An artificial gill has been developed that transfers oxygen from water to air, using oxo-molybdenum(IV)5,10,15,20-tetramesitylporphyrin (Mo IVO(tmp)) dissolved in o-xylene as an oxygen carrier solution and the energy of visible light. The oxygen partial pressure in the oxygen carrier solution is changed by photo-irradiation to enhance both the oxygen uptake from water and the oxygen release to air. The ratio of the oxygen mass transfer coefficient of the oxygen carrier solution to that of water is 0.746 for oxygen uptake and 0.654 for oxygen release. In designing a large-scale artificial gill for supplying oxygen to a closed space underwater such as submerged vessel, the required membrane surface area, the seawater flow rate and the reservoir tank volume were 123 m2, 0.00533 m3 s-1, and 5.06 m3, respectively. These values increased as the oxygen partial pressure of seawater decreased. However, the high partial pressure of oxygen required for human respiration (20.0 kPa) can be provided in a closed space even from seawater with an oxygen partial pressure as low as 10.0 kPa. This newly developed artificial gill may be useful for deep sea activities, such as underwater exploration, marine research and underwater habitation.
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