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# Interface Mass Transfer

11
Most of the mass
transfer processes
involve the transfer of
solute A between two or
more immiscible phases.
The rate of mass
transfer depends on a
number of factors:
solubility of solute A and
its displacement form
equilibrium.
Design of mass transfer
equipment should take
into account not only
the temperature and
pressure, but other
factors such as
interfacial contact area
and distribution of both
phases affect the rate of
mass transfer between
the different phases.
Two resistance model of interface mass
transfer
Lewis and Whitman (1924)
22
Transfer between 2
contacting phases.
Three steps of
interface transfer.
The theory:
Rate of transfer is
controlled by diffusion
through phases on
each side of interface.
No resistance across
the interface mole
fraction in the liquid
and in the gas are at
equilibrium.
Mass transfer using local
film MTC.
33
1- Equimolar counter
diffusion
( ) ( )
/ /
A y i x i
N k y y k x x
x
y
P
M
yA
yAi
xA xAi
2
kgmol / /
s . m . mol frac
, are local liquid and gas MTC
x y
k k
( ) ( )
/ /
y i x i
k y y k x x
( )
( )
/
/
the slope of the line P-M
i
x
y i
y y
k
k x x

44
2- Diffusin of A through a stagnant or non
diffusing B
Mass transfer using local
film MTC.
x
y
P
M
yA
yAi
xA xAi
( ) ( )
A y i x i
N k y y k x x
( )
/ /
1
x x
x
BLM
LM
k k
k
x x

( )
/ /
1
y y
y
BLM
LM
k k
k
y y

( )
( ) ( )
( )
( )
1 1
1
1
ln
1
i
LM
i
y y
y
y
y

1

]
( )
( ) ( )
( )
( )
1 1
1
1
ln
1
i
LM
i
x x
x
x
x

1

]
( )
( )
( )
( )
/
/
1 1
y
x
A i i
LM LM
k
k
N y y x x
y x

( )
( )
( )
( )
/
/
1
slope of the line P-M
1
x i
LM
y i
LM
k x y y
k y x x

For dilute
solutions k/ and k
are equal.

For concentrated
solutions use trial
and error method
to find the slope
Overall MTC
55
x
y
P
M
yA
yA
i
xA xA
i
y*
A
x
*
A
m

## The previous equations for local MTCs

require the determination of interfacial
concentrations which is impractical and
usually difficult to measure
experimentally, therefore it is more
convenient to use the overall MTCs
instead. The overall MTC is based on the
bulk concentrations.
( ) ( )
/ * / *
A y x
N K y y K x x
2
kgmol / /
s . m . mol frac
, are overall liquid and gas MTC
x y
K K
y* mole fraction of solute A in the gas phase in equilibrium with the
concentration of A in the bulk liquid phase
x* mole fraction of solute A in the liquid phase in equilibrium with the
concentration of A in the bulk gas phase
66
Overall MTC
1- Equimolar counter
diffusion
( ) ( )
/ /
A y i x i
N k y y k x x
( )
( )
* *
i i
y y y y y y +
( )
/
A
i
y
N
y y
k

( )
*
/
A
y
N
y y
K

x
y
P
M
yA
y
A
i
xA xA
i
y*
A
x
*
A
m

( )
( )
* / /
/
A
i i
x
N
y y m x x m
k

/
/ / /
A A A
y y x
N N N
m
K k k
+
} }
}
Liquid phase
Overall Gas phase
resistance
resistance resistance
/
/ / /
1 1

y y x
m
K k k
+
Similar analysis can be used to obtain the overall liquid phase
resistance as
} }
Gas phase
Overall Liquid phase
resistance
resistance resistance
/ / / / /
1 1 1

x y x
K m k k
+
678
77
Overall MTC
2- Diffusion of A through a stagnant or
non diffusing B
( )
( )
( )
( )
/
/
1 1
y
x
A i i
LM LM
k
k
N y y x x
y x

x
y
P
M
yA
y
A
i
xA xA
i
y*
A
x
*
A
m

( )
( )
( )
( )
* *
/
/
* *
1 1
y
x
A
LM LM
K
K
N y y x x
y x

( )
( )
* *
i i
y y y y y y +
( ) ( ) ( )
*
Liquid phase
Overall Gas phase
resistance
resistance resistance
/
/ / /
1 1

1 1 1
y y x
LM LM LM
m
K y k y k x
+

6 447 4 48
6 447 4 48 6 447 4 48
( ) ( ) ( )
*
Overall Gas phase Liquid phase
resistance resistance resistance
/ / / / /
1 1 1

1 1 1
x y x
LM LM LM
K x m k y k x
+

6 447 4 48 6 4 447 4 4 48 6 447 4 48
Overall MTC based on the gas
phase
Overall MTC based on the liquid
phase
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
*
*
*
1 1
1
1
ln
1
LM
y y
y
y
y

1

1
]
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
*
*
*
1 1
1
1
ln
1
LM
x x
x
x
x

1

1
]
Importance of the slope of
the equilibrium curve
88
Case I: Gas phase controlled system ( resistance in the liquid
phase is very small)
In this situation the equilibrium curve is almost a horizontal line and
the slope of the line m is quite small. This means that the a small
concentration of A in the gas phase yA will provide a large value of x*.
The gas solute is very soluble in the liquid phase and hence the term
m/kx is very small. Under such circumstances, in order to increase
the mass transfer rate efforts should be directed toward decreasing the
gas-phase resistance .
Case II: Liquid phase controlled system (resistance in the gas
phase is very small)
In this situation the slope of the line m is very large and the solute is
very insoluble in the liquid phase. The major resistance to mass transfer
resides within the liquid phase. In this situation efforts to increase mass
transfer rate should be focused on conditions that increase the liquid
mass transfer coefficient kx.
Fractional gas resistance
y
y
K
k

## Fractional liquid resistance

x
x
K
k

Example 1
99
A solute A is being absorbed from a gas mixture of A and B n a wetted-
wall tower with the liquid flowing as a film downward along the wall. At a
certain point in the tower the bulk gas concentration is 38% and the bulk
liquid concentration 10%. The tower is operating at 298 K and 1 atm. If
the ky and kx are 1.465 e-3, 1.967 e-3 kgmol of A/ (s.m2.m.f)
respectively. Calculate the interface concentration and the molar flux.
x
0 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35
y
0 0.022 0.052 0.087 0.131 0.187 0.265 0.385
Solution
Absorption process diffusion through stagnant B
Graphical trail and error solution is needed
1010
0 2 4 6 8 10 12
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
x
y
P
Since the slope is almost equal
to the one in the second trail
then stop iteration
First trial
x y
(1-y)LM =
1
(1-x)LM =
1
slope =
-k'x/k'y =
-1.34
Drawing the
lines
xi,yi =
0.247 0.183
Second trial:
(1-y)LM =
0.714
(1-x)LM =
0.824
slope =
-k'x/k'y =
-1.163
xi,yi =
0.258 0.196
Third trial:
(1-y)LM =
0.708
(1-x)LM =
0.818
slope =
-k'x/k'y =
-1.161
Example 1
( )
( )
( )
/
4
2
1
0.001465 kgmol
0.38 0.196 3.78 10
0.708 s.m
y
A i
LM
k
N y y
y

1111
Example 1
How to calculate the Overall MTC for the same
example
0 2 4 6 8 10 12
0
5
10
15
x
y
y* =
0.052
x* =
0.347
P
( ) ( ) ( )
*
/
/ / /
1 1

1 1 1
y y x
LM LM LM
m
K y k y k x
+

(1-y)LM =
0.708
(1-x)LM =
0.818
(1-y)LM* =
0.772
2
kgmol / 4
s.m .(m.f)
8.95 10
y
K

( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
*
/
/
4
3
1
% gas phase resistance
1
8.95 10 0.708
100
1.47 10 0.772
55.8%
y
LM
y
LM
K y
k y

( )
( )
( )
( )
*
/
0.196 0.052
0.258 0.1
0.91
i
i
y y
m
x x

Example 2
1212
A wetted-wall absorption tower 2.54 cm of inside diameter is fed with water
as the wall liquid and NH3-air mixture as the central core gas. At a
particular level in the tower the NH3 concentration in the bulk gas is 0.8
(mole fraction) and in the bulk liquid is 0.05 (mole fraction). The
temperature is 26.7 C and the pressure is 1 atm. The rates of flow are
such that the local mass transfer coefficient in the liquid from a correlation
obtained with dilute solutions is 2.87 e-5 m/s and the local Sherwood
number for the gas is 40. DNH3-air is 2.297 e-5 m2/s. Calculate y*, x*,
xi, yi, Ky, Kx and the % gas phase resistance.
x
0 0.05 0.10 0.25 0.30
y
0 0.07070.1347 0.591 0.920
Solution
( )
( )
2
2
/ / 5
kgmol 5 3
m . s . (m.f)
2.87 10
.
1000
2.87 10 1.59 10
18
H O
x c
k Ck
M W

_

,
_

,
Local MTC for the liquid phase
1313
Example 2
Local MTC for the gas
phase
( )
( )
( )
5
/
2
40 2.297 10
0.0361
2.54 10
Sh AB
c
N D
k
D

( )
( ) ( )
( )
/ / /
101325
0.0361 0.00146
8314 26.7 273.15
y c c
P
k Ck k
RT

+
Example 2
1414
-0.05 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
x
y
yi =
0.73
xi =
0.277
1515
Example 2
-0.05 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
x
y
y* =
0.07
x* =
0.286
P
1616
( ) ( ) ( )
*
/
/ / /
1 1

1 1 1
y y x
LM LM LM
m
K y k y k x
+

Example 2
( ) ( ) ( )
*
/ / / / /
1 1 1

1 1 1
x y x
LM LM LM
K x m k y k x
+

m' =
2.865
K'y =
2.85E-04
m'' =
7.73
K'x =
1.52E-03
(1-y)LM* =
0.475
(1-x)LM* =
0.826
Fourth trial:
(1-y)LM =
0.234
(1-x)LM =
0.831
slope =
-k'x/k'y =
-0.306
xi,yi =
0.277 0.730
Third trial:
(1-y)LM =
0.240
(1-x)LM =
0.832
slope =
-k'x/k'y =
-0.314
xi,yi =
0.277 0.729
% gas resistance = 9.62
% liquid resistance
=
96.19
Summary of the
results
Example 3
1717
In a dilute concentration region, equilibrium data for SO2 distributed
between air and water can be approximated by PA = 25 xA, where the
partial pressure of SO2 in the vapor is expressed in atmospheres. For as
absorption column operating at 10 atm, the bulk vapor and liquid
concentrations at one point in the column are yA = 0.01 and xA = 0.0. The
mass transfer coefficients for this process are, kx = 10 and ky = 8
[kgmol/(s.m2.mf)]. Assuming equimolar counter diffusion, (a) find Kx. (b)
determine the interfacial compositions, xAi and yAi, and (c) calculate the
molar flux, NA.
Solution
25
25 2.5
10
A A A A A
P x y x x
Since the diffusion is Equimolar counter diffusion, therefore no
need for a trial and error method
1818
Example 3
0 2 4 6 8 10 12
0
5
10
15
x
y
P
/ / / / /
1 1 1

x y x
K m k k
+
/
/ / /
1 1

y y x
m
K k k
+
m' = m''
=
2.5
K'y =
2.67
K'x =
6.667
NA =
0.0267
kgmol/(s.
m2)
( )
/
A y i
N k y y
0.0066
7
0.0026
7
Summary of the
results