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ERT 313/4



Prepared by:
Pn. Hairul Nazirah Abdul Halim
Mass Transfer and Its Applications

Mass transfer transfer of material from one

homogeneous phase to another.
Based on differences in vapor pressure, solubility,
Driving force for transfer is a concentration
Mass transfer operations gas absorption,
distillation, extraction, leaching, adsorption,
crystallization, membrane separations, etc..
Gas Absorption
A solute gas is absorbed from an inert gas into a
Example: Removal of ammonia from a mixture of
ammonia-air by means of liquid water.
Ammonia is transferred from gas to liquid phase.
Separation of a liquid mixture of miscible and
volatile substances into individual components or
group of components by vaporization.
1. Separation of ethanol and water into its
2. Crude petroleum into gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil.
Liquid Extraction
A mixture of two components is treated by solvent
that preferentially dissolves one or more of the
components in the mixture.
1. recovery of penicillin from fermentation broth
solvent: butyl acetate
2. recovery of acetic acid (b.p 1180c) from dilute
aqueous (b.p 1000c) solutions
solvent: ethyl-acetate
A solute is removed from either a liquid or a gas
through contact with solid adsorbent.
Adsorbent has surface of which has a special
affinity for the solute.
Example: Removal of dyes using activated carbon
as adsorbent.
Membrane separations
Gas or liquid separations
Such as Reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration,
One component of liquid or gaseous mixture
passes through a selective membrane more readily
than the other components.
Driving force concentration or partial pressure.
ERT 313/4


Prepared by:
Pn. Hairul Nazirah Abdul Halim
Principles of Diffusion

Diffusion is the movement, under the influence of

a physical stimulus, of an individual component
through a mixture.

Common cause of diffusion: concentration gradient

Example: Removal of ammonia by gas absorption.

Ficks Law of Diffusion:

dc A
JA = molar flux of comp. A (kg mol/m2.h)
Dv = volumetric diffusivity (m2/h)
cA = concentration (kg mol/m3)
b = distance in direction of diffusion (m)
Mass Transfer Theories
Turbulent flow is desired in most mass-transfer
1. to increase the rate of transfer per unit area
2. to help disperse one fluid in another
3. to create more interfacial area

Mass transfer to a fluid interface is often unsteady-

state type.
Mass Transfer Theories
Mass transfer coefficient, k
Is defined as rate of mass transfer per unit area per
unit conc. difference.

kc is molar flux divided by conc. difference

kc has a unit of velocity in cm/s, m/s
Concentration, c in moles/volume
Mass Transfer Theories
Mass transfer coefficient, k

ky in mol/area.time (mol/m2.s)
y or x are mole fractions in the vapor or liquid phase.
Gas phase coefficient, kg
Film Theory

Basic concept the resistance to diffusion can be

considered equivalent to that in stagnant film of a
certain thickness

Often used as a basis for complex problems of

multicomponent diffusion or diffusion plus chemical
Consider mass transfer from a turbulent gas stream
to the wall of a pipe;
Laminar layer near the
Mass transfer is mainly
by molecular diffusion
The conc. gradient
almost linear
As the distance from the
wall increases, turbulent
become stronger.
The resistance to mass
transfer is mainly in
laminar boundary layer.
Effect of one-way Diffusion

When only component A is diffusing through a

stagnant film, the rate of mass transfer is greater
than if component B is diffusing in the opposite
The rate of one-way mass transfer can be
Boundary Layer Theory
Mass transfer often take place in a thin boundary
layer near a surface where the fluid is in laminar
The coefficient, kc depends on 2/3 power of
diffusivity and decreases with increasing distance
along the surface in the direction of flow
Boundary layer theory can be used to estimate kc
for some situations,
but exact prediction of kc cannot be made when the
boundary layer become turbulent.
Penetration Theory
Makes use of the expression for the transient rate
of diffusion into a relatively thick mass of fluid with
a constant concentration at the surface.
Mass Transfer Between Phases
Two-Film Theory

The rate of diffusion in both phases affect the

overall rate of mass transfer.
Assumption in Two-Film Theory:
a) equilibrium is assumed at the interface
b) the resistance to mass transfer in the two
phases are added to get an overall
Use in most mass transfer operations such as gas
absorption, distillation, adsorption and extraction.
Mass Transfer Between Phases
ky = mass-transfer coefficient in gas phase
kx = mass-transfer coefficient in liquid phase
Ky = Overall mass-transfer coefficient in gas
Kx = Overall mass-transfer coefficient in liquid
a = interfacial area per unit volume
The rate of transfer to the interface = the rate of transfer from
the interface
The rate also equal to:


Ky = overall mass transfer coefficient in gas phase

yA* = composition of the gas that equilibrium with the
bulk liquid of composition xA.
1/ Ky = overall resistance to mass transfer
m/kx = the resistance in liquid film
1/ky = the resistance in gas film
m = slope of the equilibrium curve