Three components are necessary for fires to develop: oxygen, heat energy and fuel. If one of these three components is taken away, there is no way a fire can break out. OxyReduct® is based on this principle. By reducing the oxygen content of the air, it literally “takes the fire’s breath away”.
Releasing nitrogen into the protected area lowers oxygen concentration to a level below the specified ignition threshold for the materials present. OxyReduct® thus creates a protective atmosphere that prevents open flames from developing. The remaining oxygen is no longer sufficient to sustain a fire or permit it to spread.
The required nitrogen is generated directly on site from the surrounding air. Since nitrogen is a primary component of our natural atmosphere, this saves not only money, but especially space: Whereas conventional fire extinguishing systems require huge amounts of space for extinguishing medium supplies, such as sprinkler systems’ large water tanks, the OxyReduct® system takes up just a few square metres.
Nitrogen is the primary component of our atmosphere, comprising 78% vol. of the air we breathe, so it can be generated directly from the ambient air on site using a nitrogen generator.
Nitrogen is non-toxic and easy to breathe when mixed into the surrounding air. Chemical extinguishing agents, on the other hand, carry the risk of breaking down at temperatures of around 480 °C, creating new compounds that are corrosive and otherwise dangerous to human health.
Nitrogen’s material properties also ensure that it will distribute throughout the entire protected area permanently and in uniform concentrations.
The OxyReduct® system uses one of two methods to generate nitrogen from the surrounding air: membrane technology or activated carbon.
With membrane technology, pressurised ambient air is pressed through a bundle of polymer fibres. These fibres separate the nitrogen and oxygen molecules: oxygen molecules diffuse through the fibre walls, whereas the larger nitrogen molecules flow past the fibres. A network of pipes directs the extracted nitrogen into the protected area. The membrane method of separating nitrogen and oxygen molecules provides a continuous flow rate.
With activated carbon, the oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the air are separated from one another using carbon molecular sieves (CMS). The air is compressed to a slight overpressure level of 1-2 bar (VPSA model) / 6-8 bar (PSA model), then pressed through the CMS bed (filter) into two identical containers.
The safety and health of employees in their workspace must be ensured at all times despite an oxygen-reduced atmosphere.
For working in an oxygen-reduced atmosphere safety measures must be taken in the context of the hazard assessment in order to avoid health impairments of employees. The Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV for German Statutory Accident Insurance) has provided information on the structural, technical, organizational and occupational medical measures need to be taken.
Download now the information of the DGUV: BGI/GUV-I 5162 Working in oxygen-reduced atmosphere