How to Convert Vapor Pressure to Concentration

How to Convert Vapor Pressure to Concentration
••• IvanMikhaylov/iStock/GettyImages

Even though it looks calm, a liquid sitting in a sealed container is still very active. When there is air above the liquid, some molecules of the liquid evaporate to become gas -- vapor -- while others condense to become liquid again. Eventually, these two movements are balanced and the liquid and gas are in equilibrium. At this point, the gas above the liquid has a pressure which also happens to be equivalent to the concentration of the gas. To convert the vapor pressure to concentration, use the ideal gas law which takes into account both the pressure and the temperature.

    Write out the formula for the ideal gas law -- PV = nRT -- where P is the pressure, V is the volume, n is the number of moles, T is the temperature in degrees Kelvin and R is the universal gas constant. Moles is a measure of the amount of a substance. The universal gas constant is 0.0821 atm * liter/mole * K.

    Rearrange the formula to solve for concentration in moles per volume. PV = nRT becomes n / V = P / RT, or pressure divided by the product of the universal gas constant and temperature.

    Convert the temperature into degrees Kelvin. Degrees Kelvin is equal to degrees Celsius plus 273.15. For example, 25 degrees Celsius equals 298 degrees Kelvin.

    Convert pressure to atmospheres -- atm. For example, multiply the pressure in torrs by 0.001316 to find the pressure in atmospheres.

    Use the rearranged ideal gas law to determine the concentration. For example, with a temperature of 298 K and a pressure of 0.031 atm, the formula is 0.031 atm / (0.0821 atm * liter/mole * K) * (298 K). This is equal to 0.0013 mol/L, or moles per liter.


    • Work in stages and pay attention to the units of the measurements. When dealing with a mixture of gases above a liquid, the concentration of the gas is equal to the partial pressure of that gas.

Related Articles

How to Convert ATM Pressure to Celsius
How to Find Partial Pressures
How to Calculate Volume at STP
How to Solve for Volume
How to Convert the Volume of Co2 Gas to Liquid
How to Convert UG/mL to PPM
How to Calculate the Temperature Drop Due to a Pressure...
How to Calculate Density From Viscosity
How to Convert Pounds Per Square Foot to PSI
How to Find the Number of Moles of Co2
How to Convert mm Hg to in Hg
How to Convert Moles to Pressure
How to Convert hPa to Altitude
How to Calculate Equilibrium Pressures
How to Convert MPa to N/mm^2
How to Convert ATM to Moles of Gas
How to Calculate the Height of a Cone From the Volume
How to Calculate Milligrams per Milliliter
How to Convert Ppm to Ug/Cubic Meter
How to Convert Kilopascals to Joules

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!