Application of thermodynamics at different scales to describe the behaviour of fast reacting binary mixtures in vapour-liquid equilibrium

Silvia Lasala*, Konstantin Samukov, H.M. Polat, Véronique Lachet, Olivier Herbinet, Romain Privat, Jean Noël Jaubert, Othonas A. Moultos, Kevin De Ras, Thijs J. H. Vlugt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The use of reactive working fluids in thermodynamic cycles is currently being considered as an alternative to inert working fluids, because of the preliminarily attested higher energy-efficiency potential. The current needs to simulate their use in thermodynamic cycles, which may operate in liquid, vapour or vapour-liquid state, are an accurate real-fluid equation of state and ideal gas thermochemical properties of each molecule constituting the mixture, to calculate the equilibrium constant. To this end, the appeal to a multi-scale theoretical methodology is paramount and its definition represents the objective of the present work. This methodology is applied and validated on the system N2O4 ⇌ 2NO2. Firstly, the equations solved for simultaneous two-phase and reaction equilibrium are presented. Secondly, ideal gas thermochemical properties of N2O4 and NO2 are computed at atomic scale by quantum mechanics simulations. Then, to apply the selected cubic equation of state, pure-component properties of the species forming the reactive mixture (critical point coordinates and acentric factor) are required as input. However, these properties are not measurable, since NO2 and N2O4 do not exist in nature as pure components. To get around this difficulty, the methodology relies on molecular Monte Carlo simulations of the pure N2O4 and NO2, as well as on the reactive N2O4 ⇌ 2NO2, enabling the determination of those missing pure-component properties and thus the calculation, on a macroscopic scale, of the reactive mixture properties. Finally, the comparison of calculated mixture properties with available experimental data leads to validate the accuracy of the proposed methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148961
Number of pages15
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2024


This work has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 101040994). We are grateful for the support by NWO Domain Science for the use of supercomputer facilities, with financial support from the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO). The authors acknowledge the use of computational resources of DelftBlue supercomputer, provided by Delft High Performance Computing Centre (


  • Equations of state
  • Monte Carlo simulations
  • Quantum Mechanics simulations
  • Reactive mixtures
  • Vapour-liquid equilibrium


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