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Recent publications in the open literature have shown that supercritical fluid states are not homogeneously distributed but, in fact, can be differentiated into two distinct regions with gas-like and liquid-like properties, respectively. These regions are divided by an extension of the coexistence line, commonly called Widom line. This paper shows that a supercritical analog to subcritical phase change, pseudoboiling, does exist when crossing this demarcation. The supercritical state transition does not occur in a phase equilibrium but takes place over a finite temperature interval. While subcritical vaporization requires energy to overcome intermolecular attraction, supercritical state transitions additionally require energy to increase the temperature. It could be shown that the attractive potential is the dominant energy sink up to a reduced pressure of 1.5 for argon, nitrogen, oxygen, and water. The effect reduces with growing pressure and becomes negligible for p/pcr > 3. Furthermore, a new equation for this Widom- or pseudoboiling line is given. It exhibits improved accuracy over previously published equations; performing a limit analysis of the Clapeyron equation allows to express its sole parameter purely in terms of thermodynamic variables. This parameter can then be evaluated from an equation of state or from fluid data - no nonphysical fitting is required.
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Crossing the Widom-line – supercritical pseudo-boiling
D.T. Banuti
German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology, Spacecraft Department,
37073 G¨ottingen, Bunsenstr. 10, Germany; Phone: +49 551 709 2403
Recent publications in the open literature have shown that supercritical fluid states are not homo-
geneously distributed but, in fact, can be differentiated into two distinct regions with gas-like and
liquid-like properties, respectively. These regions are divided by an extension of the coexistence
line, commonly called Widom line. This paper shows that a supercritical analog to subcritical
phase change, pseudoboiling, does exist when crossing this demarcation. The supercritical state
transition does not occur in a phase equilibrium but takes place over a finite temperature interval.
While subcritical vaporization requires energy to overcome intermolecular attraction, supercritical
state transitions additionally require energy to increase the temperature. It could be shown that
the attractive potential is the dominant energy sink up to a reduced pressure of 1.5 for argon,
nitrogen, oxygen, and water. The effect reduces with growing pressure and becomes negligible for
p/pcr >3. Furthermore, a new equation for this Widom- or pseudoboiling line is given. It exhibits
improved accuracy over previously published equations; performing a limit analysis of the Clapey-
ron equation allows to express its sole parameter purely in terms of thermodynamic variables. This
parameter can then be evaluated from an equation of state or from fluid data - no nonphysical
fitting is required.
Keywords: pseudoboiling, Widom-line, vaporization, Clapeyron, transcritical
1. Introduction
While Andrews [1] introduced the notion of a critical point to terminate the vapor pressure curve
more than 100 years ago, today there is not a common terminology on states exceeding the critical
Corresponding author
Email address: (D.T. Banuti)
Preprint submitted to Elsevier April 6, 2017
temperature or pressure (Bellan [2], Younglove [3]). The common view is that upon exceeding the
critical point, liquids and gases do no longer exist. Instead, a structureless, homogeneous, continuous
supercritical fluid prevails throughout the state space. Furthermore, given the vanishing of latent
heat of vaporization and surface tension, a phase transition no longer occurs.
Fundamentally new insight has been gained in the last two decades, facilitated by advances in
experimental and numerical methods. Inelastic x-ray scattering could be used to study dispersion,
i.e. the dependence of the speed of sound on the frequency, which is a phenomenon found in
liquids but not in gases. Using this technique, Simeoni at al. [4] and Gorelli et al. [5] were able to
attribute this property to supercritical fluids at reduced pressures (pr=p/pcr ) exceeding 1000. They
concluded that the supercritical domain is divided into two regions with distinct respective liquid-
like and gas-like behavior - much like at subcritical conditions. The dividing line is an extension to
the coexistence line. Gorelli suggested to extrapolate the Plank-Riedel equation, Eq. (1), into the
supercritical domain,
ln p
pcr =a+bTcr
T+cln T
Tcr (1)
where a= 4.270, b =4.271, and c= 1.141 have been fit to neon, oxygen, and nitrogen fluid data.
From a different perspective, Sciortino et al. [6] used molecular dynamics computations to
investigate properties of this line emanating from the critical point which was later dubbed ‘Widom’
line. Figure 1 illustrates this new view of supercritical states structure. The work of both groups
is summarized by MacMillan and Stanley [7], Simeoni et al. [4] declare a new chapter to be open,
new theories to be required. All research was concerned with the understanding of thermodynamic
states and the identification of the boundary between them.
So far, no quantitative discussion has been given on processes in which this boundary is crossed.
A name, however, exists: ‘pseudoboiling’ has been used by Okamato et al. [8] and Oschwald et
al. [9] to describe a supercritical liquid-like to gas-like transition. The term has originally been
introduced by Kafengauz and Federov [10, 11], who described a phenomenon in cooling pipes which
resembled subcritical boiling - but at supercritical pressures.
The concept is not undisputed: Hall [12] outright rejected it as “irrational and unnecessary
because, clearly, two distinct phases do not exist at supercritical pressures”, whereas Okamato et
al. [8] called it a theoretical problem to be solved. Santoro and Gorelli [13] hypothesize there
might be a “sluggish liquidlike-gaslike transformation mimicking the subcritical liquid-gas phase
transition”. Oschwald et al. [14, 15] suggest that, unlike during subcritical vaporization, heat
Widom line
Figure 1: Fluid state plane and supercritical states structure with a liquid-like super-Widom fluid and a gas-like
sub-Widom fluid. TP=triple point, CP=critical point, Tr=T/Tcr ,pr=p/pcr.
added to the fluid during pseudoboiling will act to both expand and heat it.
It is therefore the purpose of this paper to analyze processes which cross the Widom line from
liquid-like to gas-like fluid states (and vice versa). The main question is: Can the concept of
vaporization/condensation be applied to transitions between supercritical states?
2. Material and Metho d
The approach taken here is mixed analytical and empirical. Thermodynamic relations and
approximations are expressed in analytical form. All fluid data is taken from the NIST webbook
[16]. First, the concept of pseudoboiling is evaluated using nitrogen data by Span et al. [17], with
particular focus on the specific isobaric heat capacity of states at supercritical pressure. After this
proof of concept, fluid data for argon (Tegeler et al. [18]) and oxygen (Schmidt and Wagner [19])
are investigated in a similar manner because of their expected similarity in behavior, following the
corresponding states principle. Finally, water data (Wagner and Pruss [20]) are shown, explicitly
to point out deviations for more complex fluids.
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Widom Line Equation
The original definition of the Widom line is the set of supercritical maximal thermodynamic
correlation lengths [4]. However, this property is very hard to come by in a practical manner
(May and Mausbach [21]). As a substitute, response functions - such as the heat capacity, the
isothermal compressibility, and the thermal expansion - are used by several authors (e.g. Liu et al.
[22], Xu et al. [23], Santoro and Gorelli [13], Ruppeiner et al. [24]). Regarding a state transition
as a phenomenon of energy conversion in this paper, the specific isobaric heat capacity cpis an
appropriate marker. Figure 2(a) illustrates this point using the example of nitrogen.
At the subcritical pressure 3 MPa, cpdiverges at the boiling temperature: here, heat is added
during vaporization without an increase in temperature until all liquid is consumed. A distinct
peak remains visible for supercritical pressures, flattening and moving to higher temperatures as
the pressure increases from 4 MPa to 6 Mpa. Figure 2(b) shows how these peaks line up nicely
when plotted into a log(p)/T diagram. Thus, an equation of the form
= exp Tcr
θpb Tpb
1 = exp ATpb
1 (2)
suitably describes the cpbased Widom line, where ‘pb’ and ‘cr’ denote properties along the pseu-
doboiling line and at the critical point, respectively. For dimensional reasons, the integration
constant 1pb can be interpreted as the inverse of a characteristic temperature. This parameter
will now be determined from first principles.
Along the coexistence line from triple point to critical point, an equilibrium between the liquid
(L) and the vapor (V) phase holds. This can be expressed mathematically by equating the respective
phase differential Gibbs enthalpies which leads to the classical Clapeyron equation, Eq. (3),
The last equality holds as Tremains constant during the transition from liquid to vapor. The latent
heat of vaporization is ∆h=hVhL, the increase in specific volume and entropy are ∆v=vVvL
and ∆s=sVsL, respectively.
Classically, the Clapeyron equation is used up to the critical point. After all, the latent heat of
vaporization vanishes, Eq. (3) loses its significance. However, not only does the jump in enthalpy
Temperatu re (K )
Cp (J/g*K)
120 130 140 150
p / MPa = 3
(a) Nitrogen specific isobaric heat capacity cp(T) at sub- and
supercritical pressures.
Temperature (K)
Pressure (MPa)
60 80 100 120 140 160
Subcritical Vapor Pressure
Supercritical c p, max
Fit cp , max
Tripl e Poin t
Critical Poi nt
(b) Positions of maximum cprelative to coexistence line for
Figure 2: Construction of heat capacity based Widom line, for the example of nitrogen.
(or entropy) vanish - the same is true for the specific volume. Thus, instead of invalidating the
equation, progressing towards the critical point is mathematically taking the limit of a difference
fraction, and turning it into a differential, Eq. (4)
p,T pcr,Tcr
where subscript ‘sat’ denotes saturation conditions along the coexistence line. Figure 2(b) shows
that the slope ( d log p/ dT)sat is gradually decreasing in the subcritical region but remains equal
to the slope at the critical point upon entering a supercritical state,
d ln p
=d ln p
= const.(5)
Now, combining Eqs. (2), (5), and using the identity ( dln p)/dT= (1/p)( dp/ dT) from calcu-
lus, θpb can be determined as
pcr ds
pcr dp
The equation for the cpbased Widom line then reads
= exp Tcr
pcr ds
dvcr Tpb
1 (7)
= exp Tcr
pcr dp
dTcr Tpb
Note that Eqs. (7) and (8) do not contain any nonphysical fitting parameters and can be evaluated
solely from fluid data. Furthermore, they contain only nondimensional ratios, suggesting a fluid
independence akin to the corresponding states principle.
3.2. Analytical van der Waals Widom Parameter
Using Eq. (8), the coefficient Aintroduced in Eq. (2) can be expressed as
pcr dp
It is now interesting to see whether Amay be evaluated from first principles using Eq. (9). The
van der Waals equation of state will serve as an example.
As a reference, an AvdW,sat will be determined for Schwabl’s [25] equation for the vapor pressure
curve of a van der Waals fluid
pr,sat = 4∆Tr,sat +24
5(Tr,sat)2+O(Tr,sat )5/2.(10)
Parameters ∆φr,sat are defined as ((φφcr)cr) along the saturation curve. Thus, in the limit
towards the critical point
Then, higher order terms may be neglected and Eq. (10) reduces to
pr,sat,cr = 4∆Tr,sat,cr.(12)
Rearranging and differentiating, we obtain the reference value of the slope of the vapor pressure
curve at the critical point
dTsat vdW,cr
= 4Tcr
which corresponds to
AvdW,sat = 4.(14)
Now, AvdW will be determined using Eq. (9). The nondimensional form of the van der Waals
equation can be written
The derivative of pressure with respect to temperature is
Then, as vr= 1 at the critical point,
AvdW =Tcr
pcr dp
= 4.(17)
Thus, at the critical point, the slope determined from the limit of Clapeyron’s equation introduced
here, Eq. (17), equals the slope of the vapor pressure curve equation, Eq. (14). 1
1Equal fugacities or free Gibbs enthalpies in the respective phases are criteria which determine phase equilibria
in a two phase region. Here, starting with Clapeyron’s equation Eq. (3), a free Gibbs enthalpy equality has been
regarded in the derivation of the vapor pressure curve slope at the critical point. It turned out that the expression
is significantly simplified due to the limiting procedure towards the critical point, Eq. (4). At the critical point only
one phase exists, hence criteria of equal Gibbs enthalpies or fugacities are identically fulfilled.
3.3. Empirical Widom Parameter
For all practical purposes, van der Waals’ equation of state does not provide sufficient accuracy.
Instead, using NIST [16] data for nitrogen, the Widom parameter has been determined to A5.6.
Results are shown in Fig. 3. The graph compares Eq. (2) using both the van der Waals coefficient
from Eq. (17) (dashed) and the value from nitrogen data (solid) to the equation suggested by Gorelli
(dash dot), Eq. (1). Overlain are points of maximum heat capacity extracted from the NIST [16]
database for argon, water, nitrogen, and oxygen. Figure 3 shows Eq. (2) in the form of Eq. (8)
to be reasonably accurate in the chosen domain for oxygen and argon in addition to nitrogen.
Water, chosen for its irregular properties, differs stronger. The improved accuracy compared to the
extrapolated Plank-Riedel equation proposed by Gorelli is apparent. Ais a species constant and
has a comparable value for a range of simple fluids.
Figure 3: Comparison of maximal cpdata from NIST with Eq. (2) and Gorelli’s Eq. (1).
3.4. Generalized Isobaric Phase Transitions
Now that an equation tells us where to expect some sort of transition phenomenon, we need
to investigate what to expect when passing through the Widom line. Let Tand T+be the (yet
to be quantified) start and endpoint of the isobaric transition, such that Tis smaller than the
temperature of maximum cp, and T+is larger. Then, in order to pass isobarically from a liquid-like
Figure 4: Finite heat capacity in state transition at supercritical pressures.
to a gas-like state, some amount of energy per unit mass
hpb =
cp(T) dT=h(T+)h(T) (18)
needs to be added to the fluid. The most important realization is that under supercritical conditions,
added energy is used to both overcome molecular attraction and raise the temperature of the fluid
(Oschwald and Schik [14]). The first will be dubbed structural (st) and the latter thermal (th)
contribution. This stands in contrast to subcritical phase changes during which the temperature
remains constant and thus all added energy is used to overcome molecular attraction.
In order to differentiate the energy needed for structural and thermal changes, both aspects
need to be separated. Figure 4 illustrates the chosen approach. Equation (18) represents the whole
area under the cp(T) curve from Tto T+, the whole amount of energy needed to pass between
both temperatures. The isobaric specific heat capacity approaches two values: at low temperatures
a liquid heat capacity cp,L, at higher temperatures the ideal gas value cp,iG. While no theoretical
expression is known for cp,L[26], the variation is small and can be neglected compared to cp,max . It
is thus assumed essentially constant for a species over a wide range of pressures. For a calorically
perfect gas, cp,iG =γR/(γ1), where γis the isentropic exponent and Rthe gas constant. Tpb
is the temperature at which the heat capacity reaches its maximal value cp,pb. Furthermore, let
Tpb =T+T.
Consider a reference liquid fluid which only raises the temperature upon heat addition. The
energy needed to heat this fluid isobarically from Tto T+is ∆hth =cp,LTpb. The difference
between the overall change and the thermal contribution is the required excess in energy due to the
structural contribution of pseudoboiling. The structural energy ∆hst is thus ∆hst = ∆hpb hth.
Figure 5: Illustration of isobaric supercritical phase change. Determination of interval (T+T) for oxygen at
p= 6 MPa using enthalpy asymptotes for the ideal gas hiG and liquid hLreference states.
Now the actual temperature interval has to be determined. We can use the previously used heat
capacities cp,L,cp,iG, and cp,pb to determine characteristic functions in the h/T diagram, Fig. 5.
hiG(T) = γR
γ1T, (19)
hL(T) = cp,LT+h0,L,(20)
hpb(T) = cp,pb (TTpb) + h0,pb .(21)
Per definition, Eqs. (19) and (20) are independent of pressure; Eq. (21) is valid for the particular
pressure under consideration which determines cp,pb =f(p), h0,pb =f(p), and Tpb =f(p). The
intersections of Eq. (19) and Eq. (21) determine T+, Eq. (20) and Eq. (21) determine T, valid for
the particular pressure of the regarded process:
T(p= const) = h0,Lh0,pb +cp,pbTpb
cp,pb cp,L
T+(p= const) = h0,pb cp,pbTpb
The required structural enthalpy can now be determined. However, its absolute value is not
necessarily meaningful: Fig. 2(a) shows how the cpdistribution widens and flattens for higher
Figure 6: Parameters B1from Eq. (24) as open symbols and B2from Eq. (25) as filled symbols for Ar, N2, O2, H2O.
pressures. The effect should be notable only if the structural energy is required in a sufficiently small
temperature interval and if it significantly exceeds the thermal energy. A convenient nondimensional
parameter to assess this ratio is thus
The reference factor cp,Lsuggests a simplified formulation based solely on a ratio of specific heats.
In order to emphasize the contribution of the state transition over mere heating, the excess specific
heat cp,pb cp,Lis used instead of just the maximum specific heat. The parameter thus reads
Figure 6 shows both parameters for nitrogen, oxygen, water, and argon. The values of the param-
eters are comparable over a range of fluids, especially for the simple fluids nitrogen, oxygen, and
argon. Figure 6 also shows that up to a reduced pressure of 1.5, the structural energy actually
exceeds the thermal energy: i.e. pseudoboiling raises the amount of energy required to heat the
fluid to T+by a factor of two. Even at pr= 3 there is a 10% excess over liquid heating alone.
As expected, the parameter diverges towards the critical point where the heating contribution van-
ishes. Furthermore, the behavior of the approximate B2closely follows the exact B1with an offset,
its evaluation however is largely simplified as transition temperatures need not be known. It thus
appears that B2is better suited for a practical evaluation of the pseudoboiling effect at a given
4. Conclusions
TP gas-like
Figure 7: Structure of the supercritical state space and comparison of subcritical (1) and supercritical isobaric
processes (2),(3).
Pseudoboiling does exist. In this paper, the first quantitative analysis has been introduced. This
phase transition between supercritical liquid-like and gas-like states is illustrated in Fig. 7. Pseu-
doboiling in this sense is a continuous, nonlinear, transcritical (i.e. starts at subcritical temperature
and ends at both supercritical temperature and pressure) process resembling subcritical boiling. It
occurs when the Widom- or pseudoboiling-line is crossed. The associated massive reduction in
density and a high specific heat capacity strongly resemble classical subcritical vaporization, Fig. 7
process (1). At supercritical pressures, the temperature of transition rises with the pressure, i.e.
the transition temperature of Fig. 7 process (3) is higher than in process (2). A simple algebraic
expression with good accuracy has been found for the Widom- or pseudoboiling-line in terms of
reduced pressure and reduced temperature: pr,pb = exp [5.55(Tr1)]. This equation allows for a
simple determination of the positions of maxima in thermal expansion and heat capacity. Isobaric
pseudoboiling is shown to require energy to both raise temperature (thermal) and overcome molec-
ular attraction (structural). Based on this, two nondimensional parameters are defined which show
that the structural contribution actually exceeds the thermal contribution up to a reduced pressure
of 1.5, it becomes negligible above pr3. Thus, at supercritical pressures, the critical temperature
loses its significance as a transition point and is replaced by the pseudoboiling temperature Tpb .
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... Unlike liquids or gases, transcritical fluid properties can exhibit steep gradients, sharp peaks, and be non-monotonous, as illustrated in Figure 1. The peak of the isobaric specific heat capacity was shown to correspond to the latent heat of a transcritical liquid-gas transition, pseudo boiling [29][30][31] and thus of particular importance. It was linked to a thermal break-up of transcritical jets [32] and the supercritical analog to the subcritical boiling crisis-heat transfer deterioration [33]. ...
... The isobaric specific heat capacity c p plays a more indirect, yet equally important role for propellants. Figure 1 shows the distinct peak in heat capacity, which represents the pseudo boiling condition [29], marking the position of maximum change during the supercritical liquid-gas transition. ...
... Another important aspect of the heat capacity peak is its physical meaning as a supercritical latent heat [29,30]. Ernst Schmidt was the first to realize [48,49] that the widening heat capacity distribution around saturation conditions at high subcritical pressures plays the role of a distributed latent heat. ...
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Flows in liquid propellant rocket engines (LRE) are characterized by high pressures and extreme temperature ranges, resulting in complex fluid behavior that requires elaborate thermo-physical models. In particular, cubic equations of state and dedicated models for transport properties are firmly established for LRE simulations as a way to account for the non-idealities of the high-pressure fluids. In this paper, we review some shortcomings of the current modeling paradigm. We build on the common study of property errors, as a direct measure of the density or heat capacity accuracy, to evaluate the quality of cubic equations of state with respect to pseudo boiling of rocket-relevant fluids. More importantly, we introduce the sampling error as a new category, measuring how likely a numerical scheme is to capture real fluid properties during a simulation, and show how even reference quality property models may lead to errors in simulations because of the failure of our numerical schemes to capture them. Ultimately, a further evolution of our non-ideal fluid models is needed, based on the gained insight over the last two decades.
... In Regime II, the injection temperature is close to the critical temperature, and the isentropic expansion path may enter the two-phase dome, resulting in a condensation phase transition. In Regime III, the jet whose injection temperature is much higher than the critical temperature may pass through the Widom line, causing a pseudo-boiling transition of the fuel from liquid-like to gaslike and large density variations [23,24]. Xu et al. [25] examined the morphological characteristics of supercritical n-pentane injected into a subcritical environment, and found that supercritical spray can undergo multiple condensation and evaporation processes downstream of the nozzle. ...
The internal flow characteristics of near- and supercritical RP-3 aviation kerosene injected into an atmospheric pressure environment were experimentally investigated. The internal flow structure was visualized in a two-dimensional transparent convergent nozzle using shadowgraph imaging. A series of images of the RP-3 flow inside a convergent nozzle varying from subcritical to supercritical injection conditions were obtained for the first time. Under subcritical, critical, and supercritical pressures, different RP-3 flow structure transitions with decreasing injection temperature were examined. In addition, the associated phase transition was analyzed using the thermodynamic phase diagram of a 10-component RP-3 surrogate based on the adiabatic isentropic expansion hypothesis. Six distinct phase state regions governing the flow structure were identified, considering the phase transitions and density variations of the fuel injection from different regions during their respective expansion processes. The experimentally observed phase transition boundary with respect to injection conditions was further determined, which can be utilized to predict the onset of a drastic change in mass flow rate. Furthermore, the axial length between the nozzle exit and the onset location of observable phase transition was detected, which initially increases and then decreases with decreasing injection temperature. Further analysis showed that the unique evolution behaviour of the specific heat ratio during injection process has a strong effect on flow characteristics near critical point.
The peculiar convective heat transfer characteristics of supercritical pressure hydrocarbon fuel in vertical tubes (inner diameter of 1 and 2 mm) were investigated experimentally. The purpose of this study is to analyze the heat transfer phenomena observed from experiments and correlate the Nusselt number based on the theoretical framework of supercritical pseudo-boiling. The operating parameters covered pressures of 3-5 MPa, Reynolds numbers of 3,000-141,500, and various wall heat fluxes. An enhanced heat transfer regime was found under large mass flux condition within the temperature range of 0.6 < Tb/Tpc < 1.05. Two types of deteriorated heat transfer phenomena were observed under small mass flux condition, which could be attributed to low values in cp for the entrance region and pseudo-film-boiling for the high enthalpy region, respectively. It was proposed to use Nu/Nuref,pb to identify the heat transfer regimes of supercritical pressure hydrocarbon fuels under various operating parameters, in which the reference Nusselt number was calculated based on an assumption of a homogenous mixture of the liquid-like and gas-like fluid. In addition, a new correlation was developed by including a term characterizing the effect of pseudo-boiling on heat transfer, the K number. Promising findings on understanding the complex heat transfer behaviors and improvement in the prediction of heat transfer characteristics have been obtained.
The Ruppeiner geometry has been shown to provide novel ways for constructing the phase boundaries and the Widom line of certain fluids. This paper examines the applicability of these geometric constructions to more general fluids. We develop a general equation-of-state expansion for fluids near a critical point that mainly assumes analyticity with respect to the number density. Based on this general parametrization of fluids, we prove the equivalence of the Ruppeiner geometric construction and the standard Maxwell construction of phase boundaries near the critical point. In contrast, we find that the usual prescription based on the Ruppeiner geometry for the Widom line does not produce the expected Widom line for arbitrary cases of our general fluid equation of state. This usual prescription relies on the Ruppeiner metric induced on a particular hypersurface of the thermodynamic manifold. We show that by choosing a different hypersurface, which we call the Ruppeiner-N surface, and using its associated induced metric, the Ruppeiner construction generates the entire Widom line of the van der Waals fluid exactly, even away from the critical point. Interestingly, this alternative hypersurface yields another benefit. It improves the classification scheme originally proposed by Diósi et al. for partitioning the van der Waals state space into its different phases using geodesics of a thermodynamic metric. We argue that, whereas the original Diósi boundaries did not correspond to any clear thermodynamic lines, the corresponding boundaries based on the Ruppeiner-N metric become sensitive to the presence of the van der Waals Widom line and provide the correct classification of all van der Waals states. These results suggest that the Ruppeiner-N surface may be the more appropriate hypersurface to use when studying phase diagrams with thermodynamic geometry.
For achieving high-efficiency power generation and refrigeration, CO2 cycles are receiving great attention and have been widely studied. In these cycles, the in-tube pressure drop of CO2 determines the required pumping power to maintain tube wall temperature and consequently affects the system efficiency, stability, and safety, and is thus of significant importance. In this work, we experimentally studied the pressure drop characteristics of CO2 in a horizontal heated tube with an inner diameter of 8 mm under both subcritical and supercritical pressures. The effects of mass flux, heat flux and working pressure on the pressure drop characteristics are investigated and discussed. The pressure drop increases with mass flux and heat flux, but shows complex behavior with varying pressure. The variation of pressure drop with working pressure is attributed to the two-phase effect in both subcritical and supercritical pressures. Moreover, the pressure drop characteristics are compared with existing correlations, and new correlations are developed. For subcritical pressure, a modified Blasius correlation is used to yield a modified Chisholm correlation, which can accurately predict the frictional pressure drop of the experiments. For supercritical pressure, a new correlation is proposed for predicting the friction factors by incorporating the supercritical pseudo-vapor quality, which shows greatly improved prediction accuracy. Our work demonstrates the similarities of the flow characteristics of CO2 between subcritical and supercritical conditions, and provides an alternative pathway to understand supercritical fluid flow using the three-regime-model by analogy with subcritical two-phase flow.
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Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) mixtures are essential for many industrial applications. However, the knowledge of their thermophysical properties in the extended critical region is insufficient. Here, supercritical liquid- and gas-like regions dominated by distinct dynamics and thermodynamics exist and are demarcated by the so-called Widom line. The nature of the anomalies observed for several thermophysical properties at the crossover between these two regions is the subject of a lively debate. Hence, the extended critical region of scCO2 and seven of its binary mixtures with hydrogen, methane, ethane, isobutane, benzene, toluene or naphthalene is studied with respect to thermodynamic, transport and structural properties on the basis of molecular dynamics simulations and equation of state calculations. The Widom line is evaluated employing five criteria and a new empirical equation is proposed for its prediction. Further, the crossover anomalies are investigated in the light of pseudo-boiling theory, diffusion and viscosity as well as structural characteristics given by the radial distribution function.
To study the flow and heat transfer characteristics of supercritical n-decane in the actual regenerative cooling tube, the heat transfer characteristics in a horizontal square tube under a single-side heated condition with considering and ignoring gravity were numerically investigated. The k-ωSST turbulence model was used and tested against the experimental data. The heat transfer characteristics on circumferential walls were presented and the radial flow pattern in the main flow zone and the boundary layer zone was analyzed to explore the mechanism of the heat transfer under gravity conditions. It was found that the heat transfer was enhanced at the bottom wall and weakened at the remaining three walls because of the secondary flow caused by gravity effect. Furthermore, the heat transfer would be enhanced when the velocity component of the boundary layer along the normal direction of the wall is toward the wall. Besides, a brand-new structure constructed by ribs section and smooth section was proposed. The additional pressure drop caused by the enhanced heat transfer structure can be reduced by up to 95.4% with the same heat transfer performance compared with the traditional ribs-tube structure which ribs spread all over a tube.
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The present work investigates the linear instability of three-dimensional boundary layers in thermodynamically non-ideal regimes. As a representative fluid, we consider carbon dioxide at supercritical pressure (80 bar). The flow set-up is matched to the redesigned DLR (German Aerospace Center) experiment on cross-flow instability, with identical pressure-coefficient distribution (accelerating the flow), sweep angle and Reynolds number, at a low Mach number. The flow temperature relative to the Widom line – also known as the pseudocritical line – thus characterises the non-ideality of the flow. We consider supercritical (gas-like), subcritical (liquid-like) and transcritical (pseudoboiling) regimes, where the flow temperature remains above, below or crosses the Widom line. The stability analyses of the parabolised Navier–Stokes baseflows indicate that wall heating destabilises the flow in the supercritical regime while wall cooling stabilises both effects similar to the ideal-fluid situation but being stronger. On the contrary, wall heating/cooling exhibits reversed effects in the subcritical regime, like for an ideal liquid. In the transcritical regime, with its sharp gradients of the thermodynamic and transport properties, wall heating stabilises the flow. Most substantially, however, wall cooling provokes a changeover of the leading instability mechanism: the accelerated streamwise flow attains inflectional wall-normal profiles, and the invoked inviscid Tollmien–Schlichting instability prevails with growth rates up to one order of magnitude larger than those of the cross-flow mode. We establish a two-fold mathematical relation from the momentum equation that explains the consequence of non-ideality and wall heating/cooling. The streamwise perturbation patterns of the flows in their linear instability regime are shown by mimicking wave trains emanating from virtual point-disturbance sources. From the viewpoint of keeping laminar flows, the transcritical thermodynamic state with a cooling wall must be avoided.
In heat transfer processes of supercritical fluids, heat transfer deterioration (HTD) is normally manifested by unusual rise of wall temperature with one or multiple peaks. Despite being dangerous for the heat exchanger equipment, there is a lack of accurate predictions and reasonable explanations of such HTD phenomena. In this work, a two-phase numerical method is validated and optimized in terms of the two-phase model and interval temperature ΔT. The results showed that the Mixture model outperformed the volume of fluid model, where the modeling results were more consistent with the experimental values when ΔT was set as 1 K. In addition, considering the pseudo-boiling theory and the two-phase numerical method, three cases with different forms of HTD were selected for further investigation. The selection of the saturation temperature Tsat and condensation frequency fe was found to also have a significant impact on calculation results. The best predicted results were obtained at a saturation temperature equal to the termination of pseudo-boiling temperature with a fe of around 200. Overall, the two-phase numerical method was found to yield more accurate predictions compared to the single-phase numerical method in this work. Through the analysis of the average gas volume fraction along the flow direction, a link between this fraction and HTD was developed. Moreover, HTD in the case of supercritical fluids could also be divided into two types of pseudo-film boiling, similar to that under subcritical pressure. The first type of HTD is similar to stable pseudo-film boiling where the gas volume fraction is very high at the deterioration point. By dividing the supercritical fluid into three regimes, a good agreement was reported between the wall temperature and the vapor-like regime. Also, the wall temperature and the vapor-like regime were found to peak at the same position. On the other hand, the second type of HTD is similar to the departure from nuclear boiling, which can occur at the inlet or in the low gas volume fraction zone.
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This paper analyzes the characteristics of convective heat transfer of a pulse-heated platinum microwire cooling in CO2 under supercritical pressures based on experimental data. The microwire undergoes a rapid temperature rise of around 664 K within 0.35 ms. An inverse problem is formulated and numerically solved to extract heat transfer data from experimental measurements. In addition, a predictive model for the convective heat transfer coefficient is developed to fully close the equation set. Results are interpreted based on the bulk pressure from 7.38 to 9 MPa and bulk temperature from 295 to 325 K. The convective heat flux of CO2 generally decreases with time, and in the medium-term, the reduction is slightly decelerated owing to buoyancy-driven flows. This demonstrates that high-pressure and low-temperature bulk states generally exert larger convective heat flux to cool the microwire. During the early 10 ms, the time-averaged convective heat flux is of the order of 1 MW/m2, resulting in rapid cooling. This value shows a weak critical enhancement upon crossing the Widom line. During the remaining time, the time-averaged convective heat flux drops to the order of 0.1 MW/m2. Such a drop in heat flux is more obvious in low-bulk-density cases, leading to a relatively long time for sufficient cooling.
The thermophysical properties of argon, ethylene, parahydrogen, nitrogen, nitrogen trifluoride and oxygen are presented. Properties are given in tables and a standard set of equations is described. The tables list pressure, density, temperature, internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, heat capacity at constant volume, heat capacity at constant pressure, and sound velocity. Also included are viscosity, thermal conductivity, and dielectric constant, for some of the fluids. The equation and related properties of this report represent a compilation from the cooperative efforts of two research groups: the NBS Thermophysical Properties Division and the Center for Applied Thermodynamics Studies of the University of Idaho.
This chapter describes the behavior of thermodynamic and transport properties near the critical point. The near-critical region may be thought of as that region, in which boiling and convection merge. When the pressure is sufficiently subcritical or supercritical, the problem tends toward either a boiling problem or a constant property convection problem. Under such conditions, existing theoretical and empirical methods are generally adequate. The chapter concentrates on the region rather close to the critical point where the property variations are severe and where there are very significant heat transfer effects. The equations of continuity, momentum, and energy are examined with a view to revealing the effect of variable properties and deciding whether the same simplifications can be made as are common with a constant property fluid. Various modes of heat transfer are also discussed, particular attention being given to the interaction between forced and free convection.
Experimental data are presented on heat transfer with diisopropyl-cyclohexane accompanied by high-frequency pressure oscillations. A hypothesis is advanced relating to the mechanism causing these oscillations.
Experimental data characterizing the onset of pseudoboiling in relation to flow rate, pressure, and tube diameter are presented for diisopropylcyclohexane (DICH).
In 1863 the author announced, in a communication which Dr. Miller had the kindness to publish in the third edition of his 'Chemical Physics,’ that on partially liquefying carbonic acid by pressure, and gradually raising at the same tune the temperature to about 88° Fahr., the surface of de­marcation between the liquid and gas became fainter, lost its curvature, and at last disappeared, the tube being then filled with a fluid which, from its optical and other properties, appeared to be perfectly homogeneous. The present paper contains the results of an investigation of this subject, which has occupied the author for several years. The temperature at which carbonic acid ceases to liquefy by pressure he designates the critical point, and he finds it to be 30°·92 C. Although liquefaction does not occur at temperatures a little above this point, a very great change of density is produced by slight alterations of pressure, and the flickering movements, also described in 1863, come conspicuously into view. In this communication, the combined effects of heat and pressure upon carbonic acid at temperatures varying from 13° C. to 48° C., and at pressures ranging from 48 to 109 atmospheres, are fully examined.
Previous studies of supercritical three-dimensional mixing layers are reviewed to derive a unified understanding of supercritical turbulence and mixing. These studies consisted of Direct Numerical Simulations of mixing layers having initially a single chemical species in each of the two free streams. Each mixing layer was initially perturbed, which led to a double pairing of four initial spanwise vortices. These pairings yielded in each case an ultimate vortex within which small scales proliferated, resulting in a state having turbulence characteristics, called a transitional state. The evolution of the layer to this transitional state and the state itself were previously analyzed to elucidate the features of supercritical turbulence and mixing. This analysis is here used to classify those supercritical turbulent mixing characteristics that are species-system independent or species-system dependent. Finally, comments are offered on future prospects of developing small-scale models particularly suited for Large Eddy Simulations of supercritical turbulent mixing.
A new formulation for the thermodynamic properties of nitrogen has been developed. Many new data sets have become available, including high accuracy data from single and dual-sinker apparatuses which improve the accuracy of the representation of the p&rgr;T surface of gaseous, liquid, and supercritical nitrogen, including the saturation states. New measurements of the speed of sound from spherical resonators yield accurate information on caloric properties in gaseous and supercritical nitrogen. Isochoric heat capacity and enthalpy data have also been published. Sophisticated procedures for the optimization of the mathematical structure of equations of state and special functional forms for an improved representation of data in the critical region were used. Constraints regarding the structure of the equation ensure reasonable results up to extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. For calibration applications, the new reference equation is supplemented by a simple but also accurate formulation, valid only for supercritical nitrogen between 250 and 350 K at pressures up to 30 MPa. The uncertainty in density of the new reference equation of state ranges from 0.02% at pressures less than 30 MPa up to 0.6% at very high pressures, except in the range from 270 to 350 K at pressures less than 12 MPa where the uncertainty in density is 0.01%. The equation is valid from the triple point temperature to temperatures of 1000 K and up to pressures of 2200 MPa. From 1000 to 1800 K, the equation was validated with data of limited accuracy. The extrapolation behavior beyond 1800 K is reasonable up to the limits of chemical stability of nitrogen, as indicated by comparison to experimental shock tube data.
This work reviews the available data on thermodynamic properties of argon and presents a new equation of state in the form of a fundamental equation explicit in the Helmholtz energy. The functional form of the residual part of the Helmholtz energy was developed by using state-of-the-art linear optimization strategies and a new nonlinear regression analysis. The new equation of state contains 41 coefficients, which were fitted to selected data of the following properties: (a) thermal properties of the single phase (p&rgr;T) and (b) of the liquid–vapor saturation curve (ps,&rgr;′,&rgr;″) including the Maxwell criterion, (c) speed of sound w, isochoric heat capacity cv, second and third thermal virial coefficients B and C and second acoustic virial coefficient βa. For the density, the estimated uncertainty of the new equation of state is less than ±0.02% for pressures up to 12 MPa and temperatures up to 340 K with the exception of the critical region and less than ±0.03% for pressures up to 30 MPa and temperatures between 235 and 520 K. In the region with densities up to half the critical density and for temperatures between 90 and 450 K the estimated uncertainty of calculated speeds of sound is in general less than ±0.02%. The new formulation shows reasonable extrapolation behavior up to very high pressures and temperatures. Independent equations for the vapor pressure, for the pressure on the sublimation and melting curve and for the saturated liquid and saturated vapor densities are also included. Tables for the thermodynamic properties of argon from 84 to 700 K for pressures up to 1000 MPa are given.
The critical point of a fluid is defined as the point beyond which it ceases to exhibit distinct liquid- or gas-like states. A crossover between liquid-like and gas-like behaviour observed by inelastic X-ray scattering suggests subtle effects involving nanoscale fluctuations in the one-phase region above the critical point.