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..... PSA Technology Brief!


PSA, acronym for Pressure Swing Adsorption, is a process of physically removing Nitrogen from air at room temperatures, without any chemical reactions.

The air we breathe is made up of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% Argon, Water Vapor and Inert Gases. When nitrogen, water vapor and the inert gases are physically removed from the air stream, the result is a 93% to 95% oxygen enriched, medical grade atmosphere at normal temperature. The process employs molecular sieve technology. It is environmentally clean and can be used to manufacture portable oxygen generating plants at various capacities from 10 cylinders per day to 200 cylinders per day.

The components of a standard PSA Oxygen Generating Plant are as follows:

» Air Compressor
» Compressed Air Cleaning Device
» Compressed & Purified Air Tank
» Oxygen & Nitrogen Separation Device/Chamber
» Oxygen Buffer Tank
» Oxygen Purifying Device
» Oxygen Analyzer Device
» Oxygen Filling System


Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) is an advanced air separation technology, which provides on-site self sufficient medical grade oxygen production. It employs physical separation of air into its component substances. The process does not involve chemical reactions and so is environmentally clean. It does not require raw materials. PSA oxygen plants produce oxygen freely over 15 years period and require electricity to operate.

It possesses the following advantages:

» The purity of the product can be adjusted with the change of flow.
» It operates at low pressure and constant pressure, thereby ensuring safety and energy-savings.
» Simple and convenient for maintenance.
» Microcomputer control, full automatic. Active operators are not necessary.


Adsorbent is a key part of PSA Oxygen Generator. In general, PSA Oxygen Generator selects the 5A molecule sieve, which can adsorb the nitrogen, oxidation and moisture, etc. from air. Oxygen can not be adsorbed and therefore flows through the system and stored in compressed cylinders.


Under the condition of balanced adsorption, when an adsorbent adsorbs the same gas, its adsorption capacity increases as the gas pressure increases. Conversely, the lower the pressure, the smaller the adsorbed volume. The diagram here illustrates this principle.


Summarized with the above, when the air pressure rises, the 5A molecule will largely adsorb the nitrogen, oxidation and moisture. When the pressure drops, the 5A molecule will adsorb less nitrogen, oxidation and moisture.

Medical oxygen generator mainly consists of dual adsorption towers or chambers (A & B), 5A molecule sieve and control system. When the compressed air (pressure is 0.7MPa in general) passes through tower A from the upper to the lower, the nitrogen, oxidation and moisture will be adsorbed by the 5A molecule and the oxygen will be passed through and then flow out tower. When the molecule adsorption in tower A is saturated, the process will switch to tower B while A is regenerated and readied for a repeat process. Regeneration simply means to exhaust the adsorbed gas into the atmosphere. This is done by inducing a sharp pressure drop to release the nitrogen, oxidation and moisture adsorbed in molecule sieve to the atmosphere.

By this swing process, oxygen is continually streamed through the chambers to a buffer or storage tank and then pumped into oxygen cylinders.


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