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Faculty Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and

Department of Mechanical and Materials
Department: Engineering

Unit Code and Name UEME 2252 Engineering Thermodynamics II

Experiment No.: Experiment 2

Title of Experiment: Experiment 2 : Ideal Gas Experiment

Laboratory Room No. and Name: KB 731 Thermofluid Lab

Experiment Duration (hour): 3 hours

Number of Student per Group 5 students


Ideal gas experiment.


To verify the ideal gas law: pV=mRT. ( Equation 1 )

Where p = pressure;

V = volume;

m = mass;

R = gas constant; and

T = temperature.
Equipment and Materials

Item Description *Item category Quantity estimation

(e.g. per set/group of student)

Apparatus consists of two E 1

interconnected rigid containers
isolated by a valve

2 stages vacuum pump E 1

Air compressor E 1

Item Category:

SP Sample or specimen
C Consumable
CH Chemical
W Labware, glassware, tool and components
E Equipment
S Software

Experimental setup
#Interconnected vessel #Recorder #Valve

# Vacuum pump # Air Compressor


1.) The experimental set up was studied.

2.) The location of all the valves and how they are connected to the compressed air

supply and the vacuum pump were studied.

3.) Vessel A was filled with air until the pressure reached 0.40 bar.

4.) The air in vessel B was evacuated until the pressure reached -0.95 bar.

5.) The temperatures in vessel A and B were recorded.

6.) The interconnected valve was opened to allow the air expand to fill both

7.) The pressures and temperatures in vessel A and B were recorded.

8.) The steps above were repeated for pressure 0.2 bar, 0 bar, -0.2 bar, -0.4 bar, -0.6

bar and -0.8 bar.

9.) The results were tabulated and graph was plotted.


Pressure, volumes, temperatures and masses in Vessel A before mixing

Pressures, volumes, temperatures and masses in Vessel B before mixing

Pressures, volumes, temperatures and masses in Vessel A after mixing

Pressures, volumes, temperatures and masses in Vessel B after mixing

Graphing data

Graph of Ideal Gas Law


m2 = m2A + m2B




0.000 0.005 0.010 0.015 0.020 0.025
m1 = m1A + m1B
Sample calculations

Before mixing ( Vessel A )

Gas constant of air ( R ) = 0.287 kJ/kg.K

Volume in vessel A ( V1A ) = 0.012 m3

Temperature in vessel A ( T1A ) = 28.1 + 273.0

= 301.1 K

Pressure in vessel A ( P1A ) = P1g + Patm

= 0.4 + 1.0

= 1.4 bar

P1 AV1 A
Mass of air in vessel A ( m1A ) =

1.4 x10 0.012

287 x301.1

= 0.019441 kg

Before mixing ( Vessel B )

Volume in vessel B ( V1B ) = 0.007 m3

Temperature in vessel B ( T1B ) = 37.9 + 273.0

= 310.9 K
Pressure in vessel B ( P1B ) = P1g + Patm

= -0.95 + 1.0

= 0.05 bar

Mass of air in vessel B ( m1B ) =

0.05x10 0.007

287 x310.9

= 0.00039 kg

After mixing ( Vessel A )

Gas constant of air ( R ) = 0.287 kJ/kg.K

Volume in vessel A ( V2A ) = 0.012 m3

Temperature in vessel A ( T2A ) = 27 + 273

= 300 K

Pressure in vessel A ( P2A ) = P2g + Patm

= -0.122 + 1.0

= 0.878 bar

P2 AV2 A
Mass of air in vessel A ( m2A ) =

0.878x10 0.012

287 x300

= 0.012237 kg

Before mixing ( Vessel B )

Volume in vessel B ( V2B ) = 0.007 m3

Temperature in vessel B ( T2B ) = 40.2 + 273.0

= 313.2 K

Pressure in vessel B ( P2B ) = P2g + Patm

= -0.117 + 1.0

= 0.883 bar

P2 BV2 B
Mass of air in vessel B ( m2B ) =

0.883x10 0.007

287 x313.2

= 0.00688 kg

Total masses of air in vessel A and B

M1 = M1A + M1B M2 = M2A + M2B

= 0.019441 + 0.00039 = 0.012237 + 0.00688

= 0.019831 kg = 0.019117 kg

Ideal gas law

M1 = M2 = 0.019831 kg

An ideal gas is defined as one in which all collisions between atoms or molecules

are perfectly elastic and in which there are no inter-molecular attractive forces. One

can visualize it as a collection of perfectly hard spheres which collide but which
otherwise do not interact with each other. In such a gas, all the internal energy is in

the form of kinetic energy and any change in internal energy is accompanied by a

change in temperature. An ideal gas can be characterized by three state variables:

absolute pressure (P), volume (V), and absolute temperature (T). The relationship

between them may be deduced from kinetic theory and is called the ideal gas law :

PV =mRT.

The ideal gas law can be derived from the kinetic theory of gases and relies on

the assumptions that the gas consists of a large number of molecules, which are in

random motion and obey Newton's laws of motion. Next, the volume of the molecules

is negligibly small compared to the volume occupied by the gas and there have no

forces act on the molecules except during elastic collisions of negligible duration.

Besides, its assume that all collisions between gas molecules are elastic and all motion

is frictionless (no energy is lost in collisions or in motion). Lastly, the temperature of

the gas is proportional to the average kinetic energy of the molecules.

The relationship between temperature and pressure is known as Gay-Lussac's law.

It states that if the volume of a container is held constant as the pressure of a gas

increases, the temperature inside the container will also increase. As with the other

P1 P2
gas laws, this one can be represented in the form of an equation: . From this
T1 T2

experiment, it found out that as the pressure of the gas increases in vessel A and B, the

temperatures will also increases in most case. Besides, the volume in vessel B is

smaller compare to vessel A, in this experiment we could analyze that when volume is

smaller the temperature is higher. First, temperature is a measure of the speed and

frequency of the collisions of the gas molecules with their surroundings. As the vessel

gets smaller, they have a smaller distance to travel before they collide with the walls,
and thus the time between collisions gets increasingly smaller. In a given amount of

time the particles hit the walls more, which results in a greater amount of pressure and

lead to an increase in temperature.

Bases on ideal gas law, the total masses of air before mixing and after mixing is

the same. However in this experiment there have a slightly different between the

value of M1 and M2. The total masses of air after mixing (M2) following a trend that it

is always lower then the total masses before mixing (M1). This may due to some

leakage of gases when the two connecting valve were opened. Besides, the mass of air

in vessel B is always lower than vessel A. Based on ideal gas law equation: PV=MRT,

when the volume of vessel is lower and temperature is higher, this will causes a

decrease in the masses of air and this is the main reason why the mass of air in vessel

B is lower compare to vessel A.

In this experiment, there were many possible causes of error. First of all, a faulty

vacuum pump couldve let the air escape and so the pressure sensor would read a

smaller value. Next, error increases as volume decreases because when compressing

the gas with higher pressure, the density increases and the gas behave less like an

ideal gas. As the volume decreases, the movement of gas restricted and become less

randomly move, thus its break the assumption of ideal gas law which state that gases

are made up of molecules which are in constant random motion in straight lines.

Another sources of error was reading the pressure and temperature which due to

uncertainties of the equipment, it take times and difficult to make the values of

pressure and temperature to stabilize.

A few precaution steps should be taken in order to get a better result. Firstly,

adjust the control valve slowly to prevent any over leakage of gases. Next, record
down the values of pressure and temperature after it stabilize. Furthermore, a

high-tech equipment should be use to replace the faulty equipment like vacuum pump

which have problem in leakage of gases.

There are some improvement can be make to the equipment. This experiment can

be done with or without a computer connected, however, for quicker tests with easier

recording of results, TecQuipment can supply the optional Versatile Data Acquisition

System (VDAS). This gives accurate real-time data capture, monitoring and display,

calculation and charting of all the important readings on a computer. To improve the

accuracy of data, few equipment can be connected inside the apparatus. For example,

a thermocouple use to measure the temperature of the heater surface for the controller.

While, two thermocouples measure the temperature of the air in the vessel. A pressure

transducer measures the pressure of the heated air in the vessel. A digital display

shows the absolute pressure, both temperatures and their average value.

In conclusion, the ideal gas law was the main equation used in the calculations for this

experiment. Since both trials came out with almost identical calculations, it is

believed that the experiment went as planned and no errors were made. Under the

present experimental conditions, air behaves like an ideal gas. At fixed volume and

fixed moles, measurements of pressure vs. temperature exhibited a linear relationship,

consistent with the equation of state for an ideal gas. However, as the pressure

increases, the gas behave less like an ideal gas because the movement of gas restricted

and become less randomly move. Lastly, the largest source of uncertainty came from a

faulty vacuum pump which cause the leakage of gases.


1.) Palmer, WP (1991), "Philately, Science Teaching and the History of

Science" (PDF), Lab Talk, 35 (1): 3031

2.) Barnett, Martin K. (Aug 1941), "A brief history of thermometry", Journal of

Chemical Education, 18

3.) Tippens, Paul E. (2007). Physics, 7th ed. McGraw-Hill. 386387.

4.) Cooper, Crystal (Feb. 11, 2010). "Gay-Lussac's Law". Bright Hub Engineering.

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