An oxygen tank is a device used to store either compressed gas or liquid oxygen under high pressure, used in a variety of circumstances but commonly for medical use. Most oxygen tanks are tall, slender aluminum or steel cylinders featuring valves and gauges.
An oxygen tank uses much of the same equipment as an oxygen concentrator (nasal cannula and tubing), but instead of creating the oxygen from its environment, it delivers the oxygen straight from the tank itself. Unlike an oxygen concentrator, there is a finite amount of oxygen in each tank; when it is empty, it needs to be replaced.
Oxygen tanks were once the primary oxygen delivery system for medical use, but there are now alternatives such as oxygen concentrators. While the use of oxygen concentrators is on the rise, patients still use oxygen tanks for medical treatment around the country. Oxygen tanks are still widely used outside of oxygen therapy, such as in scuba diving and industrial manufacturing processes. Learn more about the difference between an oxygen concentrator and an oxygen tank