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Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/12/2022 7:22 AM

Not sure which forum is the correct one, so here goes ....

I am interested in a mechanism to calculate the number of oxygen atoms in a unit volume of air as a function of ... all of the factors that affect the atmosphere. I assume this would be temperature, pressure and relative humidity.

... As I think of this ... as each of these variables change, the number of atoms in the unit volume changes, and the relative percentage of oxygen atoms changes as well.

Is there an app for that?

Tried searching ... I am not sure how to ask the proper question.

Thanks

Bill

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#1

Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/12/2022 9:18 AM

This gives you the percentage of oxygen in air by volume (and number of molecules).

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-composition-d_212.html

Air can be considered an ideal gas, and a mole or Avagadro's number of molecules (R = 6.023 x 1023 occupy 22.4 liters of volume at STP (273 deg K, 14.7 psi). (Note that the oxygen molecule consists of 2 atoms.)

https://planetcalc.com/7916/

For other pressures and temperatures, you can use the ideal gas law to calculate the new volume.

P1V1/T1 = P2V2/T2

https://www.schoolphysics.co.uk/age16-19/Thermal%20physics/Gas%20laws/text/Ideal_gas_equation/index.html

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#3
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/12/2022 10:05 AM

Don't forget that altitude will also change oxygen levels.

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#2

Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/12/2022 9:19 AM

The ideal gas law (PV=nRT) will identify how many molecules you will have. However, this will not identify the partial pressure (Dalton's law) distribution of any components, particularly oxygen. Any chemical reaction in the volume will add the complexity of gas stoichiometry to the situation. (Plants in an enclosed terrarium will increase the oxygen level during daylight and decrease it at night.) Additionally, if any of the gasses can undergo a phase change then things get even more complicated. (Let it snow, let it snow.)

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#4

Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/12/2022 10:39 AM

Do you want to calculate all the oxygen atoms including those bonded to hydrogen that make up the water in the air, or do you just want diatomic oxygen?

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#6
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/12/2022 9:56 PM

A little more background ....

The problem is the performance of a model airplane engine, in a class which is right at the edge of making maximum power. The class is an FAI class for Control Line speed models, known as F2A. Engines are 2.5cc, tuned pipe, single-blade prop, weird models with only a long inboard wing. Engines turn 40k when performing properly, airspeed is on the order of 290-300kph.

Making the engine perform on any given day is strongly affected by the ambient atmospheric conditions. We routinely note and record barometric pressure, temperature, dew point, %RH, density altitude. And then what the model did under those conditions. What this question was intended for was to try and measure the effect of displacing molecules of air gasses when water vapor is introduced. IOW, what happens to the available oxygen, critical for best performance, as the atmospheric conditions change.

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#7
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/13/2022 1:26 AM

"More humidity makes your engine run richer, reduces power (less oxygen)

More heat makes your engine run richer, reduces power (thinner air, less oxygen to burn)

More altitude makes your engine run richer. (thinner air, less oxygen)"

So I would think a little more nitromethane to fuel mix added on hot and/or humid days...

..."The atmospheric concentration of O2 has remained constant for several hundred years at 20.95%. The percentage is the same at sea level or on Mount Everest. However, the absolute O2 concentration does not remain constant. An O2 tank is required to climb Mount Everest, even though the relative O2 concentration is still 20.95% (Fig. 1A). The absolute O2 concentration determines the rate of most biological and chemical processes, but the relative O2 concentration is typically reported. This is analogous to discussing relative humidity when absolute humidity is what determines evaporation rates."...

https://www.ictinternational.com/casestudies/understanding-oxygen-in-air/

https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/gas-engines-142/11136269-humidity-effect-performance.html

Walbro carbs..

https://www.spektrumrc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdId=EVOE62GXI

https://power4flight.com/

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#8
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/13/2022 1:52 AM

That baby is honkin'

Looks like a one-winged one-horn flyin' purple people eater....

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#13
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/17/2022 5:43 PM

The video of Alex Valishev's flight is very representative of the event. That particular flight in 2018 has been bettered since, by both Alex and his son Ivan. Ivan is the current Jr World Champion in F2A, and Alex is the 2-time reigning F2A World Cup Champion. As recently as just this past weekend in St. Louis, we had a competition where both Alex and Ivan were well over 300k.

Alex, Ivan and Bill Hughes (also in the video, doing the launching) are 3 of the four members of the U.S. team that will be in Poland in August for the F2 Word Championships. The fourth team member is Pat Hempel as the pilot/team member, me as his mechanic.

Some have suggested nitro: no, not in this event! The rules dictate only methanol (80%) and pure castor oil (20%).

The thought process goes something like:

...The engine at 40k rpm consumes air and fuel

...We can always supply as much fuel as needed.

... the fuel is burned, i.e.combined with the oxygen in the air

...Increasing the % of the air that is water vapor decreases the % of the air that is oxygen

... Question: how much?

Thanks to all for the conversation!

Bill

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#14
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/18/2022 2:51 PM

When multiple engineering sites can't offer a suitable answer on any topic, then often an unstated complication prevents an answer. I think I have found that complication for this question.

The complication is the phase change of water between mist and vapor. This complication changes the enthalpy of the entire engine along with becoming part of the partial pressure gasses one needs to consider in Dalton's Law.

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#15
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/18/2022 6:28 PM

Well you pretty much have our hands tied with all the regulations and rules...so you need to lean out the carburetor to get it to run smooth and accept that some power will be lost due to lack of oxygen available...I assume you can't use a smaller lighter plane...? Maybe you could carbonate the fuel, adding Co2 into the mix gaseously, haha..Other than that, I think fresh fuel is important...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol

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#17
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/19/2022 11:57 AM
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#16
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/19/2022 10:19 AM

I'm not sure how they calculate it, but this is from the site I linked earlier.

Air density

On our site this is expressed as a percentage of the total mass of a cubic foot of air. It is defined as the mass of air per unit of volume it occupies or how much air (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide) is in 1 cubic foot of atmosphere. The density of air decreases as the temperature or humidity rises and increases as temperature or humidity decreases. This can be confusing because the air can feel thick and soupy on hot humid days however the density of actual air is lower because the same volume of space is being taken up by humidity.

On our site we give the air density with and without water vapor. The percentage with water vapor is the total density of the air including grains of water. The percentage w/o water vapor is the percentage of just the air and not including water vapor at all. Generally you will want to use the value with water vapor. Both values are provided to use as a comparison for how much moisture is in the air.
*note: We calculate this value using the temp, hum, and bar values obtained from a third party weather feed.

https://airdensityonline.com/2016/08/measuring-racetrack-atmosphere/

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#10
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/13/2022 3:27 AM
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#11
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/13/2022 4:10 AM

It occurs to me that the quality of the fuel also plays an important role, it has a shelf life, and degrades in direct sunlight and exposure to the air...so it must be fresh, the fuel container must be kept sealed, and must be stored in a dark cool place for best results...

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/fuel-tips-what-specific-gravity/

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#12
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Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/13/2022 10:49 AM

This is a very common issue in drag racing and talked about widely on drag racing forums. Try searching the drag racing forums I think you will find a wealth of information. This site give up to date air density altitude corrected for water vapor for race tracks all around the world.

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#5

Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/12/2022 5:43 PM

Absolute humidity is what you should be interested in,not relative humidity.

https://www.zehnderamerica.com/absolute-vs-relative-humidity-whats-the-difference/

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#9

Re: Ratio of components of a gas vs. temp/pressure/etc

05/13/2022 3:17 AM

For a model aircraft, the characteristics of air at "normal temperature and pressure [NTP]", a Chemist's term, are applicable: "1 mole of gas occupies 22.4 litres at NTP" is a good level of approximation. The effective molarity of air, which is a mixture and not a pure substance, can be extracted by interpolation of its composition; nitrogen, oxygen, argon, water vapour, carbon dioxide and a few also-rans can be used to give an equivalent molar mass to a good level of approximation.

The "international standard atmosphere" gives the properties of air with altitude. Charts can be found by any internet search engine.

The ideal gas law gives a good level of approximation of the properties of air as its temperature and pressure changes.

The rest is a load of arithmetic.

Enjoy!

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