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# Experiment No.

1
DIFFUSION OF LIQUIDS THROUGH STAGNANT NON-DIFFUSING AIR
1. Objective:
To determine the mass diffusivities of volatile organic liquids in air at different temperature using the capillary
tube method..
2. Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs):
The students shall be able to:
2.1 compare the results with those obtained from empirical equations and available data from books.
3. Discussion:
Diffusion is the movement under the influence of a physical stimulus of an individual component through a
mixture. The most common cause of diffusion is concentration gradientof the diffusing components. A
concentration gradient tends to move the component in such a direction as to equalize concentrations and destroy
the gradient while the gradient is maintained by constantly supplying the diffusing component to the high
concentration end of the gradient and removing it at the low-concentration end. There is steady state reflux of the
diffusing component. This is characteristics of many mass-transfer operations.
Diffusion is not restricted to molecular transfer through stagnant layers of solid or fluid. It also takes place when
fluids of different compositions are mixed. The first step in mixing is often mass transfer called by eddy motion
characteristics of turbulent flow. This is called eddy diffusion. The second step is molecular diffusion between and
inside the very small eddies. Sometimes the diffusion process is accompanied by bulk flow of the mixture in a
direction parallel to the direction of diffusion.
Diffusivity is a proportionality constant between the mass flux due to molecular diffusion and the gradient in the
concentration of the species. It should be apparent that the rate of molecular diffusion in liquids is considerably
slower than in gases. The molecules in a liquid are very close together compared to a gas. Hence, the molecules
of the diffusing solute A will collide with molecules of liquid B more often and diffuse more slowly than in gases. In
general, the diffusion coefficient in a gas will be in the order of magnitude of about 10 5 times greater than in a
liquid.
A number of different experimental methods have been used to determine the molecular diffusivity for binary
gas mixtures. One method is through the capillary tube method. It is to evaporate a pure liquid in a narrow tube
with a gas passed over the top. The fall in liquid level is measure with time and the diffusivity is calculated from:

A more accurate and rigorous treatment must be considered which is he intermolecular forces of attraction and
repulsion between molecules as well as the different sizes of molecules A and B. Chapman and Enskog solved the
Boltzmann equation, which uses a distribution function instead of the mean free path. To solve the equation, a
relation between the attractive and repulsive forces between a given pair of molecules must be used. For a pair of
non-polar molecules, a reasonable approximation to the forces is the Lennard-Jones function.
The final relation for predicting the diffusivity of a binary gas pair of A and B molecules is:

## where: DAB = diffusivity (m2/s)

T = temperature (K)
MA & MB = molecular weight of A and B
P = absolute pressure (atm)
DAB = collision integral
AB = average collision
4. Resources:
Apparatus: Water Bath
5 Capillary Tubes
Small Electric Fan
Barometer
Receptables for Capillary Tubes
Vernier Caliper
Timer
Thermometer

Materials: Ethanol
Ethyl Acetate
Methanol

5. Procedure:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Prepare the water bath and fill it with tap water and set it at 50C.
Fill the capillary tubes with pure volatile organic liquids and measure the initial height of the liquid.
Provide a gentle stream of air by turning on the electric fan.
Measure the height of the remaining liquid in the capillary tubes after 10 and 15 minutes.
Repeat procedure 2 - 4 for trial 2 (water bath temperature = 65C) and trial 3 (water bath
temperature = 80C)
6. Compare the results with those obtained using Chapman and Engskog equation and other
empirical equation.

Course:
Group No:
Group Members:

Expeiment No:
Section:
Date Performed:
Date Submitted:
Instructor:

Trial 1: 50 0C
Liquid

equation

equation

equation

## Capillary tube method

Ethanol
Ethyl Acetate
Methanol

Trial 2: 65 0C
Liquid
Ethanol
Ethyl Acetate
Methanol

Trial 3: 80 0C
Liquid
Ethanol
Ethyl Acetate
Methanol

7. Calculations:

8. Concusion:

9. Questions/Problems:
1. Discuss the following:
a. Ficks Law of Diffusion
b. Equimolal Counter Diffusion
c. Unicomponent Diffusion
2. A gas CH4 and He is contained in a tube at 101.3 kPa pressure and 298 K. At one point the partial
pressure of methane is pA1 = 60.79 kPa, and at a point 0.02 m distance away, pA2 = 20.26 kPa. If the total
pressure is constant throughout the tube, calculate the flux of methane at steady state for equimolar
counter diffusion.
3. Ammonia gas is diffusing through through N 2 under steady-state conditions with N2 nondiffusing since it is
insoluble in one boundary. The total pressure of NH 3 at one point is 1.333 x104 Pa, and at the other point
20 mm away it is 6.666 x103 Pa. The DAB for the mixture at 1.013 x105 Pa and 298 K is 2.30 x10-5 m2/s.
a. Calculate the flux of NH3 in kgmol/s-m2.
b. Do the same as (a) but assume that N 2 also diffuses; this is, both boundaries to both gases and
flux is equimolar counter diffusion. In which case is the flux greater?
4. Mass transfer is occuring from a sphere of napthalene having a radius of 10 mm. The sphere is in a large
volume of air at 52.6 0C and 1 atm abs pressure. The vapor pressure of naphtalene at 52.6 0C and 1 atm
abs pressure. The vapor pressure of naphtalene at 52.6 0C is 1.0 mmHg. The diffusivity of naphtalene in
air at 0 0C is 5.16 x10-6 m2/s. Calculate the rate of evaporation of naphtalene from the surface in kgmol/sm2.

Cao, E. (2010). Heat transfer in process engineering. Boston: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Cussler, E. L. (2009). Diffusion: mass transfer in fluid systems (3rd ed. United Kingdom: Cambridge University
Press.
Koenig, D. (2009). Practical control engineering: a guide for engineers, managers and practitioners. New York:
McGraw-Hill Professional.
Mann, U. (2009). Principles of chemical reactor analysis and design. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Johnson, W. (2009). Practical heating technology. Australia: Delmar Cengage Learning.

## 12. Assessment (Rubric for Laboratory Performance):

BEGINNER
1

CRITERIA

ACCEPTABLE
2

PROFICIENT
3

I. Laboratory Skills
Manipulative
Skills

Members do not
demonstrate needed
skills.

Experimental
Set-up

## Members are unable to

set-up the materials.

Process Skills

Members do not
demonstrate targeted
process skills.

Safety
Precautions

## Members do not follow

safety precautions.

Members occasionally
demonstrate needed
skills.
Members are able to
set-up the materials with
supervision.
Members occasionally
demonstrate targeted
process skills.
precautions most of the
time.

Members always
demonstrate needed
skills.
Members are able to
set-up the material with
minimum supervision.
Members always
demonstrate targeted
process skills.
precautions at all times.

Time
Management /
Conduct of
Experiment

## Members do not finish

on time with incomplete
data.

Cooperative
and
Teamwork

## Members do not know

defined responsibilities.
Group conflicts have to
be settled by the
teacher.

Neatness and
Orderliness
Ability to do
independent
work

## Members finish on time

with incomplete data.

## Members have defined

responsibilities most of
the time. Group conflicts
are cooperatively
managed most of the
time.
Clean and orderly
workplace with
Messy workplace during
occasional mess during
and after the experiment.
and after the
experiment.
Members require
Members require
supervision by the
occasional supervision
teacher.
by the teacher.

time with complete data
and time to revise data.
and have defined
responsibilities at all
times. Group conflicts
are cooperatively
managed at all times.
Clean and orderly
workplace at all times
during and after the
experiment.
Members do not need to
be supervised by the
teacher.
TOTAL SCORE

24

SCORE