The purpose of this study is to predict the turbulent scalar flux at a free surface subject to a fully developed turbulent flow based on a hydrodynamic analysis of turbulence in the region close to the free surface. The effect of the Reynolds number on turbulent scalar transfer mechanisms is extensively examined. A direct numerical simulation technique is applied to achieve the purpose. The surface-renewal approximation is used to correlate the free-surface hydrodynamics and scalar transport at the free surface. Two types of characteristic time scales have been examined for predicting turbulent scalar flux. One is the time scale derived from the characteristic length and velocity scale at the free surface. The other is the reciprocal of the root-mean-square surface divergence. The results of this study show that scalar transport at the free surface can be predicted successfully using these time scales based on the concept of the surface-renewal approximation. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012
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