Breathe Like a Fish... Jun 8, 2005 0:13:10 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jun 8, 2005 0:13:10 GMT -6
Invention Allows Humans to Breathe Like Fish
I didn't know where to put this, but since it pertains to the Earth's waters, I put it here.
Alan Izhar-Bodner, an Israeli inventor, has developed a way for divers to breathe underwater without cumbersome oxygen tanks. His apparatus makes use of the air that is dissolved in water, just like fish do.
The system uses the "Henry Law" which states that the amount of gas that can be dissolved in a liquid is proportional to the pressure on the liquid. Raise the pressure - more gas can be dissolved in the liquid. Decrease the pressure - gas dissolved in the liquid releases the gas. This is exactly what happens when you open a can of soda; carbon dioxide gas is dissolved in the liquid and is under pressure in the can. Open the can, releasing the pressure, and the gas fizzes out.
Bodner's system apparently uses a centrifuge to lower pressure in part of a small amount of seawater taken into the system; dissolved gas is extracted. The patent abstract reads:
A self-contained open-circuit breathing apparatus for use within a body of water naturally containing dissolved air. The apparatus is adapted to provide breathable air. The apparatus comprises an inlet means for extracting a quantity of water from the body of water. It further comprises a separator for separating the dissolved air from the quantity of water, thereby obtaining the breathable air. The apparatus further comprises a first outlet means for expelling the separated water back into the body of water, and a second outlet means for removing the breathable air and supplying it for breathing. The air is supplied so as to enable it to be expelled back into the body of water after it has been breathed.
Human beings have been thinking about how to breathe underwater since they started swimming. This long-held desire plays an important part in one of the first great science fiction novels, Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
It consists of a reservoir of thick iron plates, in which I store the air under a pressure of fifty atmospheres. This reservoir is fixed on the back by means of braces, like a soldier's knapsack.
More here with images from Live Science: www.livescience.com/scienceoffiction/050606_breathe_underwater.html
An interesting concept...and I like Verne...