by A Cassandra.
oxygen and a magnet. take a breath
Oxygen and magnets
Previously If only oxygen would stick to a magnet?
In these days of covid 19, the idea of enabling people to breathe pure oxygen by extracting around them, seems like a no-brainer.
The purpose of the essay is to show how the well-established technology of Paramagnetic oxygen sensors might be re-purposed to abstract oxygen from the air.
Oxygen is paramagnetic, that is, it is attracted to the strongest part of a magnetic field. A fact that can be used to extract oxygen from the air in a number of different ways, for a variety of different reasons. The second example below is less serious than the first example, some things in life are for fun.
1) to provide a portable oxygen supply, to a human being, via a nasal cannula.
Air is blown into a length of pipe, about 1/3 of the way down, blowing towards the open bottom end. Inside the pipe is the stator of a linear stepper motor, which will create upwards moving waves of magnetism, that will redirect the oxygen, drawing it up to the top tube. The nitrogen from the air is blown out of the bottom of the tube, and the oxygen passes out to the cannula through a thin tube in the top.
2) for a live fast and burn out sports car engine. Take a truck's supercharger with its inter-cooler, and a car-sized supercharger with two exit ports. Modify the smaller supercharger. Give it multiple smooth impeller disks that have a strong magnetic field close to the disks, and no magnetic field between them. Blow air from the big supercharger into one of the exit ports of the small supercharger. The nitrogen will pass between the disks, and out of what would have been the inlet. Meanwhile, the oxygen gets attracted to the disks and is thrown out of the other outlet. And into the engine. You can burn fuel over five times as fast as normal, depending on pressure.
You can prove that oxygen is paramagnetic for yourself, with the following simple experiment. Take a bowl of soapy water and blow a bit of pure oxygen through it, the resulting bubbles can be pulled across the surface by a strong magnet. If you don't have pure oxygen handy, use hair spray, this time the bubbles will have no oxygen and will be pushed away from the magnet, by the oxygen in the air moving towards the magnet.
Alternatively I've coped the following paragraphs from a commercial website.
The address is.
"Paramagnetic oxygen sensors rely on the fact that oxygen molecules are attracted to strong magnetic fields. In some designs, the sample gas is introduced into the sensor and passed through a magnetic field. The flow rate changes in proportion to the oxygen level in the gas. In a variation on this design, the oxygen in the magnetic field creates a physical force on glass spheres that are measured. While not a common sensing technology, it can be used in industrial process control applications where a zirconium oxygen sensor cannot.
Additional advantages of using a paramagnetic oxygen sensor are that the sensors are insensitive to mechanical shock, have high linearity, and are incredibly stable. Their disadvantage is susceptibility to cross-sensitivity from other gases.
The inclusion of this link and quotation is not meant to imply in any way that they endorse this idea. It is included to convince a skeptical reader that: 1) That Oxygen is paramagnetic, 2) That this effect is large enough to be the basis of technology.
My reason for posting this in a writers forum is to get feedback to help me improve my ability to express ideas in writing.
Next week will be a story idea!
Tabby's star horror.