• diffusion;
  • oxygen transfer;
  • reaeration;
  • mechanical wave;
  • surface renewal model;
  • mean film thickness;
  • mass transfer

Mechanically generated surface waves and their influence on oxygen transfer were investigated. The experiments were conducted in a reaeration column (Reynolds number from 125–937). The water surface was set in oscillatory motion to simulate periodic surface level fluctuation. The wave frequency used ranged from 0.125 Hz to 0.425 Hz for various wave heights ranging from 0.15 cm to 1.5 cm. After bleeding the water column with nitrogen, dissolved oxygen concentration was measured over time below the water surface. A modified surface renewal model was proposed and found to describe the oxygen transfer phenomenon well. In addition, it was found that the mean film thickness δD, may be used as the characteristic length to describe the reaeration process under the influence of small perturbation and surface water waves. The proposed model was also extended to include the reaeration process under larger waves reported by other researchers. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 4839–4845, 2013