NASA-backed research using nanobubbles for water treatment

  • 11.08.2022
  • University of Maine

Onur Apul, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at University of Maine, will lead a $1.1 million multi-institutional investigation backed by NASA to explore whether nanobubbles can support space exploration, including water treatment on spaceships.

Through the Maine Space Grant Consortium, NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) awarded the project $753,750 grant. It was matched with a $350,000 cost share contribution provided by participating institutions, which included UMaine, the University of Southern Maine and Arizona State University.

Nanobubbles are ultrafine pockets of oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and other gasses in liquids that have diameters smaller than 100 nanometers. Apul, says nanobubbles can be generated in liquids with simple instruments that oscillate liquids and through other hydraulic, physicochemical and electrochemical methods. This results in mixtures known as biphasic liquids — those that take the forms of both a liquid and gas.