Method and apparatus for supplying a pressurized diver's breathing gas for underwater divers

  • US 5,865,877 A
  • Filed: 03/17/1997
  • Issued: 02/02/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 08/22/1995
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A process for supplying enhanced oxygen air for use by divers as a life support system comprising the steps of:

  • (a) providing a supply of pressurized feed air;

    (b) reducing the pressure of said pressurized feed air, with cooling, to 50-400 p.s.i.g.;

    (c) modifying the temperature of the reduced pressure feed air to a preselected value resulting in temperature modified, reduced pressure feed air;

    (d) separating nitrogen from said temperature modified, reduced pressure feed air by a permeable membrane gas separation system using a bundle of hollow fibers resulting in enhanced oxygen air;

    (e) discharging the nitrogen from the separation system;

    (f) discharging the enhanced oxygen air from the separation system;

    (g) controlling the oxygen content of the discharged enhanced oxygen air by varying the flow rate of the nitrogen discharge;

    (h) compressing the discharged enhanced oxygen air to a preselected pressure; and

    (i) storing the compressed enhanced oxygen air as breathable air useable underwater.

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