Solute Nucleation and Growth in Supercritical Fluid Mixtures


This research effort is directed toward two primary scientific objectives: (1) to determine the gravitational effect on the measurement of nucleation and growth rates near a critical point and (2) to investigate the nucleation process in supercritical fluids to aid in the evaluation and development of existing theoretical models and practical applications. A nucleation pulse method will be employed for this investigation using a rapid expansion to a supersaturated state that is maintained for ≈ 1 ms followed by a rapid recompression to a less supersaturated state that effectively terminates nucleation while permitting growth to continue. Nucleation, which occurs during the initial supersaturated state, is decoupled from growth by producing rapid pressure changes. Thermodynamic analysis, condensation modeling, apparatus design, and optical diagnostic design necessary for the initiation of a theoretical and experimental investigation of naphthalene nucleation from supercritical CO2 have been completed.

Meeting Name

3rd Microgravity Fluid Physics Conference (1996: Jul. 13-15, Cleveland, OH)



Keywords and Phrases

Carbon dioxide; Condensation; Gravitational effects; Mathematical models; Mixtures; Nucleation; Pressure effects; Supersaturation; Thermodynamics, Critical point; Rapidly expanded supercritical solutions; Solute nucleation; Supercritical fluid mixtures; Supersaturated state, Supercritical fluid extraction

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 1996 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 1996

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