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The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on Wednesday said it would be setting up 500 medical oxygen plants in the country under the PM CARES fund programme.

A statement from the DRDO said the medical oxygen plant (MOP) technology was developed to supply oxygen on board the light combat aircraft (LCA) by the Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL). DEBEL is a unit under the DRDO. The same technology will be used to fight the current oxygen crisis facing covid-19 patients in the country.

The MOP is designed for a capacity of 1,000 litres per minute (LPM). The system can cater to 190 patients at a flow rate of 5 LPM and charge 195 cylinders per day, the DRDO statement said. “The MOP technology is capable of generating oxygen with 93±3% concentration, which can be directly supplied to hospital beds or can be used to fill medical oxygen cylinders. It utilizes pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technique and molecular sieve (zeolite) technology to generate oxygen directly from atmospheric air," the statement said.

“Hospitals will be able to generate on site medical oxygen, in a cost-effective manner with this oxygen plant rather than depending upon sourcing it from other places," it said. The plant complies with international standards such as ISO 1008, European, US and Indian Pharmacopeia. Preparations to install five plants in New Delhi and the National Capital Region have already been initiated, the statement added.

DRDO has transferred this technology to Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Bengaluru, and Trident Pneumatics Pvt. Ltd, Coimbatore, who will be producing 380 plants for installation across various hospitals in the country. Another 120 plants of 500 LPM capacity will be produced by industries working with Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, that works under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

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