Reaction Ensemble Molecular Dynamics: Direct Simulation of the Dynamic Equilibrium Properties of Chemically Reacting Mixtures

Report No. ARL-RP-144
Authors: John K. Brennan; Martin Lisal; Keith E. Gubbins; Betsy M. Rice
Date/Pages: September 2006; 10 pages
Abstract: A molecular simulation method to study the dynamics of chemically reacting mixtures is presented. The method uses a combination of stochastic and dynamic simulation steps, allowing for the simulation of both thermodynamic and transport properties. The method couples a molecular dynamics simulation cell (termed dynamic cell) to a reaction mixture simulation cell (termed control cell) that is formulated upon the reaction ensemble Monte Carlo (RxMC) method, hence the term reaction ensemble molecular dynamics. Thermodynamic and transport properties are calculated in the dynamic cell by using a constant-temperature molecular dynamics simulation method. RxMC forward and reverse reaction steps are performed in the control cell only, while molecular dynamics steps are performed in both the dynamic cell and the control cell. The control cell, which acts as a sink and source reservoir, is maintained at reaction equilibrium conditions via the RxMC algorithm. The reaction ensemble molecular dynamics method is analogous to the grand canonical ensemble molecular dynamics technique, while using some elements of the osmotic molecular dynamics method, and so simulates conditions that directly relate to real, open systems. The accuracy and stability of the method is assessed by considering the ammonia synthesis reaction N2 +3H2?2NH3. It is shown to be a viable method for predicting the effects of nonideal environments on the dynamic properties (particularly diffusion) as well as reaction equilibria for chemically reacting mixtures.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2006