Bubble-mediated transfer of dilute gas in turbulence

Palas Kumar Farsoiya, Stéphane Popinet, Luc Deike

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11 Scopus citations


Bubble-mediated gas exchange in turbulent flow is critical in bubble column chemical reactors as well as for ocean-atmosphere gas exchange related to air entrained by breaking waves. Understanding the transfer rate from a single bubble in turbulence at large Péclet numbers (defined as the ratio between the rate of advection and diffusion of gas) is important as it can be used for improving models on a larger scale. We characterize the mass transfer of dilute gases from a single bubble in a homogeneous isotropic turbulent flow in the limit of negligible bubble volume variations. We show that the mass transfer occurs within a thin diffusive boundary layer at the bubble-liquid interface, whose thickness decreases with an increase in turbulent Péclet number,. We propose a suitable time scale for Higbie (Trans. AIChE, vol. 31, 1935, pp. 365-389) penetration theory, based on the bubble diameter and a characteristic turbulent velocity, here, where is the large-scale turbulence fluctuations. This leads to a non-dimensional transfer rate from the bubble in the isotropic turbulent flow. The theoretical prediction is verified by direct numerical simulations of mass transfer of dilute gas from a bubble in homogeneous and isotropic turbulence, and very good agreement is observed as long as the thin boundary layer is properly resolved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA34
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • bubble dynamics
  • coupled diffusion and flow


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