Sonochemistry Ultrasonics Research Group

We work with the propagation of ultrasound waves through a liquid medium that can lead to the creation of acoustic cavitation bubbles. These cavitation bubbles can emit light (sonoluminescence) and undergo violent collapse to generate extreme temperatures (> 5000 k), pressures (> 1000 atm) and jet velocities (up to 120 m/s has been reported).

Overview

It is these remarkable conditions that allow ultrasound to create unusual physical and chemical properties ideal for degradation of pollutants, synthesis of polymers and nanomaterials. However, to capitalise on these effects, one needs to understand how the physical and chemical properties vary under different solution and sonication conditions such as frequency and power.

Ultrasonic processing has applications in heterogeneous and homogeneous environments, and is able to augment chemical processes via the well-known mechano acoustic and sonochemical effects from the cavitation bubbles. This can enhance radically driven processes, as well as mixing, emulsification and molecular accessibility.

The mechanism and level of enhancement is influenced by the reactor configuration (geometry, transducer type, frequency, flow, power) and the characteristics of the medium (gases present, solid loading, form of the solute, pH etc). Therefore it is of interest to investigate the effect of these parametric variations to further capitalise on the bubble dynamics to enhance the desired ultrasonic effects.

Available equipment

The equipment we have available is able to investigate the various parametric effects of ultrasound on a multitude of processes, aimed at understanding the fundamental interactions toward process improvement and optimisation.

Industrial collaborators

Research areas

Our people

Select the profiles below to view their publications.

Lead researchers

Madeleine Bussemaker profile image

Dr Madeleine Bussemaker

Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering

Judy Lee profile image

Dr Judy Lee

Reader, Director of Learning and Teaching for Chemical and Process Engineering

Contributing academics

Devendra Saroj profile image

Dr Devendra Saroj

Reader and Head of Centre for Environmental Health and Engineering (CEHE), Director of Research - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Dr Patrick Sears

Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and Forensic Analysis

Postgraduate research students

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Dr Silvia Nalesso

Ultrasound simulated crystallisation of functional materials

Tim Sidnell profile image

Tim Sidnell

Ultrasonic degradation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

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Dr Richard James Wood

Parametric control and augmentation of sonochemical activity in aqueous solutions