Nanobubble Applications and Characterization Using Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis

Review of ultra-fine bubble (nanobubble) applications and characterization examples

Introduction

The generation, measurement, and applied technologies of so-called nanobubbles or ultra-fine bubbles, with diameter ranging from tens to hundreds of nanometers, are evolving dramatically in recent years. The unique properties of nanobubbles makes them attractive for a number of applications such as facility cleaning, food disinfection, and water treatment, as well as possibilities in fields such as disinfecting food products, pharmaceutical delivery, decontamination, and manufacturing of functional materials. Preliminary market research conducted by the Fine Bubble Industries Association shows the size of the fine bubble business increasing from USD 20 million in 2010 to USD 4.3 billion in 2020.

The Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) technique is particularly adept at the detection and analysis (size, size distribution, number concentration) of these relatively low concentration structures of extremely small size (compared to ‘conventional’ bubbles). NTA offers a unique capability to characterize nanobubbles by directly visualizing nanoscale particles in suspension (10 nm to 2000 nm) with high-resolution, in real-time, and with minimal sample preparation. The NanoSight models from Malvern Instruments pioneered this technique and continue to be the industry’s primary choice.