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Difference Between Pump And Compressor

pump fluid mechanics industry compressor fluid

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#1 Charan_123


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Posted 10 December 2018 - 12:45 AM

Why can't we transport gas using pump instead of compressor?
Please shed some light...

#2 fallah


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Posted 10 December 2018 - 02:56 AM



Because basically, due to pump's design and geometry, it cannot do a useful amount of work on the gas within which to be stored as a driving force to move toward the destination...

#3 breizh


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Posted 10 December 2018 - 03:32 AM

hi Charan,

did you try your favorite engine and key in "difference between pumps and compressors" ?

 my 2 cents.


Edited by breizh, 10 December 2018 - 03:33 AM.

#4 Bobby Strain

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 02:08 PM

Compressors are no more than gas pumps. They are designed to compress large volumes of low density, compressible gas.



Edited by Bobby Strain, 12 December 2018 - 02:08 PM.

#5 Art Montemayor

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 12:35 PM



You have received 3 valid and true responses from experienced engineers.  You would be wise to take in and adopt their positive answers.


I would only add the following comment to your specific request to “shed light” on why you can’t transport gas with a pump instead of a compressor:


Being a student, you are reacting as a normal student does at first - you don’t go back to the basic facts and realities that create a flow for a fluid: in order to create a flow you must have a driving force that creates flow.  All matter follows this natual law.  The fluid will flow in a conduit (pipe) from a point of higher level of potential energy to a point having a lower potential energy (water flows downhill, rocks fall from a cliff).  This is a basic physical law known to common sense.


If you want to transport gas, you must then create a pressure higher than your target’s pressure.  This is where you must use your engineering sense to identify how you can raise the pressure of a gas.  A gas is a COMPRESSIBLE fluid, unlike a liquid that is considered as basically incompressible.  This fact is essentially what divides the performance of a pump from that of a compressor.  Both pumps and compressors have two basic types of design: Positive Displacement and Dynamic (centrifugal) action.  As Fallah and Bobby state and infer, the difference lies in the mechanical design and configuration.  A pump cannot - by mechanical design - compress a gas.  A compressor cannot for various mechanical reasons pump a liquid (it might, for a little while, but it would eventually fail).  Hopefully, this details the reason why you must use a compressor to transport a gas.


For your own professional development and personal improvement you should read and study carefully the design and operation of both fluid transportation machines (as Breizh recommends).  You will certainly be required to intimately know their differences and their applications as soon as you graduate as an engineer.

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