How do portable Oxygen generators work?

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There are portable oxygen tanks, where the oxygen is generated back at a chemical plant, and just released. Those need tank refills. I think you want to know about the actual home based oxygen generators (not too different in size from a home electrical generator), that plugs into the wall, and never needs to be refilled, like the one my grandmother uses. These are often called "concentrators" instead of "generators", because they concentrate the oxygen already in the air. These generators use air as the source, and enrich the amount of oxygen in the air, releasing the nitrogen and other components back to the environment. The main method for doing this is by compressing the air, and leveraging the different physical properties for components within air (oxygen, nitrogen, etc). The main components include a compressor (hence why they are inherently noisy), to push the air across membranes or sieves. The speed of absorption through the sieve is different for different gases in the air. ... more
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