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filling gas to diving tank
- Jun 21, 2017 -

The compressed air filling the SCUBA dive tank is like the air in the atmosphere which is composed of 78 % N2 and 20% O2, as well as a little mixture of trace gases.

 

Generally, compressed air is proper for breathing, but the high nitrogen content is a puzzle for deep dives, long dives, repeated dives or some combination of the three. Under high pressure, the body absorbs more N2 gas than it would under normal circumstances. If there is too much N2 gas in the body and the water pressure is suddenly reduced, as happens in rapid ascents to the surface, the N2 gas fizzes in the bloodstream much as CO2 bubbles out of a soft drink. It will cause the cause of decompression sickness, which can cause injury or even death.

 

Another problem with N2 gas is familiar to anyone who has had N2O at the dentist: nitrogen narcosis. Too much nitrogen in the brain has a narcotic effect, impairing sense perceptions and judgment. Because of the twin dangers of decompression sickness and nitrogen narcosis, divers who dive deep, stay underwater for long periods or make multiple dives in a day often use a gas mixture with less N2 gas.

 

Nitrox (or oxygen-enriched gas), is designed to overcome this puzzle for long-duration and repeat divers.

 

This gas mix increases the amount of O2 in the tank to 32% to 36%, with a corresponding decrease in the amount of nitrogen.