Air bubble size in aqueous environments is an important factor governing natural processes ranging from fluid/atmosphere gas transfer to noise production. Bubbles are also known to affect various scientific instruments. In this study we investigate the production capability of eight inexpensive bubble generators using optical imaging techniques. Specific emphasis is directed towards determining bubble size and distribution for a given device, flow conditions, and type of water used (fresh vs salt). In almost all cases tested here, bubbles produced in salt water were more numerous, and smaller than for the same bubbler and conditions in fresh water. For porous media, the finer the pore size, the smaller the bubble produced with some variation depending on thickness of material containing the pore and water type. While no single generator tested was capable of spanning all the bubble sizes observed (100 to 6000 microns), the data contained herein will enable proper choice of bubbler or combinations thereof for future studies depending on the size and distribution of bubbles required.

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