Indexed on: 17 Jun '11Published on: 17 Jun '11Published in: Topics in current chemistry
Thermodynamic properties of fluids are of key importance for the chemical industry. Presently, the fluid property models used in process design and optimization are mostly equations of state or G (E) models, which are parameterized using experimental data. Molecular modeling and simulation based on classical force fields is a promising alternative route, which in many cases reasonably complements the well established methods. This chapter gives an introduction to the state-of-the-art in this field regarding molecular models, simulation methods, and tools. Attention is given to the way modeling and simulation on the scale of molecular force fields interact with other scales, which is mainly by parameter inheritance. Parameters for molecular force fields are determined both bottom-up from quantum chemistry and top-down from experimental data. Commonly used functional forms for describing the intra- and intermolecular interactions are presented. Several approaches for ab initio to empirical force field parameterization are discussed. Some transferable force field families, which are frequently used in chemical engineering applications, are described. Furthermore, some examples of force fields that were parameterized for specific molecules are given. Molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo methods for the calculation of transport properties and vapor-liquid equilibria are introduced. Two case studies are presented. First, using liquid ammonia as an example, the capabilities of semi-empirical force fields, parameterized on the basis of quantum chemical information and experimental data, are discussed with respect to thermodynamic properties that are relevant for the chemical industry. Second, the ability of molecular simulation methods to describe accurately vapor-liquid equilibrium properties of binary mixtures containing CO(2) is shown.