility of converting plants to existing nitrogen to produce oxygen.

“About thirty industries have been identified and efforts have been made to modify nitrogen plants for the production of medical oxygen.” Some of these factories can be moved to nearby hospitals to provide oxygen and some factories, where it is not possible to move them, can produce oxygen on site, ”he says.

According to the official statement from the ministry, M / s UPL Ltd converted a nitrogen plant with a capacity of 50 Nm3 / h to produce oxygen using a zeolite molecular sieve, and installed it at LG Rotary Hospital in Vapi (Gujarat). “This plant produces 0.5 tonnes / day of oxygen and has been operational since April 27. UPL Ltd is also in the process of converting three other factories. During the conversion into oxygen factories, these factories will be installed in the hospitals of Surat and Ankaleshwar ”. It said.

In existing nitrogen plants, replacement of carbon molecular sieve (CMS) with zeolite molecular sieve (ZMS) and some other changes such as installation of oxygen analyzer, change of control panel system control and flow valves, etc., oxygen for medical use can be produced, he mentioned.

“With the availability of ZMS, such a modified plant can be installed in 4 to 5 days while the installation of a new oxygen plant can take at least 3 to 4 weeks,” he said.

Oxygen produced in on-site factories has to be compressed and filled into special cylinders / containers using a high pressure compressor for transport to hospitals.

Facilitation is provided to these industries for the completion of works at the earliest, the ministry said.