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Thread: Wet Sorb?

  1. #1
    RBW Member Agent 47 is on a distinguished road Agent 47 is on a distinguished road Agent 47's Avatar
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    Wet Sorb?

    So what happens (chemically) when sorb gets soaked? in the event of a total flood recovery in which the canister gets flooded and your sorb gets wet, can it be recovered and continue to do its job or does getting wet interupt the chemical reaction and cease its ability to absorb CO2. Efectively turning it into so much wet kitty litter?

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    Re: Wet Sorb?

    No idea on a total flood but a partial, several inches of water in the bottom of a Vision can and a fill of porridge, and the WOB goes up a bit... well a lot.

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    Re: Wet Sorb?

    We were taught on MOD1 that a flooded scrubber will still scrub CO2, shortly before sitting at 4m, taking the loop out of our mouths and flooding the scrubber. As Nigel says, WOB goes up afterwards, and there is a horrible bubbling feeling as you breathe - a bit like smoking one of those Arabic pipes. Still scrubbed CO2 though, we stayed on the loop ages. Obviously you have to change the scrubber after the dive...

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    Re: Wet Sorb?

    This is an interesting question as I've been experimenting recently with the same issue.

    I've noted that the scrubber material is in fact quite damp after a dive and it doesn't seem to affect the performance of the 'sorb as far as I can tell without sophisticated instruments other than my own biology.

    I have on occasion had a few MM of water in the bottom of the scrubber but no noticeable increase of WOB - obviously, the water level has been very low so maybe this is expected.

    Can anyone provide some experiences on semi flooded loops whether in the lab or wild?

    My personal preference is not to go commando on this one ....

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    Re: Wet Sorb?

    Let's see, the only times I've had CO2 hits was when the scrubber bed was real wet, like paste. WOB should be an indicator to get out of dodge. Well then and when experiencing hose collapses, again, WOB and the mad hatter is running across your bow!

    Dale

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    RBW Member DaveP is an unknown quantity at this point DaveP's Avatar
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    Re: Wet Sorb?

    Several years ago I had a flood at 80m on a classic Inspiration caused by the manual O2 add button being ripped off. I stayed vertical and was able do complete the dive on the loop. The lime was very wet and the top scrim filter was just getting damp. WOB was increased but I had no signs of CO2 throughout the deco which was a two hour hang.

  7. #7
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    Re: Wet Sorb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent 47  View Original Post
    So what happens (chemically) when sorb gets soaked? in the event of a total flood recovery in which the canister gets flooded and your sorb gets wet, can it be recovered and continue to do its job or does getting wet interupt the chemical reaction and cease its ability to absorb CO2. Efectively turning it into so much wet kitty litter?
    Chemically?
    Chemically initially nothing happens when the sorb gets wet..
    Actually it needs to get wet to be able to do step 1 of the reaction chain:

    CO2 + H2O => H2CO3
    What follows is:
    H2CO3 + 2 NaOH => Na2CO3 + 2 H2O + heat
    and then
    Ca(OH)2 + Na2CO3 => CaCO3 + 2 NaOH
    So the NaOH and the water are reproduced within the reaction chain in sorb, but as long as there is CO2 the sole chemical reaction should not be influenced by the "overprecence" of water.

    QUestion is more what physically would be happening. As long as CO2 is pushed to areas where there is NaOH (being reproduced anyway) and Ca(OH)2 the scrubbing should not be affected. However I could imagine that due to the physical change of the scrubber due to overpresece of water the gas flow trough the scrubber changes and thus a breakthrough might occour earlier because the gas is more forced to us "particular" chancels through a partly humid and in other areas soaked scrubber..

    Hope this makes sense and hope it helps..

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    Re: Wet Sorb?

    When sorb gets wet the surface area available for the reaction decreases, increasing the likelihood of breakthrough. See an experiment I did in 2004 - the first link at Research etc

    Dave T

  9. #9
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    Re: Wet Sorb?

    I had a serious flood in scapa on my last dive in Nov. The scrubber had water on top of the canister when I opened it. I completed my ascent upright leaning to the left to keep water away from the exh tube, with plenty of dil flushing. The unit became unbreathable and I completed the dive oc.

    The cause turned out to be the mouthpiece became dislodged when I jumped off the boat. really did not notice for a good 30 min when the gurgling started.

    Cheers

    Tony

  10. #10
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    Re: Wet Sorb?

    Quote Originally Posted by toe  View Original Post
    I had a serious flood in scapa on my last dive in Nov.
    C'm on.. Serious? There was only about 1,5 l of nice caustic in that scrubber

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