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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 11 May 2021 5.06 PM IST

ISRO to provide free rocket oxygen for Kerala

oxygen

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: From now on, the ISRO will provide free oxygen to Kerala for COVID treatment. The oxygen was meant to be used for the production of cryogenic fuel for rockets. It will provide 12 tons of oxygen per week. The first load will be handed over on Wednesday.

Cryogenic fuel is used in GSLV Mark 3 rocket, which launches India's largest satellites. It is used by cooling oxygen at minus 183 degrees and hydrogen at minus 253 degrees. The oxygen plant is located at the Liquid Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. The oxygen produced there is not allowed to be sold. The contract to operate the plant is for a private company. Normal medical oxygen is 95 percent pure, while cryogenic oxygen is 99 percent pure. Such a pure form of oxygen will be provided to Kerala for COVID treatment.

With more than 3.5 lakh COVID patients undergoing treatment in Kerala, the oxygen demand is high in the state. It was Chief Minister's Scientific Adviser and former VSSC Director MC Dutt who suggested using the ISRO's oxygen plant. On the instructions of the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary Dr. VP Joy contacted ISRO Chairman K Sivan and took necessary action. Head of ISRO Scientific Section, Dr. Umamaheswaran expedited the proceedings.

The oxygen, that will be delivered from Mahendragiri to Thiruvananthapuram in large tankers, will be filled in cylinders and taken to treatment centers. As the plant is in Tamil Nadu, they will also be given 12 tonnes of oxygen.

Kanjikode INOX, with a capacity of 149 tonnes, is the leading oxygen supplier in the state. The total availability is 204 tonnes. Of this, 47.16 tonnes is required for non-COVID medical purposes. With INOX supplying oxygen to Tamil Nadu, the availability of oxygen in the state has decreased. The state government has been taking precautionary measures to alleviate the oxygen shortage in the coming days. The state government has been taking precautionary measures to alleviate the oxygen shortage in the coming days.

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