Technology Transfer SSC Pacific
Real-Time Gas Concentrator 

 PDF Version

The U.S. Navy seeks to commercialize U.S. Patent 6,517,610 (Micro-electro-mechanical gas concentrator).

The Technology

The micro-electro-mechanical  system (MEMS) gas concentrator allows for the real-time extraction/concentration of a gaseous component from a gas mixture (e.g., oxygen from air) through the use of novel miniaturized extraction units. In each unit, an adsorbent member moves between two regions selectively adsorbing the gas in the first region and desorbing it in the second region. This results in a pumping action that concentrates the gaseous component from one region to the other. O2 extraction/concentration is one primary application of this technology. This approach could provide a replacement for compressed gas bottles used in the medical market. Two different implementations for O2 concentration are shown in diagrams A and B.

Key Benefits

  • Real-time concentration of individual gases from air, e.g., real-time oxygen generation eliminating the need for storage bottles
  • Significant size reduction from current gas concentration methods 1 liter per minute of oxygen using only 100-cm2 surface area
  • Enhanced safety over stored gas bottles, e.g., flammability of oxygen storage
  • Inherently energy-efficient process
  • Applicable in biosensor/organic life support, micro fluidics, and multifunction chip integration
  • Consumer health applications, e.g., long-term geriatrics
  • Medically applicable in civil disasters and emergency response, wartime casualty care, and high-altitude flights
  • Development Status

  • U. S. Patent  issued: 6,517,610
  • DoD 5000 Series Technology Readiness Level 1: Basic principles observed and reported
  • O2 application: Projected adsorbent characteristics

  • Generates (in real time) 1 liter per minute of O2 from the air using only 100-cm2 surface area and a cycle frequency of 10 kHz.
  • These test results are based on data from Dr. M. Sailor, University of California, San Diego.
  • For more information on technology transfer, please contact us at (619) 5535118 or email
    SD 629, February 2006. SSC Pacific, San Diego, CA 921525001. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

    SSC Pacific
    Updated: 10/17/2011 3:33 PM EST   Published (1.0)