Construction of a coarse-grain quasi-classical trajectory method. I. Theory and application to N2-N2 system.

Research paper by R L RL Macdonald, R L RL Jaffe, D W DW Schwenke, M M Panesi

Indexed on: 10 Feb '18Published on: 10 Feb '18Published in: The Journal of chemical physics


This work aims to construct a reduced order model for energy transfer and dissociation in non-equilibrium nitrogen mixtures. The objective is twofold: to present the Coarse-Grain Quasi-Classical Trajectory (CG-QCT) method, a novel framework for constructing a reduced order model for diatom-diatom systems; and to analyze the physics of non-equilibrium relaxation of the nitrogen molecules undergoing dissociation in an ideal chemical reactor. The CG-QCT method couples the construction of the reduced order model under the coarse-grain model framework with the quasi-classical trajectory calculations to directly construct the reduced model without the need for computing the individual rovibrational specific kinetic data. In the coarse-grain model, the energy states are lumped together into groups containing states with similar properties, and the distribution of states within each of these groups is prescribed by a Boltzmann distribution at the local translational temperature. The required grouped kinetic properties are obtained directly by the QCT calculations. Two grouping strategies are considered: energy-based grouping, in which states of similar internal energy are lumped together, and vibrational grouping, in which states with the same vibrational quantum number are grouped together. A zero-dimensional chemical reactor simulation, in which the molecules are instantaneously heated, forcing the system into strong non-equilibrium, is used to study the differences between the two grouping strategies. The comparison of the numerical results against available experimental data demonstrates that the energy-based grouping is more suitable to capture dissociation, while the energy transfer process is better described with a vibrational grouping scheme. The dissociation process is found to be strongly dependent on the behavior of the high energy states, which contribute up to 50% of the dissociating molecules. Furthermore, up to 40% of the energy required to dissociate the molecules comes from the rotational mode, underscoring the importance of accounting for this mode when constructing non-equilibrium kinetic models. In contrast, the relaxation process is governed primarily by low energy states, which exhibit significantly slower transitions in the vibrational binning model due to the prevalence of mode separation in these states.