Pollution control body asks 30 industries to modify nitrogen plants for medical oxygen
The Centre had asked the CPCB to identify industries with spare nitrogen plants and explore the feasibility of converting nitrogen plants to produce oxygen.
The Central Pollution Control Board has identified 30 industries to modify their nitrogen plants for the production of medical oxygen. Some of these plants can be shifted to nearby hospitals for supplying oxygen and some plants, where it is not feasible to shift the plants, can produce oxygen on-site, the CPCB said.
The Centre had asked the CPCB to identify industries with spare nitrogen plants and explore the feasibility of converting nitrogen plants to produce oxygen. The CPCB has a database of all industrial units in the country.
A senior Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) official said that they have not issued any such directions in the national capital.
“There are no such major plants that can be converted, but if any specific directions are issued from CPCB we will look at options,” the officials said.
M/s UPL Ltd converted one 50 Nm3/hr capacity nitrogen plant to produce oxygen using Zeolite Molecular Sieve and installed it at LG Rotary Hospital, Vapi in Gujarat. This plant is producing 0.5 ton/day of oxygen and is operational since April 27. UPL Ltd. is also under the process of conversion of three more plants. On conversion to oxygen plants, these plants will be installed at hospitals in Surat and Ankleshwar.
According to the CPCB, at the existing nitrogen plants, oxygen for medical use can be produced by replacing Carbon Molecular Sieve (CMS) with Zeolite Molecular Sieve (ZMS) and making few other changes, such as installation of oxygen analyzer, change in control panel system, flow valves, among others.
With the availability of ZMS, such modified plants can be set up in 4-5 days while installation of a new oxygen plant may take a minimum of 3-4weeks. Oxygen produced in on-site plants has to be compressed and filled in cylinders using high-pressure compressors for transporting to hospitals, the CPCB said.