A tractable mathematical model for rectified diffusion

Warren Smith*, Qian Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

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A core unresolved challenge in rectified diffusion is the lack of predictive models, which allow accurate modelling of the growth of bubbles over millions of cycles of oscillation. The spherically symmetric problem involves two asymptotic regions in space for the convection and diffusion of the dissolved gas in the liquid, an inner region adjacent to the bubble and an outer region. It also involves three time scales: the shortest time scale associated with the bubble oscillation, the intermediate and the longest time scales for the mass transport across the bubble interface and the outer region, respectively. The problem is analysed systematically using matched asymptotic expansions in space and multi-scales in time, the large parameter being the Péclet number for mass transfer. A tractable mathematical model is formulated for rectified diffusion. It comprises the Rayleigh–Plesset equation for the spherical oscillations of the bubble on the shortest time scale, an ordinary differential equation for the mass of gas in the bubble on the intermediate time scale and a diffusion equation on the longest time scale and the long length scale. Predictions of this simplified model have excellent agreement with experimental results for a single spherical bubble in the bulk over millions of cycles of oscillation. A parametric study is undertaken with several new phenomena/features observed for acoustic frequencies in the range 12 to 62 kHz, acoustic field 0.12 to 0.22 bar and the initial gas concentration in the liquid being 0.95 to 1.0 of the saturation concentration.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA12
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Early online date3 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2022


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