Currently in the United States approximately l million people use Home Oxygen Therapy (HOT), and yearly expenditures on HOT exceed 1.5 billion dollars. Most HOT patients use in situ oxygen generation systems, and the majority of these systems are based on Molecular Sieve Oxygen Generator (MSOG) technology. MSOG systems are suboptimal in that they are noisy, unreliable, heavy, expensive, and the purity of the oxygen product degrades with time. The objective of the proposed program is to eliminate the problems associated with MSOGs and reduce HOT costs by developing a Ceramic Oxygen Generating System (COGS). A COGS is a completely solid state device consisting of an oxygen conducting ceramic membrane across which oxygen ions flow when a differential voltage is applied. A COGS does not require a compressor like an MSOG, and thereby potentially improves reliability and cost. A COGS provides very high-purity oxygen (>99%), and the product purity does not degrade with time. In Phase I, Creare will develop techniques for producing oxygen ion conducting membranes using a proprietary process. We will also develop a complete conceptual design for a four standard liter per minute single- user COGS. In Phase II, we will develop a prototype unit.
The proposed technology offers significant improvements and cost reductions for HOT which is a multi-billion dollar per year market in the United States. Derivatives of the COGS technology developed in this project will have applications for field hospitals, in situ oxygen generation on military and commercial aircraft, and industrial processes such as efficient production of synthesis gas.