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Dynamics of Bubble Formation at Micro-orifices under Constant Gas Flow Conditions

Mohseni; Kalayathine; Reinecke; Uwe

Fine gas dispersion into a liquid is requested in a number of industrial applications. One way to achieve finer gas dispersion is to downsize the openings at which the gas bubbles are generated. Accordingly, we have investigated the dynamics of bubble formation from submerged orifices ranging from 0.04 to 0.8 mm at a comprehensive range of gas flow rates for a system of air and deionized water. In this range of orifice size, we observe a different mechanism of bubble formation compared with millimeter-range orifices. We discuss the observations on the basis of temporal change of the bubble shape, bubble base expansion, and detachment criteria. At submillimeter orifices, the mechanism of bubble formation is highly influenced by the capillary pressure and the gas kinetic energy. The latter results in congregation of small bubbles in the vicinity of the orifice, even at very small gas flow rates. Moreover, we studied the evolution of individual forces applied to the surface of bubbles during their formation. We found that the formation of bubbles at submillimeter orifices cannot be described with a quasi-static force balance. Finally, we present a bubbling regime map using proper dimensionless numbers.

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