The fraction of any one component that flashes to gas at any stage in a process is a function of the temperature, pressure, and composition of the fluid at that stage. For a given temperature this tendency to flash can be visualized by the partial pressure of the component in the gas phase that is in equilibrium with the liquid. Partial pressure is defined as:
The partial pressure at a given pressure and temperature is lower when there are more moles of other components in the gas phase. The lower the partial pressure the greater the tendency of the component to flash to gas. Thus, the higher the fraction of light components in the inlet fluid to any separator, the lower the partial pressure of intermediate components in the gas phase of the separator, and the greater the number of intermediate component molecules that flash to gas.