Sherwood Number

The Sherwood number, (also called the mass transfer Nusselt number) is a dimensionless number used in mass-transfer operation. It represents the ratio of convective to diffusive mass transport, and is named in honor of Thomas Kilgore Sherwood.

It is defined as follows


  • is a characteristic length (m)
  • is mass diffusivity (m2.s−1)
  • is the mass transfer coefficient (m.s−1)

Using dimensional analysis, it can also be further defined as a function of the Reynolds and Schmidt numbers:

For example, for a single sphere it can be expressed as:

where is the Sherwood number due only to natural convection and not forced convection.

A more specific correlation, the Froessling equation:

This form is particularly valuable to chemical engineers in situations where the Reynolds number and Schmidt number are readily available. Since Re and Sc are both dimensionless numbers, the Sherwood number is also dimensionless.

These correlations are the mass transfer analogs to heat transfer correlations of the Nusselt number in terms of the Reynolds number and Prandtl number. For a correlation for a given geometry (e.g. spheres, plates, cylinders, etc.), a heat transfer correlation (often more readily available from literature and experimental work, and easier to determine) for the Nusselt number (Nu) in terms of the Reynolds number (Re) and the Prandtl number (Pr) can be used as a mass transfer correlation by replacing the Prandtl number with the analogous dimensionless number for mass transfer, the Schmidt number, and replacing the Nusselt number with the analogous dimensionless number for mass transfer, the Sherwood number.

As an example, a heat transfer correlation for spheres is given by the Ranz-Marshall Correlation:

This correlation can be made into a mass transfer correlation using the above procedure, which yields:

This is a very concrete way of demonstrating the analogies between different forms of transport phenomena.

Other articles related to "sherwood number, number":

Churchill–Bernstein Equation - Mass Transfer Definition
... where is the Sherwood number is the Schmidt number Using the mass-heat transfer analogy, the Nusselt number is replaced by the Sherwood number, and the Prandtl number is replaced by the Schmidt number ... The Sherwood number can be used to find an overall mass transfer coefficient and applied to Fick's law of diffusion to find concentration profiles and mass transfer fluxes ...

Famous quotes containing the words number and/or sherwood:

    It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggression.
    Sigmund Freud (1856–1939)

    I remember when I was younger, there was a well-known writer who used to dart down the back way whenever saw me coming. I suppose he was in love with me and wasn’t quite sure of himself. Well, c’est la vie!
    —Robert E. Sherwood (1896–1955)