Fluidic oscillation of injected air can be tuned to produce microbubbles in aqueous solution on the scale of ~10 microns, which provide physicochemical cleaning effects.
We recently completed a proof of concept project with biofilm removal, showing complete removal in three minutes with moderate additives to the liquid (15 seconds with an optimized addition), motivated by a decade's work with fermenters, including those with "pond scum" (microalgae) and sludge. Our Perspex reactors were squeaky clean on all surfaces, yet others without microbubbles injected with fluidic oscillation have substantial build up on all surfaces. The oscillation may play an essential role in the cleaning intensification, as well as bubble size (we get a very narrow size distribution). Microbubbles can inject ozone with suitable selection of materials, for which the production of free radicals, particularly the hydroxide radical, is intensified on the microbubble interface. We have explored injecting plasma activated microbubbles, which are excellent at producing free radicals, but much more complicated than using off-the-shelf ozone generators, which are cheap and reliable. Odour removal and additional disinfection are possible advantages of ozone injection via fluidic oscillation as microbubbles. The technology for cleaning is TRL 4 -- pilot scale trials were conducted with plasma activation. With fluidic oscillation for microbubble generation, at least two applications are near market, through Perlemax which owns the background IP.
For cleaning, the enhanced rate of cleaning, potential for clean in place, and higher levels of clean are the key benefits. Disinfection and decontamination are potential benefits of ozone injected microbubbles generated by fluidic oscillation.
So far, biofilm removal and intensified and fast disinfection are the known applications.