Health Tips

How does an oxygen concentrator work?

With the coming of Covid-19, oxygen concentrations have gained popularity. This has come up as a result of the increasing demand for oxygen in higher concentrations. It is easy to understand that there with patients they need a higher concentration of oxygen. When you consider pure air, you will find it already has 20% of oxygen and 79% of nitrogen. The 1% comprises other components which include, carbon dioxide, dust, moisture, and others.

For a human being with all systems running well, the 20% oxygen concentration is enough. But when dealing with a patient, this is too low. That is why an oxygen concentrator comes in. Its main function is to come up with an oxygen concentration of 90 %to 95%. But the question is, how does an oxygen concentrator work?

Components of an oxygen concentrator

When you look at what is inside of an oxygen concentrator, you will find interesting parts. The very first one is a compressor. This is the part which pumps air inside at some pressure. When air undergoes compression, the work done on it produces heat. This is the reason why after the compressor there is a cooler. This also carries the name intercooler or heat exchanger. It will cool off the air after compression and keep it at the required temperature.

After the cooler, there is also a high-pressure filter. This is the one that allows oxygen to pass through the pores. With the high pressure, filtering it out can be easy. The filtering happens with the help of pellets of zeolite. These are the pellets contained in a cylinder. Once again, after the cylinders, you have another cooler. It is important because the compression also adds heat to the air. On the other side of the cooler, you also have a pressure regulator. The final part is the tube leading to the user.

How the whole process works inside

We can now go back to the question, how does an oxygen concentrator work? Now, the focus this time is on how the process works together. The ordinary air gets into the system with the help of a compressor. The air generates heat and thus passes through a cooler which lowers the temperature. The cooled air is forced through the filtration cylinder. There are two cylinders you will find in this case and they work together side by side.

The zeolite in the cylinders has small powers that help in filtering out. The advantage is that there is a difference in size between nitrogen and oxygen. The nitrogen which has bigger molecules does not pass through the small pores. On the other side, oxygen passes through without trouble and is collected in a cylinder. The air packed in this cylinder is under compression and is bound to come out at a higher pressure. That is why there is a pressure regulator. This makes sure that what goes to the user or patient is at a safe pressure and there are no problems.

Removing the nitrogen from the system

The separation process releases nitrogen which is one of the major components. This means that it is also able to come out and make a good impression on the whole process. The nitrogen goes into the atmosphere. This happens with the help of a valve that is there to put together the nitrogen in the system. They will open one cylinder to release nitrogen into the atmosphere. But the other valve will remain running and to allow the generation of more oxygen.

There is no need to worry about what will happen to the nitrogen because this is a noble gas. It is a harmless gas in its pure state. It can only manage to cause danger when you come across its compounds. These are the ones that make it difficult to keep away from harming others in the environment.

Options for keeping the systems from contamination

There are many methods that work in making sure that there is no contamination. But the basic one of them all involves taking stock of the gases in the atmosphere. This is not easy especially when you look at the minute values of some of the components of air. In the end, it is very easy to achieve with the help of particulate filters that are there to separate. As long as the first part of the purification happens under strict conditions, all goes well. You will expect the oxygen coming from here to remain clean and neat.

Shorter versions and improved additives

There are quicker versions to the separation of air which bring about oxygen. This does not mean that the quality undergoes a compromise. But it means that there are conditions that a facility may need to meet up with so that it has the needed supplies. When going back to the question how does an oxygen concentrator work, you will see other features now. You will find features that are there to deal with bigger volumes and increased output.

This is all part of dealing with the heavy demand for oxygen as may the requirement may demand. It will come with a few sacrifices, but in the end, all will come to the same end. As long as you have the means to do it, you also have the capacity to improve and increase your capacity. The same 90 to 95% concentration is easy to achieve when you look at the reality behind the system. As the system words for extended periods, you will also find a few permutations.


The operation of an oxygen concentrator comes from a simple setup. The only secret is to make sure that you have an assembly of the right components and materials to achieve this. If you have doubts about all this, you may still consult experts in this area so that they can give advice. As long as you have an oxygen concentrator, the other consumables are easy to organize. After all, you are not dealing with rocket science at the end of it all.