A system and method to characterize natural gas hydrocarbons using a single inferential property, such as standard sound speed, when the concentrations of the diluent gases (e.g., carbon dioxide and nitrogen) are known. The system to determine a thermophysical property of a gas having a first plurality of components comprises a sound velocity measurement device, a concentration measurement device, and a processor to determine a thermophysical property as a function of a correlation between the thermophysical property, the speed of sound, and the concentration measurements, wherein the number of concentration measurements is less than the number of components in the gas. The method includes the steps of determining the speed of sound in the gas, determining a plurality of gas component concentrations in the gas, and determining the thermophysical property as a function of a correlation between the thermophysical property, the speed of sound, and the plurality of concentrations.
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The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in certain circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Contract No. DE-FC21-96MC33033 for the U.S. Department of Energy.