The reflection coefficient was originally introduced by Staverman to describe the movement of nonelectrolytes through membranes. When this coefficient is extended to salts, one has a choice of defining this term for the whole salt moving as a single electrically neutral component or for the individual ions of the salt. The latter definition is meaningful only in the absence of an electric field across the permeability barrier. This condition may be achieved with the voltage clamp or short-circuit technique and is especially useful in dealing with biological systems in which one rarely has only a single salt or even equal concentrations of the major anion and cation. The relations between the transport coefficients for the salt and its individual ions are derived. The special conditions which may result in negative osmosis through a charged membrane in the presence of a salt are discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.