Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Associate Professor Sara Couperthwaite
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Dr David Hunter
Chemical Engineer (Operator)
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Professor Graeme Millar
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Foam fractionation is used in water treatment to remove surface active contaminants.

This process involves bubbling a gas through a fluid. As the bubble moves through the fluid particles and molecules that are hydrophobic in nature attach to the surface and are transported upwards. These particles and molecules are then removed in the foamate.

The operation of foam fractionation processes depends on a number of different factors including:

  • gas flowrate
  • liquid flowrate
  • bubble size
  • surface tension.

The hydrodynamics of foam fractionation processes are not completely understood. Because of this, operators often need to rely on direct observation of the system when making adjustments to operational parameters.

This project aims to develop and apply new knowledge pertaining to the hydrodynamics of foam fractionation processes.

Research activities

During this research project, you'll be involved in:

  • conducting laboratory experiments
  • designing of foam fractionation units
  • hydrodynamic modelling of foam fractionation processes.


The aims of this project are to:

  • develop new knowledge pertaining to the hydrodynamics of foam fractionation
  • discover innovative ways to improve upon currently existing foam fractionation technologies or design new novel foam fractionation technologies
  • develop a new hydrodynamic model of the foam fractionation process.

Skills and experience

To be eligible for this project, you must either:

  • be currently enrolled in chemical process or mechanical engineering streams at QUT (VRES or Honours).
  • have graduated from a university with a degree in chemical process engineering or similar with high academic standing (Master of Philosophy or PhD).



Contact the supervisor for more information.