07.08 Matching The Critical Point


Visualizing the vdW EOS (uakron.edu, 16min) Building on solving for density, describes plotting dimensionless isotherms of the vdW EOS for methane at 5 temperatures, two subcritical, two supercritical, and one at the critical condition. From these isotherms in dimensionless form, it is possible to identify the critical point as the location of the inflection point where the temperature first exits the 3-root region. This method can be adapted to any equation of state, whether it is cubic or not. The illustration was adapted from a sample test problem. This screencast also addresses the meaning of the region where the pressure goes negative, with a (possibly disturbing) story about a blood-sucking octopus.

Comprehension Questions:

1. What are the dimensions of the quantity (bP/RT)?
2. Starting with the expression for Z(ρ,T), rewrite the vdW EOS to solve for the quantity (bP/RT) in terms of () and (a/bRT).
3. Consider the following EOS: Z = 1 + 2/(1-2) - (a/bRT) /(1-)2. Estimate the value of bPc/(RTc) for this EOS.
4. Consider the following EOS: Z = 1 + 2/(1-2) - (a/bRT) /(1-)2. Estimate the value of (a/bRTc) for this EOS.
5. Compute the values of a(J-cm3/mol2) and b(cm3/mol) for methane according to this new EOS.

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