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Old Sep 18th 2013, 12:58 PM   #1
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Unsure of the name of mass transfer process

Hey PHF, I am doing a project on the drying of clothes by leaving them in a room with a dehumidifier- to dry by the water molecules leaving the surface of the clothes and becoming part of the atmosphere around them.
I thought that this process was called diffusion but after looking through a load of search results it seems like diffusion is only about mixtures of liquids or mixtures of gasses getting more "spread out" and "mixed".
Could someone tell me what this process is called so that I can look into the details of it myself?
Hopefully I can mathematically model this and do some simulations
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 01:08 PM   #2
MBW
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Diffusion is part of the problem, but not the only part.
diffusion is how the water molecules get from the wet clothes to the dehumidifier.

The other important issue is evaporation.
Evaporation is dependent on the temperature and on the local humidity of the air around the clothes.

Diffusion will also be dependent on the temperature and on the humidity gradient between the air around the clothes and the dehumidifier.

Thus drying time will be dependent on the temperature, and the efficiency of the dehumidifier
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Old Sep 18th 2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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Oh I thought that evaporation had to involve a change of state. It is all room temperature so when the water leaves the clothes it stays as a liquid suspended in air.
Thank you for your guidance

Edit. After talking to my lecturer I realise that there is a change of state. I thought that because the system is at 1atm the boiling point would be 100 C and the liquid water would not boil but he says that because the partial pressure of water in the air is low some of the liquid water can vaporize.

Last edited by chakari; Sep 19th 2013 at 09:47 AM.
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