The application of nanobubbles in agriculture : this thesis is submitted in accordance with the regulations, governing the award of the degree of Master of Engineering with Honours in Chemical and Bio Process Engineering, Department of Chemical and Bio Process Engineering, Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand. EMBARGOED until 13th July 2025.

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Nanobubbles have an extensive range of applications across engineering and industry. Our area of interest lies in agriculture and horticulture: Irrigation, using water enriched with oxygen nanobubbles, has been shown to greatly improve crop yields when compared to irrigation with untreated water. Currently, there are no manufacturers in New Zealand producing nanobubble generators to meet the requirements of large-scale irrigation. Field trials were undertaken, to quantify the increase in plant and crop growth through irrigation with oxygen nanobubbles. The results showed a marked increase in root mass and crop growth, supporting the viability and development of a nanobubble generator. The purpose to this thesis is to provide the research, testing and development of nanobubble tubes leading to a commercially viable, scalable nanobubble generator. Research was carried out to provide an understanding of the science behind nanobubbles. Applying this knowledge to the iterative process of design, print, test and evaluate, allowed comparisons to be made for various tube designs and allowed one design to be selected and taken forward for commercial development. Test results show that the optimum tube design, in terms of performance, is a compromise between the dissolved oxygen readings taken from the product water and the head loss across the nanobubble tube. The results also showed that smaller multiple tube arrangements out-performed large-scale single tubes. This led to a patent application for a multi-tube design. This thesis describes the 3-D printing of nanobubble tubes, nanobubble generators and current commercial installations under evaluation. The thesis concludes by discussing future development opportunities for the nanobubble generator.
Embargoed until 13th July 2025 Figures 4 (=Meegoda et al., 2018 Fig 8) and 9 (=Ahmed et al., 2018 Graphical Abstract) were removed for copyright reasons.
nanobubble, generator, agriculture, horticulture, irrigation, crops, yield