Francis Ogoke, 2019, Chemical and Biological Engineering

I studied the behavior of air bubbles in turbulent water. When waves break, small bubbles of gases such as CO2 that are trapped in the ocean rise into the upper ocean, which increases the rate of gas exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. A key unknown variable is bubble-rise velocity. I used a controlled air-injection mechanism to introduce bubbles into a water tank. I tested different methods for creating controlled turbulent flows, then captured detailed video of bubble behavior using a high-speed camera. To analyze the data, I used MATLAB to track the evolution of the bubbles’ size, speed and shape over time. I also used Particle Image Velocimetry to analyze the nature and characteristics of the produced turbulent flow. I gained experience applying my coursework to a research problem and I developed skills using tools such as MATLAB to perform data analysis and image processing. I plan to continue this project during my junior year by investigating the influence of surfactants and non-polar substances on the behavior and bursting dynamics of air bubbles at an airwater interface.

* This internship is connected to the PEI Urban Grand Challenges project, “Extreme Wave Breaking in Coastal Urban Areas.”