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NEW DELHI: Honeywell on Monday said it was partnering India’s premier Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) besides the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR–IIP) for supply of molecular sieve adsorbents to accelerate setting up of medical oxygen plants in the country.

This follows India’s decision to set up the units after second wave of the covid-19 pandemic hit the country hard during April-May.

“Honeywell has assured timely supply of adsorbents to enable the country to produce sufficient medical grade oxygen to meet the increased demand, and has partnered with DRDO and CISR-IIP and their associates to identify and supply alternative adsorbents to optimise cost and streamline supply-related logistics without compromising output from plants," a company statement said.

Honeywell has freed up an entire manufacturing line in Italy to prioritise supply to India, it said.

“Honeywell has instituted a cross-functional team to support DRDO and CSIR-IIP in this critical project. Scientists from Honeywell UOP, DRDO and CSIR-IP are collaborating to establish the suitability of absorbents for oxygen production in India," the statement said.

The requirement of medical oxygen plants were acutely felt after many people, sick with covid-19, collapsed due to the lack of medical oxygen and cylinders in cities across north India given that India’s oxygen producing units were in the country’s east and the central and state governments found it difficult to transport it across the country. To ensure adequate supplies, India brought in cryogenic oxygen containers from the Gulf countries as well as from South East Asian nations. Separately, India also sourced oxygen concentrators from abroad.

“Excellent cooperation is extended by Honeywell in application and supply of zeolite, an important constituent of Medical Oxygen Plants (MOP). This is helping industries to fabricate MOPs," the statement quoted DRDO chief G. Satheesh Reddy who is also secretary, department of Defence R&D, as saying.

Akshay Bellare, president, Honeywell India, on his part said, “we are redirecting our global supply of Honeywell UOP adsorbents from Italy to India to help the Government of India install life-saving oxygen plants across the country."

Honeywell UOP is seen as a pioneer in the adsorbents industry, having developed the first commercially viable adsorbent for medical oxygen applications. The technology enables adsorption of nitrogen from air using a pressure or vacuum swing system to obtain oxygen purity up to 95%. Honeywell UOP’s range of molecular sieve adsorbents are used in large MOPs. Honeywell UOP also offers its trademarked OXYSIV molecular sieve adsorbents that help make smaller and more energy-efficient medical oxygen concentrators.

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