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Energies 2018, 11(10), 2680; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11102680

Resonant Pulsing Frequency Effect for Much Smaller Bubble Formation with Fluidic Oscillation

1
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield, Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK
2
Perlemax Ltd., Kroto Innovation Centre, 318 Broad Ln, Sheffield S3 7HQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 July 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer)
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Abstract

Microbubbles have several applications in gas-liquid contacting operations. Conventional production of microbubbles is energetically unfavourable since surface energy required to generate the bubbles is inversely proportional to the size of the bubble generated. Fluidic oscillators have demonstrated a size decrease for a system with high throughput and low energetics but the achievable bubble size is limited due to coalescence. The hypothesis of this paper is that this limitation can be overcome by modifying bubble formation dynamics mediated by oscillatory flow. Frequency and amplitude are two easily controlled factors in oscillatory flow. The bubble can be formed at the displacement phase of the frequency cycle if the amplitude is sufficient to detach the bubble. If the frequency is too low, the conventional steady flow detachment mechanism occurs instead; if the frequency is too high, the bubbles coalesce. Our hypothesis proposes the existence of a resonant mode or ‘sweet-spot’ condition, via frequency modulation and increase in amplitude, to reduce coalescence and produce smallest bubble size with no additional energy input. This condition is identified for an exemplar system showing relative size changes, and a bubble size reduction from 650 µm for steady flow, to 120 µm for oscillatory-flow, and 60 µm for resonant condition (volume average) and 250 µm for steady-flow, 15 µm for oscillatory-flow, 7 µm for the resonant condition. A 10-fold reduction in bubble size with minimal increase in associated energetics results in a substantial reduction in energy requirements for all processes involving gas-liquid operations. The reduction in the energetic footprint of this method has widespread ramifications in all gas-liquid contacting operations including but not limited to wastewater aeration, desalination, flotation separation operations, and other operations. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbubbles; fluidics; flow oscillation; oscillators; energetics microbubbles; fluidics; flow oscillation; oscillators; energetics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Desai, P.D.; Hines, M.J.; Riaz, Y.; Zimmerman, W.B. Resonant Pulsing Frequency Effect for Much Smaller Bubble Formation with Fluidic Oscillation. Energies 2018, 11, 2680.

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