SINTEF Energy/NTNU article included in prestigious collection

Ph.D candidate Ailo Aasen has together with myself (his supervisor) and Edgar M. Blokhuis, a research partner at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, published a new article in the well reputed Journal of Chemical Physics.

Editors Choice

The article was very positively received by the journal and was therefore included in the journal’s prestigious collection of “Editors Choice”, which is made up of significant articles selected by the Editor each year and made freely available for a given period. The research presented in the article has previously drawn attention at international conferences, where Ailo was awarded with the prize for best poster at the conference “Thermodynamics” in 2017.

About the article

The article presents and explains the fundamental theory on how the surface tension of droplets and bubbles of multicomponent fluids depends on the interfacial curvature. A specific example that was addressed in the article was a hydrocarbon mixture of hexane and heptane. For this particular mixture, the framework and theory presented were able to describe the surface tension of droplets and bubbles with radii as small as 3 nanometres within 0.1% relative accuracy.

Droplets up to 2 nanometers

The most important application of the work will arguably be in developing and potentially improving the underlying theory of multicomponent nucleation, which is at the basis of evaporation and condensation processes of fluids in heat exchangers, distillation columns and most other process equipment where phase transitions play a key role.

Of special interest to Ailo’s project is the description of novel, evaporating refrigerants used to liquefy hydrogen. The surface tension of nanoscopic helium-neon bubbles is a key parameter in determining the rate at which the refrigerant boils on the cold side of the heat exchangers used to cool the hydrogen. The work presented in the article is also important to develop a more precise description of dynamic events that occur during depressurization or accidents involving pipelines used to transport CO2-mixtures.

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