Air-Water Transfer: The Role of Partitioning

by Donald Mackay, Univ of Toronto, Toronto, Canada,
Wan-Ying Shiu, Univ of Toronto, Toronto, Canada,
Kalliat T. Valsaraj, Univ of Toronto, Toronto, Canada,
Louis J. Thibodeaux, Univ of Toronto, Toronto, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Air-Water Mass Transfer


A review is presented of the role of air-water equilibrium in determining the direction and rate of transfer of chemicals between water bodies and the atmosphere. Because this diffusive exchange process is only one of several processes of transfer it is important to place it in perspective with these other process. This can be facilitated by examining the equilibrium status as well as the concentration status of air and water phases. Methods of measuring and correlating air-water equilibrium data are reviewed. It is recommended that the temperature dependence of partition coefficients and the determination of optimal methods of temperature-averaging the various transfer parameters deserve more attention. The role of the interface as a 'medium' with appreciable sorptive capacity is discussed, and questions are raised of the possible influence which this sorptive capacity has on transfer rates.

Subject Headings: Equilibrium | Sorption | Chemicals | Water chemistry | Diffusion (chemical) | Parameters (statistics) | Mass transfer | Hydrologic models

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