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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 10 Issue 4 (2005) pp 283-287

Learning Molecular Diffusion. A Laboratory Experiment

Geir Martin Førland and Karl Ragnar Weydahl

Department of Chemical Engineering, Bergen University College, N-5020 Bergen, Norway,
Received February 15, 2004. Accepted February 25, 2005.

Published online: 11 July 2005

Abstract. A simple apparatus was constructed that can be used to determine the diffusion coefficients of molecules in liquid solutions. Using this apparatus, a method was developed for learning diffusion by practice. The apparatus consists of two chambers separated by a porous tube. The diffusion theory for this device is based on a steady-state equimolecular condition. The data determined are in accordance with data found in the literature and show that this simple apparatus may be used to give reasonably good estimates of the diffusion coefficients of 1-propanol in water.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; physical chemistry; chemical engineering; diffusion coefficient; porous medium; mass transfer; pollutant transport

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (251 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:


Supporting Materials:

TA student handout for the experiment is included as supporting information is available in a Zip file. (89 KB)

Issue date: August 1, 2005

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