A review study of solid-gas sublimation flow for refrigeration: From basic mechanism to applications

Lin Chen, Xin Rong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Sublimation is one phase change mechanism which usually happens under low-to-moderate temperatures and at the same time large amounts of latent heat can be utilized. Low temperature sublimation has been proposed in a lot of applications as one useful cooling/refrigeration mechanisms, such as medical cooling, food engineering, chemical synthesis, domestic cooling and many industrial sectors. In this review study, the basic mechanisms of sublimation two-phase flows are firstly reviewed. In earlier years, theoretical studies focused on and analyzed surface crystal structure effect. Later, the focus was on recent developments in numerical modeling and experimental verifications. Numerical modeling studies were mainly focused on the sublimation parameter behaviors under various ambient situation and container geometries. In recent years, it is also found that multi-scale modeling has become one of the most promising topics in this field. In experimental studies, major newly developed visualization systems and related real refrigeration systems are summarized and discussed. As more and more studies proposed application systems, several representative refrigeration systems are also introduced and compared in this paper, which may give useful indications for future innovations. Future research focuses are also proposed in this review study while this field is still young (but promising), both for scientific research and real system designs. It is hoped that this brief review can contribute to the development of novel refrigeration systems and the development of cryogenic science and engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-83
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Refrigeration
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr


  • Heat transfer
  • Phase change
  • Refrigeration
  • Review
  • Solid-gas two-phase flow
  • Sublimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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