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Gas separation by means of the Knudsen compressor. (English) Zbl 1124.76048

Summary: We investigate the possibility of making use of Knudsen compressor as a gas separator. Starting from the description at the microscopic level on the basis of kinetic theory of gases, we derive a fluid-dynamical model describing the behaviour of the mixture in Knudsen compressor. Then, by the use of this model, we numerically demonstrate that the Knudsen compressor works certainly as a gas separator. The separation performance is shown to reach a practical level by increasing the number of elemental units in the device. The numerical simulation is carried out for various molecular models, not only for fundamental models as hard-sphere and Maxwell molecules, but also for more realistic models such as the inverse power-law potential and Lennard-Jones models, assuming the McCormack model equation at the microscopic level. The results show that the modelling by the celebrated Maxwell molecule (or the BGK-type) model equation fails to capture the phenomenon of gas separation in the device. This presents a remarkable contrast to the capability of other fundamental model, the hard-sphere molecule, even though this model exaggerates the phenomenon to some extent.

MSC:

76P05 Rarefied gas flows, Boltzmann equation in fluid mechanics
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