Skip to main content

Dräger explores new depths with Drägersorb

Published by
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Blyth-Dräger Marine & Offshore, part of the Dräger Group, is among the leading providers of safety solutions in the oil and gas industry with its Drägersorb product used by saturation divers.

With safety one of the top priorities for the Health and Safety Executive’s Offshore Division, and with manned diving an essential part of operations in the oil and gas industry, Dräger is passionate about protecting lives.

On offshore oil and gas assets it is critical that divers are equipped with the best safety solutions to enable them to remain submerged in really deep water for long periods of time.

Drägersorb (soda lime) gives offshore divers a lifeline after they have carried out challenging underwater inspections and maintenance work on installations in the field.

Trips up and down from great depths risk causing ‘the bends’. Rising demand for deepwater operations up to 300 MSW calls for up to 28 days inside a decompression chamber system onboard a Dive Support Vessel (DSV).

Onboard every DSV as part of the saturation diving system (SAT) are life support systems with an Environmental Control Unit (ECU), which contains Drägersorb-ECU (soda lime). An average ECU will contain around 20 – 30 kg soda lime, which needs to be changed on a regular basis during diving operations. Depending on the SAT system used it will contain different numbers of ECU units.

The importance of soda lime

Divers’ lives depend on these tiny white granules, which absorb carbon dioxide while the diver waits in a decompression chamber for his/her body to readjust to surface air pressure. Exhaled air contains around 4% carbon dioxide and the soda lime removes this, so that the remaining air – enriched with oxygen – can be fed back into the breathing circuit. On average, 1 kg gram of soda lime can absorb up to 120 litres of carbon dioxide.

Onboard gas detection system

An integrated gas detection system on board the DSV is able to pick up when the Drägersorb is low and needs to be replaced. It can be refreshed by the onboard technician who looks after the diving team.

Frank Pietrowski, Business Development Manager for Dräger, says it’s interesting to see that performance tests from established users have found Drägersorb to be approximately 20% better than other similar products.

Drägersorb is manufactured 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at Dräger’s Lübeck plant in Germany.

Mr Pietrowski added that Dräger’s innovation in its soda lime has helped to improve safety critical markets such as in self-contained rebreathing equipment used in mining, and also within anaesthesia applications used in hospitals.

Drägersorb is already supplied to offshore vessels across different North Sea locations, from the UK to Norway, Netherlands and Denmark, as well as worldwide, wherever supply is required.

There are flexible price options available, dependent on demand, location and quantities. And contracts enabling call-off in line with customer requirements enable flexibility.

As the decommissioning process picks up in the UKCS, it suggests a growing market for the product, to meet a rising demand in manned diving operations.

Edited from source by Elizabeth Corner

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):