A procedure to estimate the diffusion coefficient in solution⁻diffusion models of hydrophilic membranes used in pervaporation-based purification experiments is presented. The model is based on a series solution of the general permeation problem. It considers a membrane that can be filled with water or with the feed solution before the measurement. Furthermore, the length of the tubing between the permeation cell and the place of cold traps is also addressed. To illustrate the parameter estimation procedure, we have chosen the data for the separation of water and ethanol by chitosan membranes. It is shown that the diffusion coefficient can be estimated effectively from the time course of the transported mass and by the analysis of certain well defined time lags of the permeation curve.