The effects of large-scale mixing and vapor concentration on homogeneous nucleation rates are investigated via direct numerical simulation of dibutyl-phthalate (DBP) nucleation during cooling and mixing in three-dimensional planar jets. In the simulated cases, a heated jet doped with DBP issues into a co-flow of room-temperature air. As the two streams mix, the DBP vapor becomes highly supersaturated and particles are formed by nucleation. This particle formation takes place in the absence of condensation or coagulation. The simulation results provide a demonstration of how nucleation takes place in narrow regions where molecular mixing of the two streams occurs. When maximum nucleation rates occur in conditions where the nucleation rates are sensitive to ambient conditions, islands of nucleation form. There are two possible nucleation events: initial shear layer nucleation, and later nucleation in coherent structures or eddies generated by the velocity difference between the jet and the co-flow. A scatter plot diagram of observed dilution paths in temperature versus condensable vapor concentration space where nucleation rates are superimposed is shown to be a convenient tool for analyzing nucleation events. Convection by large-scale eddies gradually spreads the range of mixing paths in this space toward higher nucleation rates. The results also show that boundary conditions, including inlet concentration and velocity ratio, have both qualitative and quantitative effects on particle nucleation.
- aerosol dynamics
- fluid turbulence