Using pilot-scale test plant, the interfacial area per unit volume was investigated in different gasliquid reactors, i.e. packed column, bubble column and free jet reactor. The interfacial area was studied as a function of liquid viscosity and of operating parameters. As a rule, identical test conditions were maintained in all the measurements, in order to obtain comparable results. The interfacial area was determined by chemical means using the sulphite system (a solution of sodium sulphite in water as model liquid and air as gaseous medium). The viscosity of the solution can be increased by adding carboxymethyl cellulose without significantly affecting the reaction kinetics. The addition of a surfactant to the sulphite system allowed comparative measurements at reduced surface tension. Based on a large number of measurements, the correlations of the interfacial area are expressed as power laws. The inclusion of experiments with a jet tube reactor and a stirring vessel allows an extensive comparison of all reactors. All tests were carried out with the same material system and the same method was used to determine the interfacial area per unit volume. Therefore, a comparison with respect to mass transfer is possible.