Sooner or later, we are going to want to operate properly in the subsea environment. This looks to be an invaluable technology.
Really working in the subsea entails using a fully open structure that forces the operators to spend perhaps weeks at the working depth. Solving the CO2 problem in this manner makes it just that much easier.
I also do not think we have done everything possible to remove nitrogen as a problem. The first available fixes were grabbed and used and we have had no good reason to do better yet. It is an area in which innovation has been somewhat slow but also steady.
Anyway this is a reminder that some good techs are far from been exploited.
1948 technology could help today's submariners breathe easier
By Ben Coxworth
15:34 June 18, 2010
Submarine crews could be breathing much healthier air thanks to miniscule devices based on 62 year-old technology. Currently, carbon dioxide is removed from the air in submarines through a reaction with chemicals such as calcium hydroxide. Chemical engineers from
England’s University of Bath are collaborating with mechanical engineers from Duke University in the , to develop a chemical-free filtration system. It utilizes seawater and tiny folded wire mesh rings known as US rings. Dixon
It has been known for a long time that sea water absorbs CO2. The researchers, however, are faced with designing a system that could fit within the close confines of a submarine, or other undersea habitat. That’s where the
rings come in. Only 3mm across, the rings’ mesh construction provides extra surface area for the absorption of CO2. Dixon
The system consists of a column packed with
rings. Seawater and “used” air are pumped through the column (and rings) in counter-current directions. This chaotic interaction results in the air being scrubbed of its CO2, which is then discharged into the sea. Dixon
According to the Bath scientists, not only will this technology do away with the need for chemicals, but it will also allow crews to stay undersea for longer periods.
The study is funded by a three-year £380,000 (US$563,109) grant from the
Office of Naval Research. US