1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Calculating Kp for gas mixture from picture

  1. Mar 7, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A chemical reaction is described by the equation N2O4 <> 2NO2. The pressure equilibrium constant for the given reaction is equal to 8 Pa. Which picture describes the equilibrium? (Please, see the attached file!). STR 112, samo slika.jpg

    2. Relevant equations
    N2O4 <> 2NO2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    First I wrote the expression for the equilibrium constant of the given reaction. Kp = p^2(NO2) / p(N2O4). Then I tried to substitute partial pressures with the number of molecules for each type of the gass. It is not clear to me how can I use only number of molecules to replace partial pressures since I have the partial pressure squared in numerator. The pressure squared prevents for some things to be canceled in the expression for Kp if I apply Dalton's law for gas mixtures. Can somebody explain this to me, please.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2015 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Agreed, there is not enough data to answer the problem.

    For the first picture, assuming the total pressure is Pt, partial pressure of NO2 is [itex]\frac 1 3 P_t[/itex] and partial pressure of N2O4 is [itex]\frac 2 3 P_t[/itex]. Then

    [tex]K_p = \frac {P^2_{NO_2}}{P_{N_2O_4}} = \frac {(\frac 1 3 P_t)^2}{\frac 2 3 P_t} = \frac 1 6 P_t[/tex]

    Assume Pt=48 Pa and the first image is the correct answer. Problem is, the same can be done for every other image.
  4. Mar 8, 2015 #3
    Thanks for answering my question.
    My textbook says the correct answer is C. But how did they get that result? Here's the original text of the question in Croatian.

    STR 112, samo zadatak 21.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  5. Mar 9, 2015 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Making an error.

    C is NOT the correct answer. There is no correct answer to this problem, as it is incomplete.

    As I have shown you above - you can "prove" each answer to be the correct one, just assuming different values of the total pressure.
  6. Mar 9, 2015 #5
    Right. I agree with you. Unless you know the total pressure of the mixture, it is impossible to solve the problem. Funny textbook. :wink:
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted