Electrically Induced Carrier Transport


WHEN the transport of a solute across a membrane is augmented as a result of a reversible reaction with a carrier which shuttles between opposite faces of the membrane, the process is called facilitated transport. This phenomenon is of interest because it occurs in a wide variety of biological membranes1, and because it may have important practical application in improving the performance of immobilized liquid membranes used for gas separations2,3. A recent mathematical and experimental investigation of facilitated transport4 included measurements of the rate of transport of nitric oxide in the steady state through thin films of ferrous chloride solution, across which there was a pressure difference in the nitric oxide. In the present investigation, which is an extension of that work, it was found that by a process of electrically induced carrier transport it was possible to pump nitric oxide through a liquid film across which there was no pressure difference in the nitric oxide.

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  1. 1

    Stein, W. D., The Movement of Molecules Across Cell Membranes (Academic Press, 1967).

  2. 2

    Kobb, W. L., et al., US Patent, No. 3,355,545.

  3. 3

    Ward, W. J., and Robb, W. L., Science, 156, 1481 (1967).

  4. 4

    Ward, W. J., AIChE J. (in the press).

  5. 5

    Taub, I. A., thesis, Univ. Minnesota (1961).

  6. 6

    Ward, W. J., General Electric Research and Development Center Rep., No. 69–C–013 (1968).

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WARD, W. Electrically Induced Carrier Transport. Nature 227, 162–163 (1970). https://doi.org/10.1038/227162a0

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