Problem: Air is about 78.0% nitrogen molecules and 21.0% oxygen molecules. Several other gases make up the remaining 1% of air molecules. What is the partial pressure of nitrogen in air at atmospheric pressure (1.0 atm)?

FREE Expert Solution

We are asked to calculate the partial pressure of Nitrogen in the air at 1 atm.


Recall that Dalton's Law of Partial Pressure states that the total pressure of a mixture of gases can be defined as the sum of the pressures of each individual gas

Ptotal=P1+P2......+Pn


Therefore, the partial pressure of an individual gas is equal to the total pressure multiplied by the mole fraction of that gas, as in:

Pi=Ptotalχ1

Where:

Pi = Partial Pressure of a gas = Partial Pressure of Nitrogen gas = unknown = x

PTotal= Total Pressure = 1 atm

Xi= mole fraction of a gas = mole fraction of Nitrogen


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Problem Details

Air is about 78.0% nitrogen molecules and 21.0% oxygen molecules. Several other gases make up the remaining 1% of air molecules. What is the partial pressure of nitrogen in air at atmospheric pressure (1.0 atm)?