Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 54, Issue 7, pp 2163–2171 | Cite as

Visualisation of gas-liquid mass transfer around a rising bubble in a quiescent liquid using an oxygen sensitive dye

  • Nicolas Dietrich
  • Gilles Hebrard
Short Communication


An approach for visualizing and measuring the mass transfer around a single bubble rising in a quiescent liquid is reported. A colorimetric technique, developed by (Dietrich et al. Chem Eng Sci 100:172–182, 2013) using an oxygen sensitive redox dye was implemented. It was based on the reduction of the colorimetric indicator in presence of oxygen, this reduction being catalysed by sodium hydroxide and glucose. In this study, resazurin was selected because it offered various reduced forms with colours ranging from transparent (without oxygen) to pink (in presence of oxygen). These advantages made it possible to visualize the spatio-temporal oxygen mass transfer around rising bubbles. Images were recorded by a CCD camera and, after post-processing, the shape, size, and velocity of the bubbles were measured and the colours around the bubbles mapped. A calibration, linking the level of colour with the dissolved oxygen concentration, enabled colour maps to be converted into oxygen concentration fields. A rheoscopic fluid was used to visualize the wake of the bubbles. A calculation method was also developed to determine the transferred oxygen fluxes around bubbles of two sizes (d = 0.82 mm and d = 2.12 mm) and the associated liquid-side mass transfer coefficients. The results compared satisfactorily with classical global measurements made by oxygen micro-sensors or from the classical models. This study thus constitutes a striking example of how this new colorimetric method could become a remarkable tool for exploring gas-liquid mass transfer in fluids.


\( \operatorname{Re}=\frac{U_B.{d}_B\rho }{\mu } \)

Reynolds number, dimensionless

\( Sc=\frac{\mu }{\rho .{D}_{O_2}} \)

Schmidt number, dimensionless


Interfacial area, m−1


Oxygen concentration, mg.L−1


Oxygen solubility, mg.L−1


Diameter, m


Diffusion coefficient, m2.s−1


Flux, g.m−2.s−1


Mass transfer coefficient, m.s−1


Mass, g


Amount, mol


Column section, m2


Bubble characteristic time = d/uB, s


Velocity, m.s−1


Volume, m3


Measurement position, m

x, y, z

Distance, m

Greek letters


Tension force, N/m


Viscosity, Pa.s


Density, kg.m−3



Characteristic time





Average of the value


Oxygen-saturated solution (theoretical value)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LISBP, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INRA, INSAToulouseFrance

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