Water Crystallisation of Model Sugar Solutions with Nanobubbles Produced from Dissolved Carbon Dioxide

  • Bhaskar Mani Adhikari
  • Ven Ping Tung
  • Tuyen Truong
  • Nidhi Bansal
  • Bhesh BhandariEmail author


This study was conducted to examine the influence of CO2 nanobubbles on crystallisation behaviour of water during freezing of model sugar (2–5%w/v) solutions. CO2 gas was dissolved at 0, 1000, and 2000-ppm concentrations before freezing. Carbonated sugar solutions in 50 mL plastic tubes were immersed in a pre-cooled (−15 °C) ethylene glycol bath and left to freeze at −15 °C for 90 min. When the temperature of the solutions reached 0 °C, ultrasound (US; 20 kHz) was emitted in the bath for 20 s duration through a metal horn transducer. The US wave applied in the ethylene glycol bath was expected to propagate to the sugar solutions in the tube and promote gas bubble formation from dissolved CO2, which will trigger the ice nucleation. Obtained freezing curves were analysed for nucleation time and temperature, supercooling degree, and time taken for phase change. In general, the CO2 gas promoted freezing of water, causing a noticeable shift in nucleation parameters. For example, nucleation time of 2000-ppm carbonated water coupled with sonication emission for 20 s (7.8 min) was much shorter than that of controls (pure water without any treatment = 19.1 min and US only = 14.3 min). The former initiated ice nucleation just below sub-zero temperature (−0.2 °C) whereas the onset temperature of controls (pure water without any treatment = −11.3 °C and the US only treatment = −10.3 °C). A similar effect was observed with different model sugar solutions. The current findings can be applied to refine the manufacturing process of ice-cream and frozen desserts by the food industries.


Freezing CO2 Micron-nano bubbles Ice nucleation Sugar solutions 



The authors acknowledge the support received through an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship to carry out this study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Agriculture and Food SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of ScienceRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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