Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

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


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Melvin Wolkstein

Second Advisor

Jerome J. Salamone

Third Advisor

George C. Keeffe


An operation which recurs in many branches of chemical engineering is that in which a fluid - gas or liquid - is passed through a bed of granular solids for the purpose of removing from, or adding something to the fluid (or both). In the oil and sugar industries, oils or syrups are passed through beds of adsorbents to remove impurities causing color and other undesireable effects. In the recovery of volatile solvents, air charged with solvent vapor is passed over solid adsorbents. In leaching, liquids are passed through beds of solids to remove some constituent of the solids. In heat recovery in regenerators, air or another gas is passed through checker work in order to transfer heat first from one gas to the checker work and then to another gas.

There is a generally accepted term for this broad class of operations, the term "transfer" seems convenient and suitable. In the last quarter century material for a theory of the unit operation has been accumulating, and progress has been especially rapid in the last fifteen years.

The object of this paper is not to make additions to the theory, but to direct attention to the scattered literature and to summarize the results so far obtained, without reproducing the derivations and proofs. It does not cover experimental work (although calculations and some data are illustrated). A review at this time seems especially desireable since a considerable amount of work has been repeated, later investigators being unacquainted with what has been done earlier.

It is understood that transfer is here considered a chemical engineering operation. There is a large amount of literature on the physical chemistry of absorption, some of which furnishes the necessary background as applied to absorption. There is a great deal of literature of heat transmission and transfer also. Something more is desired than accumulations a data in empirical equations. This something more is chemical engineering theory on an analogy between heat and mass transfer.



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