7 Differences between Joule Thomson effect and Adiabatic expansion

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7 Differences between Joule Thomson effect and adiabatic expansion in thermodynamics

In this article, you will learn here the 7 differences between the Joule Thomson effect and adiabatic expansion. Did you know the Joule Thomson effect is a very important concept in thermodynamics? The later experiment was the Joule Thomson porous plug experiment which is used to liquefy gases.

Adiabatic expansion is also a very important term in thermodynamics as it is used in concepts like Carnot heat engines, and also, for other thermodynamics systems, and processes.

7 Differences between Joule Thomson effect and Adiabatic expansion

Sr no. Adiabatic Expansion Joule Thomson Effect
1 In thermodynamics, Adiabatic expansion is a reversible process. In thermodynamics, the Joule-Thomson effect is an irreversible process.
2 In this expansion, only cooling is produced. For the case of the Joule-Thomson effect, both cooling and heating are produced.

It depends on the Inversion temperature of the gas.

If gas is below the Temperature of Inversion then, it produces a cooling effect.  And if the gas is above the temperature of inversion it produces a heating effect.

But, if the gas is at the Temperature of Inversion then, at this temperature the Joule-Thomson effect becomes Zero.

For example, If try to expand hydrogen or helium gases with the help of the Joule-Thomson effect then, must do pre-cooling of these gases before further expansion. This is because at ordinary temperature these gases produce heating effects.

3 Even, cooling is produced in adiabatic expansion in the case of a perfect gas. In the Joule-Thomson effect there no heating and cooling is produced in the case of a perfect gas.
4 The entropy of the gas remains constant in this expansion. Enthalpy of the gas remains constant in this effect.
5 In this expansion, work is done only by gas. In the Joule-Thomson effect, the work is done is by the gas as well as on the gas.
6 The fall in the temperature range is much larger in the case of adiabatic expansion, for the same pressure difference. Here the change in the temperature range is small, for a given pressure difference.
7 No is no need for the Porous-Plug arrangement. A Porous-Plug is required to complete the Joule-Thomson effect.

What is the Joule-Thomson Effect in Thermodynamics?

7 Differences between Joule Thomson effect and adiabatic expansion in thermodynamics
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

According to the Joule-Thomson effect when a gas expands (throttling)  through a very small nozzle or porous plug under a large pressure difference between two stages of pressure, then both cooling and heating are produced as a result.

The cooling and heating are due to the Temperature of Inversion that is involved in the process and plays a major role in this process. If the gas is below the Temperature of Inversion cooling is produced, and above the temperature of inversion, heating is produced.

Most of the gases at an ordinary temperature show a cooling effect. But, Hydrogen and Helium show a heating effect at the ordinary temperature range. That’s why pre-cooling techniques are used to liquify these gases with the help of the Joule-Thomson effect.

The joule-Thomson effect is widely used in the liquefaction of gases by different methods and processes. In these methods, and processes the gas is allowed to expand through a porous plug by applying different small to high-pressure values, and cooling is produced.

What is Adiabatic Expansion in Thermodynamics?

For an adiabatic process, the expansion is called an adiabatic expansion. An adiabatic process is a process, in which the total amount of heat contained in a thermodynamic system remains constant.

This means the heat in the thermodynamic system can not go out, and no heat can enter the system from the surrounding environment.

This is a reversible process, But, in reality, no process is perfectly reversible. But, also some of the processes in practically considered reversible processes, such as when we compress the spring at a slow rate, etc.

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