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Tutor profile: Fernando G.

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Fernando G.
Optimistic tutor with M.S. Chemical Engineering and 2 years of experience
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Questions

Subject: Chemistry

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Question:

How can I understand the variables the ideal gas law?

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Fernando G.
Answer:

In order to understand the ideal gas law, one must analyze each variable one by one. Temperature (T) is the measure of the kinetic energy of the gas particles. The higher the temperature the more energy a particle has and the faster it will travel. Number of molecules (n) tells you the amount of particles in the container. The more particles there are in a given volume the more energy there is. The ideal gas constant (R) is a conversion factor that transforms Temperature and amount into pressure-volume energy. Pressure is the force per given area exerted by the particles colliding against a surface. Volume is the amount of space available for the gas particles. Pressure being Force / Area and Volume being Area*Length, the pressure-volume multiplication is Force*Length which is the definition of Work. Therefore, the ideal gas law describes the energy in a gas.

Subject: Calculus

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Question:

What is the definition of the derivative?

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Fernando G.
Answer:

The definition is the instantaneous rate of change of a function. For example, consider drawing a continuous curved line on a piece of paper. At every point on that line, the position of the pencil changed. If you were to track how that position changed every second, then you would have the values for the derivatives of that function with respect to time for every point in time.

Subject: Chemical Engineering

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Question:

For a first order, gaseous, exothermic reaction A<--->B, where B is the desired product, what reactor conditions would we consider to optimize production of species B?

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Fernando G.
Answer:

In general, we consider the kinetics and thermodynamics of the reaction and modify reactor conditions (ie Pressure, Temperature, and Species Concentrations) to optimize the generation of the desired product. For the kinetics of the reaction, we would like a high temperature to speed up the reaction, assuming the rate constant follows the Arrhenius equation. We would also want to have a high concentration of species A for a faster rate (first order reaction). For the thermodynamics, we would like to push equilibrium to the right in accordance with Le Chatelier's principle by removing species B from the reactor. Also we would analyze the effect of Temperature on the equilibrium constant compared to the rate of the reaction to come to an acceptable temperature.

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