As coronavirus cases surge in the US, those invested in the industrial gas industry, titled an essential business from the get-go, are continuing to optimise solutions in order to better help the fight against the pandemic.
One of those companies adjusting to the new way of life and continuing to enhance its innovations to assist the rising pressures is GasLab, a Florida-based business with over 30 years’ experience in the gas detection industry.
With a main focus on oxygen sensing solutions, the pandemic saw a great rise in business opportunities and requests for the company, something that GasLab’s CEO, Irene Hicks, spoke exclusively to gasworld about in a recent interview.
“Because of our work with oxygen sensors, GasLab was classified as an essential business from the start. During the early days of the pandemic, there was a huge rise in interest in every aspect of oxygen detection,” Hicks explained.
“This spring, GasLab received dozens of calls from engineers and universities working on oxygen ventilators to assist patients infected by the coronavirus.”
As a specialist in gas sensors, GasLab was asked about solutions that were suitable to control and monitor oxygen levels of a patient on a ventilator. Its innovations had to measure both the gas being provided to the patient, as well as the exhaled patient oxygen levels.
Like every other company that had to step up in the time of need, GasLab did not have the knowledge about coronavirus, nor the doctorial expertise, so had to take a deep dive into the study of medical oxygen ventilators.
“We curated and published information that detailed the requirements of the oxygen sensors that would meet ventilator requirements. It explained which of our sensors were fit for purpose and which ones were not.”
Hicks explained to gasworld that, once complete, GasLab asked every customer to read the paper before making a decision of what oxygen sensor to purchase to meet its requirements.
“While our paper resulted in some lost sales for us, hundreds of engineers worldwide read the article, and we would like to think we did our part in helping move many low-cost oxygen ventilator projects forward.
Although based in the US, GasLab’s fight against the pandemic still remains global, along with the its other innovations that serve other industries such as aerospace, industrial, scientific, indoor air quality, food processing, agriculture, and more.
“Our main focus has always been oxygen sensing solutions; however, we also carry devices designed to measure carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen sulphide and many other gases,” Hicks enthused.
“What sets us apart is our continued research and development and engineers who are constantly testing, building, and expanding on current trends in gas detection to understand the latest industry and customer requirements.”
Like many others in the same field who are currently investing a lot of time to help coronavirus efforts, GasLab still continues to work on other parts of business.
For GasLab, one of its other heavily demanded sectors of business is its cryogenic solutions, that can also assist the healthcare sector.
Talking to gasworld, Hicks explained how some of its cryogenic tools are helping the medical industry and how.
“When people think of cryogenics, they think of cryotherapy or cryosurgery, but it is bigger than that.”
Cryogenics, much like refrigeration, is about making things very cold. In order to do this, you need inert gases such as helium, hydrogen, or nitrogen stored in tanks or cylinders under pressure as a liquid.
For most gases the compression ratio from gas to liquid is between 700 and 900. This makes the gas easy to transport, but if the gas is accidently released in an enclosed area, the volume of inert gas can quickly lower the oxygen level.
“To ensure customer and staff safety, GasLab provides cryogenic gas safety tools like our Oxygen Depletion Safety Alarm and Personal Oxygen Safety Monitor. These are used to measure ambient air oxygen levels in real-time and alert staff when oxygen levels fall too low.”
“Our devices are used in applications such as medical facilities that use helium for MRI machines, and healthcare and laboratory environments that use carbon dioxide or nitrogen to freeze tissue samples.”
Whilst trends in the market for gas detection and sensor solutions are currently targeted towards medical, scientific, and life science environments.
“Our continued R&D and extensive experience in the field allows us to continue to advance our technologies whiles further expanding our solutions towards the future,” Hicks added.
“What sets us apart is our continued R&D and engineers who are constantly testing, building, and expanding on current trends in gas detection to understand the latest industry and consumer requirements.”