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University of Ottawa, CHG 3111, B.

Kruczek 1
Steady State Diffusion
Example 1 Equimolar counterdiffusion
Two bulbs A and B of the same volume are connected by a tube of length 5 cm
and the internal diameter of 0.5 cm. Initially, when bulb A contains pure helium
while bulb B pure methane, the molar flow rate of helium from bulb A to bulb B is
4.33 x 10
-6
mol/s. The temperature and the total pressure in both bulbs are the
same and equal to 25
o
C and 1 atm., respectively.

a) What is the initial molar flux of methane from bulb B to bulb A?
b) What is the diffusivity coefficient of helium in methane at the above conditions?
c) What will be the partial pressure of helium in the connecting tube 4 cm from
bulb A when the partial pressure of helium in bulb A is 0.8 atm?
d) If the volume of each bulb is 0.001 m
3
, how long will it take for the partial
pressure of helium in bulb A to drop from 1 atm to 0.8 atm?
University of Ottawa, CHG 3111, B. Kruczek 2
Steady State Diffusion
Example 1 Equimolar counterdiffusion
Known:
Initial molar flow of Helium in a tube of known length and diameter, which connects
two bulbs of the same and known volume, initially containing pure Helium and
Methane, respectively.

Find:
a) Flux of Methane
b) Diffusivity of Helium and Methane
c) Partial pressure of Helium at the specific position in the tube
d) Time for the partial pressure of Helium to drop to the prescribed value

Assumptions:
1) Applicability of ideal gas law
2) Concentrations at any time within each bulb are uniform
3) Equimolar counter diffusion at any time
4) Pseudo steady state conditions


University of Ottawa, CHG 3111, B. Kruczek 3
Steady State Diffusion
Example 1 Equimolar counterdiffusion
Schematic:
Helium: A
Methane: B
V
A
= V
B
= 0.001 m
3

P
A
= P
B
= 1atm
T
A
= T
B
= 25

C
n
A0
= 4.33 x 10
-6
[mol/s]
D
AB
= ?

University of Ottawa, CHG 3111, B. Kruczek 4
Steady State Diffusion
Example 1 Equimolar counterdiffusion
University of Ottawa, CHG 3111, B. Kruczek 5
Steady State Diffusion
Example 1 Equimolar counterdiffusion
Analysis:
b) Determination of D
AB
= D
BA

For equimolar counter diffusion:


Where C from the ideal gas law is:


The only unknown in Eq.(1) is D
AB
. Rearranging (1):






University of Ottawa, CHG 3111, B. Kruczek 6
Steady State Diffusion
Example 1 Equimolar counterdiffusion
Analysis:
c) Partial pressure of A at z equal to 4cm when partial pressure of A at z = 0 is
equal to 0.8 atm. Because of assumption 4, the concentration profile at any time
within the tube is linear. Also, because the bulbs have the same volumes, when
P
A
(z = 0)= 0.8 atm:




University of Ottawa, CHG 3111, B. Kruczek 7
Steady State Diffusion
Example 1 Equimolar counterdiffusion
University of Ottawa, CHG 3111, B. Kruczek 8
Steady State Diffusion
Example 1 Equimolar counterdiffusion
Analysis:
d) Time for P
A
(z=0) to drop from 1 atm to 0.8 atm:
Substituting (4) into (3) and rearranging leads to:







Rearranging:





University of Ottawa, CHG 3111, B. Kruczek 9
Steady State Diffusion
Example 1 Equimolar counterdiffusion