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Chapter 3

Stage and Continuous Gas-


Liquid Separation Processes
Introduction to Separations
The goal of a separations process is to purify solutions.

To do this we must cause differential transport of species or conversion of species


so that the purer mixtures can be collected. Most separations processes involve
differential transport.

Examples:
Separation of blood
Purification of drugs
Purification of Au
Refining of crude oil
DNA testing
Purification of organics
mixed separated Purification of water

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-2
Introduction to Separations
1. Mixtures
 Mixtures: 2 or more components
 Mixture classification:
 Homogeneous - single phase, gas or liquid

 Air - N2, Ar, O2

 Dry syngas: CO/H2/CH4/CO2

 Heterogeneous - multiple, immiscible phases

 Liquid + liquid, e.g. oil + water

 solid + liquid

 solid + gas

 liquid + gas

 Mixing - spontaneous, irreversible

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-3
Introduction to Separations
2. Separation Types:

 Separation:
Mixture  Products that differ in composition

 Classification:
 Force field (mechanical)

 Gravity, pressure, electrical field, centrifugal force

 Heterogeneous mixtures

 Physical - exploit differences in physical properties

 vapor pressure, solubility, molecular geometry, surface activity, freezing


point
 Chemical - based on differences in reactivity

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-4
Mechanism of Separations
 Phase contacts and component separation Phase Phase
solute
I II
 Necessary condition: two bulk phases are
usually only somewhat miscible in each other

 Possible two phases: Gas – Liquid, Gas – Solid, Liquid – Liquid, Liquid - Solid

 Separation by phase contact is normally achieved in three steps:


1. Intimate contact of the two phases
2. Redistribution of the components between the two phases
3. Physical separation of the two phases

Although the extent of a separation is determined by thermodynamics, the rate of


separations is limited by the differential rate at which the different species are moved. That
is:
The Rate of Separation is limited by Mass Transport.

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-5
Processing Methods
Single-stage process
P1 S
Mixing the two phases, eg. gas and liquid,
F P2
together in a vessel and then separated
Multiple-stage process
The phases are mixed in one stage, separated, and then brought into contact
again

The two methods can be carried out batchwise or continuous.

• Cascades is another terminology for multiple stage process.


• Sequences of separators can be used to achieve higher purities or to recover
more solute from a product stream.
• Cascades can be configured in various ways.

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-6
Cascades
Three single section cascade configurations are:
P1 S
Countercurrent
F P2

S
Crosscurrent

F P1
P2 P3 P4

F P6

2-D diamond P5

P4

P1 P2 P3

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-7
Experimental Gas-Liquid Equilibrium Data
Example: SO2 – air – water system

1. An amount of SO2 , air , and water are put in a closed container and shaken
repeatedly at a given temperature until equilibrium is reached.

2. Samples of the gas and liquid are analyzed to determine the partial pressure pA
of SO2 (A) in the gas phase and the mole fraction xA in the liquid phase.

pA

xA

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-8
Gas-Liquid Equilibrium: Henry’s Law
 Applied for pressure low enough that vapor phase may be assumed as ideal gas.
 For a species present as a very dilute solute in the liquid phase.
 The equilibrium relationship between pA in the gas phase and xA can be expressed
by a straight-line Henry’s law equation:

pA
p A  Hx A Henry’s

P  y A  H ' x A
xA

where,
pA = partial pressure of component A (atm).
H = Henry’s law constant (atm/mol fraction).
H' = Henry’s law constant (mol frac.gas/mol frac.liquid). = H/P.
XA = mole fraction of component A in liquid. ( dimension less )
YA = mole fraction of component A in gas = pA/P. ( dimensionless )
P = total pressure (atm).
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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-9
Example 10.2-1: Dissolved Oxygen Concentration in Water

What will to be the concentration of oxygen dissolved in water at 298 K when


the solution is in equilibrium with air at 1 atm total pressure ? The Henry’s
law constant is 4.38 x 104 atm/mol fraction.

The partial pressure pA of oxygen (A) in air is 0.21 atm.

Solution:

pA  Hx A
0.21=H xA = 4.38 x104 xA

Solving , xA = 4.80 x10-6 mol fraction.

This means that 4.80 x10-6 mol O2 is dissolved in 1 mole water plus oxygen.

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-10
Single-Stage Equilibrium Contact
 This is defined as one in which two different phases are brought into intimate contact with
each other and then separated when equilibrium is achieved
 During contact, intimate mixing occurs and various components diffuse and redistribute
themselves between the two phases

Consider the two entering phases, L0 and V2, of


V1 V2
known amounts and compositions.
 After mixing and equilibrium, the two L0 L1
streams V1 and L1 can be separated

Total mass balance: L0  V2  L1  V1  M (1)


If three component, A, B, and C, present in the streams:
L0 x A0  V2 yA2  L1x A1  V1yA1  Mx AM (2)
L0 x C0  V2 yC2  L1x C1  V1yC1 = Mx CM (3)
An equation for B is not needed since xA + xB + xC = 1.0
Unknowns: L1, V1, xA1, xC1, yA1, yC1  Other three equations are needed??
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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-11
For Gas-liquid system
 Solute A is in the gas phase V (or light phase) with inert air B

 Also it is in the liquid phase L (or heavy phase) with inert water C
 Assuming air is insoluble in the water phase and water does not vaporize to the gas
phase
 Gas phase is a binary of A-B and liquid phase is a binary of A-C.

V1 (A-B) V2 (A –B)
A

L0 (A-C) L1 (A-C)  Richer in A

If L’ = mole of inert water C; V ’ = moles inert air B: L=L 1-x A   L  L/ 1-x A 
L'0  L'1  L' and V2'  V1'  V ' V=V 1-y A   V=V/ 1-y A 
Since A is the only component that distributes between the two phases , moles balance on
solute A can be written as
 x A0  '  y A2  '  x A1  '  y A1 
L    V    L    V   where: y A1  H ' x A1
'

 1  x A0   1  y A2   1  x A1   1  y A1 
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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-12
Example 10.3-1: Equilibrium Stage Contact for CO2 –Air-Water.
A gas mixture at 1.0 atm pressure abs containing air and CO2 is contacted in a single-stage
mixer continuously with pure water at 293 K. The two exit gas and liquid streams reach
equilibrium. The inlet gas flow rate is 100 kg mol/h, with a mole fraction of CO2 of yA2 =
0.20. The liquid flow rate entering is 300 kg mol water/h. calculate the amounts and
compositions of the two outlet phases. Assume that water does nor vaporize to the gas
phase.
V1 V2 = 100 kg mol/h
Solution yA1
1 atm yA2 = 0.20
L0 = 300 kg mol/h 293 K L1
xA0 = 0
xA1
(1) The inert water flow is L’ = L0 = 300 kg mol/h.
(2) The inert air flow V’ is obtained from,

V'= V2 (1-yA2 )
= 100 (1-0.20)
= 80 kg mol/h .

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-13
A balance on CO2 (A):
 x   y   x   y 
L'  A0   V '  A2   L'  A1   V '  A1 
 1  x A0   1  y A2   1  x A1   1  y A1 

 0   0.20   x A1   y A1 
300   80 
  300 
  80  (1)
1 0   1  0.20   1  x A1   1  y A1 

The Resulting equation has two unknowns (xA1 and yA1 )


It is possible to calculate the yA1 by the use of Henry’s law because the gas and
liquid are in equilibrium

yA1  H' x A1
At 293 K, the Henry’s law constant H = 0.142 x 104 atm/mol frac. (Appendix A.3)

H' = H/P = 0.142 x 104 /1.0 = 0.142 x 104 mol frac. gas/mol frac. Liquid.

yA1 = 0.142 x 104 xA1 (2)


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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-14
Solving equation (1) and (2) simultaneously,
get xA1 = 1.41 x 10-4 and yA1 = 0.20.

To calculate the total flow rates leaving,

L' 300
L1   4
 300kgmol / h
1  x A1 1  1.4110

V' 80
V1    100kgmol / h
1  y A1 1  0.20

In this case, since the liquid solution is so dilute, L0  L1 .

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-15
Graphical Representation
Cocurrent V1 V2
L1
L2
L1  V1  L2  V2
Total material balance:
Component A balance: L1 x A1  V1 y A1  L2 x A2  V2 y A2
Again if there are inert components in both light and heavy phases such that flow rates of
these inert components, i.e. L’ and V ’, remain constant, defining concentrations of solute-
free basis as:
x y
X & Y
1 x 1 y
Operating line: an equation obtained from material balance which relates compositions
of any two passing streams together . It defines operating conditions within the
equipment.
Slope of operating line: obtained from the difference in compositions of any two
subsequence passing streams

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-16
Component A balance becomes:

L' X 1  V 'Y1  L' X 2  V 'Y2 where: X 1  x A1 , X 2  x A2


1  x A1 1  x A2
or: L ( X 1  X 2 )  V (Y2  Y1 )
' '
y A1 y
Y1  , Y2  A2
L' Y2  Y1 1  y A1 1  y A2
 
V' X 2  X1
L'
Equation of a straight line which passes through the points (X1, Y1) and (X2, Y2) with a slop of 
V'
For transfer of solute from heavy to light:
Y Eqm. curve
L solute
V
Operating line
X1 > X 2
Below equilibrium
Y2 > Y1 curve
Y2
-L’/V ’
Note that X2e and Y2e are the composition of the
Y1
heavy and light phases, respectively, if they
leave the stage in equilibrium X
X2 X1
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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-17
For transfer of solute from light to heavy:
V solute
 L Y Eqm. curve
Operating line Y1
X1 < X2
above equilibrium
Y 2 < Y1 curve Y2

X
X1 X2
 When there are no inert
components in the phases, y Eqm. curve
operating line representing the
material balance can no longer y2
be a straight line, but becomes a
curve y1

x2 x1 x

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-18
Countercurrent V1 V2
Total material balance: L0  V2  L1  V1 L0
L1
Component A balance: L0 x A0  V2 y A2  L1 x A1  V1 y A1
If there are inert components in the phases which do not transfer:
L' Y2  Y1
L ( X 0  X 1 )  V (Y1  Y2 )
' '
 operating line equation: ' 
V X1  X 0
For transfer of solute from heavy to light:
L solute
V Y Eqm. curve

X0 > X1
Y1 > Y2 Y1

Operating line L’/V ’


Below equilibrium Y2
curve
X
X1 X0
JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-19
For transfer of solute from light to heavy:
Y Eqm. curve
V  L
solute
Y2
L’/V ’
X0 < X 1
Y1 < Y 2 Y1

Operating line
above equilibrium
curve X
X0 X1

 When there are no inert y Eqm. curve


components in the phases,
operating line representing the y1
material balance can no longer
be a straight line, but becomes a
y2
curve
x1 x0 x

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-20
Countercurrent Multiple-Contact Stages
 To transfer more solute from the V1 stream, for example, the single stage can be
repeated by contacting the V1 stream with fresh L0.

More solute is removed V1 V2


L0
L0 L1
 To conserve use of the L0 stream and to get more concentrated product, countercurrent
multiple-stage contacting is generally used. N = total number of ideal stages

V2 V3 Vn Vn+1 VN-1 VN VN+1


V1 N–1
1 2 n N
L0 L1 L2 Ln-1 Ln LN-2 LN-1 LN

 Since the stages are ideal, any two streams leaving any stage are in equilibrium with
each other:
Example: Vn and Ln are in equilibrium
 The two-phase system can be gas-liquid, vapor-liquid, liquid-liquid, etc.
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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-21
Total overall balance on all stages,
VN+1 and LN in mol/h
L0  VN 1  LN  V1 = M
M : total flow
Overall component balance on A, B or C,
L0 x0  VN 1 yN 1  LN xN  V1 y1 = MxM x and y are mole fractions
For the first n stages , This is why we write n instead of N
L0  Vn1  Ln  V1
L0 x0  Vn1 yn1  Ln xn  V1 y1
Solving for yn+1,

L Vy L x  Highly important material balance equation


yn 1  n x n  1 1 0 0
Vn 1 Vn 1  Called: Operating line
 Relates yn+1 in Vn+1 with xn in Ln
Ln
slope   V1, y1, L0 and x0 are constant and usually
Vn 1 known or calculated using balance eqns above

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-22
Countercurrent Contact with Immiscible Streams
 Stream V contains A and B with no C  Stream L contains A and C with no B
 L and V are immiscible in each other but only A being transferred
 If L and V vary from stage to stage, the slope Ln/Vn+1 varies
 Shown in the drawing: operating line and equilibrium line
Ln Vy L x operating
yn 1  xn  1 1 0 0
Vn 1 Vn 1 line
y1 x0 yN+1
 The two plots can be 4
used to determine stage 1 y4
the number of stages y2 x1 3
y3
required to reduce stage 2
the solute y3 equilibrium
x2 2
concentration from y y2 line
stage 3 yn = f(xn)
yN+1 to y1 y4 y1 1
x3
N=4
yN+1 xN x0 x1 x2 x3 x4 = xN
x
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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-23
Graphical procedure for counting number of stages
1. Draw operating line.

2. Draw equilibrium line (Henry’s law)..

3. Start at stage 1 by locating y1 and x0 on the operating line


4. The vapor y1 leaving is in equilibrium with the leaving x1 and both points should be on
the equilibrium line, thus locate this point by lying a horizontal line from the operating
line at y1 to the equilibrium line (one stage).
5. Then y2 and x1 are on the operating line; locate this point by extending a vertical line
from the equilibrium line at x1 to the operating line.
6. Then y2 is in equilibrium with x2, and so on
7. The steps are counted on the graph until yN+1 is reached

N.B. If A is dilute (< 10%) in both streams L and V, then the slope Ln/Vn+1 is
constant and the operating line is essentially a straight line

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-24
Example 10.3-2: Absorption of Acetone in a Countercurrent Stage Tower
It is desired to absorb 90% of the acetone in a gas containing 1.0 mol% acetone in air in a
countercurrent stage tower. The total inlet gas flow to the tower is 30.0 kgmol/h, and the
total inlet pure water flow to be used to absorb the acetone is 90 kgmol H2O/h. The process
is to operate isothermally at 300 K and a total pressure of 101.3 kPa. The equilibrium
relation for the acetone (A) in the gas-liquid is yA = 2.53xA. Determine the number of
theoretical stages required for this separation.
V1 L0
Solution: y1 x0
 Identification of the data given : stage 1
y2 x1
yAN+1= 0.01 (1 mole % of acetone in air entering) stage 2
xA0 = 0 (Pure water )
y3 x2
VN+1 = 30.0 kg mol/h, (total inlet gas flow to the tower )
L0 = 90.0 kg mol/h. (total inlet pure water ) stage 3
y4 x3
N=4
yN+1 xN
VN+1 LN
JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-25
 Making an acetone material balance:

(1) amount of entering acetone = yAN+1 VN+1 = 0.01(30.0) = 0.3 kg mol/h.

(2) entering air = (1- yAN+1 )VN+1 = (1-0.01)(30.0) = 29.7 kg mol air/h
(3) acetone leaving in V1= 0.10(0.30) = 0.030 kg mol/h.

(4) acetone leaving in LN = 0.90(0.30) = 0.27 kg mol/h.

 from the four steps above, V1 , yA1 , LN ,and xAN can be calculated

V1 = 29.7 + 0.03 = 29.73 kg mol air + acetone/h.


yA1 = (0.030/29.73) = 0.00101
LN = 90.0 + 0.27 = 90.27 kg mol water + acetone /h.
xAN = (0.27/90.27) = 0.0030.

Since the flow of liquid varies only slightly from L0 = 90.0 at the inlet to LN =
90.27 at the the outlet and V from 30.0 to 29.73, the slope Ln /Vn+1 of the operating
line is essentially constant.

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-26
 This line is plotted, and the equilibrium relation of Henry yA = 2.53xA is also
plotted.

 Starting at point yA1 ,xA0 the stages are drawn. About 5.2 theoretical stages are
required.
Mole fraction acetone in air, yA
0.012
yAN+1
Operating line
0.008
5
4
0.004
3 Equilibrium line

yA1 2
00 1 0.002 0.003 0.004
0.001
xA0 xAN
Mole fraction acetone in water, xA

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-27
Analytical Equations for Countercurrent Stage Contact
Assumptions:
1. Constant flow rates: Ln = LN = constant = L and Vn+1 = VN+1 = constant = V
→ Operating line is straight
2. Equilibrium line is a straight line over the concentration range

Overall component balance on A :


Lx0  Vy N 1  LxN  Vy1 Or Lx0  Vy1  LxN  Vy N 1 (1)
For the first n stages stages,
Lx0  Vyn1  Lxn  V1 y1 Or Lx0  Vy1  Lxn  Vyn1 (2)
Combining (1) and (2):
Lxn  Vyn1  LxN  Vy N 1 Or L( xn  xN )  V ( yn1  y N 1 )
Now, yn+1 and xn+1 are in equilibrium and the equilibrium is straight line:
 yn1  mxn1 and also y N 1  mx N 1
 L( xn  xN )  V (mxn1  yN 1 )
JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-28
Divide by mV: A = absorption factor;
y N 1
xn1  Ax n   Ax N where A = L/mV
S = 1/A = stripping factor
m
This equation can be used to count number of stages in stripping and absorption
Kremser Equations
For stripping section: transfer of solute A from phase L to phase V:

 x0  ( y N 1 / m)  x0  xN
ln  (1  A)  A N
 xN  ( y N 1 / m) 
When A = 1,
xN  ( y N 1 / m)
N
ln(1 / A)
For absorption section: transfer of solute A from phase V to phase L:

 y  mx 0  1  1  y N 1  y1
ln  N1 1     N
 y1  mx 0  A  A  When A = 1,
y1  mx0
N
ln(A)

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-29
If the equilibrium line is not straight but curved somewhat, the slop will vary and,
Hence, m and A = L/mV will vary.

Procedure (for varying A):

1. Calculate A1 at L0 & V1: A1=Lo/m1V1

2. Calculate AN at LN &VN+1: AN=LN/mNVN+1

3. Calculate the geometric Aave. = A1 AN

4. Calculate N.

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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-30
Example 10.3-3: Number of Stages by Analytical Equation.

Repeat Example 10.3-2 but use the Kremser analytical equation for countercurrent
stage processes.

Solution,
At Stages 1

V1 = 29.73 kg mol/h,
yA1 = 0.001001,
L0 = 90.0, and
xA0 = 0.

Also, the equilibrium relation is yA = 2.53xA where m = 2.53.

Then,
L L0 90.0
A1     1.20
mV mV1 2.53  29.73

JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-31
At Stage N
VN+1 =30.0,
yAN+1 = 0.01,
LN = 90.27, and
xAN = 0.0030.
LN 90.27
Then, AN    1.19
mVN 1 2.53  30.0

The geometric average, A A1 AN  0.20 1.19  1.195

 y N1  mx 0  1  1 
ln  1    
 y1  mx 0  A  A 
N  5.04
ln(A)

This compares closely with 5.2 stages using graphical method


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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-32
Mass Transfer Between Phases
 This concerns transfer of solute from one fluid phase by convection and then
through a second fluid phase by convection
Example: diffusion of ammonia (solute) through air (gas phase) and then
diffuse through and be absorbed in an adjacent and immiscible liquid phase,
such as water.
 The two phases should be in direct contact with each other, such as in a packed,
tray, or spray type tower
 Concentration gradient exist in each phase, causing mass transfer to occur.
 Usually equilibrium exists at the interface between the two fluid phases.
 At equilibrium, the chemical potential is equal in the two phases and not
concentration
 The departure from equilibrium represents the driving force for diffusion
 Equilibrium relations are important to determine concentration profiles for
predicting rates of mass transfer.
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Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-33
Concentration Profiles in Interface Mass Transfer
 Usually the two phases which present together with interface between them are
essentially immiscible in each other
G phase
 Consider the situation shown in the drawing when
L phase
solute A diffuses from the bulk of gas phase G to the yAG
liquid phase L. yAi
xAi NA
• Solute A must pass through the interface
xAL
Intefcae
• Concentration gradient must exist to cause
mass transfer through the resistances in each phase.

yAG = average bulk concentration of A in the gas phase = pA/P


xAL = average bulk concentration of A in the liquid phase
yAG  to yAi at the interface
Liquid A starts at xAi at the interface and falls to xAL.
 yAi and xAi are in equilibrium and are related by the equilibrium relation:y Ai  f ( x Ai )
JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-34
Mass Transfer Using Film Mass-Transfer Coefficients and
Interface Concentrations
1. Equimolar Counterdiffusion
NB G phase
 For A diffusing from the gas to liquid and
L phase yAG
B in counter diffusion from liquid to gas, yAi
xAi
N A  k ' y ( y AG  y Ai )  k ' x ( x Ai  x AL ) xAL
NA
Intefcae
yAG – yAi = driving force in the gas phase
xAi – xAL = driving force in the liquid phase yAG P Eqm.

Rearranging:  k ' x  y AG  y Ai
line
k 'x

k y' x AL  x Ai k y'
yAi
Graphical solution for the interface: M
1. Determine points yAG and xAL by sampling
y*A
2. Locate point P (yAG, xAL)
3. From point P sketch line PM with slope –k’x/k’y xAL xAi x*A
4. intersection of line PM with eqm line would determine the interface
compositions.
JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-35
2. Diffusion of A Through Stagnant or Nondiffusing B
 For A diffusing through a stagnant gas phase NB = 0 G phase
and then through a stagnant liquid phase L phase yAG
yAi
N A  k y ( y AG  y Ai )  k x ( x Ai  x AL ) xAi NA
xAL
' ' Intefcae
k k
Now: ky  y
, kx  x
(1  y A )iM (1  x A )iM yAG P Eqm.
k ' /(1  x A )iM line
 'x
where: (1  y A )iM  (1  y Ai )  (1  y AG ) , k y /(1  y A )iM
ln[(1  y Ai ) /(1  y AG )]
(1  x AL )  (1  x Ai ) yAi
(1  x A )iM  M
ln[(1  x AL ) /(1  x Ai )]
y*A
Substituting and rearranging:
xAL xAi x*A
k ' x /(1  x A )iM y AG  y Ai
 ' 
k y /(1  y A )iM x AL  x Ai
 Procedure for locating interface compositions is similar to the previous case; but
involves trial and error as xAi and yAi are required to determine the slope for the PM
line. For the first trial use (1-xA)iM = (1-yA)iM = 1 (i.e., dilute solution) and then iterate.

JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-36
Example 10.4-1: : Interface Compositions in Interface Mass Transfer
The solute A is being absorbed from a gas mixture of A and B in wetted-wall
tower with the liquid flowing as a film downward along the wall. At a certain
point in the tower the bulk gas concentration yAG = 0.38 and the bulk liquid
concentration is xAL = 0.10. The tower is operating at 298 K and 1.013×105 Pa
and the equilibrium data are as follows
xA yA
The solute A diffuses through stagnant B in the gas phase 0 0
0.05 0.022
and then through nondiffusing liquid.
0.10 0.052
0.15 0.087
0.20 0.131
Given that k’y = 1.465×10-5 kgmol A/s.m2.mol frac and 0.25 0.187
k’x = 1.967×10-3 kgmol/s.m2. mol frac; calculate the 0.30 0.265
interface concentration yAi and xAi and the flux NA. 0.35 0.385

JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-37
Solution

First we plot the equilibrium data


Now we need to find the point P on the graph
 Since the correlations are for dilute solutions, (1-yA)iM and (1-xA)iM are approximately
1.0 and the coefficients are the same as k’y and k’x .
 Point P is plotted at yAG = 0.380 and xAL = 0.1.

 For the first trial (1-yA)iM and (1-xA)iM are assumed as 1.0 and the slope of line PM is,

k x' /(1  x A )iM 1.967 103 / 1.0


slope   '  3
 1.342
k y /(1  y A )iM 1.465 10 / 1.0
 A line through point P with a slope of –1.342 is plotted in the figure intersecting the
equilibrium line at M1, where

yAi = 0.183 and xAi = 0.247.

JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-38
Equilibrium data

0.4 P
yAG D

0.3

yAi 0.2 M
M1
0.1
y*A
E
0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
xAL xAi x*A

JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-39
 For the second trial we use yAi and xAi from the first trial to calculate the new slope.

(1  y Ai )  (1  y AG )
(1  y A )iM   0.715
ln[(1  y Ai ) /(1  y AG )]

(1  x AL )  (1  x Ai )
(1  x A )iM   0.825
ln[(1  x AL ) /(1  x Ai )]

k x' /(1  x A )iM 1.967 103 / 0.825


slope   '  3
 1.163
k y /(1  y A )iM 1.465 10 / 0.715

A line through point P with a slope of –1.163 is plotted and intersects the
equilibrium line at M, where yAi = 0.197 and xAi = 0.257. Using these new values
for the third trial, the following values are calculated:
(1  0.197)  (1  0.380)
(1  y A )iM   0.709
ln[(1  0.197) /(1  0.38)]

(1  0.1)  (1  0.257)
(1  x A )iM   0.820
ln[(1  0.1) /(1  0.257)]
JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-40
k x' /(1  x A )iM 1.967 103 / 0.820
slope   '  3
 1.160
k y /(1  y A )iM 1.465 10 / 0.709

This slope of –1.160 is essentially the same as the slope of –1.163 for the second
trial.
Hence, the final values are yAi= 0.197 and xAi = 0.257 and are shown as point M.

To calculate the flux,


k 'y 1.465 103
NA  (yAG  yAi )  (0.380  0.197)  3.78 104 kgmol / s.m 2
(1  yA )iM 0.709

k 'x 1.967 103


NA  (x Ai  x AL )  (0.257  0.100)  3.78 104 kgmol / s.m 2
(1  x A )iM 0.820

Note that the flux NA through each phase is the same as in other phase, which should
be the case at steady state.

JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-41
Overall Mass-Transfer Coefficients and Driving Forces
 Single phase mass transfer coefficients k’x and k’y (or kx and ky) are difficult to measure
experimentally; it is rather overall mass transfer coefficients K’x and K’y can be
measured based on liquid phase or gas phase
The overall mass transfer K’y is defined as:

N A  K y' y AG  y*A  G phase


L phase
where K’y is based on the overall gas-phase driving in yAi
yAG
kg mol/s.m2.mol frac. xAi NA
xAL
Intefcae
y*A : the value that would be in equilibrium with xAL.

Also, the overall mass transfer K’x is defined as: yAG 


Eqm.
line

N A  K x' x*A  x AL 

where K’x is based on the overall liquid-phase driving


in kg mol/s.m2.mol frac. y*A
x*A : the value that would be in equilibrium with yAG. xAL x*A
JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-42
1. Equimolar counterdiffusion and/or diffusion in dilute solutions
For this case, the following equations are valid: yAG D Eqm.
line
N A  k ' y ( y AG  y Ai )  k ' x ( x Ai  x AL )
m”
According to the figure: yAi
y AG  y   y AG  y Ai   y Ai  y 
M
*
A
*
A
m’
y Ai  y *A y*A
Between point E and M, the slope m’ is: m 
'
E
x Ai  x AL xAL xAi
 y AG  y A   y AG  y Ai   m  x Ai  x AL 
* ' x*A
Total resistance 1/K’y =
Or: NA NA ' NA 1 1 ' 1 gas film resistance 1/k’y
 ' m '   m
K y' ky kx K y' k y' k x' + liquid film resistance m’/k’x
Similarly:
y AG  y Ai 1 1 1
x  y AL  x  x Ai    x Ai  x AL 
* *
& m"   
K x' m" k y' k x'
A A
x*A  x Ai
 If m’ is small:  gas solute A is very soluble in the liquid phase 1 / K y'  1 / k y'
“gas-phase is controlling” Or M moves to E: y AG  y *A  y AG  y Ai
 If m” is small:  solute A is very insoluble in the liquid phase 1 / K x'  1 / k x'
“liquid-phase is controlling” Or M moves to D: x Ai  x*A
JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-43
2. Diffusion of A through stagnant or nondiffusing B
k'y k 'x
NA  ( y AG  y Ai )  ( x Ai  x AL )
(1  y A )iM (1  x A )iM
y AG  y*A   y AG  y Ai   m'  x Ai  x AL 
In case of A diffusing through nondiffusing B, overall coefficients are defined as:
 K y'   K x'  *
NA    
 y AG  y A  
*
 xA  xAL 
 (1  y )
A *M   (1  x A )*M 
K y'
where: K y  overall gas mass-transfer coefficient for stagnant diffusion
(1  y A )*M
K x'
Kx  overall liquid mass-transfer coefficient for stagnant diffusion
(1  x A )*M
1 1 m' (1  y *A )  (1  y AG )
 '  ' where (1  y A )* 
K y /(1  y A )*M k y /(1  y A )iM k x /(1  x A )iM
'
ln[(1  y *A ) /(1  y AG )]

1 1 1    *
 " '  ' where (1  x A )* 
(1 x AL ) (1 x A)
K x /(1  x A )*M m k y /(1  y A )iM k x /(1  x A )iM
'
ln[(1  x AL ) /(1  x*A )]
JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-44
Example 10.4-2: Overall Mass-Transfer Coefficients from Film Coefficients
Using the same data as in the previous example, calculate the overall mass-transfer
coefficient K’y, the flux, and the percent resistance in the gas and liquid films. Do this for
the case of A diffusing through stagnant B.

Solution
yAG 0.4 P D
From the figure, y*A = 0.052, which is in equilibrium 0.3
with the bulk liquid xAL = 0.1
yAi 0.2 M
For yAi = 0.197 and xAi = 0.257, the slope m is: m M1
0.1
y Ai  y*A y*
m'   0.923 A
E
x Ai  x AL 00
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
xAL xAi x*A
From Example 10.4-1:

k 'y 1.465 103 k 'x 1.967 103


 and 
(1  y A )iM 0.709 (1  x A )iM 0.820

JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-45
(1  y*A )  (1  y AG )
(1  yA )*   0.733
ln[(1  y A ) /(1  y AG )]
*

1 1 m'
 '  '
K y /(1  y A )*M k y /(1  y A )iM k x /(1  x A )iM
'

1

1

0.923 K 'y  8.90 104
K 'y / 0.733 1.465 103 / 0.709 1.967 10 3 / 0.820

 484.0  384.8  868.8

 K 'y 
NA     4
 y AG  y A  3.78 10 kg mol/s.m
* 2

 (1  y A )*M 

JUST
Department of Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer – ChE 461 Chapter 3-46