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Behavior Of Ideal Gases

The kinetic theory of gases postulates that gases are composed of a very large number of particles called molecules. For an ideal gas, the volume of these molecules is insignificant compared with the total volume occupied by the gas. It is also assumed that these molecules have no attractive or repulsive forces between them, and that all collisions of molecules are perfectly elastic. Based on the above kinetic theory of gases, a mathematical equation called equation-of-state can be derived to express the relationship existing between pressure p, volume V, and temperature T for a given quantity of moles of gas n. This relationship for perfect gases is called the ideal gas law and is expressed mathematically by the following equation:

PV = nRT

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P = absolute pressure, psia

V = volume, ft3

T = absolute temperature, °R

n = number of moles of gas, lb-mole

R = the universal gas constant which, for the above units, has the value 10.730 psia ft3/lb-mole °R

Apparent Molecular Weight

One of the main gas properties that is frequently of interest to engineers is the apparent molecular weight. If yi represents the mole fraction of the ith component in a gas mixture, the apparent molecular weight is defined mathematically by the following equation:

Ma =ΣyiMi


Ma = apparent molecular weight of a gas mixture

Mi = molecular weight of the ith component in the mixture

Yi = mole fraction of component i in the mixture

Specific Gravity

The specific gravity is defined as the ratio of the gas density to that of the air. Both densities are measured or expressed at the same pressure and temperature. Commonly, the standard pressure psc and standard temperature Tsc are used in defining the gas specific gravity: Assuming that the behavior of both the gas mixture and the air is described by the ideal gas equation, the specific gravity can then be expressed as: Ma gg = ---


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