Molecular Simulation of Diffusion of Hydrogen, Carbon Monoxide, and Water in Heavy n-Alkanes Academic Article uri icon


  • The self-diffusion and mutual diffusion coefficients of hydrogen (H(2)), carbon monoxide (CO), and water (H(2)O) in n-alkanes were studied by molecular dynamics simulation. n-Alkane molecules were modeled based on the TraPPE united atom force field. NPT molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed for n-C(12) to n-C(96) at different temperature and pressure values to validate the accuracy of the force field. In all cases, good agreement was obtained between literature experimental data and model predictions for the density and structure properties of the n-alkanes. Subsequently, the self-diffusion coefficient of the three light components in the various n-alkanes was calculated at different temperatures. Model predictions were in very good agreement with limited experimental data. Furthermore, the Maxwell-Stefan diffusion coefficients of H(2) and CO in two n-alkanes, namely n-C(12) and n-C(28), were calculated based on long MD NVT simulations for different solute concentrations in the n-alkanes. Finally, the Fick diffusion coefficient of the components was calculated as a product of the Maxwell-Stefan diffusion coefficient and a thermodynamic factor. The latter was estimated from the statistical associating fluid theory (SAFT). The Fick diffusion coefficient was found to be higher than the Maxwell-Stefan diffusion coefficient for H(2) and CO in n-C(28). The empirical Darken equation was used to estimate the Maxwell-Stefan diffusion coefficient, and calculations were found to be in good agreement with simulation results.

author list (cited authors)

  • Makrodimitri, Z. A., Unruh, D., & Economou, I. G.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011 11:11 AM