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This experiment was conducted to find out the gas diffusion coefficient, D of acetone in the
air by using Winklemans method. Gas diffusion occurred when diffusion of vapor takes
place from volatile liquid into another gas. The instrument used is the Gas Dispersion
Apparatus that consists of an acrylic assembly which is sub-divided into two compartments.
One compartment is constructed from clear acrylic and is used as a constant temperature
water bath. The other compartment is incorporates an air pump and the necessary electrical
controls for the equipment. The experiment is run at constant temperature of 50C and
atmospheric pressure. Every 10 minutes, the liquid level is observed. This is to study the
effect of liquid level on the diffusivity of the vapour of acetone. At the first 10 minutes, the
diffusivity of acetone that obtained is 2.00 ks/mm. Meanwhile at the 60 minutes, the
diffusivity of acetone that obtained is 1.63 ks/mm. Several errors are made in this experiment
which causes the value of diffusion coefficient to deviate which will be discussed later in
discussion section.

The diffusivity of the vapour of the acetone in this experiment can be determined by the
Winkelmanns method. Mass transfer take place in either a gas phase or a liquid phase or in
both simultaneously. The diffusion of vapour A from the volatile liquid into another gas B can
be conveniently studied by confining a small sample of the liquid in a narrow vertical tube.
Normally, B is air and A is an organic solvent such as acetone.
The apparatus consist of a glass capillary tube place 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 the small pump included within the unit. A travelling microscope
with sliding vernier scale, is mounted on a rigid stand alongside the thermostatic bath and is
used to measure t in the rate of fall of the air meniscus within 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;

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 =

(kmol/ m3)

Considering the evaporation of the liquid:


is the density of the liquid.


Integrating and putting L - Lo at t = 0

Lo and L cannot be measured accurately but L-Lo can be measured accurately using the
vernier on the microscope



M = molecular weight (kg/mol)

t = time(s)


are the slopes of a graph


against L - Lo then:




1. A capillary tube was filled with acetone to a high approximately 35 mm by using


The air pump and water bath temperature was switched on.
The air pump was tested and adjusted.
The water temperature was set up to 50oC and the steady temperature was obtained.
The capillary tube was placed in the water bath and the air pump tube was placed in

one side of the capillary tube.

6. The vertical height of the microscope was adjusted until the capillary tube is visible.
If the capillary tube is visible, the distance from the object lens to the tank is adjusted.
7. The position of the viewing lens was adjusted in or out of the microscope body in
order to get the clearer and well defined view of the meniscus inside the capillary
8. Note that when viewing the capillary tube, the image will be upside down, so that the
bottom of the tube is at the top of the image.
9. When the meniscus had been determined, the sliding vernier scale was aligned with a
suitable graduation on the fixed scale.
10. The level inside the capillary tube (L) was recorded at t = 0 min and every 10 minutes
for 60 minutes.
11. The data was recorded and calculated


1. Christie John Geankoplis (University of Minnesota), Transport Processes and

Separation Process Principles (Includes Unit Operations) fourth edition, Pearson
Education International.
2. Liquid Phase Mass Transfer Coefficient of Carbon Dioxide Absorption by
Water Droplet Jingyi Hana,b, Dag A. Eimera,b, Morten C. Melaaena,b,* a
Tel-Tek, 3918 Porsgrunn, Norway b Telemark University College, 3901
Porsgrunn, Norway