HYDERABAD: Jamshoro civil administration is actively collaborating with Jamshoro Power Generation Company to ensure medical usage of oxygen released during electrolysis at the power plant.

A team of Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) would visit the plant to validate the process so that much needed supplies of oxygen were ensured to health department to meet growing demand for the life giving gas for coronavirus patients, according to Jamshoro deputy commissioner Fariduddin Mustafa.

On Thursday, an expert from Sindh University’s Dr M.A. Kazi Institute of Chemistry, Prof Dr Ghulam Murtaza Mastoi, visited the power plant for examining the exercise and sharing his technical input. Jamshoro administration and army officials were also present during the visit.

According to Prof Mastoi, it is a huge resource that is currently otherwise being released into air by the powerhouse authorities as a normal process during electrolysis. “But this can be used to serve the ailing humanity during pandemic once it is validated by the regulatory body concerned – PCSIR.

“I have suggested installation of a filter before oxygen is compressed into cylinders so that its purity can be ensured further and it is made safer,” said Prof Mastoi.

The DC said that he had been in contact with the powerhouse head Tanvir Jafri and he brought the idea to the notice of Sindh government through relevant authorities, secretary of health and DG Health Services Sindh, to make medical usage of the oxygen in a bid to meet growing demand for the gas.

Sindh health department is making optimum use of available oxygen in hospitals while the gas cylinders are being used commercially for positive coronavirus patients who are home quarantined to ensure required saturation. At Liaquat University Hospital’s (LUH) City and Jamshoro branches use of oxygen is being optimised in view of growing need of oxygen among critical patients.

According to the DC, he initially tried to see whether the precious oxygen resource could be tapped through industries and “finally Jamshoro power house management was contacted where authorities, too, were looking into the possibility of medical usage of the gas in times of pandemic,” he said.

“Once third party approves its usage for patients it will be compressed at the power plant for onward delivery to health department in cylinders,” he explained.

Jafri said that oxygen at the power plant was having 97pc purity value at this point in time. Initially, the gas’s purity was 92pc which was acceptable for Covid-19 patients also “but we improved it further after lessening moisture content in the entire process,” he remarked.

He said that in electrolysis of water hydrogen and oxygen were decomposed and then hydrogen was used to cool electric generators winding. “We have a capacity to fill 60 oxygen cylinders of approximately eight cubic meter each,” he said.

He disclosed that in the cooling process demineralised water was produced after lifting water from Indus river and then its processing at the power plant before its usage in cooling.

“For shifting it to medical level cylinders we need validation of PCSIR. We were otherwise releasing this oxygen during hydrogen generation process and then we felt we can perhaps have a better use of it for helping coronavirus patients who badly need it at homes and in hospitals,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2021

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