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Aerator design for microbubble generation

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-04-25, 13:32 authored by James Hanotu, Hemaka BandulasenaHemaka Bandulasena, William B. Zimmerman
Fine bubbles are a key component in improving the performance of gas-liquid reactors, particularly in situations where reactions are mass transfer limited. Many aerator types exist for different reactor applications; however conventional aerators are mostly suited to coarse bubble generation. A new aerator suitable for microbubble generation by fluidic oscillation has been designed and tested with the view of getting a uniform bubble distribution across the aerator. Microbubbles generated from various membrane pore sizes and oscillation frequencies were characterized for this aerator to determine the optimum operating parameters. It was evident that the introduction of a flow distributor plate to the plenum chamber improved gas distribution from the inlet to the porous membrane leading to uniform bubble generation across the entire aerator The resultant average bubble size from this new design under oscillatory flow was found to be approximately 2-3 times the membrane pore size. This outcome has a great potential to promote the efficiency of multiphase reactors where mass transfer plays a key role.


WZ would like to acknowledge support from the Concept Fund of Yorkshire Forward and the EPSRC (grant no. EP/I019790/1) and K/001329/1. WZ would like to acknowledge the Royal Society for a Brian Mercer Innovation award and the Royal Academy of Engineering for an industrial secondment with AECOM Design Build. JOH would like to thank the University of Sheffield for a doctoral scholarship and the EPSRC Equipment Loan Pool for loan of equipment for research.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

Chemical Engineering Research and Design


HANOTU, J., BANDULASENA, H.C.H. and ZIMMERMAN, W.B., 2017. Aerator Design for Microbubble Generation. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 123, pp. 367-376.


© Elsevier


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This paper was published in the journal Chemical Engineering Research and Design and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cherd.2017.01.034.




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