Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

George C. Keeffe

Second Advisor

Saul I. Kreps

Third Advisor

Jerome J. Salamone


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the diffusion coefficients of several single and multi-component solutes, and to establish the relations between the diffusivity, the solute composition) and the diffusion rate. Such information pertinent to the extraction and leaching operations, can not be found in literature.

The procedure developed by Piret, Wbel, and Armstrong (25), involving observation of the extraction rate of two-phase mixtures from straight capillaries, was adopted and verified on a known sodium chloride-water system.

In the course of the experimental work diffusion coefficients more determined for ursolic acid, palmitic acid, and tripalmitin in methyl isobutyl ketone. The results compared well with values estimated by the empirical Wilke correlation (31). Diffusion coefficients of sodium chloride, potassium sulfate, cupric sulfate pentahydrate, and sucrose in water were also determined, and found to be in agreement with the values reported by the other investigators.

To evaluate diffusion coefficients of mixed solutes from experimental data, the concept of the effective interface composition, governed by the relative diffusion rate of components in the mixture, was introduced. On this basis a straight line relation was obtained between the diffusivity and the solute composition. The relation was found to apply well to most systems tested.

To correlate diffusion coefficients with the experimental extraction rate data, introduction of a factor correcting for the deviation from Fick's Law -les found to be necessary. This factors based on the solubility of solutes, is analogous to that proposed by Arnold (1,3,) for liquid-vapor systems.

Practical value of the established relations lies in the ability to predict the diffusion coefficients and the extraction rates of solutes in liquid.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.