The effect of microbubbles on gas-liquid mass transfer coefficient and degradation rate of COD in wastewater treatment.

Research paper by Kangning K Yao, Yong Y Chi, Fei F Wang, Jianhua J Yan, Mingjiang M Ni, Kefa K Cen

Indexed on: 28 Apr '16Published on: 28 Apr '16Published in: Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research


A commonly used aeration device at present has the disadvantages of low mass transfer rate because the generated bubbles are several millimeters in diameter which are much bigger than microbubbles. Therefore, the effect of a microbubble on gas-liquid mass transfer and wastewater treatment process was investigated. To evaluate the effect of each bubble type, the volumetric mass transfer coefficients for microbubbles and conventional bubbles were determined. The volumetric mass transfer coefficient was 0.02905 s(-1) and 0.02191 s(-1) at a gas flow rate of 0.67 L min(-1) in tap water for microbubbles and conventional bubbles, respectively. The degradation rate of simulated municipal wastewater was also investigated, using aerobic activated sludge and ozone. Compared with the conventional bubble generator, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal rate was 2.04, 5.9, 3.26 times higher than those of the conventional bubble contactor at the same initial COD concentration of COD 200 mg L(-1), 400 mg L(-1), and 600 mg L(-1), while aerobic activated sludge was used. For the ozonation process, the rate of COD removal using microbubble generator was 2.38, 2.51, 2.89 times of those of the conventional bubble generator. Based on the results, the effect of initial COD concentration on the specific COD degradation rate were discussed in different systems. Thus, the results revealed that microbubbles could enhance mass transfer in wastewater treatment and be an effective method to improve the degradation of wastewater.