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).


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), Fellow of Institute for Sustainability, FEPS, University of Surrey Adjunct Faculty, CRDT, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi

Richard Sear profile image

Dr Richard Sear

Associate Professor (aka Reader), Soft Matter, Biological and Medical Physics Group leader, Sustainability Fellow with the Institute for Sustainability

Patrick Sears profile image

Dr Patrick Sears

Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and Forensic Analysis

Postgraduate research students

Tim Sidnell profile image

Dr Tim Sidnell

Ultrasonic degradation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

Irem Soyler profile image

Irem Soyler

Investigating the efficacy of combined treatments of ultrasound and antimicrobial extract for the inactivation on food pathogens on ready-to-eat salad leaves

Mehrdad Zare profile image

Dr Mehrdad Zare

Ultrasonic remediation of pharmaceutical emerging contaminants (ECs) in water/wastewater

Find us


School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
University of Surrey
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