LUK Technical Diving

Nitrox

Diving on Nitrox used to be very “technical” not so long ago. Now days nitrox is available in almost every dive centre around the world, and scuba diving agencies offer nitrox as speciality course to any certified open water scuba diver.

But why Nitrox?

Diving on nitrox gives us opportunity to stay longer at depth compering to diving on air. Nitrox extends our bottom time by extending our non-decompression limits. Also, your surface intervals, time between two dives, will be much shorter as we have less nitrogen saturated in our body, so our recovery will be much quicker.

What is Nitrox?

Air in the earth’s atmosphere contains 21% oxygen and 79% of nitrogen. There are other gasses present in the atmosphere so those percentages will change a little, but other gasses are in such a minority that we can comfortably round the numbers.

Nitrox is considered to be any mix of oxygen and nitrogen with percentage of oxygen higher than the one found in air. So higher than 21 %.

As we increase oxygen in our mix, we automatically reduce percentage of nitrogen. So, nitrox 32 for example will contain 32 % of oxygen and 68 % of nitrogen.

That reduced amount of nitrogen will extend our non-decompression limits for considerable amount.

For example:

As you can see differences in non-decompression limits between diving on air and diving on nitrox 32 are almost doubled. In which case you will probably consume your entire tank before reaching non-decompression limits.

But diving on nitrox brings some risks, and there are certain things a scuba diver should know before starts diving on nitrox, that is why you need special training before you venture into the world of Nitrox.