More efficient than an oxygen tank

By | March 25, 2015

These new cobalt-based oxygen binding crystals look very promising – at the fraction of the size and weight of an oxygen tank, they can bind more oxygen than an oxygen tank and release it as required. And not just once, but repeatedly. This is excellent news for many applications – I can imagine applications not just for diving and submarines but also in space exploration, firefighting, respiritory ailments, and flight safety.

/via +Darin R. McClure

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15 thoughts on “More efficient than an oxygen tank

  1. Sophie Wrobel

    +Per Siden​ it could – it does have potential. I think the biggest challenges are regulating the oxygen flow (both binding and release) and figuring out what to do with CO2.

  2. Per Siden

    +Sophie Wrobel but one of the (last stage) treatments of COPD is oxygen. To some extent it does help.

    Maybe it can be used to develop a wearable device for oxygenating the blood. Of course CO2 have to be solved as well, but perhaps this technology can help by solving half the problem?

  3. Sophie Wrobel

    +Per Siden​​​ That was one of my first thoughts too – the thing with respiratory ailments is, it depends on what is malfunctioning. Incapacity of the diaphram (common in premature babies, after some accidents) could possibly be assisted, for example – most probably in the accident case as usually with babies doctors want to train their muscles so the baby can go home healthy and not just supply them with oxygen. On the other hand, damaged alveoli (black lung and other scar-related syndroms which smokers typically have) would not be helped at all, because the co2/o2 exchange can't take place in the first place, making oxygen supply a secondary issue.

  4. Per Siden

    Wouldn't treating the symptoms of COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) be a possibility? All heart and lung diseases combined is the no. one reason for death, lung cancer included. But COPD alone is the second! Virtually every smoker gets it over time, it's just a matter of to what extent.

    COPD is not even a disease, it is classified as a self-inflicted symptom, and despite how common it is and it's grave consequences, it goes under the radar, both generally and in research and treatment. It would be wonderful news if there was a way to ease the pain and prolong the life of everyone that suffers from COPD today. And all the smokers out there that will.

  5. Stephen Baird

    +Hartmut Noack​ The breathing reflex is based on the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood. As long as that stays down, even if blood oxygen levels drop, you won't feel an automatic urge to breathe.

  6. Sophie Wrobel

    From what I gather the cobalt-oxygen-sponge does not release multitudes of pure oxygen at once, but rather in moderated amounts. That would make it work somewhat like a rebreather – exhaled air mixture plus oxygen enrichment. Or, if these grains are fully charged and embedded into the lungs, not 'breathing' at all – one big breath and you can stay underwater for quite a prolongued time without needing another breath!

    What I don't know about embedding, however: if we embed these grains into the respiratory tract, would they suck the oxygen out of the lungs before your body can until the grains are fully charged?

  7. Hartmut Noack

    +Víktor Bautista i Roca
    For me the problem seems to be the mechanism of breathing: it is optimized and accustomed to air: nitrogen plus oxygen in a certain range of pressure. But diving-equipment uses other gas-mixtures for a long time now and in the end it all boils down to oxygen. So a system, that simply recycles a single lung-volume by adding new oxygen in every cycle would be perfectly feasible. The other gases in the mix do not need to be nitrogen. Helium is usable too and any other non-poisonous gas.


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