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IIT Bombay pilots technology to convert nitrogen plant into oxygen generator

This is being done by fine-tuning the existing Nitrogen Plant setup and changing the molecular sieves from Carbon to Zeolite.

April 29, 2021 / 01:40 PM IST

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay is piloting a new technology to convert a nitrogen plant into an oxygen generator amid the oxygen crisis in the country.

The institute said in a statement that Milind Atrey, professor and dean (R&D), who specialises in Cryogenic Engineering took up a pilot project with Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE) to evaluate the conversion of PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) Nitrogen Unit to PSA oxygen unit.

This is being done by fine-tuning the existing nitrogen plant setup and changing the molecular sieves from Carbon to Zeolite. Such nitrogen plants, which take air from the atmosphere as raw material, are available across India in various industrial plants. Therefore, each of them has the potential of being converted to an oxygen generator to tide over the current emergency.

At IIT Bombay, a PSA nitrogen plant in the Refrigeration and Cryogenics Laboratory was identified for conversion to validate the proof of concept. To undertake this study on an urgent basis, an MoU was signed between IIT Bombay, Tata Consulting Engineers and Spantech Engineers to finalise an SOP that may be leveraged across the country.