PROPERTIES OF AIRby@bwco

# PROPERTIES OF AIR

December 6th, 2023

Pure air is a mechanical mixture of oxygen and nitrogen. While different authorities give slightly varying values for the proportion of oxygen and nitrogen contained, the generally accepted values are: By volume,  oxygen 20.91 per cent,  nitrogen 79.09 per cent. By weight,  oxygen 23.15 per cent,  nitrogen 76.85 per cent. Air in nature always contains other constituents in varying amounts, such as dust, carbon dioxide, ozone and water vapor. Being perfectly elastic, the density or weight per unit of volume decreases in geometric progression with the altitude. This fact has a direct bearing in the proportioning of furnaces, flues and stacks at high altitudes, as will be shown later in the discussion of these subjects. The atmospheric pressures corresponding to various altitudes are given in Table 12 .

Steam, Its Generation and Use by Babcock & Wilcox Company, is part of the HackerNoon Books Series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. PROPERTIES OF AIR

## PROPERTIES OF AIR

Pure air is a mechanical mixture of oxygen and nitrogen. While different authorities give slightly varying values for the proportion of oxygen and nitrogen contained, the generally accepted values are:

By volume,

oxygen 20.91 per cent,

nitrogen 79.09 per cent.

By weight,

oxygen 23.15 per cent,

nitrogen 76.85 per cent.

Air in nature always contains other constituents in varying amounts, such as dust, carbon dioxide, ozone and water vapor.

Being perfectly elastic, the density or weight per unit of volume decreases in geometric progression with the altitude. This fact has a direct bearing in the proportioning of furnaces, flues and stacks at high altitudes, as will be shown later in the discussion of these subjects. The atmospheric pressures corresponding to various altitudes are given in Table 12 .

The weight and volume of air depend upon the pressure and the temperature, as expressed by the formula:

The weight of one cubic foot of air will obviously be the reciprocal of its volume, that is, 1/ v pounds.

Example: Required the volume of air in cubic feet under 60.3 pounds gauge pressure per square inch at 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Table 27 gives the weights and volumes of air under atmospheric pressure at varying temperatures.

Formula ( 9 ) holds good for other gases with the change in the value of the constant as follows:

For oxygen 48.24, nitrogen 54.97, hydrogen 765.71.

The specific heat of air at constant pressure varies with its temperature. A number of determinations of this value have been made and certain of those ordinarily accepted as most authentic are given in Table 28 .

This value is of particular importance in waste heat work and it is regrettable that there is such a variation in the different experiments. Mallard and Le Chatelier determined values considerably higher than any given in Table 28 . All things considered in view of the discrepancy of the values given, there appears to be as much ground for the use of a constant value for the specific heat of air at any temperature as for a variable value. Where this value is used throughout this book, it has been taken as 0.24.

Air may carry a considerable quantity of water vapor, which is frequently 3 per cent of the total weight. This fact is of importance in problems relating to heating drying and the compressing of air. Table 29 gives the amount of vapor required to saturate air at different temperatures, its weight, expansive force, etc., and contains sufficient information for solving practically all problems of this sort that may arise.

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