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What is the partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere at the top of Mt....

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jenmoss7 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 16, 2011 at 6:35 AM via web

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What is the partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere at the top of Mt. Everest?

Atmospheric pressure at the summit of Mt. Everest is 253 torr. The partial pressure of oxygen in air at 1 atm pressure is 0.20946 atm.

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:32 AM (Answer #1)

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The sum of the partial pressures of all of the atmospheric gasses is equal to the total air pressure at any given elevation on Earth.  It is important to note that the percent composition of atmospheric gasses is the same at all elevations on Earth, it is simply the air pressure of these gasses that decreases as elevation increases.  So to find the percent composition of oxygen in the atmosphere:

(0.20946 atm O2/1 atm air)*100=20.946% O2 in the atmosphere

Since the total air pressure at the top of Mount Everest is 253 torr we can multiply this by the percent of O2 in the atmosphere to get our answer:

253 torr*0.20946=52.99 torr is the partial pressure of oxygen at the top of Mount Everest.

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