Such a reactive membrane system has many possible applications. For example, it can be applied to a controlled release of drugs . Acidic conditions in the body could be used to trigger a reaction within an implanted membrane to release a drug. Similarly, it can be used for a controlled release of agricultural chemicals . Also, it may be relevant to reactive barrier membranes for retarding penetration of contaminants  if formation of undesired by-products is possible. Thus, the diffusion of the mobile products out of the reactive membrane is of great interest.
In our experiments, a diaphragm cell in which a reactive solute challenges a reactive membrane from one side was adopted. Hydrochloric acid and a poly(vinyl alcohol) membrane containing zinc oxide particles were chosen as the reactive solute and the reactive membrane, respectively. The immobilized zinc oxide was dissolved by the penetrating hydrochloric acid. Zinc ions were formed within the membrane, and they subsequently diffused out of the membrane into the two glass chambers that comprised the diaphragm cell holding the membrane. The concentration of zinc ions and acid in the chambers were monitored using a colorimetric method and a pH meter, respectively. The experiments were conducted with varied zinc oxide loadings, acid concentrations, membrane thicknesses, and chamber volumes to determine the effects of these parameters.
Our modeling is based on a theoretical equation derived by Yang et al. to describe the breakthrough behavior of the reactive solute . A diffusion equation with a reaction term describes the behavior of the mobile product before breakthrough of the reactive solute, while a diffusion equation without a reaction term governs the system after the breakthrough. Based on a pseudo-steady state assumption, an analytical solution to this problem was derived. This analytical solution closely agrees with a numerical solution without the steady state assumption. The equations were successfully used to fit and explain the experimental data.
 Petratos, P. B.; Chen, J.; Felsen, D.; Poppas, D. P. (2002) “Local Pharmaceutical Release from a New Hydrogel Implant,” J. Surg. Res. 103, 55-60.  Zhao, J.; Wilkins, R. M. (2005) “Low Molecular Weight Polylactic Acid as a Matrix for the Delayed Release of Pesticides,” J. Agric. Food Chem. 53, 4076-4082.  Shimotori, T.; Nuxoll, E. E.; Cussler, E. L.; Arnold, W. A. (2004) “A Polymer Membrane Containing Fe0 as a Contaminant Barrier,” Environ. Sci. Technol. 38, 2264-2270.  Yang, C.; Nuxoll, E. E.; Cussler, E. L. (2001) “Reactive Barrier Films,” AIChE J. 47, 295-302.