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CHE1022: Mechanical Operation Lab

Expt No 9
Date :



To determine the specific surface area of a given sub sieve size particle sample.


Air Permeability set up, sample material, balance with weights, measuring jar, beaker
and stopwatch.


Specific surface area is defined as the surface area per unit mass of the sample. This is a
characteristic of the size of the material. Surface area can be obtained from the resistance
offered to the flow of fluid through a bed of the given sample. The modified form of
Kozeny - Karman equation for finding the specific surface area is as a given b

SW = -------------------------
5 (1-) 2 2 u L
s o

Sw = specific surface area, m2/kg
= porosity of bed
= (Volume of voids/volume of bed)
= (1/b 1/s) / (1/b)
b = Density of bed = Mass of the sample / Volume of the bed
= Viscosity of fluid ( air), N s/m2
s = Density of sample, kg/m3
uo = Superficial velocity of fluid ( air ) flowing, m/s
L = Height of bed, m
p = Pressure drop for the flow of fluid, N/m2
CHE1022: Mechanical Operation Lab

= Rm g
Rm = Difference in manometer reading, m
g = Acceleration due to gravity, m/s2
m = Density of manometer fluid, kg/m3


Weight 10 g of sample (calcium carbonate powder) and place in the sample holder of the
air permeability apparatus. Note the height of the bed with the help of the plunger
provided. Remove the plunger and give the manometer connections. Fill with water in
the drum below the sample holder and conduct experiments by collecting water at the
bottom of the drum for different flow rates of water (5 flow rates). Record the
corresponding manometer readings, volume of water collected, and time taken for
collection every time. Tabulate the readings. Replace the collected water before next
time to maintain the water level in the drum constant. Repeat the above procedure to
carry out the experiment with 15g sample.


Sample material =
Diameter of bed, d = m
Density of sample solid, s = kg/m3
Density of manometric fluid, m = kg/m3
Viscosity of flowing fluid, air = N.s/m3
Density of flowing fluid = kg/m3

For 10g:

Bed height, L = m Mass of sample, m = kg

For 15g:

Bed height, L = m Mass of sample, m = kg

CHE1022: Mechanical Operation Lab


a. Cross sectional area of bed, A = /4d2 m2

b. Volume of bed, V = AxL m3
c. Density of bed, b = m/v = m/(AxL) kg/m3
d. Porosity of bed = (1/b 1/s) / 1b =
e. Rm = h2 - h1 = m
f. P = Rm g m = N/m2
g. uo = V / (At) = m/s

uo =Superficial velocity m/s
V =Volume of water collected m3
t = time of collection s

For 10 g sample

Manometer Volume of Time of p Sw

Rm uo Reading water collection
m m/s
h1 cm h2 cm collected m3 Sec N/m2 m2/kg
CHE1022: Mechanical Operation Lab

For 15 g sample

Manometer Volume of Time of p Sw

Reading Rm uo water collection
m m/s
h1 cm h2 cm collected m3 Sec N/m2 m2/kg


The average specific surface area of the sample 10g and 15g is found to
be m2/kg and m2/ kg respectively