Homogeneous water nucleation in carbon dioxide–nitrogen mixtures: Experimental study on pressure and carrier gas effects

Mauro M. Campagna (Corresponding author), J. Hruby, M.E.H. van Dongen, David M.J. Smeulders

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3 Citations (Scopus)


New homogeneous nucleation experiments are presented at 240 K for water in carrier gas mixtures of nitrogen with carbon dioxide molar fractions of 5%, 15%, and 25%. The pulse expansion wave tube is used to test three different pressure conditions, namely, 0.1, 1, and 2 MPa. In addition, a restricted series of nucleation experiments is presented for 25% carbon dioxide mixtures at temperatures of 234 and 236 K at 0.1 MPa. As pressure and carbon dioxide content are increased, the nucleation rate increases accordingly. This behavior is attributed to the reduction in the water surface tension by the adsorption of carrier gas molecules. The new data are compared with theoretical predictions based on the classical nucleation theory and on extrapolations of empirical surface tension data to the supercooled conditions at 240 K. The extrapolation is carried out on the basis of a theoretical adsorption/surface tension model, extended to multi-component mixtures. The theoretical model appears to strongly overestimate the pressure and composition dependence. At relatively low pressures of 0.1 MPa, a reduction in the nucleation rates is found due to an incomplete thermalization of colliding clusters and carrier gas molecules. The observed decrease in the nucleation rate is supported by the theoretical model of Barrett, generalized here for water in multi-component carrier gas mixtures. The temperature dependence of the nucleation rate at 0.1 MPa follows the scaling model proposed by Hale [J. Chem. Phys. 122, 204509 (2005)].
Original languageEnglish
Article number154301
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021


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