A macroscopic model for the description of rarefied polyatomic gas flows is introduced. Grad’s moment method is used to construct a closed set of equations for 36 primary moments. The order of magnitude method is then applied to acquire optimized moment definitions. The appropriate sets of equations corresponding to the desired order of accuracy in the Knudsen number are derived by reducing the equations. A refined version of the Navier-Stokes-Fourier (NSF) equations is obtained where the dynamic temperature is an additional independent variable.

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