Abstract The two-point boundary value problem resulting from the heat and material balance equations of a packed separation column are solved using polynomial approximation techniques. The model equations are based on the two-film theory of mass transfer. The resulting partial differential equations are first reduced to ordinary differential equations and then integrated using semi-implicit Runge-Kutta method of integration. Application of orthogonal collocation simplifies the solution of the two-point boundary value problem. For the examples studied, the algorithm is found to converge rapidly with respect to the number of collocation points used in the polynomial approximation.