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Engineering Support Information – Metric Units

Compressibility Factor, Z The reduced pressure is equal to the ratio of the actual
The gas and vapor formulas of this handbook are absolute inlet pressure to the critical pressure of the gas.
P
based on perfect gas laws. Many real gases and vapors, Pr = ___
however, deviate from a perfect gas. The compressibility Pc
factor Z is used to compensate for the deviations of real Where:
gases from the ideal gas.
Pr = Reduced pressure
The compressibility factor may be determined from
P = Relieving pressure (set pressure + overpressure +
thermodynamic charts such as the Nelson Obert
atmospheric pressure), bara
compressibility chart shown in Figure 8-1. Z is a function
of the reduced pressure and the reduced temperature of Pc = Critical pressure, bara
the gas. The reduced temperature is equal to the ratio of Enter the chart at the value of reduced pressure, move
the actual absolute inlet gas temperature to the absolute vertically to the appropriate line of constant reduced
critical temperature of the gas. temperature. From this point, move horizontally to the
T
Tr = ___ left to read the value of Z.
Tc In the event the compressibility factor for a gas or vapor
Where: cannot be determined, a conservative value of Z = 1 is
Tr = Reduced temperature commonly used.
T = Inlet fluid temperature, °C + 273
Tc = Critical temperature, °C + 273

1.0
1.0
LINES OF CONSTAN
1.6
T REDUCED TEMPER
1.3 1.4 1.5 T R = 1.60 ATURE
1.2
0.9
0.9 1.1
1.0 1.50

1.40
0.8
0.8
0.80

1.30
0.85

0.7
0.7
ZZ

1.20
Factor

1.1
Factor

6
0.90

0.6
0.6 1.1
4
1.1
2
Compressibility

0.95

1.
10
Compressibility

0.5
0.5
1.
08
1.
06
1.0

0.4
0.4
5
1.0
1.03

4
1.02
1.01

0.3
0.3
1.00

0.2
0.2

0.1
0.1
00 0.5
0.5 1.0
1.0 1.5
1.5 2.0
2.0 2.5
2.5 3.0
3.0
Reduced Pressure Pr

Nelson Obert Compressibility Chart