Standard Article

Henry's Law

Physics and Chemistry of Water

  1. Roger C. Viadero Jr.

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.pc268

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Viadero, R. C. 2005. Henry's Law. Water Encyclopedia. 4:466–468.

Author Information

  1. West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


William Henry (1774–1836) established the fundamental relationship to define the partitioning of a soluble (or partially soluble) chemical species between gas and liquid phases, at equilibrium, in a dilute aqueous solution.

Three main limitations must be considered when applying Henry's law: (1) the state of equilibrium, (2) the solute concentration, and (3) the veracity of using standard data for calculations in contaminated water systems. The application of Henry's law is limited to cases where chemical equilibrium has been reached in a dilute solution (< 1% solute concentration). However, the concentrations of most water constituents are normally less than 1%, so the application of Henry's law is typically valid.


  • Henry's law;
  • Henry's law constant;
  • gas solubility;
  • gas–liquid equilibrium;
  • partial pressure;
  • ideal gas;
  • fate of volatile contaminants