The pressurized dissolution method is often used for microbubble generation. However, the main disadvantage of this method is that a large amount of energy (more than 0.3 MPa) is required to generate many microbubbles, each of which have a diameter of several dozen μm. To overcome this problem, we investigated the effectiveness of porous ceramic when used as the packing material in the pressurized dissolution method. The results showed that when compared with the control (no porous ceramics), use of porous ceramics resulted in a 39% increase in the number of microbubbles. Furthermore, when this system was used for the flotation separation of artificial suspended solids and activated sludge, the level of separation achieved with porous ceramics at 0.15 MPa was the same as that achieved using no porous ceramics at 0.25 MPa. It was estimated that the use of porous ceramics led to a 40% reduction in the energy required for the dissolved air flotation, with subsequent decreases in the operating cost.
Keywords: dissolved air flotation, microbubble, porous ceramics