How do Oxygen Concentrators Work?

In simple words, an Oxygen Concentrator works on electricity; takes in room air, removes Nitrogen from it and provides upto 95% pure Oxygen.

oxygen concentrator working


The composition of air (78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% other gases like Carbon Dioxide, Argon, etc.) clearly shows that air is mainly comprised of two gases: Nitrogen and Oxygen [together 99%]. If Nitrogen is removed from air, the primary gas remaining would be Oxygen with purity of about 90-95%. An Oxygen Concentrator uses this idea with the basic principle of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) to deliver 90-95% pure oxygen.

composition of air pie chart

Main components

  • Series of filters: To filter out impurities present in air
  • Air Compressor: To push room air into the machine and forward it to the molecular sieve beds.
  • 2 Molecular Sieve Beds – Zeolite (Micro porous Aluminosilicate mineral): Have the ability to trap Nitrogen.
  • Switch valve: Switches the output of compressor between the 2 molecular sieve beds
  • Oxygen outlet: An opening that gives out oxygen to the patient
  • Flow meter: To set the flow in Litres Per Minute (LPM)
Components of Oxygen Concentrator

Related Article: How to Use and Maintain an Oxygen Concentrator


  1. Ambient air (room air) passing through a series of filters is drawn into the machine by a compressor.
  2. This air is compressed into the 1st molecular sieve bed and all the Nitrogen is adsorbed. The molecular sieve beds are porous & thus have large surface area due to which they adsorb large amount of Nitrogen.
    Oxygen Concentrator Working Step 1
  3. Now because air had only Nitrogen and Oxygen as main components; the primary gas that remains is Oxygen. This Oxygen has a concentration of up to 95% and is ready to be supplied to patient via Oxygen delivery system like Nasal Cannula, Oxygen mask, etc.
  4. The compressor keeps on compressing air into the 1st molecular sieve bed till it gets saturated (filled) by Nitrogen. The sieve bed usually gets saturated at pressure of 20 psi.
    Oxygen Concentrator Working Step 2
  5. Just before 1st molecular sieve bed gets saturated, the Switch Valve comes into action and output of the air compressor is immediately switched to 2nd sieve bed i.e. the compressor starts compressing air to the 2nd molecular sieve.
    Oxygen Concentrator Working Step 3
  6. While this sieve bed gets saturated by Nitrogen, the Nitrogen that was trapped in the 1st sieve bed is vented out. The little Nitrogen that is left in the sieve bed after discharging is removed by back-flushing of Oxygen from the other sieve bed.
  7. The switch valve again switches the output of air compressor back to the 1st sieve bed as soon as the 2nd sieve bed approaches saturation.
    Oxygen Concentrator Working Step 4
  8. This process keeps on repeating to ensure continuous flow of Oxygen.
  9. This process of switching the sieve beds is known as Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA).
  10. The output of Oxygen is then controlled using a flowmeter where the flow can be set manually in Litres Per Minute (LPM).
  11. Oxygen flows out through an outlet where an Oxygen delivery system like nasal cannula or a mask is usually connected via humidifier.


  • Principle: Pressure Swing Adsorption
  • Air Contains 78% Nitrogen & 21% Oxygen.
  • If Nitrogen is removed, air will be left with upto 95% pure Oxygen.
  • Room air is drawn in the machine through compressor
  • There are 2 molecular sieves in the machine which come into action alternately.
  • Molecular Sieve Beds trap and remove Nitrogen from the air that is drawn in the machine.
  • Switch valve keeps on switching the Air input from one sieve bed to other for continuous flow of Oxygen.
  • Nitrogen is vented out from each sieve bed once the bed gets saturated.
  • Oxygen output is controlled through a flowmeter and delivered to patient through an Oxygen delivery system like Nasal Cannula or mask.
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Robin P Jacob
Posted from Kerala on: 2021-02-01 at 06:10:27
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Lee Diamond
Posted from United States on: 2020-12-03 at 21:15:34
How does a concentrator affect the air in the room in which it is used? It would seem that if nitrogen is vented out, that it would increase the % of nitrogen in the room's ambient air? Yes, no? And if no -- why not?
Larry Lawson
Replied on: 2020-12-17 at 17:25:20
The Nitrogen was in the room air to begin with It merely makes a little trip through the concentrator No different than being breathed into the lungs and out again
Posted from Belgium on: 2020-11-21 at 23:15:19
Hi How the switch valve working? Is it designing with a time?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2020-11-23 at 17:21:26
Hi Mahdi You may find this video on Solenoid valves helpful.
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Posted from Argentina on: 2020-06-21 at 22:45:37
Hello, I make an inquiry, I have a respironics everflow concentrator with 3800 hours and it turns on a red alarm. The filter has been changed, but it continues with that alarm, I have noticed that the compressor works but does not relieve pressure from the zeolite beds; It may be due to clogging of the beds or the compressor is not sending the adequate pressure due to wear of the piston seals of the engine. I will appreciate your response to solve the fault I am in an area far from a technical service, best regards
James Gardner
Posted from Australia on: 2020-05-26 at 13:50:05
Hi! What humidity is the oxygen that comes out of an oxygen concentrator relative to air coming in?? (also, what humidity is the nitrogen separated)... Thanks!
Posted from Australia on: 2018-02-03 at 17:25:34
Thanks for this very informative article, and all the additional info provided in comments! I'm looking for info re a rattling noise that began a few days ago, thinking it could be a cooling fan, but the machine is sounding like a tractor. Oxy output seems to be ok, no alarms. Just the noise, quite loud. Any ideas? Thanks!
Martin M
Posted from Austria on: 2018-01-30 at 07:58:40
In a previous comment you did answer the question about whether an oxygen concentrator does remove humidity from ambient air with "It does not". However, theoretical background on most oxygenators states that the zeolite material does indeed get saturated over time with humidty from ambient air, which is especially a problem in areas with high temperatures accompanied with high humidty resulting in a process called "clogging". What is the status on this? What is the sensing principle inside an oxygen concentrator, that determines the concentration and flow of oxygen after the process of pressure swing adsorption? Which type of sensor is used in modern oxygen concentrators (polarographic sensors, paramagnetic sensors, ultrasonic sensors,...?) Also, is it possible to purchase such a built-in sensor as single part for engineering purpose in an external oxygen meauserement device?
bob schmader
Posted from united states on: 2018-01-14 at 09:52:58
My concentrator is spewing out a lot of white powder all over the floor. It's been doing this for awhile before I noticed it. Is this in any way harmful to my lungs while using the concentrator ?
Mal Reynoldd
Posted from United Kingdom on: 2017-12-14 at 04:57:01
Not sure if you can answer this. I need to bring an everflo concentrator to the Philippines. Are they able to go into the hold of a plane or are they a prohibited item??
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-12-14 at 05:00:27
Hi Mal, you can take the concentrator in the plane but you will not be able to use it during the flight. Also it is always recommended to ask the airlines 1 day before whether you can carry it or not.
Aniket ghule
Posted on: 2017-11-28 at 08:09:00
Can you give me detail specifications about zeolite material used ? And is it costly ?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-11-28 at 23:10:51
Hi aniket, zeolites are made of aluminosilicate and they are quite expensive.
Tina Louise chism
Posted from U.S on: 2017-11-27 at 22:53:50
Why do some cannula from same box blow out air diferently. Some blow hard some dont. Same 7ft same lol on machine
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-11-27 at 23:08:37
Hi Tina, the reason for less flow from one of the cannula must be that the inner diameter of one of the cannula must be less than the other.
sat jain
Posted from india on: 2017-11-22 at 01:15:49
If the closed Air conditioned room overnight , how CO2 exhailed out is cleared out in this Machine?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-11-22 at 03:52:19
Hi Sat Jain, during its working the oxygen concentrator throws out nitrogen and other gases. The gases that come out get mixed with the ambient air.
Les Finch
Posted from United Kingdom on: 2017-11-17 at 16:14:42
Hi, firstly thank you for a very interesting site and Q
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-11-18 at 01:59:57
Hi Les, you are most welcome.
Rodger Dubose
Posted from United States on: 2017-09-26 at 18:09:12
I have been on oxygen since 2015. I have an Everflo home concentrator. The company that services my machine did a PM on it in June 2017. They checked the flow and that was all. I asked if there were any filters to change and I was told no. They recently merged with another company. I called them today(9/26/2017) and they changed the intake fiilter.The filter was very dirty. I was in the hospital last month for a COPD flareup. Could the dirty filter have caused me to get sick? The filter had never been changed.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-09-26 at 23:00:34
Hi Robert, the dirty filter could not have caused you sick. A dirty filter affects the performance of the machine. If the filter gets dirty beyond a point where it starts affecting the performance, the machine starts giving an alarm.
Prabhat Kumar Mitra
Posted from India on: 2017-09-20 at 06:21:01
My Airconditioned room remains closed but I run AC half the way in the nigh because fans keep me comfortable. Do you think, I should keep a Nebulizer in the room to make sure oxygen supply is enough half the night through late morning. What should be the norman dose for old man keeping so far reasonably normal.
Oxygent Times
Replied on: 2017-09-20 at 23:15:24
Hi Prabhat, you don't need a nebulizer as it is a drug delivering device and has nothing to do with oxygen. Coming to your second question, only a doctor after running thorough tests can determine the amount (LPM) of oxygen you need.
R Madhavan
Posted from India on: 2017-09-04 at 08:13:17
In a small, unventilated room, when Nitrogen is flushed out of the machine, will it not reduce the net Oxygen content of the air? Is it advisable to have an exhaust fan or other means to increase air ventilation?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-09-05 at 23:25:39
Hi Madhavan, the oxygen content of the air remains same even when when the concentrator is flushing out nitrogen. There is no need for an exhaust fan but just make sure it is not kept in sealed tight room as it needs sufficient air to operate.
Posted from India on: 2017-08-21 at 01:05:03
My dad is recovering from H1N1 induced lung fibrosis. He needs some minimum o2 support as of now. On the stationary cylinder, even at 0.5 lpm he is able to maintain spo2 of 96-97. But on the oxygenerator.. we get the same saturation at about 4 lpm. What is the reason for this?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-08-21 at 01:21:50
Hi Prachi, this could be happening because of the following two reasons:
  1. Flowmeter on cylinder is not calibrated.
    This is a common problem with oxygen cylinders that their flowmeters are not calibrated and most of the time do not show the exact LPM that is getting delivered to the patient. It could be possible that the cylinder is delivering 2-3 LPM and showing 0.5 LPM on the flowmeter.
  2. Oxygen concentrator is not working properly
    There is a chance that there is some fault in the oxygen concentrator and it is not delivering sufficient oxygen.
Suggest you to try a different flowmeter and if the problem still persists then you need to get the concentrator checked.
Replied on: 2017-08-21 at 22:43:28
Okay, thanks a lot. Will do the needfull. Also, can the concentrator work effectively, while running continously in a closed air conditioned room?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-08-21 at 23:14:45
Yes, it can work effectively. Just make sure it has 1 foot of free space from all 4 sides.
Replied from USA on: 2017-09-05 at 18:50:27
I am presently in the hospital. I am trying to find a way to get a hi flow oxygen to my house. I need all of the possible help. I am at. 65 Lpm looking to lower. I am O2 sat at 96. Please guide me towards anywhere any country I can get a breatheable O2generator that has a system connected to it like nasal canulator and or mask.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-09-05 at 23:20:57
Hi Roy, are you sure you are using concentrator at 65 LPM because this is way too high even for a patient whose lungs are not functioning at all.
Christine Stewart
Posted from United Kingdom on: 2017-08-18 at 12:09:04
Thank you for the article. It is very interesting. I wonder, is it possible to buy a device that will remotely turn down the oxygen litres per minute, to say 2L/miin and up again to say 4L/minute when not near the concentrator? Or is there a concentrator for sale that has a remote facility? I do not have my concentrator near to me as it is a bit noisy and it would be so good to be able to turn it up from my seat when I need to walk around.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-08-21 at 01:27:39
Hi Christine, unfortunately there is no concentrator in the market that comes with a remote. We hope there is one in the near future as there are a lot of people who would like to have an oxygen concentrator that operates with a remote.
Posted from USA on: 2017-08-17 at 11:23:02
What affect does a dirty filter on the air intake area have on the flow, volume, or quality of air I'm breathing?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-08-18 at 00:29:48
Hi Jerry, a dirty filter stops the air intake of the concentrator and results in breakdown of the machine due to high pressure which in turn drops the saturation of the oxygen.
Jutta M Dahl
Posted from USA on: 2017-08-07 at 15:13:17
When the machine is running, what do the beeps mean, ie.,1 beep or 2, or 3 and length of beep?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-08-08 at 06:52:26
Hi Jutta, the beeps in the concentrator signifies different alarm types.
Posted from India on: 2017-08-04 at 04:32:43
why zeolite absorbs only N2 and not O2? what is actual mechanism?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-08-04 at 07:57:00
Hi AK, Zeolites are molecular sieves having natural abilities which allow them to adsorb nitrogen and pass oxygen. The oxygen coming out of zeolites is 99% pure and is used in various applications, one of them being oxygen concentrator.
Ted Burns
Posted on: 2017-07-07 at 05:24:12
Does an oxygen concentrator remove humidity and pollution from the air
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-07-07 at 05:26:20
Hi Ted, an oxygen concentrator does not remove humidity or pollution from the air.
Posted on: 2017-06-24 at 08:09:25
1. Do you have any specs for the rate at which the compressor of a 5L machine typically draws in air? 2. Do you have any estimation of the pressure drop across the intake bacterial filter?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-06-26 at 01:21:58
Hi Lauren, unfortunately, we do not have answer to both your questions.
Posted from turkey on: 2017-06-16 at 00:45:17
Hi sir, could you give me information about What is the oxygen purity according to the usage areas?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-06-19 at 01:10:54
Hi Canan, the oxygen purity of the concentrator should always be more than 85% irrespective of the area or usage.
Naveen Patel
Posted from India on: 2017-05-13 at 01:27:03
My Sequel Integra 7 om o2 concentrated compressor makes a loud noise such as a valve has released every 4 or 5 minutes and all three lights are on regularly
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-05-14 at 01:44:12
Hi Naveen, unfortunately we won't be able to provide you with any information on SeQual Integra as we have not had the chance to review it yet.
Greg welch
Posted on: 2017-04-27 at 22:06:00
Will the concentrator eventually fill a small room with nitrogen.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-04-28 at 05:10:52
Hi Greg, the nitrogen gets mixed with the atmosphere around in a natural manner. The room does not get accumulated with the nitrogen.
Chris Kridakorn Odbratt
Posted from Laos on: 2017-04-13 at 23:33:45
Hi ! Are there any concentrators that can further split the gases ? i.e. after you have got the O2, I would like to flush the Nitrogen and use the CO2 for a grow room, where I grow herbs
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-04-16 at 04:24:08
Hi Chris, we do not have any information on this.
Posted from Nigeria on: 2017-02-14 at 07:52:07
1. How much time can one new oxygen concentrator work to be considered as old and be put out of use? 2. How often can a biomed technician be replacing seive bed on a oxygen concentrator?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-03-23 at 00:17:01
Hi Polycarpe, there is no fixed time after which the concentrator / sieve beds is considered to be old and replaced. It completely depends on how you maintain the concentrator. We have seen oxygen concentrators running for 36,000 hours with proper maintenance and timely servicing.
Posted from United States on: 2017-01-18 at 09:25:48
How long does the Concentrator need to run before it starts to produce oxygen? Also, would there be any ill effects on the unit, if it were turned on and off though the power cord using a timer switch. I need oxygen for an ozone generator, for water treatment, but the unit only needs to run when the ozone generator is running. There is a switch that turns on the ozone generator when water is being supplied. I need the concentrator to operate in the same manner. To state it another way, if the power goes out in your house does the concentrator come back on with the same settings when the power comes back on, and if this were to happen, say 50 times a day would this damage the concentrator in any way. thanks
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-03-23 at 00:07:47
Hi Johnny, the concentrator starts producing oxygen immediately after being turned ON but it takes 10-15 mins to produce 90-95% pure oxygen. Coming to your second question, the oxygen concentrator will remain in the same setting when the power comes back after the power cut.
Posted from Canada on: 2017-01-10 at 18:41:13
Thank you very much for such a detailed look at oxygen concentrators. Would you recommend the Sequal machine as discussed on this page?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-03-16 at 23:30:15
Sequal eQuinox and eclipse series are recommended for those who need a portable oxygen concentrator with requirement of 3 LPM of continuous flow or for those who have around 6 LPM of pulse flow requirement.
rajkumar regmi
Posted from nepal on: 2017-01-05 at 20:10:00
My mother's machine produces white powder in it. what is the reason ?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-03-16 at 23:18:56
Hi Rajkumar, where exactly do you see the white powder in machine?
Replied from America on: 2017-04-22 at 15:41:34
My mothers concentrator was "hissing" out a white powered too. The pulmonary service said it was sub-sand, used to filter and it had malfunctioned. How common is this, as I've not seen any other people comment on it except for this one that I'm replying to.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-05-01 at 04:10:10
Hi DeLaine, Please mail us the picture of this white powder on [email protected]
Posted on: 2017-01-04 at 14:59:28
Is there a risk on patients using oxygen concentrations since despite breathing more oxygen in higher percentage, they are also breathing more percentages of CO2 and other gas?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-03-24 at 07:47:25
Hi Nesrine, there is definitely a risk of oxygen toxicity if the patient takes more than the prescribed oxygen.
Emily Summer
Replied from USA on: 2018-01-13 at 17:22:44
The hypoxic drive theory has been debunked. Unless one is a C02 retainer, oxygen toxicity is not possible, according to my RRT and Pulmo.
Deepayan Chatterjee
Posted from India on: 2016-12-23 at 05:58:53
My oxygen concentrator shows an oxygen level of 86%. Up to what level is it therapeutic to use it?Thanks.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-01-02 at 07:05:55
Hi Deepayan, you need to contact your equipment provider if the concentration drops below 85%.
Sutthini Tan
Posted from Thailand on: 2016-12-16 at 10:20:54
Will it be dangerous when sieve bed is out of order and zeolite become powder? Can this powder come out with the oxygen and go into the patient's tracheostomy? ( the equipment provider recommended to change the sieve bed as O2 dropped to 72% @8 Ltr. Besides, I found patient had irrugular pulse during using this machine, and then, recovered after taking this machine out and use the o2 tank instead)..He uses the machine as for nebulizing only since normally he has 98% of O2 in the room air..
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2017-01-02 at 06:55:39
Hi Sutthini, there is no chance of zeolite becoming powder and coming out of the machine. You can continue using machine's nebulizer.
Don wreford
Posted from Australia on: 2016-11-25 at 16:16:38
I may purchase a Inogen One 3 from a company that supplies used machines, It has a warning saying 'no breath detected' and check cannula? Considering this is a plastic pipe that appears fine, is it possible this is requiring sieve replacement?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-11-27 at 22:07:14
Hi Don, Inogen One G3 is a pulse flow only oxygen concentrator which means it gives oxygen only when it detects your breath through cannula. Place the cannula on your nostrils and breathe normally, contact your equipment provider if the issue persists. This issue can not be because of sieve beds.
Narendra kumar puri
Posted from India on: 2016-11-16 at 03:32:18
Is there any ill effects on zeolite sieve, if machine is kept idle for long periods.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-11-16 at 06:43:26
Yes, they slowly get contaminated with time.
Narendra Kumar Puri
Replied from India on: 2016-11-16 at 07:13:36
Thank you for quick response. My machine was idle for nearly two years. How can it be checked that Ziolite sieve is contaminated and if yes, is there any solution for getting it repaired.. I thank you once again and request a early response. Thanks.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-11-23 at 05:22:59
Sieve beds can not be repaired. They are simply replaced by the equipment provider.
NK Puri
Replied from India on: 2016-11-23 at 05:44:02
Thanks for replying my question abt the Ziolite sieve. But how I can be sure about the contamination of seive ?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-11-23 at 22:30:02
Common symptoms for identifying contaminated seive beds are:
-High pressure alarm in the unit
-Hearing a popping sound due to activation of pressure relief valve
-Low oxygen concentration
To be sure, you have to rule out the reasons according to the service manual of the concentrator.
Replied from India on: 2016-11-23 at 22:43:22
Thank you, Sir.
Posted on: 2016-11-12 at 23:56:47
I use my oxygen concentrator for lampworking, mixing oxygen and propane to create a hot flame to melt glass. It has been used everyday for at least 20-25000 hours. When the switch valve is activated, it seems to loose pressure or oxygen purity slightly. It is affecting my flame atmosphere and i need it to be constant. What could the issue be? It has worked fine up until the last 50-100 hours or so, and seems to be getting worse each time i switch the machine on, - not holding a constant flow of pure oxygen. The more LPM, the more noticeable the fluctuation is. Please help
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-11-16 at 06:48:12
Hi Joe, there might be a chance that one of the sieve beds is contaminated.
Mark compagni
Posted from United States on: 2016-11-09 at 21:13:08
Can the sieve beds be damaged by laying the concentrator on its side
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-11-16 at 04:49:38
No, it won't make a difference.
Emmanuel marcarthy
Posted from Ghana on: 2016-09-09 at 18:54:44
My oxygen concentrator displayed low pressure when it operates for about five minutes. What could be the possible cause?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-09-23 at 01:10:14
Hi Emmanuel, this is triggered mostly due to one of the following reasons:
-Reduced air intake
-Weak compressor
-Faulty circuit board
Posted on: 2016-08-09 at 17:31:46
My Sieve beds are from a "2002 lot" could that mean they have been in use since 2002? My Machine arrived dirty on the outside so I removed the cover and found black dirt everywhere, even on the exhaust fan.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-08-10 at 01:04:02
Hi Susan, the machine is really old. This almost never happens, there might be a chance that this is a used machine. You should ask for a replacement from your equipment provider.
Posted from brazil on: 2016-07-23 at 19:50:00
I have a Philips Everflo. 95% oxygen is concentrated. But am I receiving 95% of pure oxygen in my nose? Or am I am receiving 25% o2? Where this estimations are?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-07-28 at 06:42:32
The Fraction of inspired Oxygen (FiO2) with a nasal cannula varies with the flow.
0 LPM: 21% Oxygen
1 LPM: 24% Oxygen
2 LPM: 28% Oxygen
3 LPM: 32% Oxygen
4 LPM: 36% Oxygen
5 LPM: 40% Oxygen
6 LPM: 44% Oxygen
And it remains at 44% after that if you keep using a cannula.
Replied from Brazil on: 2016-07-29 at 05:27:56
But why it keeps 44% if you keep using a cannula? And, how come it concentrates 95% pure oxygen but the patient receives 24% at 1lpm? O2 is lost?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-08-08 at 08:28:22
Hi Gomes, the prongs of nasal canulla have less cross section area due to which flow rates higher than 6 LPM can not be accommodated. For flow rates higher than 6 LPM, you need an oxygen mask. Patient receives 24% at 1 LPM because the room air gets mixed with Oxygen while breathing.
Ken Clark
Posted on: 2016-07-18 at 12:46:23
I like to go to Las Vegas but I pretty much need oxygen full time because we walk so much. Would a portable run pretty much non-stop for5-6 days? Assuming you had plenty of battery power,
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-07-21 at 02:18:57
Hi Ken, a good POC can run continuously for 5-6 days if you have sufficient battery support.
Posted from USA on: 2016-07-16 at 16:40:20
How do I know I am receiving oxygen? I can't feel any air coming from the nasal cannula, but I "feel" the "puff".
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-07-18 at 08:26:16
Hi Chris, usually patients don't feel the oxygen coming out of the machine because it is at the same temperature as room air. If you are feeling the puff, then most likely the machine is giving proper oxygen.
Roger Ruehle
Posted on: 2016-07-12 at 23:29:56
Can a oxygen concentrator be used for supplemental breathing oxygen in an airplane and if so to what pressure altitude
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-07-15 at 07:16:36
Hi Roger, FAA approved portable oxygen concentrators can be used in airplane cabin.
Roy Smithson
Posted from USA on: 2016-06-24 at 04:17:33
I have an old NewLife Elite AirSep that has recently failed. The low O2 % warning lite now stays on. It is still producing a flow which I can change from 2 lpm to 5. I've tested for oxygen in the flow by breathing it with a canula and testing my SpO2 with a finger pulse-oximeter. It doesn't go up to 99% like it used to when conc. was working and light out. ... What does this show about my unit? What would it take to repair it?? ... I've used nocturnal O2 bled into my VPAP since Aug-2003, first at 2 lpm, then increased by my Sleep Dr to 3 lpm about 5 years ago. Tho O2 definitely improves my SpO2 values and lessons apnea. But having it is not critical for me. ... The Provider of this unit ceased taking Medicare about 3 years ago, and my unit hasn't been tested by their tech since 5/31/13 (last time/tag). .. This unit was a used replacement over 3 years ago for another one that had failed. It had 16,000 hours on it's meter then; who know how many now (meter quit long ago). ... I want to get back with having O2 during sleep, and Medicare will now pay for it. I just need to go with a company that won a recent bid, perhaps the one effective 7/1/16. I'm preparing to get with my sleep doctor and getting the ball rolling. I'll also be eligible for a new VPAP in Sept-2016. ... Thanks very much for the excellent explanation of how concentrators work. I understood it well. Roy
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-07-15 at 07:45:59
Hi Roy, this amber light indicates that oxygen purity of your machine has gone below therapeutic levels (85%). This can be due to any of the following reasons:
- Occluded internal felt filter
- Leakage
- Product regulator set too low
- Weak compressor
- Defective solenoid valves
- Reduced air intake
- Defective circuit board
- Restriction in mixing tank
You need to contact your equipment provider for a service.
Roy Smithson
Replied on: 2016-07-15 at 07:56:51
Could it be that the Zeolite has failed? (You didn't mention this possibility, but I kinda think this is the problem)
Roy Smithson
Replied on: 2016-07-15 at 07:58:41
I do have appointment with my Sleep Doctor to get ball rolling so I get a new concentrator. We'll have to do whatever Medicare requires to pay for this.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-07-15 at 09:01:39
Yes, this an also be due to contaminated sieve beds but chances are less because contaminated sieve beds also trigger an intermittent high pressure audible alarm.
Wanda Gallagher
Posted from USA on: 2016-05-08 at 17:55:58
Yes my husband has this since his return from hospital, attached to his cpack but the room air quality seems different , stuffy humid, is there a reason, my sister noticed the same as she entered room.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-05-09 at 03:19:32
Hi Wanda, an oxygen concentrator can not cause any noticeable difference in room air.
Stephen Sullivan
Posted from USA on: 2016-02-17 at 18:21:21
The machine reads low purity? From reading, it talks about sieve. Is that something that gets replaced?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-02-17 at 22:06:46
Low purity can be due to many reasons including contaminated sieve beds. Once you have ruled out all the other possibilities, the issue can be resolved only by 'replacing' the sieve beds.
Bugra Acikalin
Posted from Turkey on: 2016-02-15 at 02:44:38
Hi sir; we would like to use the o2 generator for glass bead manufacturing in our house , but the max. capacity we could find in the market is 10lpm , what is the reason , that manufacturers can not exceed above than that capacity. thanks
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-02-16 at 05:07:39
Hi Burga, these oxygen concentrators are for medical use only and most patients require oxygen at less than 10LPM. For industrial use, there are different types of heavy duty oxygen generators.
Gary Nalavany
Posted from United States on: 2016-02-13 at 21:10:15
If an oxygen concentrator will output only 90 to 95% oxygen, what is the composition of the remaining 5 to 10%?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-02-14 at 04:13:55
Hi Gary, the remaining 5-10% consists of all the other gases present in Air except Nitrogen. Major part of this 5-10% consists of Argon and CO2 while other gases like Hydrogen, Krypton, Helium, Neon and Methane are present in very very small amounts. This also contains little water vapour in it.
Kathy Olsen
Posted from United States on: 2016-02-08 at 17:55:11
Is there a problem with oxygen and e cigarettes?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-02-14 at 04:22:04
Hi Kathy, since e-cigarettes don't have any fire in them, there is no problem in using them with Oxygen.
Nellie Wilson
Posted from USA on: 2016-01-25 at 08:03:13
Can you explain why water keeps getting into air hose? No one can give me the answer, we have the bigger tube between the long hose and the short hose that goes to patient. Please help if you can.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-02-14 at 04:04:14
Hi Nellie, the problem you are facing is called 'Rain-out'. This usually happens when the concentrator is located in a warm room. Make sure that the concentrator is not pulling air directly from a heating source and is kept in a well ventilated area at least 2 feet away from walls. The best way to avoid rain out is eliminating the humidifier. As per AARC guidelines, there is no need of humidifier if your oxygen requirement is less than 4 LPM. Also make sure that you don't overfill the humidifier. You can learn more about this by following the link: Rain-out: Condensation in Oxygen therapy tubing - causes and solutions.
Vick Tokarev
Posted from USA on: 2016-01-20 at 18:32:59
Hi, I have been reading a lot lately about the air quality and especially inside the houses, how it can be more worst than outside due to trapped air. Is it good to consider having a Oxygen concentrator or generator for the whole house. We are 6 people in the 4000 sq ft house along with pets. If you do suggest for a healthier life style to have one, then can you also recommend one over the other or what quality to look for, and lastly if you know certain brands to stick with.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-01-22 at 00:04:12
Hi Vick, an air purifier would be more effective in purifying the air of the house than an oxygen concentrator. But still if you plan to buy an oxygen concentrator, here are some of the top brands you can stick with. Hope this helps.
Madushani Perera
Posted from Sri Lanka on: 2016-01-20 at 07:34:49
What kind of maintenance is required for the oxygen concentrator ?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-01-20 at 08:38:11
Hi Madhushani, oxygen concentrators require a filter change once in about 6 months which may vary with the operating environment.
Yoshanthi Rathnayaka
Posted from Sri Lanka on: 2016-01-19 at 22:40:57
Thanks for this article. I got good knowledge about o2 concentrator.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2016-01-19 at 22:46:05
Glad to be of help.
Chandra Gupta
Posted from United States on: 2015-11-26 at 20:57:50
How to tell if Sieve Beds are no longer working? Maybe after 50,000 hours? Is there is way to check?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2015-11-29 at 04:01:15
Dear Chandra, you will get a high pressure or a low oxygen purity alarm in your oxygen machine when the sieve beds need a replacement. These 2 alarms don't always mean that the sieve beds are no longer working, so you need to rule out other possibilities when you get these alarms through regular service procedure. The life of sieve beds can vary depending upon the conditions they are operated in. Hope this helps.
Grant Weed
Posted from United States on: 2015-11-09 at 12:05:01
Does the Nitrogen get trapped because the molecule is too large to pass through the pores or is it selectively adsorbed on the surface of the pore?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2015-11-12 at 02:08:48
Hi Grant, Nitrogen is selectively adsorbed on surface of the microporous zeolite sieve beds.
Posted from India on: 2015-10-20 at 01:32:03
What is the timing cycle for sieve bed change over? How to select proper timing? What is the criteria?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2015-10-24 at 09:29:30
Hi Shabbir, the life of sieve beds depend on the environment they are operated in. For stationary concentrators, it may vary from 12,000 to 50,000 hours of operation while for portables it ranges from 2,000 to 8,000 hours.
Sakhawat Ali
Posted from Pakistan on: 2015-10-04 at 03:10:38
Sir, can we send air in sieve beds without cooling? Can we use another chemical the place of zeolites plates?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2015-10-06 at 11:18:15
Hi Sakhawat, the sieve beds receive air at room temperature only. As per our knowledge, there is no better alternative to Zeolite as sieve bed for oxygen concentrators.
Ram Jee Prasad
Posted from India on: 2015-10-03 at 12:46:57
Sir I am grateful for all information, and answers.
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2015-10-03 at 23:42:05
Glad to be of help.
Christine Meuschke
Posted from Kenya on: 2015-09-13 at 00:38:41
My concentrator made some funy noises and now I do not get any more oxygen only normal air. The compressor is sounding normal. Can a sieve collapse??
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2015-09-13 at 02:15:32
Hi Christine, sieve beds usually don't make any sound at any stage in branded concentrators. Which concentrator are you using? How do you know that your machine is giving normal air as output?
Concerned Worker
Posted on: 2015-08-10 at 17:55:12
I share a small office with someone on an air concentrator. How does that affect the air I am breathing. Is there more than a normal percentage of nitrogen in surrounding air?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2015-08-11 at 01:59:07
A lot of people come with this concern. Don't worry, oxygen concentrator in the same room does not affect the air you breathe.
Posted on: 2015-07-20 at 06:33:05
The O2 machine shows low purity only near the higher volume setting. Could it be the filter or another part ?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2015-07-20 at 15:56:32
Dear Mathias, low Oxygen purity at high flow setting could be due to filter clogging. Other common reasons for this include contaminated sieve beds, faulty solenoid valves or internal leakage in the machine.
Replied on: 2015-07-20 at 21:26:49
Thank you. There is indeed an additional popping sound.
Abhijit N Sonar
Posted on: 2015-06-17 at 09:16:22
How the O2 is back flushed in saturated sieve to remove the N2? What is the O2 source used? If separated O2 is used then during flushing how is O2 flow maintained at output?
Oxygen Times
Replied on: 2015-06-17 at 10:35:41
Hello Abhijeet, a negative pressure is created in the sieve bed when it is desaturated which draws some Oxygen from the product tank / accumulator vessel (just before Oxygen outlet). The separated O2 used to back-flush the other sieve bed is very small which does not affect the output.

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