Nanobubbles as the name implies are extremely small gas bubbles in liquid – so small in fact that millions of nanobubbles can fit inside a one micron (micro) bubble! Nanobubbles have several unique physical properties that make them very different from a normal bubble. Most notable of which is their long stable life span in liquid due to their very low buoyancy and negatively charged surface (zeta potential).
83 nm Nanobubbles filmed with a Nanosight
The concept of nanobubbles is not new. The application and utilization of nanobubbles in various industries is vast and proven to be highly beneficial. Years of studies have already documented their physical attributes and effects in a broad range of applications. Citing some of these physical attributes of nanobubbles are:
- Neutral Buoyancy
A singular nanobubble has little to no buoyancy. Rather than rising vertically they can remain suspended in liquid for months at a time.
- High Internal Gas Pressure
The smaller the bubble size, the higher the internal pressure and better the gas to liquid transfer rates are. Nanobubbles increase the PO2 values in water to greater extent than that of microbubbles.
- Decrease Frictional Drag
The presence of nanobubbles in fluids have shown to decrease friction and drag
- Large Interfacial Surface Area
With a decreasing bubble diameter, the surface area increases and contributes to the gas dissolution fraction.
- Increased Gas Dissolution Rates
The smaller the bubble size, the faster the gas dissolution rate is
- Formation of Free Radicals
As the zeta potential of a bubble increases the ion concentrations around the nanobubbles increase, causing excess ions to be formed and the creation free radicals.
- Bioactivity Effects
Nanobubbles have been shown to enhance the growth rates of mammals, fish, crustaceans and mollusks via the promotion of blood flow and the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).
- Alteration of Liquid Viscosity
The presence of nanobubbles in water decreases the viscosity and surface tension of the fluid due to a cluster cleavage of the hydrogen bonds among the water molecules and ionization of any chemicals in the water.
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