Equation Of Mass Flow

It is easy enough to calculate a mass flow when talking about the amount of a solid material ingested. For example, if someone ingests 7.2 g of NaCl over a 24-hr period, the average rate of ingestion is 300 mg/hr or 5 mg/min (equivalent to about 0.09 mmol of Na+ per min). On the other hand, when the substance is present in solution, as is usually the case, the mass flow is calculated as the product of the concentration of the solute and the volume flow of the solution in which the solute is present, or

amount/min amount/vol (vol/min)

Equation [1] provides an easy and direct way of computing the rate of mass flow for solutes in a number of different settings by using any combination of convenient units as shown by the following.

With careful attention to maintaining consistent units, the same principles can be applied to any solute mass flow, for example, to the rate of ingestion of Na+ in liquids. This principle is applied to quantifying and comparing mass flows throughout this examination of renal function, so Eq. [1] is fundamental to a complete understanding of the material in the chapters that follow.

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