Kinetic nucleation model for free-expanding water condensation plume simulations

Zheng Li, Jiaqiang Zhong, Deborah A. Levin, Barbara J. Garrison

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC), a kinetic method, was recently expanded to include the simulation of homogeneous condensation in the free expansion of water plumes and the results show that the nucleation rate is a key factor to accurately modeling of condensation phenomenon. In this work, we assumed the bimolecular formation as the main microscopic mechanisms of water dimer formation and the formation probabilities through collision between two water molecules for different collision energies were obtained by MD simulations and found to decrease with collision energy. The formation probabilities and post-collisional velocity and energy distributions were then integrated into DSMC simulations of a free expansion of an orifice condensation plume with different chamber stagnation temperatures. The dimer mole fraction increases with distance from the orifice and becomes constant after a distance of about two orifice diameters. The terminal dimer mole fraction was found to decrease with chamber stagnation temperatures but higher than experimentally observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-618
Number of pages6
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event26th International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics, RGD26 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Jul 20 2008Jul 25 2008


  • Condensation
  • DSMC
  • Kinetic theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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