About the book
The use of supercritical fluids in different processes is not new, and, actually, is not a human invention. Nature has been processing minerals in aqueous solutions at near or above the critical point of water for billions of years. In the late 1800s, scientists started to use this natural process in their labs for creating various crystals. In the 1950s, the idea of using SuperCritical (SC) ""steam""-water appeared to be quite attractive for SC “steam” generators. The objective of operating “steam” generators at supercritical pressures was to increase the total efficiency of a power plant. At the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, some studies were conducted to investigate the possibility of using SuperCritical Fluids (SCFs) in nuclear reactors. Several concepts of nuclear reactors using SC water as a reactor coolant were developed in the USA and USSR. However, this idea was abandoned for almost 30 years and regained support in the 1990s. Currently, use of SCW in Rankine cycle at coal-fired thermal power plants is the largest application of SCFsin industry. However, other areas exist, where SCFs are used or will be implemented in the near future.
The latest developments in these areas focus on increasing efficiency of the existing ultra-SC and SC “steam” generators; developing the next generation of Generation IV nuclear-reactor concepts with SCW and SC helium as reactor coolants, and SCW, SC helium or a mixture of SC nitrogen and SC helium, and SC carbon dioxide as working fluids in power cycles (Rankine and Brayton); using SC carbon dioxide for cooling of a printed circuits and as a refrigerant agent; use of near-critical helium to cool the coils of superconducting electromagnets, superconducting electronics and power-transmission equipment; use of SC hydrogen as a fuel for chemical and nuclear rockets; use of SC methane as a coolant and a fuel for supersonic transport; use of SC hydrocarbon coolants and fuels in cooling jackets of liquid rocket engines and in air-breathing engines; use of SCW oxidation technology for treatment of industrial and military wastes; use of carbon dioxide in the SCF leaching method for removal uranium from radioactive solid wastes; and use of SCFs in chemical and pharmaceutical industries in such processes as SCF extraction, chromatography, polymer processing and others.
Therefore, the objective of the current book is to summarize all modern advanced applications of SCFs in various industries and processes; to present latest thermophysical and other properties of SCFs; and to discuss specifics of heat transfer and pressure drop SCFs flows.
The book is intended for a wide range of readers, who are working with SCFs and SC pressure technologies, including experts, specialists, scientists, researchers, engineers, and students of mechanical, nuclear, aerospace, chemical engineering and other departments.