The theory of the electrolyte permeability of mosaic membranes composed of ideally anion-selective and ideally cation-selective parts in juxtaposition is tested in a model which consists of an all-electrolytic cyclic arrangement of four component parts: dilute solution/anion-selective membrane/concentrated solution/cation-selective membrane/dilute solution. In this system cations move from the concentrated to the dilute solution across the cation-selective membrane and an equivalent number of anions move through the anion-selective membrane. This movement of ions corresponds to a flow of current in the system. According to the theory, the number of equivalents of electrolyte which penetrate in any given time across the membranes must be identical with the number of faradays of electricity which flow during the same period. The system is essentially a combination of two menbrane-concentration cells arranged in series in a short-circuited state without the presence of electrodes.
Experimentally the magnitude of the current was determined by measuring with probe electrodes the potential across an element of the circuit whose resistance was known and constant. The number of faradays of electricity (determined from time-current data) flowing in the system during a measured time was compared with the analytically determined number of equivalents of electrolyte which moved across the membranes during the same period. In a variety of experimental systems the two values show a 1:1 ratio with a mean deviation of ± 1.8 per cent.