Champagne bubbles could be the key to solving the energy crisis that exists globally. While champagne bubbles are far from the answer currently, a group of researchers and scientists in Tokyo found something interesting enough to connect champagne and the energy crisis that the entire globe is experiencing. They were able to harness the first organic testing of “Ostwald ripening.” This is a phenomenon that typically happens when water is being converted into steam in a turbine that generates power. However, the test revealed th at the answer to something that was otherwise unknown – the middle portion of the process – might be less complex than previously imagined.
Simply put, as the bubbles form in the liquid – additional bubbles form at the expense of the bubbles that existed below it. The smaller bubbles then become larger bubbles and the larger bubbles carry more power, but are ultimately sacrificed for even larger bubbles, and the process continues. This is something that’s common in beverages, foams, and even metallic alloys.
The confusion though about what exactly is happening between the two states is something that scientists have wondered about for a very long time. While there have been educated guesses, and some theories bouncing around, at the end of the day – there was little data or evidence to truly support what was being seen – or any of the theories.
However, one of the major challenges that this study faced were the growing need for additional molecules to even make the bubbling happen in the first place. The original goal was 10,000 to produce a single bubble. Then, more would be needed – ultimately adding up to hundreds of thousands. The group though wound up being able to create 700 million particles that allowed them to move through performing their tasks.
The future impacts of this study, and how it might impact science is still not entirely known. However, it would be a definite sign that the engineering space will see some additional advantages with this, as one of the biggest design challenges that they have when creating things like energy turbines – is understanding what is physically happening, to be able to more-accurately create something that will harbor the right results and the right process.