Freezing of Solute-Laden Aqueous Solutions: Kinetics of Crystallization and Heat- and Mass-Transfer-Limited Model

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Following an earlier study, we reexamined the latent heat of fusion during freezing at 5 K/min of twelve different pre-nucleated solute-laden aqueous solutions using a Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) and correlated it with the amount of initially dissolved solids or solutes in the solution. In general, a decrease in DSC-measured heat release (in comparison to that of pure water, 335 mJ/mg) was observed with an increasing fraction of dissolved solids or solutes, as observed in the earlier study. In addition, the kinetics of ice crystallization was also obtained in three representative biological media by performing additional experiments at 1, 5 and 20 K/min. A model of ice crystallization based on the phase diagram of a water-NaCl binary solution and a modified Avrami-like model of kinetics was then developed and fit to the experimental data. Concurrently, a heat and mass transfer model of the freezing of a salt solution in a small container is also presented to account for the effect of the cooling rate as well as the solute concentration on the measured latent of freezing. This diffusion-based model of heat and mass transfer was non-dimensionalized, solved using a numerical scheme and compared with experimental results. The simulation results show that the heat and mass transfer model can predict (± 10%) the experimental results.

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Bioengineering (Basel, Switzerland)

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