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FIGURE 9.7 Formation of interfacial boundary layers: (a) absorption; (b) stripping.

Thus, the transfer of mass between the two phases must pass through the gas and liquid films. In environmental engineering literature, the term film is normally used. The same discussions would apply to the stripping operation represented by Figure 9.7b, with the difference that the direction of flow of mass transfer is from the liquid phase to the gas phase.

In absorption operations, the concentration in the gas phase is larger in comparison to the concentration in the liquid phase. Thus, the flow of mass transfer is from gas to liquid. The reverse is true in the case of stripping, and the direction of mass transfer is from liquid to gas. In other words, the liquid phase is said to be "stripped" of its solute component, decreasing the concentration of the solute in the liquid phase and increasing the concentration of the solute in the gas phase. In absorption, the solute is absorbed from the gas into the liquid, increasing the concentration of the solute in the liquid phase and, of course, decreasing the concentration of the solute in the gas phase.

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