Vacuum Swing Adsorption VSA oxygen generators are used to purify air, manufacture oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen gas. VSA technology plays an increasingly important role in the commercial production of oxygen.
VSA oxygen generators differs from Pressure Swing adsorption (PSA generators) because it operates at near-ambient temperatures and pressures. The simplicity of the VSA process may allow for greater efficiency and cost savings, and less maintenance than PSA systems. Oxygen cost less to produce than using PSA generators.
WHY? The use of a vacuum step provides a superior regeneration of the molecular sieve bed, thus extending sieve life. Overall, the VSA adsorber vessel has much longer service life than two-bed PSA vessels, which commonly need re-packing of sieve material every 3–5 years.
As a result, power savings of as much as 50% can be achieved, when compared to the more simple PSA systems. However, VPSA systems typically have comparable or better power efficiencies. Maintenance issues typically associated with two-bed PSA systems are greatly reduced with VSA technology. Lower operating pressures also eliminate any water condensate.
IMPORTANT – VSA oxygen generators are not as susceptible to humid environments as PSA systems, while PSA feed compressors require water removal hardware [dehumidifiers], and oil-removal hardware if an oil-lubricated compressor is used.
The design simplicity and efficiency that VSA technology offers has generated products that are more energy- and cost-efficient than traditional gas separation units like PSA oxygen generators.