Diffusion, Fluidization, Aerating & Sparging

Diffusion is the process in which liquids, gases, or solids intermingle and move from a region of a higher to lower concentration in dissolved substances. It spreads out, or diffuses, a substance to eventually fill its container or environment in an even manner.  

Concentrated gas molecules diffuse to mix thoroughly with air, just as the fragrance of an orange being peeled will quickly spread throughout a contained area.  Similarly, when placed in a solution, a concentrated solute will diffuse to spread evenly in its solvent,  just as an aerator serves to bring additional oxygen to a pond to inhibit the growth of algae.  In fragrance delivery systems, diffusion can be used to release fragrances at a measured, linear rate. In industrial or municipal wastewater treatment processes, as well as in aquaculture environments, it can be used to accelerate microbial degradation of organic matter or to stimulate plant or fish growth.  

Sparging, also called lautering in the beer making process, or gas flushing in metallurgical processes, typically involves bubbling a chemically inert gas, such as nitrogen, helium, or argon, through a liquid. This process can be used to remove dissolved gases from liquids and to stimulate carbonation or fermentation processes.  Similarly, when effluents are treated through diffusion processes and aeration in municipal or industrial wastewater treatment systems, it can speed up flotation of organic matter after flocculation.

Open-cell, sintered, porous solutions from Polystar Technologies stimulate the measured, or metered, release of fluids, whether liquids or gases, whereby capillarity can be optimized to improve oxygen transfer efficiency (OTE) rates or the diffusion of other key gases. Their porous structures can be varied by application to increase or decrease gas volume capacities and gas transfer rates.