Combining Experiments and Simulation of Gas Absorption for Teaching Mass Transfer Fundamentals: Removing CO2 From Air Using Water And NAOH


  • William M. Clark Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Yaminah Z. Jackson Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Michael T. Morin Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Giacomo P. Ferraro Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Laboratory experiments and computer models for studying the mass transfer process of removing CO2 from air using water or dilute NaOH solution as absorbent are presented. Models tie experiment to theory and give a visual representation of concentration profiles and also illustrate the two-film theory and the relative importance of various resistances to mass transfer with and without reaction.

Author Biographies

William M. Clark, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

William Clark is an associate professor of chemical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He received a B.S. degree from Clemson University and a Ph.D. degree from Rice University, both in chemical engineering. He has more than 20 years of experience teaching thermodynamics and unit operations laboratory at WPI. In addition to research efforts in teaching and learning, he has conducted disciplinary research in separation processes.

Yaminah Z. Jackson, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Yaminah Jackson graduated from the WPI Chemical Engineering Department in Spring 2008. She is currently attending graduate school at the University of Southern California.

Michael T. Morin, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Michael Morin graduated from the WPI Chemical Engineering Department in Spring 2009. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at WPI.

Giacomo P. Ferraro, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Giacomo Ferraro is the laboratory manager in the Chemical Engineering Department at WPI. He is a master machinist and has facilitated equipment design, fabrication, and use for teaching and research at WPI for more than 30 years.