Surface assisted combustion of hydrogen-oxygen mixture in nanobubbles produced by electrolysis

Alexander Prokaznikov, Niels Tas, Vitaly Svetovoy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


The spontaneous combustion of hydrogen-oxygen mixture observed in nanobubbles at room temperature is a puzzling phenomenon that has no explanation in the standard combustion theory. We suggest that the hydrogen atoms needed to ignite the reaction could be generated on charged sites at the gas-liquid interface. Equations of chemical kinetics augmented by the surface dissociation of hydrogen molecules are solved, keeping the dissociation probability as a parameter. It is predicted that in contrast with the standard combustion, the surface-assisted process can proceed at room temperature, resulting not only in water, but also in a perceptible amount of hydrogen peroxide in the final state. The combustion time for the nanobubbles with a size of about 100 nm is in the range of 1-100 ns, depending on the dissociation probability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number178
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2017


  • Combustion
  • Dissociation
  • Nanobubbles


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