Modeling of carbon dioxide condensation in the high pressure flows using the statistical BGK approach

Rakesh Kumar, Zheng Li, Deborah A. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, we propose a new heat accommodation model to simulate freely expanding homogeneous condensation flows of gaseous carbon dioxide using a new approach, the statistical Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook method. The motivation for the present work comes from the earlier work of Li et al. [J. Phys. Chem. 114, 5276 (2010)] in which condensation models were proposed and used in the direct simulation Monte Carlo method to simulate the flow of carbon dioxide from supersonic expansions of small nozzles into near-vacuum conditions. Simulations conducted for stagnation pressures of one and three bar were compared with the measurements of gas and cluster number densities, cluster size, and carbon dioxide rotational temperature obtained by Ramos et al. [Phys. Rev. A 72, 3204 (2005)]. Due to the high computational cost of direct simulation Monte Carlo method, comparison between simulations and data could only be performed for these stagnation pressures, with good agreement obtained beyond the condensation onset point, in the farfield. As the stagnation pressure increases, the degree of condensation also increases; therefore, to improve the modeling of condensation onset, one must be able to simulate higher stagnation pressures. In simulations of an expanding flow of argon through a nozzle, Kumar et al. [AIAA J. 48, 1531 (2010)] found that the statistical Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook method provides the same accuracy as direct simulation Monte Carlo method, but, at one half of the computational cost. In this work, the statistical Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook method was modified to account for internal degrees of freedom for multi-species polyatomic gases. With the computational approach in hand, we developed and tested a new heat accommodation model for a polyatomic system to properly account for the heat release of condensation. We then developed condensation models in the framework of the statistical Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook method. Simulations were found to agree well with the experiment for all stagnation pressure cases (1-5 bar), validating the accuracy of the Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook based condensation model in capturing the physics of condensation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052001
JournalPhysics of fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 16 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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