Tiny bubbles with a big impact? The potential of nanobubbles

Tiny bubbles with a big impact? The potential of nanobubbles
Nick Dyner, CEO, Moleaer. Courtesy of Moleaer

From more efficient wastewater treatment to higher yields in greenhouses and fish farming, nanobubbles are gaining traction in food and farming operations, claims California-based startup Moleaer.  

AgFunderNews (AFN) caught up with CEO of Moleaer Nick Dyner (ND) for a quick primer on nanobubbles, which at 2,500 times smaller than a grain of salt, exhibit different properties to bubbles perceptible to the human eye, from neutral buoyancy (they neither fizz up nor sink) to high oxygen transfer efficiency, a strong negative surface charge, and a high surface area to volume ratio.  

AFN: What are nanobubbles?

ND: Nanobubbles are 70-120 nanometers in size that can be formed using almost any gas and injected into any liquid. Due to their size, they have all kinds of unique properties, but one key benefit is that we can dissolve gas incredibly efficiently, 30 times more efficiently than traditional aeration systems or gas to liquid transfer systems.

This allows industries to use industrial gases more cost effectively or in some cases for the first time. That’s why irrigation is our biggest market because we enable farmers to use oxygen cost effectively for the first time or we can lower their energy consumption needed to power compressors.

AFN: How do you generate nanobubbles?

ND: We typically package our nanobubble generators into systems where we include a pump and some sort of gas source. We have proprietary material inside a tube that is diffusing gas in a certain way that is critical to the formation of tiny bubbles.

We have certain geometry in that pipe that affects the way the liquid flows through it. At the gas liquid interface, we are shearing bubbles that are about 100 nanometers in size, about the size of the virus, and we shear those bubbles off the surface to be able to create various concentrations depending on the application, of roughly 100 nanometer sized bubbles with various charges.

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