A profitable business
Oxygen demand is steadily rising, especially in China, where the Max Planck Institute estimates that more than 1 million people die each year from the effects of air pollution.
Because of the smog in Beijing and Shanghai residents even import oxygen cylinders, $ 20 a piece. One liter of oxygen is enough for up to 150 suctions, says their manufacturer from Canada.
In Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles there are also oxygen "bars" that are always full of guests.
Moses Lam, co-founder of Vitality Air in Edmonton, Canada, is quite surprised by his success. In an interview with CBC television station he said it all actually started as a joke. But after he sold 100 bottles within four days, he professionalized the business.
Meanwhile Vitality Air firm has offices not only in China but also in India, Korea and Vietnam. 20 people gather every two weeks several hundred thousand liters of air in the Canadian mountains, says Moises Lam.
However, production is very complicated because air consists of only 20 percent pure oxygen. It must therefore be cleaned and compressed into cans.
In addition, "the cylinders should be used within one to two years", recommends the air seller.
For some patients with some types of disease oxygen cylinders are vital. Among the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of oxygen cylinders are two German companies: the Linde Group in Munich and Air Products in North Rhine-Westphalia, Hattingen. Air Products Company was founded in 1940 in the US and is now present in 50 countries.