Comparative study of eight cubic equations of state for predicting thermodynamic properties of alkanes



Precise descriptions of the thermodynamic properties of pure fluids require accurate definition of vapour–pressure and phase volumes as well as residual volumes, enthalpies and entropies. While carefully fitted multi-parameter equations of state (EOS), such as Benedict–Webb–Rubin–Starling fulfil these requirements, cubic EOSs usually do not. On the other hand, cubic EOSs are widely used in the oil industry, due to their simplicity and reliability in most vapour–liquid equilibrium calculations. For thermal oil recovery processes and the natural gas industry, the choice of EOS becomes important for predicting thermodynamic properties, such as isobaric and isochoric heat capacities, sound velocity and the Joule–Thomson coefficient. In this study, eight cubic EOSs which most of them are used in commercial reservoir simulators are selected for evaluation of their capability in the prediction of second-order derivative thermodynamic properties at different temperatures and pressures, using pure components frequently found in petroleum and natural gas mixtures. It is shown that none of the cubic EOSs could accurately predict all of the stated parameters, especially below the critical point. All EOSs failed to show the extrema in the derivative properties. However, among these equations the Yu–Lu and Schmidt–Wenzel EOSs were found to have more reliable predictions in most of the cases. © 2011 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering