Kerala students make affordable oxygen concentrator

Though Kerala wasn’t much affected due to shortage, people were concerned here also.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

KOCHI: During the pandemic, shortage of medical oxygen was one of the major crises experienced in most of the hospitals across the country that led to the loss of many lives. Though Kerala wasn’t much affected due to shortage, people were concerned here also. Now, a group of students of Government Engineering College, Thrissur has found a way to deal with the major problem.

The eight-member team — Christo Kollannur, Christo Varghese, Athul C K, Ajith Vijay, Agnesh Babu, Albin Saju George and Joseph Kuruvvila — from the Government Engineering College, Thrissur, has come up with an oxygen concentrator to address the oxygen deficiency issues. The prototype was recently handed over to the Government Medical College Hospital, Thrissur.

The device was developed by final year mechanical and electrical engineering students along with Estro Tech Robotics (Estro), a startup company operating inside the college. “Though there were oxygen concentrators in the market, it could only be used by a limited number of patients at a time. Moreover, imported devices weren’t able to stand the weather conditions of Kerala and were getting damaged easily. So, we thought of coming up with an oxygen concentrator which is suitable to our geography,” says Christo.

The device works based on Pressure Swing Adsorption. 

“Oxygen from the surrounding air is separated and purified using the device. It fully adapts to the climatic conditions of Kerala due to its Iowa technology. At least four patients can use it simultaneously,” says Christo. Lack of availability of bubble storage systems for oxygen is another problem faced by hospitals. However, this Iowa oxygen concentrator can produce and supply oxygen effectively and can be used in hospitals as well as homes, he said.

Compared to other commercial oxygen concentrators in the market, the money spent for developing the prototype was far less and came up to Rs 1.4 lakh. The team member says if it is mass-produced, the cost will become only up to Rs 80,000. The project was guided by professor Mohandas P V, associate professor Manoj P J Ajay James, assistant professor Binoy B B.

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