Diffusion of gases through surfactant films: Interfacial resistance to mass transfer



A model is proposed for mass transfer of gases across surface-active films and into an aqueous phase. The interfacial region (1) obeys local equilibrium conditions, (2) has a capacity for the dissolved gases greater than the solubility in water, and (3) has a diffusion coefficient three orders of magnitude less than for that in water. The model is solved for and compared with three different experiments: the transient diffusion through monomolecular films into quiescent liquids studied by Plevan and Quinn (1966), the gas absorption through surfactant films into falling liquid films investigated by Emmert and Pigford (1954), and the frequency response of concentration pulses in surfactant films reported by Whitaker and Pigford (1966). The model consistently describes these experiments previously explained by three different models that either ignored the capacitance of the film or assumed local non-equilibrium.