Method of Producing Oxygen for Medical Purposes
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-10
The IP.com Prior Art Database
This invention disclosure concerns a method of using a membrane air separation process to produce medical grade Oxygen for breathing purposes. One or more membrane separation units can be used in this process to produce Oxygen enriched air for breathing. Separate pumps feeding the permeate stream from each membrane to successive membrane units may be advantageously employed when using this scheme to produce even more highly enriched Oxygen permeate streams.
There exists a need for relatively light weight semi-portable Oxygen breathing equipment that can be employed in medical applications that require a patient to breathe Oxygen enriched air. To the best of our current knowledge this need is being presently being met by the use of portable liquid oxygen breathing units and other technologies involving selective adsorption. There are certain drawbacks to each of these current techniques. In the case of liquid Oxygen hardware, refilling with the liquid is frequently needed so a source of the bulk liquid must be readily available. In the case of adsorption systems, relatively frequent regeneration of adsorbent beds is required thus complicating the design and operation of such systems.
In the case of a membrane air separation process, ambient air can be used as the Oxygen source and a relatively uncomplicated system of one (or more) continuously operated pump (or pumps) and one (or more) membrane can be used to continuously produce a breathable mixture of highly enriched Oxygen in Nitrogen. In general, a feed stream consisting of compressed air can be separated into a low pressure permeate stream consisting primarily of enriched Oxyge...