How pure is the oxygen from an oxygen concentrator?

Typically, oxygen concentrators provide about 90-95% pure oxygen. However, purity ranges can vary from 87-97% depending on the unit. Please note: an oxygen purity level of 90-95% does not mean you’re breathing in 90-95% oxygen. Let’s cover the difference and understand the meaning of oxygen purity.

Understanding Oxygen Purity vs. FiO2

Oxygen purity and FiO2 are both percentages, so it’s easy to confuse them. The amount of oxygen you breathe is called FiO2 (fraction of inspired oxygen).

Room air is about 21% (and 78% nitrogen and other trace gases). Therefore, when we breathe room air, our FiO2 is 21%. The FiO2 increases for people wearing supplemental oxygen. For example, someone wearing 2 liters per minute of oxygen has an FiO2 of 28%. (You can read more about oxygen liters per minute and FiO2 here.)

Unlike FiO2, which is the percentage of oxygen you’re breathing, the oxygen purity level refers to how much oxygen is in the gas. As mentioned, room air consists of 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, and other trace gases. An oxygen concentrator uses room air to remove nitrogen and other gases to provide you with mostly oxygen. Although the gas becomes mostly oxygen, it’s not 100% pure; the oxygen delivered from the concentrator offers 90-95% oxygen, meaning the concentrator has a purity of 90-95%.

Oxygen purity isn’t an exact measurement. The purity level may vary slightly between oxygen concentrators, and manufacturers usually provide an oxygen purity level range. For example, one oxygen concentrator may provide 90-95% pure oxygen, while another delivers 88-93%. Find your unit’s oxygen purity level in the concentrator user's manual or the manufacturer’s website.

For questions about the oxygen purity of your oxygen concentrator, contact our Customer Support Team

How Pure is the Oxygen from a Concentrator?

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