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A Study of the Change in the Temperature of Maximum Density of Water and Aqueous Solutions as a function of Pressure

Cotter, Gerard (2010) A Study of the Change in the Temperature of Maximum Density of Water and Aqueous Solutions as a function of Pressure. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to study the shift in the temperature of maximum density of water and aqueous solutions as a function of pressure. One of the many anomalous properties of water is that it passes through a maximum in density in the liquid state. In order to accurately measure the temperature of maximum density (Tmd), convective flow is monitored in a rectangular container containing the fluid. A temperature gradient is held across the chamber and it is cooled and heated in a quasi-steady state manner. A double cell convection pattern forms in the vicinity of the density maximum. This double cell is tracked by monitoring the temperature at selected points in the fluid. The change in temperature of maximum density due to concentration and applied pressure can be investigated using this technique. At a pressure of one atmosphere, this density maximum occurs in pure water at a temperature of 3.98 C. It is known that the temperature of maximum density decreases as the pressure increases; for pure water this occurs at a rate of 1 C per 50 bar. Experimentally the shift in the temperature of maximum density of aqueous solutions is tracked over the pressure range 1 to 100 bar. It is found that the temperature of maximum density drops as the pressure rises for all solutes studied, but that the rate of decrease changes depending on the nature of the solute. For ionic salts, the rate of decrease is steeper than that for pure water, whereas for monohydric alcohols the rate of decrease is less that that for pure water. These divergent trends become more apparent as solute concentrations increase. The behaviour of the temperature of maximum density is modelled on both macroscopic and microscopic levels. A simple macroscopic model is proposed by combining state functions for water with those of solutes. This approach predicts that the rate of decrease of the temperature of maximum density for ideal (noninteracting) mixtures as a function of pressure is less than for pure water (but not as pronounced as the change observed in the alcohol solutions). Microscopic modelling at the molecular level is done using Monte Carlo methods. Non-ideal mixtures are studied by introducing molecules whose interactions with water are either stronger or weaker than the water-water interactions. In all cases it is found that the rate of change of the temperature of maximum density as a function of pressure lessens compared to the rate for pure water. The models thus help in understanding some, but not all, of the experimental observations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Change in the Temperature of Maximum Density of Water; Aqueous Solutions as a function of Pressure;
Subjects: Science & Engineering > Experimental Physics
Item ID: 2523
Depositing User: IR eTheses
Date Deposited: 09 May 2011 14:33
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