Nanobubbles produced by nanopores to probe gas-liquid mass transfer characteristics

Harsh Sharma, Neelkanth Nirmalkar, Wen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypothesis: This study tested the hypothesis of how the nanopore size of membranes and how the surface charge of nanobubbles responds to its pinch-off from the nanopore. This study also tested the hypothesis that nanobubbles that remain in solution after production may increase the dissolved oxygen content in water. Experiments: The effect of membrane pore size, hydrodynamic conditions (gas and liquid flow rates), and physicochemical parameters (pH and temperature) on volumetric mass transfer coefficient (kLa) for oxygen nanobubbles formed by the nanopore diffusion technique was investigated. This study experimentally determined the kLa by carefully removing the dissolved oxygen by nitrogen purging from nanobubble suspension to examine the sole contribution of nanobubble dissolution in water to the reaeration. Results: Scaling estimates indicate that the nanobubble pinch-off radius and nanopore radius have a power-law correlation and that nanobubble size declines with the nanopore size. This is in line with our experimental results. The surface charge of nanobubbles delays its pinch-off at the gas-liquid interface. Nanobubbles offered 3-4 times higher kLa than microbubbles. Standard oxygen transfer efficiency in water was found to be 78%, significantly higher than that in microbubbles. However, dissolving stable nanobubbles in water does not considerably increase dissolved oxygen levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-285
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
StatePublished - Jul 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


  • Aeration
  • Nanobubble
  • Nanopore diffusion technique
  • Oxygen transfer efficiency
  • Volumetric mass transfer coefficient


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