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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 232698, 9 pages
Research Article

Using Lie Symmetry Analysis to Solve a Problem That Models Mass Transfer from a Horizontal Flat Plate

Department of Applied Mathematics, Walter Sisulu University, Private Bag X1, Mthatha 5117, South Africa

Received 16 July 2012; Revised 5 November 2012; Accepted 30 November 2012

Academic Editor: Hung Nguyen-Xuan

Copyright © 2012 W. Sinkala and M. Chaisi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We use Lie symmetry analysis to solve a boundary value problem that arises in chemical engineering, namely, mass transfer during the contact of a solid slab with an overhead flowing fluid. This problem was earlier tackled using Adomian decomposition method (Fatoorehchi and Abolghasemi 2011), leading to the Adomian series form of solution. It turns out that the application of Lie group analysis yields an elegant form of the solution. After introducing the governing mathematical model and some preliminaries of Lie symmetry analysis, we compute the Lie point symmetries admitted by the governing equation and use these to construct the desired solution as an invariant solution.