Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ) has built in-house Captive Oxygen Generation Plant to provide uninterrupted oxygen supply in urban and rural areas of the nation during this pandemic Covid situation and other times. Chair, Dr Ramdas Pai; Prof. Abhishek Sharma from Department of Chemical Engineering in collaboration with Prof. Paul Webley from Monash University Australia and Prof. Vishnu Pareek and Dr Tejas Bhatelia from Curtin University Australia has developed this innovative VPSA technology to generate medical grade oxygen. This societal initiative has been taken under the leadership of MUJ President, Prof. G.K. Prabhu and Pro-President, Prof. N.N. Sharma. Engineering activity partners were Technofab Engineers, Bagru and Sun Shine Automation India Limited, Jaipur.
It was difficult to complete this project during the lockdown period, as the bigger task was to organize the required components for fabrication. Dr Abhishek Sharma and his team took the challenge to establish this captive oxygen generation facility in a mission mode. They worked tirelessly to ensure getting this unit in time and were able to complete it in just 6 weeks. Dr Sharma’s background in chemical engineering and oil and gas industry experience from Engineers India Limited, India was quite useful to design and develop this process plant in a given duration.
The core team constituted of 4 people. Prof. N.N. Sharma, Pro-President, Manipal University Jaipur, participated from the beginning and provided necessary support at different stages of this need-based project. Two students, Ms Tanima Sharma from Chemical Engineering and Mr Naman Sharma from Mechanical Engineering, contributed remotely during the early stages of the project, as the pandemic had affected their movement.
The team is highly confident about the success of this project. They are in talks with Government and certain hospitals to commission such units in required places. They want these units to be installed in rural areas of the nation and provide an uninterrupted supply of oxygen during Covid and other times, as it is demanding to provide high purity oxygen cylinders in different parts of the country when the need arises.
They started working on this project in the beginning of May 2021, when the second Covid wave emerged. They had few discussions with Australian counterparts at that time and decided to initiate the project immediately, as time was a critical factor. They engaged available resources and carried out the required activities, from procuring the components to testing the performance of the unit, in a stepwise manner to achieve the desired outcome.