Can welding Oxygen be used in place of medical oxygen?


S

Some Guy

Is there any difference between a tank of welding oxygen vs medical
oxygen as far as purity, concentration, hazardous impurities, etc, that
would render welding oxygen insufficient (or even dangerous) for helping
to supplement breathing / respiration ?
 
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B

BQ340

Is there any difference between a tank of welding oxygen vs medical
oxygen as far as purity, concentration, hazardous impurities, etc, that
would render welding oxygen insufficient (or even dangerous) for helping
to supplement breathing / respiration ?
Nope, they are the same. I see the paramedics at the welding supply
store all the time, getting their bottles filled from the same rack mine
are.

MikeB
 
S

Some Guy

BQ340 said:
Nope, they are the same. I see the paramedics at the welding supply
store all the time, getting their bottles filled from the same rack
mine are.
And just to be clear -

Welding oxygen is more (way more) than just compressed "air". And what
I mean by "air" is the stuff that's all around us right now.

Yes?
 
T

Tom Horne

And just to be clear -

Welding oxygen is more (way more) than just compressed "air".  And what
I mean by "air" is the stuff that's all around us right now.

Yes?
To be precise it is way less. The air we breath is roughly twenty
percent oxygen. Medical oxygen is nearly one hundred percent oxygen.
The inert components of air are removed from the compressed oxygen
that is used for patient breathing assistance and making ordinary
metals burn and melt together into a single piece of metal.
 
H

Harry K

Is there any difference between a tank of welding oxygen vs medical
oxygen as far as purity, concentration, hazardous impurities, etc, that
would render welding oxygen insufficient (or even dangerous) for helping
to supplement breathing / respiration ?
Yes there is a difference according to my first aid training (years
ago). You can use in the case of emergency. It is IIRC too dry to
use for extended periods (I should have paid more attention to that
discussion).

Harry K
 
S

Some Guy

Tom said:
To be precise it is way less. The air we breath is roughly twenty
percent oxygen.
And what I meant by "way more" was that welding oxygen has a higher
oxygen content (or oxygen concentration) vs ordinary air. So I don't
know why you'd say it's "way less".
Medical oxygen is nearly one hundred percent oxygen.
And likewise for welding oxygen - yes?

Harry said:
Yes there is a difference according to my first aid training (years
ago). You can use in the case of emergency. It is IIRC too dry to
use for extended periods (I should have paid more attention to that
discussion).
From what I've been reading tonight, ALL forms of compressed oxygen
(Aviation, Medical, Welding) come from the SAME source (a tank of Liquid
Oxygen - LOX) and are transfered to variously labelled tanks and charged
various prices based on the label on the tank.

My guess is that the price differential is caused by liability insurance
and the need to recoup that cost based on the end-use of the gas. The
insurance industry might perceive that aviation oxygen (as a product)
carries the highest risk to the producer / seller, with medical oxygen
less risky, and welding oxygen the lowest risk. Risk in this context
means what sort of incident could happen if the wrong gas is
accidentially sold to the end user, or could happen if the tank fails.

The humidity of compressed oxygen seems to be a red herring. In medical
situations such as the hospital bedside, oxygen supply lines are passed
through a bubbler or some other humidification device to add humidity to
the air. This is a stationary situation where the person is likely to
be on the air supply for an extended period, and humidification is done
more for comfort or to prevent airway irritation than anything else. In
other medical situations (EMS O2 respirator tanks) the air is dry -
because it simply can't supply O2 for an extended period anyways.

And you don't want to get water in your high-pressure tanks anyways - if
only so they don't rust.

Aviation air also can't contain a lot of humidity because (or so the
story goes) the water could freeze at high altitudes and mess up the
supply and metering lines.

So the bottom line is that if you walk into a welding supply store to
buy an oxygen tank, don't let on that you intend to use it to fill your
plane's on-board tank, or you want to make an oxygen tent for your sick
pet. The guy behind the counter will most likely go ape-shit and either
deny your purchase, or force you to buy the more expensive tank -
probably because their insurance company forces them to do that.

The insurance industry plays a far larger role behind the scenes in our
daily lives than we realize. The products we can buy, the services we
use, the way they are delivered or sold to us, etc, exist because the
manufacterers, retails or providers have reached a stable (perhaps even
strained) coexistance with the insurance industry.
 
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S

Some Guy

AZ said:
They *can* be the same depending on the store. Welding grade isn't
safe for medical use.
Are you aware of any impurities that are present in the generation of
bulk O2 that are specifically removed when "medical" grade O2 is
created?
Stores often stock only medical grade instead of maintaining
multiple grades.
Even welding supply stores will stock only "medical grade" oxygen?

You people might want to read this:

http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/182079-1.html
 
S

Some Guy

Ed said:
Certification. Medical oxygen has to be certified to a certain
purity, welding does not.
How exactly can compressed oxygen be "impure" ?

Are some oxygen molecules more pure than other oxygen molecules?

Or does the Medical oxygen tank look nicer and cleaner than the Welding
oxygen tank?
You pay for that test and the potential liability that goes
along with it.
I think you pay more for medical and aviation O2 because the
consequences can be more expensive if there is a problem with the
product (the product being compressed oxygen). The product itself is no
more expensive or different or has any additional processing steps done
to it on the basis of it's sale in it's variously-labelled forms.
 
L

LSMFT

Some said:
And what I meant by "way more" was that welding oxygen has a higher
oxygen content (or oxygen concentration) vs ordinary air. So I don't
know why you'd say it's "way less".


And likewise for welding oxygen - yes?



From what I've been reading tonight, ALL forms of compressed oxygen
(Aviation, Medical, Welding) come from the SAME source (a tank of Liquid
Oxygen - LOX) and are transfered to variously labelled tanks and charged
various prices based on the label on the tank.

My guess is that the price differential is caused by liability insurance
and the need to recoup that cost based on the end-use of the gas. The
insurance industry might perceive that aviation oxygen (as a product)
carries the highest risk to the producer / seller, with medical oxygen
less risky, and welding oxygen the lowest risk. Risk in this context
means what sort of incident could happen if the wrong gas is
accidentially sold to the end user, or could happen if the tank fails.

The humidity of compressed oxygen seems to be a red herring. In medical
situations such as the hospital bedside, oxygen supply lines are passed
through a bubbler or some other humidification device to add humidity to
the air. This is a stationary situation where the person is likely to
be on the air supply for an extended period, and humidification is done
more for comfort or to prevent airway irritation than anything else. In
other medical situations (EMS O2 respirator tanks) the air is dry -
because it simply can't supply O2 for an extended period anyways.

And you don't want to get water in your high-pressure tanks anyways - if
only so they don't rust.

Aviation air also can't contain a lot of humidity because (or so the
story goes) the water could freeze at high altitudes and mess up the
supply and metering lines.

So the bottom line is that if you walk into a welding supply store to
buy an oxygen tank, don't let on that you intend to use it to fill your
plane's on-board tank, or you want to make an oxygen tent for your sick
pet. The guy behind the counter will most likely go ape-shit and either
deny your purchase, or force you to buy the more expensive tank -
probably because their insurance company forces them to do that.

The insurance industry plays a far larger role behind the scenes in our
daily lives than we realize. The products we can buy, the services we
use, the way they are delivered or sold to us, etc, exist because the
manufacterers, retails or providers have reached a stable (perhaps even
strained) coexistance with the insurance industry.
Seems like my dad had a machine that created (or condensed) oxygen from
the air for him to breath. No bottles to change.
Why can't they do that for welding?
 
G

George

Nope, they are the same. I see the paramedics at the welding supply
store all the time, getting their bottles filled from the same rack mine
are.

MikeB
Next time watch the significant difference on how medical use vs other
tanks are filled. Any medical use tanks are first evacuated to insure
there is nothing else in the tank before it is filled.
 
D

Doug Miller

Seems like my dad had a machine that created (or condensed) oxygen from
the air for him to breath. No bottles to change.
Why can't they do that for welding?
I imagine because it can't supply oxygen at the rate required for welding.
 
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F

Frank

Seems like my dad had a machine that created (or condensed) oxygen from
the air for him to breath. No bottles to change.
Why can't they do that for welding?
I see a lot of people getting these machines:

http://www.vitalitymedical.com/Catalog/Home-Oxygen-Concentrators-1163-.html

I would imagine there are concentrators available for welding.

As for original question, industrial oxygen should be suitable for
breathing. All compressed oxygen must be free of impurities like oil
because of potential for explosion.
 
J

Jim Elbrecht

Ed Pawlowski said:
Oxygen concentrators remove the nitrogen and leave you with about 93%
oxygen. It has no pressure though, and it would still have to be
pressurized to about 10 psi to work for welding. Probably not impossible,
just not practical.
Though real popular with folks who melt glass with smallish torches- a
20pound LP tank and an O2 concentrator is a real popular setup.

Went to find a link for details and found this site-
http://www.sundanceglass.com/oxygen-concentrator.htm

I guess you can get one for large torches now-- advertised up to
20psi & 15LPM. [and up to $3500]

I noticed my m-i-l has an attachment on her [medical] O2 that lets her
fill a small tank. I don't know what the pressure is-- and I also see
that she still rents the big tanks, so it can't be too efficient.

Jim
 
J

Jay Hanig

AZ Nomad wrote:
Even welding supply stores will stock only "medical grade" oxygen?

You people might want to read this:

http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/182079-1.html


*That* was a great article. The writer has great credibility to my
mind, as I am a registered nurse, former scuba instructor, and former
commercial pilot. I thought I knew a lot about oxygen. It turns out I
wasn't as well informed as I had assumed.

You guys really need to read this if you're interested in compressed
oxygen in any form.



Jay
 
H

Harry K

The content of bottled oxygen is not 100% pure.  It is 99.xxx% pure.  That
other tiny amount can be anything in the atmosphere or it can be some
contaminant from the bottle.    I used to work with medical oxygen and every
batch had a certification giving the purity.





That is what I just said above.


It has a step that does not have to be taken with welding oxygen.
Certification.  O2 tanks have been contaminated in the past.  Rare, but it
has happened.   Filling my own tanks, I'd not be concerned about using
welding oxygen, but I'm not so quick to grab a tank off the back of a truck
at a job site and start breathing it.  If you get the certification with
welding grade, then it is the same.  That piece of paper is worth a lotof
money if there ever was a problem.
One must differentiate between the "oxygen" tanks (that contain pure
oxygen) and the tanks used in the breathing apparatuses - those
contain just compressed air with the usual nitrogen, co2, etc. still
in it. The 'grab a tank off the back of a truck" implies tanks for
the SCBAs - air, not oxygen.

Harry K
 
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D

dpb

Some said:
....


From what I've been reading tonight, ALL forms of compressed oxygen
(Aviation, Medical, Welding) come from the SAME source (a tank of Liquid
Oxygen - LOX) and are transfered to variously labelled tanks and charged
various prices based on the label on the tank. ....

So the bottom line is that if you walk into a welding supply store to
buy an oxygen tank, don't let on that you intend to use it to fill your
plane's on-board tank, or you want to make an oxygen tent for your sick
pet. ...
The bottom line is how confident do you want to be that what comes out
of that refilled tank is, indeed, fit for breathing purposes and hasn't
been contaminated since that point?

The scenario in the posting link later of a single large bottle
refilling known smaller ones is reasonably well controlled; just taking
the next random welding bottle returned from who knows where...errr, not
so much. As someone else pointed out, you don't know what was done with
those bottles previously nor what has been done since w/o the
certification--that's the role it plays.

As for cost; it's a lot like the "N-stamp" nuclear-grade
components--many of them are, in fact, identical to their non-graded
cousins but they've been through the qualifications to prove their
pedigree; the poor red-headed stepchild _may_ be just as good but
doesn't have the papers to prove it.
 
F

Frank

Large scale O2 generation involves cooling air to liquify it, then pulling
off the components: Oxygen, Nitrogen, CO2, Argon, etc.

You CAN get Oxygen by electrolysis of water (plus Hydrogen), but the energy
expenditure is horrendous.

Certainly O2 generators can be powered by chemical means; the Oxygen masks
on airliners rely on chemical release of O2 by the burning of chlorates or
perchlorates.

All that said, you can get O2 generators for small applications (bedside,
veterinary, etc.) use, up to, and including, institutional generation, say,
for hospitals.

To answer your question directly: Bottled O2 is far cheaper than the
alternatives.
The concentrators work by reverse osmosis. You can travel with them and
use rechargeable batteries. If you are home, immobile, the medical
supplier will often give you liquid and tubing is strung around the
house. For short trips of a few hours, you can take liquid. You hire a
supplier and it is up to him to satisfy all your requirements, tank,
liquid or concentrator.
 
S

Some Guy

HeyBub said:
To answer your question directly: Bottled O2 is far cheaper than the
alternatives.
The question was not if bottled O2 is cheaper than the alternatives.

The question was - are all forms or labels of bottled O2 essentially
equivalent.
 
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S

Some Guy

dpb said:
The bottom line is how confident do you want to be that what comes
out of that refilled tank is, indeed, fit for breathing purposes
and hasn't been contaminated since that point?
I presume that the first time that any brand-new O2 bottle is filled
with it's first batch of O2, that it has been cleaned and vacuum
evacuated first.

After that point, unless the air pressure in that tank ever falls below
ambient atmospheric pressure, it's hard to see how anything other than
pure O2 could ever re-enter it - even if it was ever connected to a
manifold system where other bottles of similarly-clean O2 are also
connected.
The scenario in the posting link later of a single large bottle
refilling known smaller ones is reasonably well controlled; just
taking the next random welding bottle returned from who knows
where...errr, not so much.
I understand that I can buy, or rent, oxy-acetelene tanks. If I buy,
I'm not sure if I can have my bought-tank re-filled and returned to me,
or if I simply exchange it for filled (but used) tank.

If I buy a brand new tank, and if I keep refilling that same tank when I
need more, then I am removing the uncertainty of what could have been in
the tank before it was filled.

And when it comes to refilling returned tanks, is it normal practice to
at least let the tank fully depressurize itself before it's refilled?
Wouldn't that dillute any potential non-oxygen gas or even particulate
contaminent that it *may* have once the tank has been refilled with
known-pure O2?
 

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