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PhD Project: Understanding the Unusual Behaviour of Nanobubbles and Exploiting their Extraordinary Properties for Industrial Applications

University of Birmingham - School of Chemical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: University tuition fees and a scholarship of £15,285 per annum tax free
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th May 2020
Closes: 31st July 2020

Full funding is available to support a PhD research student (including university tuition fees and a scholarship of £15,285 per annum tax free) starting Autumn 2020. The candidate should be a UK/EU citizen and should have at least a strong upper second-class (2.1) degree in Chemical Engineering or Applied Sciences. Enquiries about the research project should be addressed to Professor M. Barigou; Email: m.barigou@bham.ac.uk.

Nano-bubble dispersions are a novel type of nanoscale bubble system. The most peculiar characteristic of these nano-bubbles is their apparent extraordinary longevity, being able to last for weeks and months. Existing theories, however, predict that they should dissolve extremely quickly. Thus, to fully exploit their potential benefits, major developments are needed in the science underpinning their existence and behaviour. The overall aim of this project is to study both experimentally and theoretically the underlying mechanisms by which these nano-bubble dispersions come to exist and persist, and explain some of their unusual properties. The aim would be to unravel the effects on pre-formed nano-bubble suspensions and on nano-bubble formation, size distribution, coalescence, stability and dynamic behaviour, of a number factors including: liquid phase properties: type of liquid, surfactants, ionic strength and pH; gas phase properties including type of gas and gas concentration; processing conditions such as shear and temperature under steady and transient modes; and, consequently, gain insight into the apparent immunity of bulk nano-bubbles to the Ostwald ripening phenomenon. This PhD project will study some of these phenomena but will also investigate some of the revolutionary applications of bulk nanobubbles such as drug delivery, wastewater treatment, flavour retention, surface cleaning and more high value applications.

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