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Science

Revolutionary Scuba Mask Creates Breathable Oxygen Underwater On Its Own 375

Posted by samzenpus
from the swim-with-the-fishes dept.
schwit1 writes "With the Triton Oxygen Respirator, it might be possible to breathe beneath the surface of the water as if you were a fish. Requiring no bulky tank to keep your lungs pumping properly. The regulator comprises a plastic mouthpiece that requires you to simply bite down. There are two arms that branch out to the sides of the scuba mask that have been developed to function like the efficient gills of a marine creature. The scaly texture conceals small holes in the material where water is sucked in. Chambers inside separate the oxygen and release the liquid so that you can breath comfortably in the ocean."
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Revolutionary Scuba Mask Creates Breathable Oxygen Underwater On Its Own

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  • by itsybitsy (149808) * on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:06AM (#45974065)

    Too good to be true.

    So if it actually separates the oxygen what about the hydrogen? That's fuel.

    If this is real it's more than just a breathing device, it's a low cost way to separate water into 2 Hydrogen atoms and 1 Oxygen atom. That is a much more significant breakthrough... then again that's a big IF.

    Evidence please.

    • by Racemaniac (1099281) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:13AM (#45974087)

      also, breathing pure oxygen isn't so healty, so i'm wondering how they solve that without an external tank.

      • Very good point. Pure oxygen becomes toxic below 6 meters.

        Also, looking at TFA and following the links, this looks like premium-class bullshit. No actual science, no pictures of the proposed device (just 3D renderings), this is just science-fiction.
        • by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:50AM (#45974473) Homepage

          One of the deeper linked articles has what looks like real photo's.
          But still, the specs sound like a typical design student project; cool-looking device using fantasy technology.
          "Oh, the tech boys will work out the tiny details like the battery that's 30x smaller and 1000x faster to recharge than current batteries."
          I really want this thing to be real, but I'm missing the "fugly prototype" stage.

          • It's a hoax (Score:5, Informative)

            by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @10:13AM (#45975999)

            Here's a nice analysis:
            http://deepseanews.com/2014/01/triton-not-dive-or-dive-not-there-is-no-triton/ [deepseanews.com]

            Basically, it would take processing 24 gallons of water per minute with 100% efficiency (unlikely) to provide a human with enough oxygen. No way can this work as described.

            However it might possibly be a start. When humans breath they don't use all the oxygen in the air up. so one could reprocess that air (as rebreathers do) and then supplement that using this device to make a better rebreather.

        • by pmontra (738736)

          I don't think you're going much deeper than that with this thing. The gas from the tank won't be able to keep your lungs open so you won't be able to breath. OK, there is a tank filled with compressed gas, but how much power would that micro compressor get from a tiny battery?

          Anyway, the tank could have some N2 in it to start with so the problem could be mitigated.

          • by rossdee (243626)

            "Anyway, the tank could have some N2 in it to start with so the problem could be mitigated."

            You don't want to be breathing any N2 at depth. Ever heard of the bends.

            They used to use a Helium mixture for deep dives, I am not sure what they do these days

            • by clodney (778910)

              "Anyway, the tank could have some N2 in it to start with so the problem could be mitigated."

              You don't want to be breathing any N2 at depth. Ever heard of the bends.

              They used to use a Helium mixture for deep dives, I am not sure what they do these days

              Outside of specialized mixtures for deep dives (well beyond the usual recreational dive limit of 130 feet), divers breathe either ordinary compressed surface air (80% nitrogen), or nitrox/EAN, which is a mix with increased oxygen content. Interestingly, the increased oxygen in nitrox is not there for its own sake (i.e. with healthy lungs there is no physiological benefit to breathing an increased fraction of oxygen), but rather as a cheap way to displace some of the nitrogen, allowing longer bottom times b

        • I guess a more complicated device ought to be able to mix it with helium properly and extract the CO2. But it might take some time before we ever get to this level of complexity in life support devices without making them too unreliable to bet your life on them in the first place.
        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          Very good point. Pure oxygen becomes toxic below 6 meters.

          Also, looking at TFA and following the links, this looks like premium-class bullshit. No actual science, no pictures of the proposed device (just 3D renderings), this is just science-fiction.

          While I don't know if the device exists, we've been researching similar techniques since the 60s to help cystic fibrosis patients. The major obstacle I would see is not can the dissolved oxygen in the water be extracted, we already know it can, but can it be extracted fast enough and in enough quantity to enable a person to use it in lieu of a scuba tank?

        • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @11:37AM (#45976873)

          Very good point. Pure oxygen becomes toxic below 6 meters.

          A simple solution is to start with the air already in the diver's lungs, with will be 80% nitrogen, then recycle it while stripping out the CO2, and adding in the O2 from the "gills". Humans typically inhale 21% O2 and exhale 16% O2. So if you don't recycle the exhaled air, and just vent it instead, you are wasting most of the O2. For deep dives, start with a breath of argon instead of nitrogen.

      • by pla (258480) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:38AM (#45975223) Journal
        This doesn't electrolyze water into H and O. It acts as a semipermeable membrane that allows gas exchange between the air inside and the water outside. So you don't get "pure" O2, you get more-or-less normal air.

        You have a higher partial pressure of CO2 inside, so it selectively moves out; Similarly, you have a lower partial pressure of O2 inside, so it moves in. Only the inconvenience of having enough surface area prevented something like this before - You need on the order of 70m^2, with sufficient movement of both the water and air to make something like this viable. Apparently nanotech has advanced to the point where we can pack that into a pair of 2x8 inch tubes.
        • by TWX (665546) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @09:24AM (#45975555)
          Importantly, if there's little to no dissolved air in the water, there's no air to breathe as there's nothing to extract. Sea conditions that kill fish and other marine life would be just as deadly to someone using this technology.
          • by TheCarp (96830)

            That was my thought too, but, it should be possible to detect such conditions. The better question is where the threshold is. There may be conditions that fish and marine life would survive where this device may not produce enough air for a human.

            I imagine more of a hybrid system where this provides the normal breathing, and a backup tank only for emergency or low oxygen conditions. Even in a condition where it only provides half the oxygen you need, it could still reduce demand on the air tank allowing you

          • Sea conditions that kill fish and other marine life would be just as deadly to someone using this technology.

            Fortunately most divers take up the sport because we like to look at fish, not because we enjoy bathing in agricultural runoff and/or sewage. Ergo, not a lot of recreational diving in oceanic "dead zones".

    • Pretty sure fish gills work with dissolved oxygen, that's why the tanks need splashy things, to get the oxygen back in).

      If fish were cracking apart water to breathe, we'd be researching it for energy use, like we do with plants and photosynthesis. Additionally, it'd eliminate advantage of aerobic respiration to split the water apart.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:17AM (#45974105)

      It doesn't sound like it's separating the hydrogen and oxygen atoms, more extracting dissolved oxygen. Fish do this, so it's within the realms of possibility.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I suppose it would be about oxygen dissolved in water.

    • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:38AM (#45974197)

      Fish don't split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Rather they extract oxygen dissolved in water. However it seems like there are significant theoretical barriers to such a device because humans need a lot of O2 and seawater only has 7ppm. So you'd need to pass 192 litres of water per minute over the gill surface to get 1 litre or oxygen.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_gills_(human) [wikipedia.org]

      As sea water contains 7 ppm oxygen, 1,000,000 kg (1,000 tonnes) of sea water holds 7 kg (1,000 short tons holds 14 lb) of O2, the equivalent of 5,350 litres (1,410 US gal) of oxygen gas at atmospheric pressure.

      An average diver with a fully closed-circuit rebreather needs 1 liter (roughly 1 quart) of oxygen per minute.[8] As a result, at least 192 litres (51 US gal) of sea water per minute would have to be passed through the system, and this system would not work in anoxic water.

      On the other hand

      Another potential source of oxygen generation is plastron respiration.[10] A foam with hydrophobic surfaces immersed in water becomes superhydrophobic, which provides a water-air interface across which oxygen can diffuse into the foam. In nature, this method is used by some aquatic insects (such as water boatman, Notonecta) and spiders (such as Dolomedes triton) to breathe underwater without a gill. This method was experimentally proven by professor Ed Cussler on his dog

      They don't say how big the apparatus was or what the flow rate was. There's an interview with Cussler here.

      http://www.naturesraincoats.com/Experiments_Plastron%20Respiration.html [naturesraincoats.com]

      If you look here it seems like artificial gills do need a high flow rate.

      There's an interesting New Scientist article about artificial gills here

      http://s3.amazonaws.com/lcp/artedi/myfiles/Breathing%20in%20oceans.pdf [amazonaws.com]

      • by EasyTarget (43516) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:15AM (#45974567) Journal

        However it seems like there are significant theoretical barriers to such a device because humans need a lot of O2 and seawater only has 7ppm.

        Indeed; fish deal with this by being low metabolism 'cold blooded' creatures. Humans, on the other hand, are mammals with a much higher metabolic rate and correspondingly higher oxygen use to support that.

        Every time a sci-fi series has added 'gills' to a human to let them swim underwater I have laughed, the traditional make up for this, three flaps on each side of the neck, would not suffice for a fish.. let alone a human.

      • by quetwo (1203948)

        These types of devices have existed in the SCUBA community for quite a while -- they are known as rebreathers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebreather [wikipedia.org] . Usual rebreathers add O2 from an external tank and replenish (as oppose to air/nitrox from a regular scuba tank). This device is supposed to extract o2 from the water using an osmosis type of approach. Should be doable, but I don't know how it could keep up based on the design.

    • by citizenr (871508) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:51AM (#45974243) Homepage

      nothing happens, its NOT a product, its a pretty 3D render and a VC bait,

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Too good to be true.

      So if it actually separates the oxygen what about the hydrogen? That's fuel.

      If this is real it's more than just a breathing device, it's a low cost way to separate water into 2 Hydrogen atoms and 1 Oxygen atom. That is a much more significant breakthrough... then again that's a big IF.

      Evidence please.

      yes because fish always emit bubbles of hydrogen from their gills

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Too good to be true.

      Not at all:

      Using a very small but powerful micro compressor, it compresses oxygen and stores the extracted oxygen in storage tank.
      The micro compressor operates through micro battery.

      No-one said it was a free lunch.

      So if it actually separates the oxygen...

      It doesn't. There's plenty of molecular oxygen dissolved in seawater. The fish know.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Too good to be true.

        Not at all:

        That is to say, there are plenty of reasons why this thing is too good to be true, but GP's complaints are not among them.

      • by necro81 (917438)

        Too good to be true.

        Not at all:

        Using a very small but powerful micro compressor, it compresses oxygen and stores the extracted oxygen in storage tank. The micro compressor operates through micro battery.

        Considering that the "micro compressor" and "micro battery" only exist as nondescript blocks in one CAD rendering, I'd say that it is too good to be true. A "microbattery" not much larger than a CR2032 that's "a next-generation technology with a size 30 times smaller than current battery that can quickly

    • by Immerman (2627577) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:30AM (#45974403)

      As others have said the device appears to be extracting dissolved oxygen, using filters that pass the oxygen but not water, so there wouldn't be much hydrogen present.

      As it happens though I actually built a prototype electrolytic breathing device in middle school. There's no really cheap way to separate water molecules - at 100% efficiency it requires exactly as much energy as you would get from burning the H2 again, anything else would let you build perpetual motion machines. But with enough power something like electrolysis can be used to fragment the molecules, and it's easy enough to capture the gasses separately. The real problem is that pure oxygen is really nasty stuff at the pressures necessary for you to operate your lungs underwater, so you need to mix it with an inert gas to bring the partial pressure down to safe levels. And it would seem to me a filter process would have similar problems, though perhaps it can also extract other dissolved gasses along with the oxygen. If that's the case though it seems like you would want to monitor the gas mixture very carefully - swimming through a particularly oxygen rich or poor region of water could have nasty effects as your breathe-gas ratios change. Especially since we're not wired to be able to detect oxygen deprivation - only CO2 buildup. So long as our lungs can expel CO2 our first warning of oxygen deprivation is impaired cognitive abilities, which can easily pass unnoticed, followed IIRC by, giddiness and extreme judgement impairment, headache, and death. Oxygen toxicity is even more dangerous, it can cause seizures without any prior warning, resulting in near-certain death given the hostile environment.

      You also can't really burn the H2 to recapture any energy, you need oxygen to do that. And you just gave the oxygen to that human you're keeping alive. You could possibly get some reaction going with the waste CO2, but I think there aren't a lot of candidate reactions to actually produce energy, CO2 seems to consistently be one of the end-products of efficient combustion. That leaves any O2 that passed through the diver's lungs unused, which may indeed be more efficient than trying to separate it from the CO2 for re-use, but after factoring in generating electricity from combustion you're talking maybe 30% of whatever percentage of oxygen was left unused, that could easily be such a small percentage of the initial energy that it's not worth considering.

      My own red flag was
      "- The micro battery is a next-generation technology with a size 30 times smaller than current battery that can quickly charge 1,000 times faster.”
      So you're building a life-support device unlike anything seriously attempted before, and you choose to use an unproven next-gen battery system that's dramatically better than anything in use, but not so much dramatically better that hauling around a soda-can sized battery based on tried-and true tech couldn't deliver pretty much the same thing? This thing is, at best, a tech demo. And given the apparent total disregard for oxygen toxicity if it actually exists it's also a death trap.

      • by Firethorn (177587)

        You know, your analysis reminded me - wouldn't this be possibly more suited, at least in initial use, for use on a submarine or underwater structure? I could see it being useful if the overall power demands are less than electrolysis, cheaper, removes need to dispose of relatively large amounts of hydrogen, etc...

        THEN you work on miniaturizing it so it can become the next generation of SCUBA.

    • by DeathToBill (601486) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:33AM (#45974411) Journal

      I make no comment on idiots posting ignorant tosh when they bloody well should know better if they've ever eg. seen a fish and wondered how it breathes.

      But how the fucking hell did this get modded insightful?

      I mean, I could understand interesting. After all, morons can be interesting if their stupidity reaches the right sort of rarefied heights. They become a curiosity and we can peer at them through the bars of the cage and be reassured that, no matter what we've done to the world and each other, nature can still have its way and throw up the sort of laughable dunce who really ought to have entered the Darwin award nominations long ago. We can meditate on the extreme tail of any probability distribution that keeps such a person alive for this long and reflect that life is like a box of chocolates.

      But insightful? I can only suppose that we are meant to learn that no moderation system is perfect and the award of mod points does not automatically bestow wisdom.

    • It doesn't separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. It extracts dissolved oxygen from water.

    • Why is this marked insightful? Mod this down! Fish gills separate oxygen that's been dissolved in water. They do not separate oxygen from the water molecule!
    • by LF11 (18760)

      Haha what are you even talking about? It separates dissolved O2, not chemically bound O2. That is, assuming it works.

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      "So if it actually separates the oxygen what about the hydrogen? That's fuel."

      We'll read about that as soon as 20 users try this out in an indoor pool for the first time.

    • by jafiwam (310805)

      Too good to be true.

      So if it actually separates the oxygen what about the hydrogen? That's fuel.

      If this is real it's more than just a breathing device, it's a low cost way to separate water into 2 Hydrogen atoms and 1 Oxygen atom. That is a much more significant breakthrough... then again that's a big IF.

      Evidence please.

      Not only that, you could burn the oxygen and hydrogen and get pure water AND energy out of it.

      Somehow I think that whatever this thing is doing, it's not doing what they think it is doing.

    • Ok first, its not doing electrolysis, there is oxygen dissolved in sea water, much like C02 is dissolved in a bottle of soda water. fish's gills (and supposedly, this machine) are able to literally filter that oxygen out of the water. they are not breaking down actual water molecule the way electrolysis does. (if there where, I suspect we'd be using fish to power hybrid cars)

      After looking around the internet a bit, it looks like this is more of a design students wet dream project. His website details how
  • oh come on (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lobotomir (882610) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:11AM (#45974079)
    Revolutionary 3D render, more like.
  • Unlikely (Score:5, Informative)

    by ljhiller (40044) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:13AM (#45974089)
    An artificial gill system for a human would have to be huge, and you'd have to move at a pretty good clip, too. There just isn't enough oxygen per cc to keep a human alive. This guy worked some numbers. http://deepseanews.com/2014/01/triton-not-dive-or-dive-not-there-is-no-triton/ [deepseanews.com]
    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Actually his statements suggest that it's quite possible, just not in the form-factor claimed, and not without a rebreather to recycle the inert gasses, because you can't safely breathe pure O2 at underwater pressures. That second one is what kept me from ever actually live-testing middle-school science fair project - I was extracting plenty of O2 via electrolysis, but fortunately one of my contacts in my search for information on prior projects warned me of the dangers before I sent myself into sudden und

  • Pure Oxygen? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Doesn't a pure oxygen supply become toxic if you dive below a certain depth (30 feet if memory serves) that's why most divers use a nitrogen & oxygen mix.
    • by fuzzel (18438)

      Nitrox is used so that you can dive longer....

    • by profplump (309017)

      You need about 0.2 ATM oxygen partial pressure at more or less any altitude. So even at the surface this thing would need other gasses to keep you healthy. If it's got some sort of gas segregation technology it's possible to build a re-breather system that mostly re-uses the non-oxygen, non-CO2 gasses, but that's not a trivial task even if you have a readily available supply of oxygen.

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        And actually most people can even push that number down to around 0.1ATM partial pressure with some acclimation training, with peoplethough that's more applicable to space suits than underwater where you have a certain unavoidable pressure crushing your ribs that must be counteracted by an internal pressure in your lungs if you want to be physically capable of inhaling. Excess oxygen though, not a pretty picture.

        I wonder - it seems to me most rebreather technology is based on removing CO2 from a normal-ish

    • I'm not a diver but don't they use Helium/mix of Helium(?) when diving for certain circumstances also?
      • Yes. When diving very deep you need Tri-Mix which lowers the O2 content down enough, using He, to keep it from causing toxicity problems.
    • Yes, pure oxygen becomes toxic below 6 meters.
    • by sjames (1099)

      Yes. If this device actually existed, you would convulse and die the first time you used it. 30 feet would actually be much too deep for any significant amount of time. In general, more than 1.2 atm O2 is considered dangerous (military goes to 1.4 IIRC). At 33 feet you would be breathing pure O2 at 2 atm.

      Of course since it seems to also claim it has a magic battery and an impossibly small compressor, I'm thinking it's pure pipe dream.

    • by geogob (569250)

      Most divers use compressed air. Nothing else.

      Oxygen becomes quite a problem after 1.6 bar (or 1.6 atm) partial pressure. Exposure to 1.0 bar partial pressure O2 can be tollerated up to 5 hours. With 1.6 bar partial pressure O2 circa 15 min. There are also cumulative exposures limits to be followed. Divers doing deep dives or dives using compressed air with enriched O2 (Nitrox) use tables to find out their exposure limit to oxygen.

      The maximum exposure limit for non-professional divers is commonly given to be

    • Re:Pure Oxygen? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:56AM (#45974273)

      Nitrox is oxygen-enriched for longer dive times - you can breathe less volume, and less nitrogen means you can go a little longer without decompression sickness. It's commonly used by recreational divers.

      You might be confusing it with heliox, which is a bloody-expensive helium-oxygen mix. No nitrogen means no nitrogen narcosis and greatly reduced decompression issues, and a below-atmospheric oxygen concentration solves the oxygen toxicity problem. It's rarely used by recreational divers because it's hard to swim after you've sold an arm and a leg to buy some. Heliox is the domain of deep commercial/industrial divers.

    • by N1AK (864906)
      Not quite. My recollection from my diving course is that 'normal' diving is done with normal air pressurised in the tank. That air will be about 21% oxygen which is fine for the human body, however as the air is pressurised then the amount of air and thus the amount of oxygen you breathe in increases. In theory at 30 metres you're breathing in 4x as much oxygen as at the surface. You're normally fine down at that level but as you get to 40 metres or deeper the amount of oxygen becomes a more immediate issue
    • by tinkerton (199273)

      A system of gills would have to be combined with a closed circuit of air so the nitrogen is recycled, and a filter to absorb carbon dioxide as they do in submarines. One could imagine a submarine station with huge gills to provide air for the occupants. But making it compact enough to carry it around seems like a challenge of another order.

  • by zeigerpuppy (607730) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:18AM (#45974119)
    just in case you were wondering, this is not a real device. Interesting concept but this would need to be considerably more bulky to drive enough water through the filters. About 200litres of water needs to be flowed through the device per minute. For a working prototype for comparison see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D23HLDZvX2w [youtube.com] which works with a compressor. The poster should make it clear that the device mentioned is not an actual device, nor likely to be feasible without a relatively large pump and power supply.
    • by N1AK (864906)
      To be fair even if you only got 50ltr a minute through the device that would considerably decrease the amount of tank air you were using when 30m+ below the surface.
      • No it wouldn't.

        With open-circuit gear this would give you nothing - there's more Oxygen than you need in your breathing mix already, adding yet more would be worthless, if not dangerous (Oxygen is toxic at elevated pp)

        With a rebreather, Oxygen isn't the limiting factor - that's why rebreathers only have small tanks attached (unless they're intended for bailout purposes as well)

        Even if it existed, this device would be worthless at best and lethal at worst.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:21AM (#45974127)

    The scaly texture conceals small holes in the material where water is sucked in.

    Good thing Ocean water is free of any particulate matter that might clog these tiny little holes.

  • Poor English (Score:4, Informative)

    by jklovanc (1603149) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:42AM (#45974215)

    Did anyone notice the poor English throughout the article?

    The micro compressor operates through micro battery.

    try

    The micro compressor operates using a micro battery.

    Nothing goes through the battery.

    The micro battery is a next-generation technology with a size 30 times smaller than current battery that can quickly charge 1,000 times faster.

    try

    The micro battery is a next-generation technology with a size 30 times smaller than current battery and can quickly charge 1,000 times faster.

    The original sounds like the current batter can charge 1,000 times faster.

    I may be jaded but every time I see "Korean scientist" I am skeptical.

    The one killer for the device is that we need to empty and re-fill our lungs to breath. There is no re-breather bag in the device to facilitate that and no way to get a proper air mixture from the device.

    It is a hoax.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scdeimos (632778) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:49AM (#45974235)

    The scaly texture conceals small holes in the material where water is sucked in.

    I think the /. editors have been sucked in.

  • by AC-x (735297) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:05AM (#45974305)

    ... you get to dive for the 10 minutes that the "micro-battery" can provide power?

    Seriously we go through this every time one of these artificial gills is announced, you need too high a flow rate for a battery to realistically be able to provide power for, so you end up with a system that lasts for far less time than a simple air tank could provide.

  • If we are going to have impossible inventions then I want oxy-gum [wikipedia.org]
  • by stray (73778) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:22AM (#45974373) Homepage

    Apart from the fact that the numbers just don't add up and you'd have to flow enormous amounts of seawater through the device, there are a couple of other problems:

    - Breathing pure oxygen is fine at surface pressure, but it quickly becomes toxic when submerged

    - You want the rest of your breathing air (21% oxygen or less, as you descend) to be made up of an inertial gas

    - Lungs need to inhale and exhale to get the gas exchange in the alveoli to work, so you need a full lung volume of gas available at any time, not just the amount of oxygen required to run your body

    - To get rid of CO2, you either have to release gas into the surrounding water, or scrub the CO2 using something such as soda lime

    - Apart from the scrubber, you need to have these additional parts for it all to work:
        1) some kind of counter-lung to allow for breathing movement
        2) some kind of pressurized gas to increase the amount of gas in your lungs/counter-lung to compensate for the compression of it all at depth and to dilute the O2 content of the breathing gas

    So, great idea. You have to lug a full rebreather system with you for it all to work, but luckily you can leave the 2 liter oxygen tank at home and use these fantastic gills instead - until the not-yet-invented next-generation battery powering the extremely powerful "Micro-Compressor" runs out of juice.

    The only way this could work out to be something useful would be to hook up a major blood vessel to the device, allowing for gas exchange O2 CO2 between the water flow and the blood through the device, bypassing the lungs altogether. As an alternative, fill the lungs with a liquid (as in liquid breathing) and do the gas exchange between the breathing liquid and the water. Less messy that surgery.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      >Less messy that surgery.

      Well, at least until the time comes to get that fluid out of your lungs again. I seem to remember that most of the rats demonstrating those liquid breathing systems died afterwards due to complications related to the liquid. It's a promising concept, but for now you'll probably live longer with the surgery.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A battery that is 1000x better than current technology would be even bigger news.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Really? Seems like we've got lots of those - just nothing ready to leave the lab at anything approaching competitive prices and/or reliability. Now a 30x higher energy density battery that's actually reliable enough to power a life support system, and cheap enough to be useful, that *would* be news.

      • by geekmux (1040042)

        Really? Seems like we've got lots of those - just nothing ready to leave the lab at anything approaching competitive prices and/or reliability. Now a 30x higher energy density battery that's actually reliable enough to power a life support system, and cheap enough to be useful, that *would* be news.

        No, not really. Even a crap battery that only lasted 6 hours but yet charged "1,000 times faster" than any battery we have on the market today would find a large demand in portable electronics. Likely a multi-billion dollar demand.

        Believe me, I was more targeted on the battery tech in this article too, since the rest of it was more hype than reality.

  • by warewolfsmith (196722) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:22AM (#45974603)
    Two miniature gas tanks a regulator and a vibrating device would simulate a working third generation underwater breather and would fool a few speculators into handing over the money.
  • Oxygen only? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ehiris (214677) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:44AM (#45974685) Homepage

    Breathing only oxygen is dangerous. Oxygen is toxic at high pressure.

    With the device described here you'd still need a tank with nitrogen or helium and then you're back to having a device similar to a rebreather where you have to carry and mix your own gasses, which is extremely dangerous and even experienced divers get killed by it.

    Now this technology is not completely useless and could enhance a rebreather by allowing more bottom time if it can be used to refill the oxygen tank or something on that line.

  • Art project (Score:4, Informative)

    by Daemonic (575884) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @07:17AM (#45974777)
    Blog-based sources, poor grammar, CG images, and dodgy science apart, one of the sources identifies this as a project from SADI - Samsung Art & Design Institute. http://www.sadi.net/web/eng/home [sadi.net] There's no sign of it (or anything) on their website, but it would make sense.
  • I see a continuous stream of BS stories like this in all the blogrolling sites. /.used to filter some of these out, but no longer.

    We need to stop reporting art projects as if they are real. For the good of humanity!

  • by KDN (3283) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @09:28AM (#45975573)
    Is anyone else suspicious of this announcement? Every article I can find is very vague on exactly how this is supposed to work. The one article I found that has a hint was it mentioning a filter with pores smaller than a water molecule. This infers they are extracting oxygen dissolved in the water. I wonder how much water one would need to pass through. Fish are cold blooded, and therefore have a lower metabolism than mammals. So we would need to filter a lot more water than a typical fish to make this work.

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