The global specialty gases market is forecast to surpass $14 billion by 2026. This is because specialty and natural gas mixes are being more widely used in a number of industries. Scuba diving, for example, is just one activity that requires specific natural gas mixes in order to be carried out safely and properly. Here are just a few of the most common natural gas blends used in the scuba diving process.
The specialty gas market is categorized into two types: pure gases and gas mixtures. Cheaper than helium, hydrogen is also more abundant, making it an ideal alternative to other mixtures. Hydrogen also has very few toxicity issues, if any, and it’s versatile as well. It can be used at all depths during the scuba diving process. Its biggest risk, however, lies within the fact that it’s highly flammable. Hydrox is still somewhat new to the activity and it’s typically used for commercial diving purposes.
Trimix and Heliox
Technavio’s market research analyst predicts that the global specialty gases market will grow at a CAGR of more than 6% between 2017 and 2021. Trimix is essentially oxygen and nitrogen that have been partially replaced with helium, allowing divers to dive deeper than they could with other mixtures such as Nitrox, which we’ll discuss below. Heliox can have the same amount of oxygen as the air we breathe, although it usually has less. There’s no risk of oxygen toxicity with this mixture, but Heliox does require a second tank of Nitrox or air for the shallower diving areas.
Finally, Nitrox blends are best used for shallower dives where the diver will be diving for a longer period of time. While regular air consists of three-quarters nitrogen and less than one-quarter oxygen, Nitrox consists of a higher volume of oxygen — between 32% and 40%. If not used correctly, Nitrox has a low risk of oxygen toxicity, so use this blend carefully.
A report done by Grand View Research predicts that cost reduction, yield improvement and performance optimization are projected to drive the global specialty gas market over a six-year timespan (2014 to 2020). Knowing the difference between these blends can help you determine the best gases and specialty gas suppliers for your needs. For more information about natural gas mixes, contact Mesa Gas.