Liquid Oxygen or Oxygen Concentrator?

It's true that over 80% of those who use oxygen therapy at home use an oxygen concentrator, while most of the rest use liquid oxygen in cylinders. What is it that determines which type a patient uses? There are pros and cons to both methods of receiving oxygen, and here we are going to compare them to help you and your doctor decide which method is better for you. While convenience and efficiency are both major deciding factors when purchasing any type of oxygen delivery system, getting the amount of oxygen you need when you need it will always be the most important factor.

Liquid Oxygen

When chilled to a temperature of -300 degrees Fahrenheit, oxygen turns into a liquid and takes up much less room than it did as a gas – about 10% less. That's most likely the reason why most people using compressed oxygen have moved on to liquid filled tanks. More oxygen in a tank means more time to be able to go out and about.

You might require the use of an oxygen conservation device (OCD) with your liquid oxygen tanks. This device makes sure you are able to receive the amount of oxygen you need at any given time, even if you are being physically active. The OCD attaches to the liquid oxygen tank, but a conservation device used with a oxygen concentrator would be inside of it.

The not-so-great thing about liquid oxygen tanks, is the fact that new oxygen has to be delivered to your home in larger containers, which you would use to refill your smaller, portable tanks. The cost of having a liquid oxygen delivery service is on going. The exception to this would be our Respirionics HomeLox and GoLox system. The HomeLox creates the liquid oxygen right in your own home by filtering the pure oxygen out of the air in the room, and then turns it into liquid oxygen. You can then fill the GoLox and take it with you wherever you go.

Oxygen Concentrators

These machines come in different shapes and sizes, with varying features and oxygen capacities. There are very small portable ones, between 5 and 10 pounds, and the bigger portables that can weigh around 20 lbs. Home oxygen concentrators aren't meant to be traveled with and are bigger and heavier, some weighing up to 50 lbs.

How large a concentrator is usually depends on how much oxygen it can deliver. The best thing about oxygen portable oxygen concentrators, is that they can be taken aboard an airplane if they are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is an important factor to consider if you ever wish to travel on an airplane in the future – liquid oxygen tanks are not allowed on an airplane, but portable oxygen concentrators are, as long as the model in question is approved by the FAA.

You'll also never have to worry about having oxygen delivered to your house, and have to keep paying to get your oxygen. An oxygen concentrator is called so, because it concentrates the oxygen from the air around it.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

6 thoughts on “Liquid Oxygen or Oxygen Concentrator?”

  • Sheron McBurney

    I am interested in liquid oxygen at home for my COPD. Please contact me and provide more details. I am on Medicare

    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Sheron. For the most up-to-date product and pricing information please contact one of our Oxygen Specialists at 877-774-9271.

  • Jewel Rice-Hendrix
    Jewel Rice-Hendrix April 15, 2019 at 6:10 am

    My mother has been on liquid oxygen for 20+ years. Her company is no longer carrying the liquid. Her zip code is 30066. I'm hoping your company will supply what she needs or maybe you can point me in the right direction.
    Thank you for your time

    • Ed Rodgers

      Hi. We do not provide liquid oxygen. We do sell oxygen concentrators which do provide oxygen to those on oxygen therapy by extracting the O2 from the air. If you mom is able switch from liquid to a concentrator, we can certainly help you. Give us a call and let us know 888-360-9628.

  • Virginia Anderson
    Virginia Anderson August 15, 2019 at 2:44 am

    Concentrators are worthless when the power goes off in a hurricane.


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