Stability of nanobubbles in different salts solutions

Shaini Aluthgun Hewage, Jitendra Kewalramani, Jay N. Meegoda

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The stability of nanobubbles in electrolyte solutions under different ion valence values was studied using deionized water, NaCl, Na2SO4, Na3PO4, CaCl2, and FeCl3. Nanobubbles were generated using hydrodynamic cavitation, and bubbles were tested for size and zeta potential. All the samples were stable for one week with no significant deviation in either bubble size or zeta potential values. The variation of size and zeta potential among six samples can be attributed to the solution properties and was mainly dependent on solution pH and the cation valency. The ion profiles revealed that the cation concentration at the bubble surface was higher than that of bulk, confirming that the bubbles were negatively charged for neutral and high pH values (≥4) under low valency cation adsorption. The high valency cations have the potential to neutralize or completely reverse the bubble charge. Anions or co-ions have minimal effect on the surface potential or the surface charge. The calculated internal pressures of bubble were unrealistically high, suggesting that the surface tension should be lower than that of water for nanobubble solutions. The interaction energy profile shows no significant energy barrier that overcomes the attractive van der Waals forces for all the solutions, except NaCl which had a 1.87 × 10−20 J barrier at a 5 nm separation distance. However, with the recorded stable bubbles, the calculation of the attractive van der Waals forces produced unrealistic values indicating that the Hamaker constant used for the calculation may not be valid at the nanobubble gas-liquid interface. This revealed that nanobubbles should contain exceptional interfacial properties that need to be carefully investigated and evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125669
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
StatePublished - Jan 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


  • Diffused double layer
  • Nanobubbles
  • Salts solutions
  • Stability
  • Zeta potential


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