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Chemical Equilibrium with Applications


The NASA Computer program CEA (Chemical Equilibrium with Applications) calculates chemical equilibrium compositions and properties of complex mixtures. Applications include assigned thermodynamic states, theoretical rocket performance, Chapman-Jouguet detonations, and shock-tube parameters for incident and reflected shocks. CEA represents the latest in a number of computer programs that have been developed at the NASA Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center since the 1950s. These programs have changed over the years to include additional techniques. Associated with the program are independent databases with transport and thermodynamic properties of individual species. Over 2000 species are contained in the thermodynamic database. The program is written in ANSI standard FORTRAN by Bonnie J. McBride and Sanford Gordon. It is in wide use by the aerodynamics and thermodynamics community, with over 2000 copies in distribution.

What is CEA?

CEA is a program which calculates chemical equilibrium product concentrations from any set of reactants and determines thermodynamic and transport properties for the product mixture. Built-in applications include calculation of theoretical rocket performance, Chapman-Jouguet detonation parameters, shock tube parameters, and combustion properties. A two-part publication describes the program and its use. Part I outlines the theoretical principles used in the program. Part II is the user’s manual.

Part I: Analysis (NASA RP-1311) .

Part I presents in detail a number of topics of general interest in chemical equilibrium calculations. These topics include mathematical analysis and techniques for obtaining chemical equilibrium; formulas for obtaining thermodynamic and transport mixture properties and thermodynamic derivatives; criteria for inclusion of condensed phases; calculations at a triple point; inclusion of ionized species; and various applications, such as constant-pressure or constant-volume combustion, rocket performance based on either a finite- or infinite-chamber-area model, shock wave calculations, and Chapman-Jouguet detonations.

Part II: User’s Manual and Program Description (NASA RP-1311-P2) .

The user’s manual is intended to facilitate the use of CEA for solving thermodynamic and combustion problems. Topics discussed include the preparation of input files, the format of the output and a discussion of the program’s overall organization. Also discussed are the formats used for the associated thermodynamic and transport data files. A number of examples are given to illustrate the program’s versatility. The CEA program is written in ANSI standard FORTRAN 77 by Bonnie J. McBride and Sanford Gordon.

Related Publications

TitleAuthor(s)SourceYearNTRS Link
NASA Glenn Coefficients for Calculating Thermodynamic Properties of Individual SpeciesMcBride, B.J., M. J. Zehe, Dr.and Gordon, S.NASA TP-2002-2115562002NTRS
Thermodynamic Data for Fifty Reference ElementsMcBride, B.J., Gordon, S., and Reno, M.A.NASA TP-3287/REV12001NTRS
Thermodynamic Data to 20 000 K for Monatomic GasesGordon, S., and McBride, B.J.NASA TP-1999-2085231999NTRS
Transport Coefficients for the NASA Lewis Chemical Equilibrium ProgramSvehla, R.A.NASA TM-46471995NTRS
Computer Program for Calculating and Fitting Thermodynamic FunctionsMcBride, B.J., and Gordon, S.NASA RP-12711992NTRS
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