007 James Bond dives into the waters but doesn’t surface for a long time. He doesn’t have a scuba unit on him. So how he can do this?
In Thunderball and Die Another Day movies, James Bond uses a great gadget! A small rebreather that can extract oxygen dissolved in the water.
You can also see such a rebreather in Star Wars!
But is it possible to breath from such a small device underwater in today’s technology?
A Korean student, Jeabyun Yeon, has designed such a device. It is called a “Triton Oxygen Mask.”
Although it is not a “mask,” Triton is told to be a revolutionary gadget that will let people discover the underwater life without even using a scuba tank and a regulator.
Idea behind the Triton Oxygen Mask (I will call Triton Rebreather) is simple.
It acts like an artificial gill. On these “gills,” there are holes smaller than water molecules that help the oxygen molecules to enter the system.
A very small compressor is used to compress the oxygen collected and stores it in a tank.
This micro compressor is energized by a micro battery.
Can Triton Rebreather Really Work?
This is the point. Triton is a good design that gives hope to everyone who is dreaming to dive without any other equipment needed.
On deepseanews.com, Dr. Alistair Dove wrote a great article about the feasibility of Triton rebreather.
According to Dr. Alistair Dove, humans breath 500 mls of air when inhaled.
As we know, oxygen is the 21% of the air we breath. When we exhale, 16% of this oxygen is gone. So, we only consume 5% of the oxygen when we breath.
Avogadro’s Law tells us that one mole of any gas is 22.4 liters.
If 22.4 liters is one mole, 0.025 liters is 0.00111 moles. So in every breath, we take 0.00111 moles of oxygen.
One mole is oxygen (o2) weighs 32 grams.
So, 0.00111 * 32 makes 0.03552 grams of oxygen. Simply, it is 35.52 milligrams.
Even a high oxygenated ocean surface can have 6 milligrams of oxygen per liter.
Which means that;
Triton rebreather should be filtering 35.52/6=5.92 liters of water.
An average person breaths 15 times per minute while resting.
5.92*15=88.8 liters per minute.
For filtering 88.8 liters per minute and let you breath enough oxygen even in a rest mode, Triton needs a 1/4 horse power pump.
Without having such a pump, Triton breather will only work if you swim so fast.
However, if you swim too fast to be able to gain oxygen that will be enough for you for 15 breaths per minute, you’ll be breathing more than 15 times per minute because you’ll move so fast and your breath rate will increase.
You can read Dr. Alistair Dove’s article here.
Triton rebreather seems to be a great design and a very cool idea.
In fact, Jeabyun Yeon is a designer, not an engineer who is working on underwater gadgets.
Although Triton rebreather is told to be a unique device, it is still impossible for us to use it in our dives.
So for now, Triton rebreather (Triton Oxygen Mask for Diving) is just at its project phase.
Hope to see it working one day.
That would be great, wouldn’t it?