Vol. 4 No. 2 Suppl. 1 (2020) - About Water: Novel Technologies for the New Millennium
Special Issue Article

Controlled Growth of Strontium Sulfate Particles in Aqueous Solution: Inhibition Effects of a Bubble Column Evaporator

Atikah Wan Nafi
School of Science, UNSW Canberra, Northcott Drive, Canberra, ACT 2610, Australia
Mojtaba Taseidifar
School of Science, UNSW Canberra, Northcott Drive, Canberra, ACT 2610, Australia
Richard M. Pashley
School of Science, UNSW Canberra, Northcott Drive, Canberra, ACT 2610, Australia
Barry W. Ninham
Department of Applied Mathematics, Research School of Physical Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

Published 2021-03-22


  • Strontium sulfate,
  • aqueous precipitation,
  • nanobubbles,
  • supersaturation,
  • bubble column evaporator,
  • particle growth rates,
  • crystallisation,
  • bubble interaction,
  • mineral flotation
  • ...More

How to Cite

Wan Nafi, A., Taseidifar, M., Pashley, R. M. ., & Ninham, B. W. (2021). Controlled Growth of Strontium Sulfate Particles in Aqueous Solution: Inhibition Effects of a Bubble Column Evaporator. Substantia, 95-107. https://doi.org/10.36253/Substantia-1031


In the oil industry, strontium sulfate (SrSO4) scale deposits have long plagued oilfield and gas production operations. This remains an unsolved problem. We here show how the bubble column evaporator (BCE) can be used to control aqueous precipitation from salt solutions.

Mixtures of strontium nitrate and sodium sulfate in the BCE system were used to precipitate strontium sulfate at different degrees of supersaturation. The effectiveness of the BCE system was compared to standard mechanical stirring. The precipitation of strontium sulfate in both processes was monitored through turbidimeter, particle counting, Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The results show that the BCE system has a significant inhibition effect and so can be used to control precipitation growth rate, even from supersaturated solutions. This remarkable effect also provides new insights into mechanisms of crystallisation, of bubble interactions and mineral flotation.


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