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Revolutionary Scuba Mask Creates Breathable Oxygen Underwater On Its Own 375

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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  • Unlikely (Score:5, Informative)

    by ljhiller ( 40044 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:13AM (#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. []
  • by AvitarX ( 172628 ) <me.brandywinehundred@org> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:17AM (#45974103) Journal

    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 zeigerpuppy ( 607730 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:18AM (#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: [] 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.
  • Re:Nitrogen (Score:4, Informative)

    by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:31AM (#45974177) Journal

    Perhaps you should read the linked arrticle instead of making a fool of yourself.
    Water is H2O ... sea water is H2O + dissolved gases.
    An artificial gill is used to fetch those gases out of the water.
    So: it has nothing to do with your H2O - nitrogen equation.
    The question if those "dissolved gases" are similar to air, or if it is indeed relatively pure oxigen and your concern applies, is still open.
    Some people here already posted that this is only a concept and the gill is to small to support the needs of a human ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:32AM (#45974183)

    As long as you do not take the Nitrogen and other stuff into your blood system, whatever you take in, you breath out and it keeps in balance. You "just" need to take out CO2 and take in O2.
    That is why submarine tanks have O2 and not "air".
    I expected better from slashdotters

  • by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:38AM (#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. []

    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. []

    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 []

  • Poor English (Score:4, Informative)

    by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:42AM (#45974215)

    Did anyone notice the poor English throughout the article?

    The micro compressor operates through micro battery.


    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.


    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.

  • Re:Poor English (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:55AM (#45974271)

    The original sounds like the current batter

    The current batter?

    The one killer for the device is that we need to empty and re-fill our lungs to breath.

    To breath?

    Now what were you saying about poor English?

  • Re:Nitrogen (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:06AM (#45974309)

    Seriously, this is a hoax. It's purely a design concept. Pure oxygen at dive pressures can kill. And there is no guarantee that dissolved gases will NOT be pure oxygen. Or you might be in an oxygen depleted area.

    Read the comments on the design website by real divers concerning partial pressure, etc.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:19AM (#45974363) Homepage

    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.

  • by stray ( 73778 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:22AM (#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 DeathToBill ( 601486 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:35AM (#45974417) Journal

    I suppose it just goes to show that there really ought to be a "-1 Fucking Retard" moderation option.

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:50AM (#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.

  • Art project (Score:4, Informative)

    by Daemonic ( 575884 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:17AM (#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. [] There's no sign of it (or anything) on their website, but it would make sense.
  • Re:Art project (Score:3, Informative)

    by Daemonic ( 575884 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:23AM (#45974803)
    Found it. []
  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @09:38AM (#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 RenderSeven ( 938535 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @09:57AM (#45975317)
    90 liters of water per minute, at 100% efficiency, at the surface where oxygen is most abundant. So, at 50% efficiency, at 30 feet, yes probably 400 lpm. Minimum 1/4 HP pump and probably more like 4 HP just to handle O2 extraction. From a battery about the size of your cell phone battery? But thats just one of a hundred things wrong with the idea. Its complete BS.
  • by kabaju42 ( 959652 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @11:01AM (#45975881)
    Sure there's video. Haven't you seen Star Wars: The Phantom Menace? The device is the same thing Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan used to get to the underwater city. So it must be real.
  • It's a hoax (Score:5, Informative)

    by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @11:13AM (#45975999)

    Here's a nice analysis: []

    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.

  • Yup.

    Just looking at the design, other than saying "micro" a few times like waving a magic unobtanium wand, they made the impossible into a photoshopped picture.

    It's a neat idea, and does have some scientific basis, but it leaves an awful lot to the imagination of the person who made the photos. I guess that's the fun of concept science. Maybe someday someone will make it real.

    I did a little searching, and found "Like-A-Fish", which does appear to have something. The wiki page has more details. It requires a 1Kg battery, which lasts for one hour. [] []

    So, the whole thing is made from unobtanium and unicorn farts.

  • Re:It's a hoax (Score:4, Informative)

    by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @07:16PM (#45980775)

    0) they are transferring the O2 fluid to fluid not fluid to gas which requires more energy to dedolvate it
    1) they are selectively filtering for 02 using very advanced filters, so they don't have to pay the price of desolvating all the useless N2 as well
    2) their filters can be powered (not just holes but can be chemically driven with active energy input) so they can use a smaller surface area to get more O2.
    3) cold blooded
    4) no brains to speak of (those mothers guzzle oxygen)
    5) extremely efficient forward motion means that when they move they filter lots of water. when they are still they don't use much energy (they don't even have to support themselves against gravity)

In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur