Microbubble or nanobubble technology has attracted attention of scientists in recent years. It is an important technology in the agriculture, hydroponic, and aquaculture industries.
Some of the applications of nanobubbles which have been explored around the globe are:
- Acceleration of metabolism in vegetables and shellfishes
- Improved shelf stability of products with bubbles (foam products)
- Nutritional supplement carrier in the food industry
- Improved delivery of chemotherapy drugs in cancer patients
- Sterilisation using ozone gas
- Water treatment by flotation
Recently, a hydroponic customer approached Hanna Instruments to provide a solution for testing Dissolved Oxygen in nanobubbles. Hydroponic growers are using micro bubbles to increase the nutrient absorption of crops and to increase growth of the plants. By adding micro bubbles, the roots spread and crops grow 1.5 times faster. The leaves on the crop are greener and the structure of the stems are largely different.
The size of these bubbles are 100 nm (0.0001 mm) and therefore, it could not be effectively measured with the galvanic or polarographic dissolved oxygen probes. The Hanna HI 98198 OPDO was the right fit for the application because it does not require the flow the polargraphic or galvanic sensors require. The dissolved oxygen in the nutrient solution needs to be within a range of 20 ppm to 25 ppm to maximise the effectiveness of the nanobubbles on the crops. The Optical Dissolved Oxygen Meter’s measurement range is 0.00-50 ppm so it covered the range, and the accuracy of the reading within this range is +/- 1.5% of the reading which was acceptable to the customer.
Applications for micro bubbles and nano bubbles will continue to be developed in the future.
In the aquaculture industry it is used to increase the crop yield by using water containing nano bubbles without changing the size of the water tank.
Farmers are feeding high oxygen concentrated water to pigs and cows leads the reduction in feed consumption to about half. Despite of feed quantity being cut by half, the body of the pigs are not thinned and the meat remains tender.
Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine found that the delivery of chemotherapy drugs with nanobubbles is 30 times more effective at killing cancer cells, reducing the required dosage compared to conventional treatment.
In the beauty and cosmetics industry, research on skin rejuvenation is being carried out by putting nano bubbles into blood.
These applications emphasize the growing significance and demand for nanobubbles across a wide variety of applications.