Study of chemical and mechanical effects of cavitation

date: 15.05.2020

category: Sporočila za javnost


In order to understand how cavitation destroys organic matter or microorganisms, the Laboratory for Water and Turbine Machines (LVTS) in the scope of ERC project CABUM studies the chemical and mechanical effects of cavitation. The results of their recent research were published in the prestigious journal Chemical Engineering Journal (IF: 8.36), where the shortcomings of the method for determining the chemical effects of cavitation were presented. The formation and collapse of vapor bubbles in the liquid releases large amounts of energy, leading to chemical processes associated with cavitation - the formation of hydroxyl radicals. Salicylic acid is often used to evaluate the formation of OH radicals in advanced oxidation processes (eg. hydrodynamic cavitation). In the mentioned research, they showed that the amount of added salicylic acid is crucial for the correct determination of the formation of OH radicals. If its concentration is too high, the surface tension of the solution decreases and also the susceptibility of the bubbles to coalescence increases, which further leads to anomalies in the development of cavitation. The results of the published study show that special care is needed when interpreting the results about the amount of radicals formed in hydrodynamic cavitation, and probably also in other advanced oxidation processes, as otherwise erroneous conclusions may be drawn.​

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