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Study of the oversolubility of gases in liquids of nanometric volume


This project deals with the study of a basic phenomenon: the solubility of gases in liquids, which has many implications in physics, chemistry and engineering. What makes this proposal original is the nanometric scale of the system studied. Goals The main objective of this project is to understand why recent solubility measurements, on nanometer-scale gas/liquid systems, show values much higher than in a macroscopic bulk: what we called the oversolubility effect. A second objective is to build up a predictive model of the effect, as a function of the nature of the gas, the solvent, and the system size. A third objective deals with the search of possible applications of this effect, particularly for gas storage (hydrogen, carbon dioxide). Expected results Apa rt from the above model, the main expected results are quantitative data of the nano-scale oversolubility effect, for as much gas / liquid systems as possible. The results will be obtained as a function of temperature, gas pressure, and solvent volume size . We will focus on general interest systems in process engineering, such as H2, O2, N2, and gaseous hydrocarbons in liquid hydrocarbons and water. Special attention will be given to systems including CO2 as a gas, due to its importance in the current globa l warming, and to those including H2, for its potential use as energy source. If the results are favourable, first tests of storage applications for these two gases will be considered. Methodology Three measurement methods will be used: - Quantitative NMR. - Micro-catharometric analysis. This device will be set up together with a high throughput feed and acquisition unit. - Micro-volumetric studies, based on very precise pressure sensors and temperature cycles. For modelling studies, the hypothesis of a pure ly physical effect will be used as a first ground, considering the preliminary results. As a function of further results, this approach may evolve.

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