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Mass Transfer Exercise

Problem 4 and solution

Air containing SO2 at partial pressure of 0.01 atm passes through a device filled with a liquid
solution (50 cm3 in volume) that absorbs SO2, as shown below. The interface area is 10 cm2. The
feed air flow rate is Q= 50 cm3/s. The device is operated at 1 atm and 25oC. Both air and liquid
are well stirred. The mass transfer coefficients for the liquid and gas phase are respectively: k L =
2.0x10-4 cm/s, kG = 4.0x10-3 mmol/cm2.s.atm. The Henry constant for SO2 in these two-phase
system is H=0.1 atm.cm3/mmol. The gas constant R=82.06 cm3 atm/mol.K.

Q=50 cm3/s. PSO2=0.01 atm PSO2=?

Air containing SO2

Liquid solution

(a). If the initial SO2 concentration in the liquid solution is 0, calculate time required for the
SO2 concentration in the solution to reach 0.08 mmol/cm3. You can assume a quasi-
steady state in the gas phase, i.e., the term dCg/dt=0, where Cg is the SO2 concentration in
the gas phase in the device.

(b). Draw quantitatively the SO2 concentration profile from the liquid phase to the gas phase.
Solution

Q Q

Pin Pout

N
Mass balance for the liquid phase: C,P
d (CV )
AN (1)
dt

N K g ( Pout HC ); Pout HC
1
K g 1 H
1.23x10 3 mol / cm 2 atm
K G K L

dC AK G
Equation (1) ( Po HC)
dt V

At t = 0 C, P = 0

For the gas phase (quasi steady-state):

Pin P dC g
Q AN Q out 0
RT RT dt
P P
Q in AK G ( Pout HC ) Q out 0
RT RT
AK G RT
Pin HC
Q 0.01 0.6C
Pout atm
AK G RT 7
1
Q
dC 10 x1.23x10 3
(1.43x10 3 0.0143C )
dt 50

0.08x10 3 t
dC

0
3
1.43x10 0.0143C
0.246 x10 3 dt
0

t 3.107 min