The perfluorocarbon | The "breathable" liquid where nobody drowns

Who has not swallowed water Once when I was little I was learning to swim? People are not prepared to breathe in this medium. Our lungs fill with water and we simply suffocate, being able to lose our lives in a truly horrible way. But, what if we told you that there is a liquid where no one can drown? "Impossible!" -Some will say-. So that's it, It is the perfluorocarbon.

Without doubt, "perfluorocarbon" is a complex name, but although it is difficult to pronounce, do not judge it too severely because this liquid opens up a whole field of possibilities for science and medicine, which you will love discovering with us. Will you accompany us to explore the possibilities of this incredible compound?

Perfluorocarbon, the breathable fluid

As you already know, human beings, like many other animals, are incapable of breathe in liquid media. We can not get oxygen from that water that quickly enters our lungs. We are not prepared for it as a species, unlike all those wonderful sea creatures that inhabit our rivers and oceans.


Now, the scientists ended up discovering a liquid compound that has the capacity to be breathable, as if it were oxygen itself: is the perfluorocarbon . Below we show you the formula, which without a doubt, will be easily decipherable for all physicists and chemists. But to put it as simply as possible, perfluorocarbon is a compound derived from a hydrocarbon in which, hydrogen is replaced by fluorine atoms .

Perfluorocarbon 1

Perfluorocarbon Formula
But, at what moment did man give with this formula, with this fabulous discovery? It was synthesized for the first time in the 20s. It is said that the discovery was casual, that a rat fell into a bucket where this liquid was, and that the scientist was surprised to see that the animal could breathe. Although for many, this story is just a legend. Subsequently, the perfluorocarbon was developed during the Second World War and applied in some other field experimentally.
It is a product with great chemical stability, capable of absorbing gases. Something of these characteristics makes it stand out as a magnificent resource for refrigeration appliances, waterproofing, containers for microwaves, and above all, for medicine.

The perfluorocarbon, the "breathable" liquid where nobody drowns

Perfluorocarbide has been used since the 1960s to treat problems in the lungs , for the eye surgery and even to replace the amniotic fluid in fetuses that, being inside the placenta , they have some problem in their development. Amazing, there is no doubt. And what is clear is that its progress has only just begun, who knows what applications this compound will bring us in the not too distant future.
Science fiction? No, it is simply amazing reality.

The perfluorocarbon, the "breathable" liquid where no one drowns 2

You may remember the movie of "The Abyss" , of the year 1989, starring Ed Harris. In it, we see for the first time how a rat is submerged in this compound based on perfluorocarbon and how it manages to breathe. It was one of the most famous moments of this production and we invite you to see below. And do not worry the rat did not suffer any damage.

Perfluorocarbon and scuba diving, the future?

As in the film we talked about earlier, the idea of ​​breathing liquids such as perfluorocarbon is being studied to apply it to divers, especially those who are going to dive deep.

The idea is that instead of breathing gases, divers would breathe this perfluorocarbon. In this way, as there are no gases in this state involved, there would be no danger of suffering decompression syndrome.

Perfluorocarbon, Ed Harris, The Abyss

Ed Harris in "The Abyss" (1989)

It is estimated that thanks to breathe perfluorocarbon, a diver could swim to a depth of more than 900 meters, about 914, without fear of suffering the effects of a bad decompression. So, in addition to avoiding danger, we would reach points that no one has been able to explore directly, if we take into account that with a specialized saturation diving suit the deepest that has been reached is 701 meters below the surface and with a diving equipment. , about 318 meters.

And how much time could this diver breathe? The experiments carried out in the 1960s revealed that the rats could remain up to 20 hours breathing it without suffering negative consequences.

At the moment, this liquid continues to be investigated and seems promising. He has even considered the possibility of using it in space missions.

What do you think? Do you think that someday we will be able to submerge to kilometers of depth, enfundados in robust robes of diver, breathing liquid? What could we discover in the depths of the ocean, for example in places as inaccessible as the bottom of the ocean? Mariana Trench ? Undoubtedly, not only in this aspect is the perfluorocarbon interesting, also in the field of medicine it could help many people to fight different disorders and health problems, from those related to sight to the respiratory system.

Image: big.shot , Ian Iott

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