Best Oxygen Analyzer for Oxygen Machine (2024 update)
Oxygen analyzers measure oxygen levels produced by oxygen generators, oxygen concentrators, oxygen systems, and oxygen machines. Typically, these devices combine measurements of oxygen purity concentration (O2), flow (F), and pressure (P). Oxygen analyzers consist of an ultrasonic sensor that detects both oxygen and nitrogen, ranging in price from $300 to $5,000.
Best Oxygen Analyzer?
There are many oxygen analyzers on the market. The reputable brands used to detect elevated O2 levels coming from oxygen concentrators include the following:
- Forensics Detectors Oxygen Analyzer
- Maxtec Oxygen Analyzers
- MSA Oxygen Analyzers
- Oxysense Oxygen Analyzers
- CUBIC Oxygen Ultrasonic Sensors
What Is Oxygen gas?
Oxygen gas is a chemical element that is represented by the symbol "O" in the periodic table. It is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that makes up about 21% of the Earth's atmosphere. Oxygen gas is essential for the survival of most living organisms, as it is required for the process of respiration, which is the process by which organisms convert food into energy. Oxygen gas is also used in a variety of industrial processes, such as combustion, welding, and medical applications.
Oxygen gas (O2) has numerous modern uses, including:
- Used in various manufacturing processes such as chemical production, glass blowing, and metal cutting.
- Used for life support in spacecraft, aircraft, submarines, and veterinary hospitals where animals need oxygen to breathe.
- Used in scuba diving to help divers breathe underwater.
- Used in medical settings to support human and animal health, including patients with respiratory issues or who require extra oxygen during surgery.
- Used as a propellant in rockets to enable combustion and thrust.
- Used in welding torches to support combustion and generate heat for welding and cutting metals.
Why Is Oxygen Gas So Important?
Oxygen is a crucial gas in our atmosphere, making up approximately 20.9% of the air we breathe. This gas is essential for the survival of most living organisms, including humans, animals, and plants.
Oxygen plays a vital role in plant and animal functions, such as photosynthesis, where plants use sunlight to produce oxygen and glucose from carbon dioxide and water, and respiration, where organisms break down glucose to produce energy and release carbon dioxide and water.
Without oxygen, life as we know it would not exist on Earth. Therefore, the maintenance of adequate oxygen levels in the atmosphere is crucial for the preservation and continuation of life on our planet.
What Does an Oxygen Analyzer Do?
Oxygen analyzers are also known as oxygen detectors, oxygen meters, oxygen monitors, oxygen purity analyzers, and oxygen purity testers.
An oxygen analyzer is a device that measures the concentration of oxygen in a gas mixture, like that coming from an oxygen concentrator or oxygen purification machine. It is commonly used in various industries, including medical, vet, industrial, and environmental settings.
The primary function of an oxygen analyzer is to detect the percentage of oxygen in a gas mixture accurately. The analyzer then calculates and displays the oxygen concentration in the gas mixture, usually as a percentage.
How Is Oxygen Gas Detected?
Oxygen is measured in air using O2 gas meters, monitors, and analyzers. Within these devices, there are sensors that interact with oxygen molecules to produce an electronic signal representing the O2 concentration. These sensors range from $10 up to $1,000.
How Does an Oxygen Analyzer Work?
An oxygen analyzer works by using an ultrasonic sensor to detect O2 concentrations.
These sensors are based on the principle of sound wave speed, or ultrasonics. As sound travels through a gas, it propagates at different speeds and its intensity attenuates to different degrees depending on the composition of the gas. This principle is applicable for other gases beyond oxygen such as nitrogen, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, argon, and helium.
The change in speed is proportional to the oxygen concentration in the sampled gas. The speed of sound is a function of the molecular composition of the gas.
In an ultrasonic sensor, there are solid state transducers that last a long time compared to electrochemical cells.
What Is the Difference Between Different Oxygen Sensors?
O2 Sensor Technology
The speed of sound is a function of the molecular composition of the gas. The speed and attenuation is proportional to the oxygen content.
Gas reacts with a working electrode, triggering an electrochemical redox reaction. A current is generated proportional to the oxygen level.
Zirconia allows oxygen ions to travel and when they are exposed to gases at different concentrations, an electrochemical voltage is generated.
What Are Safe Oxygen Levels?
Various government agencies have recommended oxygen gas limits. Some examples are shown in the table below.
Recommendation / Requirement
Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA)
Air is considered oxygen-deficient below 19.5%
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Air is considered oxygen-deficient below 19.5%
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
<18% is minimum partial pressure without need for respiratory protection at normal atmospheric pressure
What Are the Health Effects of High Oxygen?
When using enhanced or concentrated oxygen, it may be too much and lead to hyperoxia, oxygen toxicity, or oxygen poisoning. Oxygen toxicity may damage the lungs, harm cell tissue, cause difficulty breathing, and induce coughing.
What Are the Health Effects of Low Oxygen?
Breathing at low oxygen levels can lead to serious health concerns. Depleted oxygen affects the body and can lead to hypoxia. According to healthline.com, symptoms of hypoxia include:
- Shortness of breath while resting
- Severe shortness of breath after physical activity
- Decreased tolerance to physical activity
- Waking up out of breath
- Feelings of choking
- Frequent cough
Hypoxia can also lead to a condition called hypercapnia. This occurs when the lungs retain too much carbon dioxide due to breathing difficulty.
What Is an Oxygen Analyzer Used For?
There are a plethora of applications that call for the use of an oxygen analyzer. Some of these uses are highlighted below.
- Veterinary: Oxygen therapy is administered to animals under various situations. An oxygen analyzer is required to ensure the correct amount of O2 is being provided to the animal.
- Headspace Analysis of Modified Atmosphere Packaging: O2 analyzers are used in many food industries as a quality control check to ensure MAP equipment is operating to specification. Typical requirements include O2 measurement range from 0 to 100%, 0.01% resolution, and a built-in pump.
- Equipment Processing & Leakage: Many industrial systems and equipment incorporate an N2 gas supply, where an O2 analyzer and probe is used to monitor leaks. Typical requirements include an O2 measurement range from 0 to 100%, 0.01% resolution, and a built-in pump.
- Oxygen Concentrators and Oxygen Supply: Therapeutic oxygen must be administered to those that have health disorders. This requires O2 analyzers to detect enhanced oxygen ranging from 21% to 100%. Oxygen is emitted from pressure swing absorption (PSA) oxygen generators.
- Incubators: Used to grow and store biological samples, incubators require constant CO2 and O2 levels. Analyzers must be able to detect O2 levels from 0% to 20.9% with 0.1% resolution.
- Combustion: Many combustion processes from household and industrial settings require analysis of oxygen in exhaust gas to ensure the highest combustion efficiency. Analyzers must be able to detect O2 levels from 0% to 20.9% with 0.1% resolution.
What is a Trace Oxygen Analyzer?
A trace oxygen analyzer is a specialized device used to measure extremely low concentrations of oxygen in a gas mixture (less than 1000ppm or 0.1%) and can go down to 1ppb (part per billion, or 0.001ppm). It operates on the same principle as a regular oxygen analyzer, but with a much higher level of sensitivity. These analyzers are typically used in industries such as semiconductor manufacturing, where even trace amounts of oxygen can contaminate the production process. Trace oxygen analyzers often use a technique called electrochemical sensing to achieve their high level of accuracy. They are an important tool for quality control in industries where minute quantities of oxygen can have a significant impact on the final product.
What is a Percent Oxygen Analyzer?
A percent oxygen analyzer is a device used to measure the concentration of oxygen in a gas mixture as a percentage of the total gas volume usually 0.1% up to 100%. This type of analyzer is commonly used in a variety of industries, including medical, industrial, and environmental applications. It typically operates by sensing the amount of oxygen present in a gas sample and then displaying the measurement as a percentage on a digital or analog display. Percent oxygen analyzers can be used to monitor and control the oxygen levels in various environments, such as in oxygen therapy for medical patients or in industrial processes that require specific oxygen concentrations. They are an important tool for ensuring safety and quality control in many industries.
What is an Oxygen Deficiency Monitor?
An oxygen deficiency monitor is a device that is designed to measure the levels of oxygen in the air to determine if they have fallen below a safe level. The monitor is typically used in environments where the risk of oxygen deficiency is high, such as in confined spaces or areas where hazardous gases may be present. The monitor typically consists of a sensor that detects the level of oxygen in the air and an alarm that alerts users when the oxygen concentration falls below a certain threshold. Oxygen deficiency monitors are an important safety tool that can help prevent accidents and ensure the safety of workers in a variety of industries.
How Can I Test My Oxygen Analyzer?
The best way to test your oxygen detector is to expose it to nitrogen. Since air is 20.9% oxygen, bump testing it to pure nitrogen or reduced levels of oxygen is a good check. Another approach is to bump test it to enhanced oxygen.
If your analyzer has alarms, verify that they are operational. This can be done by spraying the gas onto the sensor to confirm sensor, LED, and buzzer alarm operation. Generally referred to as bump testing, this test is good practice, especially in personal protection applications where safety is paramount.
How Long Do Oxygen Analyzers Last For?
O2 sensors that employ ultrasonic detection will last well over 5 years.
How Do I Take Care of My Oxygen Analyzer?
- Store your oxygen analyzer at normal room temperature - about 70F with 50%RH (well within operating specifications).
- Store it away from electromagnetic or magnetic sources, such as phones.
- Store it in a clean environment with no dust or particles.
- Store it away from any exhaust gas, concentrated vapors, or harsh chemicals that may poison the sensor.
- Clean the casing of your detector with a damp cloth.
- Store it in a stable place where there are no vibrations or continuous shaking.
How Do I Properly Use an Oxygen Analyzer?
An oxygen analyzer is straightforward to use. See the below video.
What Is the Difference Between ppm and % Oxygen?
The typical scale of concentration for O2 is ppm or %.
In most cases, % is used because there is a known 20.9% oxygen concentration in the air. Ppm will be used in certain applications where very low levels of oxygen may be present and are easier to communicate in the ppm scale. For example, it is easier to say 1 0ppm than 0.001%.
- Oxygen analyzers can cost as little as $300.
- Ultrasonic oxygen sensors last for over 5 years.
- Oxygen is the gas of life and is abundant at 20.9%. Oxygen concentrators can further elevate O2 levels.
- Oxygen can be displaced and becomes dangerous to life when less than 19.5%.
- Oxygen can become dangerous at both low and enriched levels - precaution is needed.
- Highly accurate oxygen sensors can be expensive.
About The Author
Dr. Kos Galatsis ("Dr.Koz") is the President of FORENSICS DETECTORS where the company operates from the scenic Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, California. He is a subject matter expert on gas sensor technology, gas detectors, gas meters and gas analyzers. He has been designing, building, manufacturing and testing toxic gas detection systems for over 20 years.
Everyday is a blessing for Dr. Koz. He loves to help customers solve their unique problems. Dr. Koz also loves spending time with his wife and his three children going to the beach, grilling burgers and having a cold beer.
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