Mass Transfer and Separation Processes


Provides students with the fundamentals governing mass transfer and the principles governing a range of separation processes such as absorption, distillation, humidification, leaching, liquid extraction and adsorption. Students apply the knowledge to the design and evaluation of the separation processes.



  • Semester 1 - 2017

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Students should be able to: interpret problems by presenting a sketch of the system containing information in the problem;

2. Perform material and/or energy balances around separation processes;

3. Utilize thermodynamic equilibrium data to support the description of the separation process;

4. Combine principles of operating lines and equilibrium descriptions to analyse or design separation processes

5. Undertake problem solving concerning the analysis and/or design of separation processes.


  • Mass Transfer: Introduction to Fick's Law, steady and unsteady state mass transfer, dimensionless groups and correlations, interfacial mass transfer, local and overall mass transfer coefficients.
  • Absorption: equilibrium and operating lines, mass transfer driving force, transfer units.
  • Humidification: humidity-temperature diagram, adiabatic cooling lines, cooling tower.
  • Distillation: flash vaporisation, McCabe Thiele method, Design optimisation.
  • Leaching: (solids): kinetics, counter-current washing problems.
  • Liquid Extraction: equilibrium stages, ternary diagrams.
  • Adsorption: break-through curve, kinetics.
  • Major Equipment Design Project.

Assumed Knowledge

First and second year Mathematics

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Assignments

Project: Design Project

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact Hours



Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term