Living in an underwater habitat requires gas treatment; an input of oxygen, the disposal of carbon dioxide and pollutants, and one kind of ‘carrier’ or inert gas (nitrogen or helium). Industrial divers live in a pressure complex on a support vessel and all air treating is done outside the habitat on the vessel. It seems there are not too many references of air being treated inside an underwater habitat. If we are mistaken do not hesitate to comment this article accordingly.
(Updated 04 April, 2017) In our undersea station one of the ways to absorb Carbon dioxide from the air and to produce oxygen instead might be beside classic scrubbers the Biocoil reactor that was first introduced by a science class of Cascade High School in the US. It looks like a quiet simple system based on Chlorella algae and it was used in Lloyd Godson’s ‘BioSub’ project in 2007.
The Biocoil and BioSUB Projects on ABC’s Behind The News (BTN):
Back in the late ‘80s, NASA was looking for ways to detoxify the air in its space stations. So it conducted a study to determine the most effective plants for filtering the air of toxic agents and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen.See more on GOOD Magazine. Or the corresponding pdf’s:
- ntrs.nasa.gov: Plants Clean Air and Water for Indoor Environments
- ntrs.nasa.gov: Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement
Image: Osmunda Regalis, taken from Wikimedia, Christian Fischer [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
Longer stays in an underwater station require systems to filter out Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from the air that is exhaled by the aquanauts. These CO2 scrubbers generally consist of a fan that pulls air through a canister filled with Carbon Dioxide (CO2) adsorbent, such as Sodasorb or Sodalime. To get a rough idea about CO2 scrubbers and their prices visit the webpage of AMRON International.