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ABSTRACT The objectives of this experiment are to determine the diffusivity of the vapour of acetone as well as to study the

effect of temperature on the diffusivity. In this experiment, the main apparatus used is Gaseous Diffusion Apparatus [Model: CER-A (ARMFIELD)]. This experiment was conducted by using two set of temperatures, 45 C and 55 C as the manipulating variable. For each temperature, the reading of the vernier scale was recorded at every 5-minutes interval until the time reached 45 minutes. Before the reading was taken, the vertical height of the microscope was adjusted until it was visible that the meniscus of the capillary tube was set at the origin. At the end of the experiment, gas diffusivity of the of the vapour of acetone was calculated along with 2 graphs being plotted for a clearer observations of the experiment. The diffusivity of the vapour of acetone obtained at temperature 45 C and 55 C are 6.12 x m2/s and 2.266 x m2/s respectively. This shows that as

temperature increase, the diffusivity of the vapor of acetone decreases. However, this result deviates from the theotrical results based on the principle of gas diffusion in which the diffusivity has to increase when temperature increases.


Figure 1 : Gas Diffusion Apparatus

Gaseous diffusivity or gas dispersion apparatus which involves diffusion with bulk flow is one of the items of laboratory equipment that have been designed to allow measurement of molecular diffusivities and also to make the students become more familiar with the basic notions of mass transfer theory. This apparatus is a bench mounted apparatus for the determination of diffusion coefficients of a vapour in air, which uses the method of measuring the rate of evaporation of a liquid through a stagnant layer into a flowing air stream, comprising a precision bore capillary tube, which may be filled from a syringe and the top of which means are provided to pass air (or an inert gas) stream to remove vapour. The apparatus also comprise an air pump, a travelling microscope with accurate focus adjustment and mounted for vertical axis movement against a Vernier scale and a thermostatically controlled water bath, in which to place the capillary tube, capable of accurate temperature control.

The experimental capabilities of this apparatus are direct measurement of mass transfer rates in the absence convective effects, use of a gas laws to calculate concentrations differences in terms of partial pressures, use of Ficks Law to measure diffusion coefficients in the presence of a stationary gas, measurement of the effect of temperature on diffusion coefficients and gaining familiarity with the use of laboratory instruments to achieve accurate measurements of data required for industrial process design.

The diffusivity of the vapour of a volatile liquid in air can be conveniently determined by Winklemanns method in which liquid is contained in a narrow diameter vertical tube, maintained at a constant temperature, and an air stream is passed over the top of the tube to ensure the partial pressure of the vapour is transferred from the surface of the liquid to the air stream by molecular diffusion. The molecular diffusivity, D, is a kinetic parameter associated with static and dynamic conditions of a process. All the complexity and unwieldiness of many calculations is, indeed, connected with the determination of this quantity.

OBJECTIVES To : (a) (b) Determine the diffusivity of the vapour of acetone. Study the effect of temperature on the diffusivity.


The diffusion of vapour A from a volatile liquid into another gas B can be conveniently studied by confining a small sample of the liquid in a narrow vertical tube and observing its rate of evaporation into a stream of gas B passed across the top of the tube. Normally, for simple instructional purposes, gas B is air and vapour A is an organic solvent such as acetone or methyl alcohol.

The apparatus consist essentially of a glass capillary tube placed in a transparent-sided temperature controlled water bath. A horizontal glass tube is fixed to the upper end of the capillary tube and air is blown through this by a small air pump included within the unit. This arrangement allows the maintenance of a partial pressure difference within the capillary tube between the evaporating liquid surfaces and the flowing air stream. A travelling microscope, with sliding vernier scale, is mounted on a rigid stand alongside the thermostatic bath and is used to measure the rate of fall of the solvent or air meniscus within the capillary. The relation between the measured molar mass transfer rate (NA per unit area), the partial pressure gradient and the diffusion coefficient, D is deduced based on the following;


... Equation [1]

Where D = Diffusivity (m2/s) CA = Saturation concentration at interface (kmol/ m3) L = Effective distance of mass transfer (mm)

CBm = Logarithmic mean molecular concentration of vapour (kmol/ m3) CT = Total molar concentration = CA + CBm (kmol/ m3)

Considering the evaporation of the liquid: NA = {L/M}{dL/dt} . Equation [2]

Where is the density of liquid Thus, {L/M}{dL/dt} = D {CA/L}{CT/CBM} . Equation [3]

Integrating and putting L - Lo at t = 0 L2 L20 = {2DM/L}{(CACT)/CBm}t Equation [4]

Lo and L cannot be measured accurately but L-Lo can be measured accurately using thevernier on the microscope (L L0)(L-L0+2L0) = {2DM/


. Equation [5]

Or t/(L-L0) = {

L/2MD}{ CBm/( CACT)}(L-L0)


+ {(L CBm)/( CACTMD)}L0

where: M = molecular weight (kg/mol) t = time(s) where s are the slopes of a graph t/(L-L0) against L - Lo then: s = (L CBm)/( CACT2MD) . Equation [6]

D = (L CBm)/( CACT2sM)

.... Equation [7]


1) TR 14 Membrane Test Unit apparatus. 2) 500 mL beakers. 3) Electronic balance. 4) Capillary tube 5) Gloves 6) Ruler


1) Acetone 2) Sodium Chloride 3) Water

PROCEDURE 1. The capillary tube is partially filled with acetone to a depth of approximately 33.03mm. The top nut was removed from metal fitting. 2. Carefully, the capillary tube was inserted through the rubber ring, inside the metal nut until the top of the tube rests on the top of the nut. 3. Gently the assembly is screwed onto the top plate, with the T piece normal to the microscope. The flexible air tube was connected to one end of the T piece. The object lens is adjusted to within 20-30 mm from the tank. 4. The vertical height of the microscope was adjusted until the capillary tube is visible. When the meniscus has been determined, the vernier scale should be aligned with a suitable graduation on the fixed scale. 5. Then, the air pump was switched on. 6. The level inside the capillary tube was recorded. 7. The temperature controlled water bath was switched on and a steady temperature was obtained. 8. The reading was taken every 5 minutes for 10 times. The experiment was done at temperature 45C and repeat step by using temperature at 55C and initial length acetone at 38.04mm.

RESULTS Temperature: 45 C Initial length: 33.03 mm Time (ks) 0.3 0.6 0.9 1.2 1.5 1.8 2.1 2.4 2.7 Reading scale (mm) 34.04 36.06 38.08 40.10 33.02 35.04 36.05 38.07 40.09 (L - Lo) (mm) 1.01 3.03 5.05 7.07 0.00 2.01 3.02 5.04 7.06 (ks/mm) 0.29 0.19 0.18 0.17 1.50 0.89 0.69 0.48 0.38

Temperature: 55 C Initial length: 38.04 mm Time (min) 0.3 0.6 0.9 1.2 1.5 1.8 2.1 2.4 2.7 Reading scale (mm) 34.03 40.09 35.03 41.09 37.04 43.10 39.05 36.01 41.06 (L - Lo) (mm) 4.01 2.05 3.01 3.05 1.00 5.06 1.01 2.03 3.02 (ks/mm) 0.07 0.29 0.29 0.39 1.50 0.36 2.08 1.18 0.89

CALCULATIONS x 1000 = 0.3ks

Temperature: 45 C

Graph of t/(LLo) versus (L - Lo )

1.6 1.4 1.2 t/(LLo) 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 1.01 3.03 5.05 7.07 0 (L - Lo ) 2.01 3.02 5.04 7.06

Density of acetone, = 790 kg/ Gas constant, R = Molecular weight of acetone = Vapor pressure, Pv = 56 kN/m3 Slope, s = 0.036 = 3.6 x , V=22.4 , T = 273 K)

Assume standard conditions (P = 101.32 kN/ Tempereature, Ta = 45 C = 318 K

CT = (1/V )(T / Ta ) = (1/22.4)(273/318)


= 0.0383 kmol/m3 CB1 = CT = 0.0383 kmol/m3 To find CB2 : CB2 = (Pa Pv / Pa)CT = (101.32-56/ 101.32) 0.0383 = 0.0171 kmol/m3 To find CBM : CBM = (CB1-CB2)/ln (CB1/CB2) = (0.0383 0.0171)/ln (0.0383/0.0171) = 0.0263 To find Ca : Ca = (Pv/Pa)CT = (56/101.32) 0.0383 = 0.0212 kmol/m3 To find diffusivity,D :

D = (L CBm)/( CACT2sM)

D = (790x0.0263)/(0.0212x0.0383x2x3.6x D = 6.12 x Temperature :55 C m2/s



Graph of t/(LLo) versus (L - Lo )

2.5 2 t/(LLo) 1.5 1 0.5 0 4.01 2.05 3.01 3.05 1 (L - Lo ) 5.06 1.01 2.03 3.02

Density of acetone, = 790 kg/ Gas constant, R = Molecular weight of acetone = Vapor pressure, Pv = 56 kN/m3 Slope, s = 0.1 = 1.0 x , V=22.4 , T = 273 K)

Assume standard conditions (P = 101.32 kN/ Tempereature, Ta = 55 C = 328 K

CT = (1/V )(T / Ta ) = (1/22.4)(273/328) = 0.0372 kmol/m3 CB1 = CT = 0.0372 kmol/m3 To find CB2 : CB2 = (Pa Pv / Pa)CT = (101.32-56/ 101.32) 0.0372

= 0.0166 kmol/m3 To find CBM : CBM = (CB1-CB2)/ln (CB1/CB2) = (0.0372 - 0.0166)/ln (0.0372/0.0166) = 0.02553 To find Ca : Ca = (Pv/Pa)CT = (56/101.32) 0.0372 = 0.0206 kmol/m3 To find diffusivity,D :

D = (L CBm)/( CACT2sM)

D = (790x0.02553)/(0.0206x0.0372x2x1.0 x D = 2.266 x m2/s




This experiment was conducted to obtain the gas diffusion coefficient and its relationship with the change in temperature. The manipulating variable involved is the temperature and the responding variable was the level inside the capillary tube, L which was taken every 0.3 ks until 2.7 ks was reached. This experiment was carried out at two different temperatures which are at 45 C and 55 C with respect to gas diffusivity. Alongside, gas diffusivity of vapour acetone is also calculated.

Based on the two graphs of

against Lo L

that had been plotted, the gradient or also known

as the slopes were calculated. The data collected however shown to deviate variedly, due to the present of errors.. A linear graph was not able to be obtained and thus to overcome this problem the slopes was calculated taking from two points relative to the line obtained.

Next, the diffusivity of vapour acetone at different temperature was being calculated. It was based on the data collected for T = 45 C, D equivalent to 6.12 x C, D was found to be 2.266 x m2/s while at T = 55 m2/s. The result has proven that as the temperature

increase, the diffusivity decreases. However, according to the principle of gas diffusion from this experiment, supposedly the diffusivity of vapor acetone increases with increasing temperature.

Diffusion is the movement of molecules from area of high concentration to area of lower concentration and this is increased with increasing temperature which means when the temperature increase the diffusion will also rising up. In the other word, when temperature is higher, then the rate of diffusion would probably increase caused by increasing kinetic activity of the solution. However, due to this inaccuracy, values for gas diffusivity calculated using equation above may not explain correctly the definition of gas diffusion.


CONCLUSION As a conclusion, the result for diffusivity coefficient at 45 C is 6.12 x 10-6 m2/s and the diffusivity coefficient at 55 C is 2.266 x 10-6 m2/s. During the experiment, there are some errors occur. To get accurate values of diffusivity, a few of recommendations step should be taken. In this experiment, the results obtained are almost accurate even there are some errors occur.

RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Some recommendations should be implements in this experiment. One of them is insulating the glass container. It will maintain the temperature through the experiment and the heat will not loss to the surrounding. 2. Next, the reading meter should be stabilized with the person who read the meter. The person who read it should be at the same level to the meter to reduced parallax error.


REFFERNCES Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data. Gaseous Diffusion Coefficients. Retrieved November 15, 2012 from Gases: Grahams Laws of Diffusion and Effusion. Grahams Law. Retrieved November 15, 2012 from

Diffusion of Gases. Diffusion and Effusion. Retrieved November 16 2012 from








Advancing the Chemical Sciences. Learn Chemistry: Diffusion of gases of ammonia and hydrogen chloride. Retrieved November 16, 2012 from