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Liquid Oxygen: Weighing the Pros and Cons

2 Aug 2017
| Under Guides | Posted by | 3 Comments
Liquid Oxygen: Weighing the Pros and Cons

If you have a condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, chances are that you might have a prescription for supplemental oxygen. Supplemental oxygen has shown to be beneficial for many people with chronic lung disease by improving exercise tolerance and breathlessness during exertion.

Liquid oxygen, also called LOX, is different from concentrated, or “regular” oxygen. Concentrated oxygen tanks can be bulky and difficult to carry around, which is why some people choose to use the smaller liquid oxygen tanks. Let’s take a deeper look into what liquid oxygen is, and also weigh the pros and cons.

What is Liquid Oxygen?

Concentrated oxygen is oxygen in gas form, whereas liquid oxygen is oxygen that has been compressed into liquid form. That’s the major difference between the two. There are other smaller differences, and the type of oxygen tank that you choose will depend upon your personal preferences.

Concentrated oxygen tanks are much larger than liquid oxygen tanks. This is because when oxygen converts from a liquid to gas, it expands 860 times! To convert oxygen from gas to liquid, it must be cooled by at least -297 degrees Fahrenheit, or -183 degrees centigrade.

Which is Better? Concentrated or Liquid Oxygen?

A study published in Thorax respiratory medicine journal took a look at liquid oxygen versus concentrated oxygen for portable use. Liquid oxygen came out slightly ahead.

The study reports: “The longer duration of liquid oxygen supply enables patients to spend more time using portable oxygen and going out of the house.”

Here’s a breakdown of the other findings from the study:

  • All patients’ arterial oxygen tension values when they were breathing liquid oxygen and gaseous oxygen were similar
  • There were no significant differences between distance walked in the baseline walk test and the walk with liquid or gaseous oxygen
  • The level of breathlessness also appeared to be similar for both types of oxygen after the two walking tests
  • The baseline walking distance was greater after the eight weeks spent using liquid oxygen than at the initial baseline walk
  • There was no significant difference in walking distance after eight weeks of gaseous oxygen
  • There were no significant changes in spirometric values or arterial blood gas tensions throughout the duration of the study
  • Patients using liquid oxygen left the house on average of 19.5 hours a week, while patients using gaseous oxygen only left the house an average of 15.5 hours a week
  • Of the 15 patients tested in the study, 11 preferred the liquid oxygen because it lasted longer and carrying and filling it were both easier

Pros of Using Liquid Oxygen

Liquid oxygen takes up less space than oxygen in its gas form, making it easier and lighter to carry around. Not only that, it also can be stored at a much lower pressure. This makes liquid oxygen tanks safer than concentrated oxygen cylinders, which are under high pressure.

Liquid oxygen portable tanks are filled from reservoirs that can be kept in the home. They are easier to fill than concentrated oxygen tanks. Additionally, liquid oxygen lasts longer than concentrated oxygen. In fact, a small amount of liquid oxygen can last a full day, making it a great choice to take with you when you leave the house.

Cons of Using Liquid Oxygen

You have to keep large containers filled with oxygen in your home to frequently fill the smaller, portable tank. This not only takes up space in your home; additionally, the recurring oxygen deliveries can get pricey. Another important thing to note is that liquid oxygen needs to be used within a week or two; otherwise, it will evaporate.

Liquid oxygen is often used for more hours a week than concentrated oxygen, meaning you will be wearing your oxygen more. Some users have reported that the process of using liquid oxygen equipment is confusing and difficult to remember.

Who Uses Liquid Oxygen?

Convenience and efficiency are the two major deciding factors when choosing between liquid or concentrated oxygen. Speak with your primary care physician about both options, and he or she will help you arrive at a decision that best suits your lifestyle.

Some Lung Institute patients have been able to reduce their reliance upon supplemental oxygen after receiving cellular therapy. If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic pulmonary condition and would like to learn more about cellular therapy, contact us today to speak directly with a patient coordinator, who will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.


  1. Lung Institute

    4 months ago

    Regina: We are very sorry to hear about your medical conditions.

    We would suggest you contact one of our patient coordinators to see if our treatments may be helpful for you.

    Our dedicated medical team has a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. We’re happy to answer your questions, so feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Regina Forbes

    4 months ago

    I want to know about cells I’m 35 years old very much trauma to body and have cipd, ild,, tbi, seizures, brain damage, both lungs collapsed and did not heal pepper from wreck I had in 2014 I have tache stenosis, on oxygen and I’ve fought to live since 2014 had many surgeries and I can’t breathe very good at all and our getting worse please help me our heal me you can help me I’m a single mother worth children and I’m begging you to help me if can to live better and longer please. GOD bless sincerely, Regina Michele Forbes

  3. Charles lecker

    10 months ago


    Unfortunately, at this time, Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies do not cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered in the near future. Keep in mind that it will take some time before the insurance companies see a financial benefit in their favor and then decide to cover it. We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular therapy for chronic lung diseases.

    We have a dedicated medical team that has a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. So, feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

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