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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: ENG2019 Module Title: MASS TRANSFER
Module Provider: Civil, Chemical & Enviromental Eng Short Name: SE2202
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: BAXTER J Dr (Library & LS)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
 Spring Semester
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment



Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)


1 hour open book test in the end of autumn semester






2 hour unseen examination in the end of spring semester






Qualifying Condition(s) 

 A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module.








Module Overview
Mass transfer is essential knowledge for chemical engineers who work in the process engineering and other relevant fields. The module aims to introduce students to mass transfer and to allow them to develop the analytical skills necessary for the industrial environment 

Completion of the progress requirements of Level HE1

Module Aims

·        To introduce the concepts of mass transfer operations in Chemical Engineering


·        To make students aware of diffusive and convective transfer processes in gas-liquid systems


·        To make students aware of the detailed analysis of mass transfer processes in gas-liquid and gas-solid systems


·        To apply the knowledge and understanding of mass transfer acquired above to the detailed design of absorption columns


·        To apply the knowledge and understanding of mass transfer acquired above to the specification and design of solid drying equipment



Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:


  • Be aware that mass transfer is a rate process and of its application in the industrial environment


  • describe the basic laws of diffusion and use them to effectively analyse different systems


  • Confidently apply the Whitman Film Theory to the gas-liquid interface to identify and quantify the separate mass transfer resistances and hence the controlling step


  • Understand the concept of the mass transfer coefficient and the formulation of the mathematical models describing mass transfer in simple systems.


  • Understand the basic theories of heat and mass transfer and their applications of the more common types of mass transfer equipment


  • Understand the application the Whitman Two-Film Theory to the design of absorption columns processing both dilute and concentrated gas mixtures.


  • Confidently apply the appropriate methodology to the design of absorption equipment for different constraints


  • Describe and analyse the mechanisms of particulate drying


  • Demonstrate an awareness of the different types of industrial drying equipment


  • Properly specify drying equipment which is fit for purpose



Module Content

Introduction to mass transfer


·        Partial pressure and concentration driving forces. Fick's law.


·        Momentum, heat and mass transfer analogies


·        Molecular diffusivity. Stefan's law. General case of diffusion with bulk flow


·        Diffusivity determination and prediction


·        Convective mass transfer. Mass transfer coefficients


·        Gas-liquid equilibria. Henry's law


Whitman Two-Film Theory


·        Overall driving force and overall mass transfer coefficients


·        Relationship between k and K. Film control


·        Types of mass transfer equipment


·        Continuous contacting, Height and Numbers of Transfer Unit (HTU, NTU)


Basic design of a packed tower


·        Stagewise processes


·        Absorption: The general case


·        Absorption: The basic design equations for physical absorption


·        Wetting and loading, voidage and flooding


·        Concept of J-factors for mass transfer


Drying of particulate solids


·        Mechanisms of drying


·        Drying rate curves


·        Kinetics of drying


·        Drying equipment


Methods of Teaching/Learning


30 hrs lectures/tutorials, 1 class test (1hr) and 2 hour examination plus 67 hours of independent learning


Total student learning time 100 hours.


Selected Texts/Journals

Required Reading :


Printed lecture handouts and notes.


Essential Reading :


Coulson JM & Richardson JF, Chemical Engineering 2, 4th ed, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1994 (ISBN 07506 29428)


Recommended Reading :


Any of the books on Mass Transfer in the University Library


Last Updated

5 October 2010