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# Lecture 2

## Mass Transfer Coefficients

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Mass Transfer Coefficients and other rate
coefficients
Effect Basic Equation Coefficient
Mass transfer mass transfer coefficent
k([=]L/t) is a function of
flow
Diffusion diffusion coefficient
D([=]L
2
/t) is a property
independent of flow
Dispersion dispersion coefficient
E([=]L
2
/t) depends on flow
Homogeneous chemical
reaction
rate constant k
1
([=]1/t) is a
physical property
independent of flow
Heterogeneous chemical
reaction
rate constant k
1
([=]L/t) is a
surface property often
defined in terms of a bulk
concentration
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1 1
N k c = A
1 i
D c = V j
1 1
' '
i
c E c = V v
1 1 1
r c k =
1 1 1
r c k =
Analysis
mass transfer coefficient is a combination of diffusion
and dispersion
however, the diffusion and dispersion coefficients
have dimensions of length squared per time, because
their driving force is a gradient in concentration while,
mass transfer coefficient has dimensions of length per
time.
There are still inconsistencies in the accepted dimensions
of the mass transfer coefficient, unlike the case for the
others.
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Other definitions of mass transfer coefficients
Basic Equation Typical units of k
+
Remarks
cm/sec Common in earlier literature, used for its
simple physical significance (Treybal,
1980)
mol/cm2-sec-atm Common for gas absorption; equivalent
forms occur in biological problems
(McCabe Smith, and Harriot,
1985;Sherwood, Pigford and Wilke,
1975)
mol/cm2-sec Preferred for practical calculations,
especially in gases (Bennett and Myers,
1974)
cm/sec Used in an effort to include diffusion-
induced convection (Bird, Stewart and
Lightfoot, 1960)
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1 1
N k c = A
1 1 p
N k p = A
1 1 x
N k x = A
1 1 1
o
N k c cu = A +
Other definitions of mass transfer coefficients
Usually use the simplest definition k
For design of gas adsorption, distillation and extraction
equipment, use alternative forms such as k
x
and k
p
The given definitions are ambiguous since (take the
example of a gas absorption column)
concentration difference (local? average?) must be defined
interfacial area may be unkown ( use lumped k)
there may be complications introduced by diffusion-induced
convection normal to the interface in concentrated solutions
(use the last definition in the table)
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Other definitions of mass transfer coefficients
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In the above unit NH
3
is separated from a gas stream by
washing the gas with water
Other definitions of mass transfer coefficients
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1. The concentration difference between
bulk and interface is different along the
column. A local MTC should be used
Local concentration difference Local mass
transfer coefficient

The local k does not change much compared to
other variables.
In case there is no sufficient information to
determine the local MTC, use the average
MTC

Example: packed bed
Consider 0.2-cm diameter spheres of benzoic acid packed
into a bed. The packed bed of spheres has a surface
area: volume ratio of 23 cm
2
per 1cm
3
. Pure water
flows into the bed at a superficial velocity of 5 cm/s.
The water becomes 62% saturated with benzoic acid
after passing through 100 cm of bed length.
What is the mass transfer coefficient?
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Example: packed bed
select the appropriate c
Always the difference between the
concentration ON the sphere and
that IN the solution is selected.
However, this c is different
along the bed axis.

At the beds entrance:
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( )
1 1( )
0
sat
N k c =
Example: packed bed
The flux N
1
can be calculated by
mass balance:
Benzoic acid left the spheres:

10
1
N area time
_ sec _
_
area
area bed length cross tional area
sphere volume
=
2
3
23 100
cm
area cm A
cm
=
_ 100
5 /
bed length cm
time
velocity cm s
= =
Example: packed bed
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Example: packed bed
12
( )
1 1( ) 1 sat
N k c c =
Divide by Az with z0
Example: packed bed
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Other definitions of mass transfer coefficients
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2. The interfacial area between water
and gas is unknown
Hard to define the flux per unit
areaLumping the area with k

3. Diffusion induced convection will also
affect k.
Example: Averaging a mass transfer coefficient
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Imagine we have a porous solid containing a solution
of concentration c
1
while outside the concentration
is c
1
Diffusion will take place (unsteady state) and the
flux is
As a result the mass transfer coefficient is:

After a long time t
0
the average flux can be
defined as:
1 1 1
( ) t

= N D t c c
k D t t =
1 1
N k c = A
Example: Averaging a mass transfer coefficient
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Howis k related to k ?
0 0
0
1 1
0 0
1
0
0
/
t t
t
N dt D t c dt
N
t
dt
t A
= =
} }
}
1/2
0 1
1 0 1
0
2 /
2 /
D t c
N D t c
t
t
t
A
= = A
2 k k =
Correlations of Mass Transfer
For prediction of how the value of the mass transfer
coefficient changes with some process variables.
The relevant process variables may be numerous
and may have complicating interrelationships
It is convenient to reduce the number of variables
and interrelationships by the use of dimensionless
variables.
The mass transfer correlations are usually expressed
in terms of dimensionless variables.
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MTC Correlations
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Excellent for preliminary design of small pilot plants.
For design of full scale equipment you must
supplement them with data of the SPECIFIC
chemical system.
Fluid-Fluid interface Fluid-Solid interface
Dimensionless Numbers
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Mass Transfer Coefficient:
Sherwood No. (Sh = kl/D)
Stanton No. (St = k/
o
)
Different Kinds of Diffusion:
Schmidt No. (Sc = v/D)
Lewis No. (Le = o/D)
Prandtl No. (Pr = v/o)
Flow:
Reynolds No. (Re = l
o
/ = l
o
/v)
Grashof No. (Gr = (l
3
gA/)/v
2
)
Peclet No. (Pe =
o
l/D)
Diffusion with Chemical
Reaction:
2
nd
Damkhler No. or
(Thiele Modulus)
2
(Da =kl
2
/D)
Frequently Used Correlations (Fluid-Fluid Interfaces)
Physical situation Basic correlation Key variables
Liquid in a packed tower a , d
d
d
Gas in a packed tower a, d
d, e
Pure gas bubbles in a
stirred tank
d, P/V
Pure gas bubbles in an
unstirred tank
d, Dr
Large liquid drops rising in
unstirred solutions
d, Dr
Small liquid drops rising in
unstirred solution
d,
o
Falling films z,
o
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( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
0.67
1 3 0.50 0.4
0.0051
o
k l vg v av D v ad =
( ) ( )
0.45
0.5
25
o
kd D dv v v D =
( ) ( )
0.3
0.5
o o
k v dv v D v o

=
( ) ( ) ( )
0.70
1 3 2.0
3.6
o
k aD v av v D ad

=
( )
( )
( )
0.64
0.36 1 3
1.21 1
o
kd D dv v v D c =
( ) ( ) ( )
1 4
1 3
4 3
0.13 kd D P V d v v D =
( ) ( )
( )
1 3
1 3
3 2
0.31 / kd D d g v v D = A
( ) ( )
( )
1 3
0.5
3 2
0.42 / kd D d g v v D = A
( )
0.8
1.13
o
kd D d D u =
( )
0.5
0.69
o
kz D z D u =
Frequently Used Correlations (Solid-Fluid Interfaces)
Physical situation Basic correlation Key variables
Membrane l
Laminar flow flat plat L,
Turbulent flow horiz slit d,
Turbulent flow circulr tube d,
Laminar flow circular tube d, , L
Flow outs // capillary bed d
e
,
Flow outs capillary d,
Forced conv around sphere d,
Free conv around sphere d,g
Packed beds d,

Spinning disc d,

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1 kl D=
( ) ( )
1 2
1 3
0.646
o
kL D L v v D u =
( ) ( )
0.8
1 3
0.026
o
kd D d v D u v =
( ) ( )
0.8
1 3
0.026
o
kd D d v v D u =
( )
1 3
2
1.62
o
kd D d LD u =
( ) ( )
0.93
1 3
2
1.25
o
e
kd D d lv v D u =
( ) ( )
( )
1 4
1 3
3 2
2.0 0.6 / kd D d g v v D = + A
( ) ( )
0.47
1 3
0.80
o
kd D d v v D u =
( ) ( )
1 2
1 3
2.0 0.6
o
kd D d v v D u = +
( ) ( )
0.42
2 3
1.17
o o
k d v D u u v

=
( ) ( )
1 2
1 3
2
0.62 kd D d v v D e =
Note: mass transfer coefficient is the value averaged over the length
Dissolution rate of a spinning disc
A solid disc of benzoic acid 2.5 cm in diameter is
spinning at 20 rpm and 25
o
C. The diffusion
coefficients are 1.00 x 10
-5
cm
2
/sec in water and
0.233 cm
2
/ sec in air. The solubility of benzoic
acid in water is 0.003 g/cm
3
; Its equilibrium vapor
pressure is 0.30 mm Hg.
How fast will it dissolve in a large volume of water?
How vast will it dissolve in a large volume of air?
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Dissolution rate of a spinning disc
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Correlation for spinning
disc
Example: Gas scrubbing with a wetted-wall column
Air containing a water-soluble vapor is flowing up
and water is flowing down in the experimnental
column . The water flow iin te 0.07-cm-thick film is
3 cm/sec the column diameter is 10 cm, and the air
is essentially well-mixed right up to the interface.
The diffusion coefficient in water of the absorbed
vapor is 1.8 x 10
-5
cm
2
/s.
How long a column is needed to reach a gas
concentration in water that is 10% of saturation?
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Example: Measuring stomach flow
We want to estimate the average flow in the stomach
by measuring the dissolution rate of a non-
absorbing solute present as a large spherical pill.
From in vitro experiments, we know that this pills
dissolution is accurately described with a mass
transfer coefficient.
How can we do this estimate.
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Example: Glucose uptake by red blood cells
The uptake of glucose across the red blood cell membrane
has a maximum rate ranging from 0.1 to 5 mole/cm
2
-hr.
Apparently, these differences result from differences in
experimental conditions. Assume that a typical experiment is
made in a beaker containing 100 cm
3
of red blood cells
suspended in 1 liter of plasma. The beaker is stirred with a
1/50 hp motor. The cells originally contain little glucose. At
time zero, radioactively tagged glucose is added and its
uptake measured. The diffusion coefficient of glucose is
about 6 x 10
-6
cm
2
/s, and the plasma viscosity is
approximately that of water.
Using the correlation for liquid drops, estimate the effect of
mass transfer in the bulk to see when it could have
affected these uptake rates.
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Dimensional Analysis
Method developed by Bridgeman, (1922) and
Becker (1976)
Done when existing correlations are inadequate

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Example: Aeration
Oxygen is injected into an aqueous solution and the
steadystate oxygen concentration in the bulk is
measured as a function of position in the bed using
oxygen-selective electrodes. Different experiments
are done by varying the bubble velocity , the
solution density , viscosity , the entering bubble
diameter d, and the depth of the bed L.
Using dimensional analysis, derive the form of the
expression to correlate the mass transfer coefficient
with the variables mentioned above.
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Example: Artificial Kidney
An artificial kidney is basically a long tubular
membrane where blood flowing through it is dialyzed
against a well-stirred saline solution outside the tube.
Toxins in the blood diffuse across the membrane into the
saline solution, thus purifying the blood. This dialysis is
often slow. To increase the rate of toxin removal, the
agitation rate of the saline solution is increased and the
membrane made as thin as possible.
After reducing these mass transfer effects to almost
negligible, we can correlate the mass transfer
coefficient as a function of blood flow , tube size d,
density and viscosity.

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Mass Transfer Across Interfaces
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hot benzene
cool water
INITIAL CONDITIONS
FINAL CONDITIONS AFTER ALLOWING EQUILIBRATION
warm benzene
warm water
benzene w
bromine
water w
bromine
equal bromine
concentrations
higher conc Br in
benzene
lower conc Br in
water
low conc Br in
air
high conc Br in
water
higher conc Br in
air
lower conc Br in
water
Mass Transfer Across Interfaces
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Mass Transfer Across Interfaces
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Mass Transfer Across Interfaces
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Concentration Profiles for Mass Transfer Across a Gas-
Liquid Interface
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The flux in the gas is:
N
1
=k
p
(p
10
-p
1i
)
Because the interfacial
region is thin it is at steady
state then the flux will be
equal to that in the liquid.
N
1
=k
L
(c
1i
-c
10
)

GAS LIQUID
p
10
c
10
c
1i
p
1i
Flux
The Overall Mass Transfer Coefficient
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So the flux N
1
should be derived as:
The Overall Mass Transfer Coefficient
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( )
*
1 10 1
*
1 10
1
1
p
p
p L
N K p p
K
k H k
p Hc
=
=
+
=
( )
*
1 1 10
*
10
1
1
1 1
L
L
L p
N K c c
K
k Hk
p
c
H
=
=
+
=
Flux of specie 1
Overall mass transfer
coefficient
equilibrium relation
overall based on
Liquid
concentrations
overall based on
Gas
concentrations
The Overall Mass Transfer Coefficient
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There are two limiting cases of interest:
a highly soluble gas (H<<1):

a sparingly soluble gas (H>>1):

p p
K = k
L L
K = k
Oxygen Mass Transfer
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5 2
3
2.1 10 /
0.01 0.01 18
L
L
D x cm s mol
k
cm cm cm

| |
= =
|
\ .
4 2
1.2 10 /
L
k x mol cm s

=
Oxygen Mass Transfer
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Benzene mass transfer
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Estimate the overall liquid-side mass transfer
coefficient in the distillation of benzene and toluene.
At the concentrations used, you expect a temperature
of 90
o
C and at equilibrium
y*=0.70x
1
+0.39
The molar volume of the liquid is about 97cm3/mol.
Assume that the thickness in the liquid is 0.01cm and
0.1cm in the gas.
Perfume extraction
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Reading Assignment
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Overall mass transfer coefficients in packed tower
Theories of mass transfer
Film theory
Penetration theory
Surface-renewal theory