Experimenting a DIY Air-Lift Pump (Version 1)
A pump is a device drawing energy (electricity) to transport liquid where as compressor is to transport air, converting energy to fluid as pressure so that they could move or flow within a confine or limited space.
Here, as the name 'airlift' + ' pump' indicate the utilization of air to lift water as a pump using the principle of density differences of matters.
Air-lift system has low suction pressure (inlet) with moderate amount of liquid to be transported. This so call 'pump' is now generally use as it is transporting liquid. The system injects compressed air (using those usual aquarium air-compressor or air-pump!) near the bottom of a pipe/tube that is immersed in the liquid. The compressed air will then mixes with the liquid to form air-water bubbles. These water mixture has lesser density relative to the rest of the liquid around it and hence displace upwards through the discharge tube/pipe. Sometimes, small size dirt or particles (solid) are allow to be entrained along in the flow of air-water mixture within the tube/piipe. The transportation of the mixture (solid + liquid + air) will then be 'lifted' and discharged at an elevated height above the water surface.
The main advantage of using the air-lift pump over a water pump is it energy, which can be comparable to 10 or even more folds of electricity consumption. However, it is usually for low-pressure-low-flow application amongst other attributes.
So, in this version 1 of my DIY Air-Lift Pumping System, the following were used:
- An electrical operated aquarium air-compressor or air-pump (2.5W);
- Rubber & plastic tubing or hose (4mm internal diameter);
- 2 soda bottles as reservoir (one at elevated level);
- Air-inflation needle (those usual needle used for inflating balls);
- Scissors, wiring, water & electrical power supply.
1) Install 2 soda bottles or any 2 reservoirs at different height, with the lower fill with water (half bottle filled);
2) Cut an angle (45 degree angle) at one end of the rubber tube;
3) Insert fully the inflation needle, 5cm away from the angle-cut-end of the tube, with its inflation-tip to be pointed to the other end of the hose;
4) Connect a rubber tubing to the inflation needle inlet (the bigger opening of the inflation needle) and to the aquarium air-pump;
5) Use some wire or tape to secure the inflation needle & the rubber hose preventing them falling apart, to be insert into the lower reservoir;
6) Insert the hose between the 2 bottles, with the inflation needle end into the base of the lower bottle;
7) Plug & switch the power-on for the aquarium air-pump;
8) Adjust the air flow into the air-pump or simply lift up the inflation needle end and slowly put it back into the water-filled reservoir for the air-water mixture to be lifted upward.
Below the video of the Version 1 Air-Lift Pump Experiment for your reference;