Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

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


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

George C. Keeffe

Second Advisor

Jerome J. Salamone

Third Advisor

C. L. Mantell


Film coefficients of heat transfer for vapors condensing on a smooth horizontal tube have been experimentally determined by many investigators. The so-called Thermocouple Method and the Wilson Method, have been used and generally accepted as the two methods for determining these film coefficients. A number of different organic vapors have been studied on various condensing surfaces. Nusselt has also developed a theoretical equation,

hN = 0.725 4√kf3ρf2λg/DoμfΔtcf

for evaluating the film coefficients of vapors condensing on hori?zontal tubes.

The earlier investigators have shown that theoretical values, hN do not check with experimentally determined values, he, and that many discrepancies exist among different experimentally determined values. Advocates of the Wilson Method have discredited the accuracy of the Thermocouple Method and vice versa.

With these points in mind, the experimental work in this thesis was undertaken. Film coefficients of heat transfer were experimentally determined for single vapor systems of each of four alcohols condensing on a smooth horizontal tube. Both methods of evaluating the heat transfer coefficients were used. Methyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, n-Propyl Alcohol, and n-Butyl Alcohol were studied. A single piece of equipment designed to eliminate problems noted by earlier authors of similar work was used for the entire investigation. Data was taken for both of the methods simultaneously and under identical operational conditions.

The experimental results of this investigation showed film coefficients of heat transfer by both accepted methods to be of the same order of magnitude for each particular compound. It can be concluded, therefore, that the discrepancies in earlier data are probably due to other factors and not the use of either the 'Wilson Method or the Thermocouple Method. The results also showed definite evidence that he for vapors condensing on a horizontal tube decreases for increasing molecular weight within the homologous alcohol series.



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.