Discrete Electrolytes Research

Liquid ionics beyond Poisson-Boltzmann

Research - Bulk nanobubbles

Bulk nanobubbles form as stable colloids in supersaturated solutions.

Supersaturating water with dissolved gases leads to a stable colloidal dispersion of nanoscopic bubbles. These bubbles have surface charge, whose sign and magnitude depend on the type and concentration of salt in solution (in fact current belief is that it depends strictly on the ion partitioning at the gas/liquid interface). This allows the bubbles to be manipulated with electric fields.

We are primarily interested in bulk nanobubbles for their valorisation potential. We find that they act similar to larger bubbles in froth flotation, but with particle interaction coming through nucleation rather than collision. The range of applications for bulk nanobubbles appears to be vast and we are currently investigating them as surface modifiers.

Who: James, Minmin Zhang

Collaborators: Vince Craig, William Ducker, Detlef Lohse, Joost Weijs

Sponsors: FOM, Tennant, Revalesio.


M. Zhang & J. R. T. Seddon
"Nanobubble–nanoparticle interactions in bulk solutions"
Langmuir 32, 11280 (2016)

J. H. Weijs, J. R. T. Seddon, & D. Lohse
"Diffusive shielding stabilizes bulk nanobubble clusters"
ChemPhysChem 13, 2197 (2012)

J.R.T. Seddon, D. Lohse, W.A. Ducker, & V.S.J. Craig
"A deliberation on nanobubbles at surfaces and in bulk"
ChemPhysChem 13, 2179 (2012)