Category Archives: Oxygen Consumption

Metabolic system, PULMOSPORT, Fenyves & Gut, circa 1970

From a sales brochure kindly provided by Emanuele Isnardi.  The entire sales brochure can be downloaded here.

“One possible extension of the S basic unit is designed to determine the gas exchange or G or perform ergospirography, respectively, this representing a SG assembly. Unlike rival products this unit operates without valves, i.e. under optimum physiological conditions. For it should be noted that there are still systems on the market which require the subject to inhaled through a mask fitted with inspiration valves and exhale through a hose fitted to the mask. Of course such systems cannot work satisfactorily since they involve inspiration valves and because dead-space air is re-inhaled from the expiration hose. Our system has overcome these drawbacks.

Principle of measurement: the expired gases are continuously drawn off while changes in concentration levels occur. However, the average values necessary for further processing (e.g. O2 uptake) are drawn off in proportion to the expiratory flow rate by a special pump of our own design which can be modulated very rapidly. The expirate is then stored in a small collecting vessel. The resulting weighted samples are then analyzed in on-line analyzers for their O2 and CO2 concentrations (ΔFO2 and ΔFCO2 respectively).

Essentially the G apparatus consists of a slide-in unit for extraction proportionate to the flow of respiratory gases during expiratory phases. A device for averaging and converting the pulsating gas flow to a steady state required by the analyzers is included. The necessary equipment comprises O2 and CO2 and, optional, N2 analyzers (see under A), as well as a multi-channel compensated direct recorder (see under R). We recommend our slide-unit for determining the MV directly (unnecessarily if the assembly includes a computer) because it no only reduces working time, but also compensated for the time-lag occuring between the ΔFO2 and respectively,  ΔFCO2 quantities on the one hand, and the minute volume on the other.”

Exercise Analogue Computer, Fenyves & Gut, circa 1970

From a sales brochure kindly provided by Emanuele Isnardi.  The entire sales brochure can be downloaded here.

“We supply an economical analogue computer with permanent wiring for the automatic computation of parameters if immediate interest to the physician (MVBTPS, VO2STPD, VCO2STPD, RQ, respiratory equivalent RE, VO2/PR, f, caloric production). This computer which may be acquired in three stages processes all data provided by the S and G assemblies according to the exact formulae reduced to the usual gas conditions and taking into account atmospheric pressures and the time-lag between sensing ventilatory activity and the determination of gas exchange values.

Data output by printer and/or 12 channel point plotter.”

Measuring gas exchange, 1911


Using a Chauveau valve, the subject’s exhaled volume is measured by a gas meter and analyzed for CO2 and O2 chemically.  Found in “The Human Motor, Or, The Scientific Foundations of Labour and Industry” by Jules Amar, Elsie Mary Butterworth, George E. Wright, published by G. Routledge & sons, Limited, 1920, page 145, but was ascribed to Jules Amar, Journal de Physiologie, March 1911, page 212.

Respiration Apparatus, Ludwig’s, 1887


From Treatise on human physiology by Henry Cadwalader Chapman, Published by Lea Brothers & Co, 1887, page 446.

“A more modern apparatus used by Ludwig and his pupils, differs from that of Regnualt and Reiset just described, not so much in principle as in certain mechanical details. The most noticeable of these is the ingenious contrivance by means of which the oxygen expired passes from g (Fig. 251) into the respiratory tube d, communicating through an air-tight covering with the nostrils of the animal at e, alternately with the passage of the carbonic acid expired into the bulbs f, and which is accomplished through the alternate expansion and contraction of valve c. For with the rarefaction of the air through inspiration the valve c is drawn from the end of the tube b, the effect of which is that the air entering the tube b drives the water out of a, which in turn drives the oxygen out of g into the tube d.  On the other hand, with the condensation of the air through expiration, the valve c is forced back close to the end of tube b, the flow of oxygen from the tube d ceases, the carbonic acid exhaled passing into the bulbs f.”

Respiration Apparatus, Regnault and Reiset, 1887


From Treatise on human physiology by Henry Cadwalader Chapman, Published by Lea Brothers & Co, 1887, page 443.

“Within the tabulated bell-jar A, immersed in the cylinder of water B, is placed a little animal, a dog, for example, the subject of the experiment.  The animal having been introduced from below, and the opening hermetically closed, the large pipettes G G, filled with a solution of potash or soda of known strength and quantity, and communicating with each other by a caoutchouc tube, absorb and measure the CO2 exhaled unto the air of the jar A, the air being drawn alternately into the pipettes G G through their elevation and depression by hand of some simple mechanical arrangement.  According as the oxygen is absorbed by the animal, the gas pressure falls in A, and consequently the oxygen of the balloon N, under the pressure of the calcium chloride solution in P, flows through M, replacing that lost in A.”

Respiraton Apparatus, Valentin and Brunner, 1887


From Treatise on human physiology by Henry Cadwalader Chapman, Published by Lea Brothers & Co, 1887, page 438.

“Let us endeavor to determine the amount of oxygen absorbed, and that of carbonic acid, etc., exhaled in a given time.  This can be done is several ways the simplest of which consists in comparing the composition of the ordinary atmospheric air with that which has been breathed, with the object of determining the amount of oxygen absorbed during one inspiration, and multiplying this by the minutes, hours, etc. in order to obtain, approximately at least, the amount of oxygen absorbed in the twenty-four hours. The apparatus of Valentin and Brunner, as used by the author for this object, consists (Fig. 249) of a Woulff’s bottle A having a capacity of about a liter (61 cubic in.). One of the openings communicates with the mouth-piece B, into which the person expires, the air first passing through pumice-stone and sulphuric acid C so as to dry it. The middle opening communicates with the set of tubes G H I K.  H and I contain phosphorus and baryta for the absorption of the oxygen and carbonic acid of the expired air, G and K pumice stone, etc., that of G for the absorption of watery vapors that may have escaped, the pumice-stone, etc., in C K for retaining that taken up by the dry air passing through the baryta solution, and which, if lost, would cause an error in the estimate of the carbonic acid exhaled, the tubes being weighed before and after the experiment. Through the middle opening of the Woulff’s bottle a funnel (D) provided with a stopcock is introduced, the opening then being hermetically closed.  The funnel is filled with a know quantity of mercury. The manner of using the apparatus is as follows: having breathed for say fifteen minutes through the mouthpiece until the air of the Woulff’s bottle has been entirely displaced by the expired air, the mouth-piece is entirely closed, any external air being further prevented from passing into the Woulff’s bottle by the mercury in E acting as a valve, the air-tightness of the apparatus being assured by the rise of the mercury in the tube F, through the contraction of expired air in A, consequent upon its cooling and the closure of the tube funnel. The stopcock of the funnel being then turned, the mercury passes into the Woulff’s bottle, displacing a know quantity of expired, the latter passing into the set of tubes G H I K, previously adjusted to the middle opening.  The weight of the tubes H and I having been previously determined, their increase in weight will give, respectively, the amount of cabonic acid and oxygen absorbed.”

Spirometer, Palmer, 1934, Knipping Type Closed Circuit Respiration Apparatus


From Palmer, C. F. 1934. Palmer Research and Students’ Apparatus for Physiology, Pharmacology, Psychology, Bacteriology, Phonetics, Botany, etc.: Manufactured by C. F. Palmer (London) Ltd., Myographic Works, 63a, Effra Road, Brixton, London, S.W. 2. England, page 87.

“With this instrument working on the principle used by Prof. Knipping, it is possible to show on the same record, in addition to the volume of oxygen consumed, the volume of C.O2 produced.

“Also by using a rotary air pump to ventilate the apparatus, no valves are necessary.

“Dimensions and features of the spirometer itself and the recording cylinder are identical to those given for No. E150.

“The air circulating pump is substantially made and fitted with a water jacket for cooling; this should be connected to the nearest water supply. Lubricating points in the pump are conveniently placed, and should receive occasional attention.

“The electric motor is quiet running, and has ample power. Two model of this spirometer are made. In one, No. E165, the recording cylinder is driven by a clockwork movement making one revolution in 20 minutes.  In the other, No. E166, the recording cylinder is driven from the motor, this enables a two-speed gear to be used, so the the cylinder can be run at a faster rate (1 revolution in 2 minutes) in addition to the normal speed of one revolution in 20 minutes.”