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Title: SEPARATION OF GAS MIXTURES BY THERMOACOUSTIC WAVES

Imposing sound on a binary gas mixture in a duct separates the two gases along the acoustic-propagation axis. Mole-fraction differences as large as 10% and separation fluxes as high as 0.001 M-squared c, where M is Mach number and c is sound speed, are easily observed. We describe the accidental discovery of this phenomenon in a helium-xenon mixture, subsequent experiments with a helium-argon mixture, and theoretical developments. The phenomenon occurs because a thin layer of the gas adjacent to the wall is immobilized by viscosity while the rest of the gas moves back and forth with the wave, and the heat capacity of the wall holds this thin layer of the gas at constant temperature while the rest of the gas experiences temperature oscillations due to the wave's oscillating pressure. The oscillating temperature gradient causes the light and heavy atoms in the gas to take turns diffusing into and out of the immobilized layer, so that the oscillating motion of the wave outside the immobilized layer tends to carry light-enriched gas in one direction and heavy-enriched gas in the opposite direction. Experiment and theory are in very good agreement for the initial separation fluxes and the saturation mole-fraction differences.
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
783159
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-01-3040
TRN: AH200131%%395
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Conference title not supplied, Conference location not supplied, Conference dates not supplied; Other Information: PBD: 1 Jun 2001
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab., NM (US)
Sponsoring Org:
US Department of Energy (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ATOMS; DUCTS; GASES; MACH NUMBER; MIXTURES; OSCILLATIONS; SATURATION; SPECIFIC HEAT; TEMPERATURE GRADIENTS; VISCOSITY