How to Calculate the Mass of Carbon Dioxide Gas


You will far more likely know a quantity of carbon dioxide's volume than its mass. The density of this volume, and its consequent mass, depends on two factors. An increased pressure corresponds with a higher density. An increased temperature corresponds with a lower density. A constant figure, the gas constant, relates these different factors so you can calculate the quantity of carbon dioxide from them.

  • Multiply the carbon dioxide's volume by its pressure. For this example, imagine 0.001 cubic of meters of carbon dioxide at a pressure of 300,000 Pascals: 0.001 x 300,000 = 300.

  • Divide this answer by the gas's temperature, measured in Kelvin. If its temperature is, for instance, 400K: 300 / 400 = 0.75.

  • Divide this answer by the gas constant, which is 8.3145 J/mol K: 0.75 / 8.3145 = 0.0902. This is the number of moles of carbon dioxide in the sample.

  • Multiply the number of moles by 44, which represents the mass of one mole of carbon dioxide: 0.0902 x 44 = approximately 3.97 grams. The sample contains just under 4 grams of carbon dioxide.

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